Category Archives: Forum Magazine

Fiction Reading with Mimi Lok

The Creative Writing Program at City College of San Francisco is delighted to host a reading and discussion with fiction writer Mimi Lok!

Mimi Lok is the author of the story collection Last of Her Name, published by Kaya Press in October 2019. The title story was a finalist for the 2018 Katherine Anne Porter Fiction Prize. She is the recipient of a Smithsonian Ingenuity Award and an Ylvisaker Award for Fiction, and was a finalist for the Susan Atefat Arts and Letters Prize for nonfiction. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in McSweeney’s, Electric Literature, Nimrod, Lucky Peach, Hyphen, the South China Morning Post, and elsewhere. Mimi is also the executive director and editor of Voice of Witness, a human rights/oral history nonprofit she cofounded that amplifies marginalized voices through a book series and a national education program.

When

Tue, March 2, 2021
7:00 PM – 8:00 PM PST

Where

Register on Eventbrite to access the Zoom invitation!
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/fiction-reading-with-mimi-lok-tickets-142303362187

2021-03-02T19:00:00

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City College of San Francisco’s Fiction Reading with Mimi Lok!

GET LIT

Lit Night is back! Have you been churning out poems and stories and essays that you are desperate to share ? Are you perhaps looking for inspiration and a regular meet up with fellow writers?

Next Lit Night fun is February 15th. The theme is HOPE.

Visit litnight.org for themes, dates and Zoom links!

Lit Night is every third Monday from 7:30-9:00PM

Come join the fun!

Lit+Night+Logo+white

STATEMENT TO OUR COMMUNITY REGARDING ALAN CHAZARO READING

February 16, 2021

To the CCSF and Forum Community,

The English Department and the Creative Writing program at City College wish to extend our apologies to all of you who attended Alan Chazaro’s poetry reading on Thursday, February 11th. We felt honored to have Alan read for us since, in addition to being a talented poet, he attended community college and went on to write about growing up in the Bay Area as a Mexican American. Alan received the Lawrence Ferlinghetti Scholarship at the University of San Francisco because of his focus on and commitment to social justice issues in America, and it is clear he is someone that many of us can see ourselves in and that he is a truly inspirational man.

In fact, Alan represents much of what we stand for at City College—a commitment to social equity and diversity. We are proud of our tradition of presenting writers of all races, ethnicities, and gender identities. For this reason, the attack on the reading that occurred when a group of intruders disrupted and insulted the poet and viewers, represents an assault on our values. As you may know, the group took over the Zoom screen and projected racist and pornographic images while they verbally attacked all present in the chat. This was a hate filled act that has no place at any college, let alone City College. City College’s Visiting Writers’ Series is about inclusivity and about presenting diverse voices that will help students, faculty, and Bay Area residents build a supportive and inclusive community based on love and acceptance.

We wish to extend deep and heartfelt thanks to Alan Chazaro for the generous gift of his poems and much gratitude to our audience for their patience and support. It was amazing to hear students immediately reject the intruders’ hate and turn to highlighting the connections they could make to his life and poems. It was inspiring to hear many of you mentioning favorite passages.

We strongly condemn these racial attacks on our presenter and audience members. After reflecting on the intrusion, we have made the following changes to how our online Visiting Writers’ Series events will be managed:

· All participants will be muted throughout the events and will be individually unmuted if they have raised their hand during the Q and A.

· Participants will not be able to change their screen names during an event.

· Participants will not be able to screenshare.

· At least one faculty member will manage the waiting room and settings while another hosts the event.

· All faculty hosting or cohosting a reading will be trained to manage disruptions.

· Chat may be restricted to the host only and disabled entirely if abused.

· Removed participants will not be able to rejoin the event.

· Members of the public will be required to register for the event with their full name and email address before receiving the Zoom link and password.

· Participants without first and last names in their profile will not be allowed in the meeting.

· Any attendee who attempts to disrupt the event will be reported to Zoom and our IT department as well as CCSF administrators.

We hope that all of you—and anyone who attends any of the English Department’s future events—will feel safe knowing that we have put in place measures to ensure that such intrusion will never occur again. We are dedicated to bringing a diverse range of writers—writers of all races, gender identifications, and religions—who honor inclusivity and the power of literature to bring people together in the spirit of love—and never hate.

Sincerely,

CCSF Creative Writing Program and English Department

magic spell

You will need
–A preying mantis rescued from a lawnmower
–Five ants rescued from a kitchen where
the balabosta was going to crush them.
–A wrapped piece of grocery cake
Hostess
or my new favorite that comes from Mexico
white cake covered in chocolate with some
spots of red jelly Gansito
–Your favorite pair of colored socks
–Your favorite pair of comfortable worn-out socks
–A book you’re been meaning to read
–Miscellaneous secret government files
–My mother Felice’s fountain pen with something
in her handwriting
–My father Eli’s thimble he used as a tailor
–One of my grandfather Wulf’s Hebrew Prayer Books
–Something my grandmother Rachel has sewn

–A short piece played on the piano by my
sister Ruth
–The smell of the beach of Riis Park on a
hot summer’s day
–A worn pair of my dance shoes
–The tights I started to knit and stopped at the
calf of the second leg and then forgot
how to knit altogether
–Photos of the local people who went to see
the last performance of Beach Blanket Babylon
closing after forty-five years including Nancy Pelosi, Diane Feinstein
and Dick Blum
–Some of the DNA from elephants, lions,
giraffes, feral cats
–Some bit of giant Redwoods and Sequoias
–The wisps of laughter, puzzlements,
revelations
of my now gone family and friends

(Add all of yours)
Whoosh them all together
in a beautiful canyon someplace in
New Mexico

where they will create
a whirling–like a soft tornado
up to the horizon

and out to cover the world
And surely this will save the
human species in 2020.

Helen Dannenberg writes with the Older Writers Lab. She takes various arts-related classes and featured her assemblages in Open Studios 2019. She participates with San Francisco Recreation and Parks Cosmic Elders and has been a dancer and choreographer, and worked as an Activity Director and Social Services Coordinator in skilled nursing facilities.

Cedar Pass, Linocut print, by Teresa Beatty

A San Francisco based artist, Teresa Beatty has spent the last few years honing her skills in printmaking and drawing. Her interests span from scientific illustration to art therapy. In pursuit of bettering her craft she’s traveled across the globe. She uses art as a tool for healing, expression and connection.

sifted bones

Crimson bleeds
on her clean pink jumper,
blooming,
like Poppies in October,
the Plath poem
which has nothing to do with poppies,
the wounded woman’s
heart a watercolor seeping.

Fresh ruby drops
just as we were ready to go home,
declaring a reminder
that everything is not normal, everything
is not as it should be, but the portals are open
the veins are still alert,
dripping,
as the nurse removes the plastic tubing dangling from the crook of her arm,
a thief tapping into a pot of gold
striking it rich before her veins collapse.

I want to slide inside
a pair of Emily‘s flannel pajamas,
slip into my bed and pretend that everything
will be fine,
that she will be here
to create art with me in my retirement
in her little downstairs studio,
with gelli plates
squeezing tubes of fine gold acrylic
rolling, watching it smear and shine
translucent spreading
onto every inch of plain paper.

Snuggling beside her
in the hospital bed feeling her beating
heart, holding
her hand and we are laughing
at Jim Carrey impugning god in Bruce Almighty
when she asks me quietly,
Do you know whether you want to be cremated or what?
Emily who has organized everything
down to the intimate
notes she has kept for 20 years,
then carefully hand bound into a creative atlas
to celebrate a life,
has not prepared her burial plans.
She is leaving
that up to us to spread
her sifted bones.

Diana Feiger grew up in Sandwich, Kent, UK and moved to the Bay Area in 1986. She finds inspiration in nature and from the miraculous and mundane aspects of life. Small moments and phrases can capture the imagination.

Happy Pine Cone, Charcoal Drawing by Travis Yallup

Travis Yallup is a contemporary realist who lives and works in San Francisco. He has studied art at various colleges and universities over the past eleven years and has developed a preference for drawing and painting in a variety of mediums. His  focus usually comes from life, photos, and collages and he often draws an inspiration from influences such as Andrew Wyeth and Vija Celmins.

This Morning

I went for taro,

custard, and red bean

buns. Shrieks above

from an argument

broke my somnolence;

a gull defended the cross

it perched on from

a circling raven’s

assault. The vanquished

raven landed and

sulked. Do I call it

augury, score a win

for yang, or remember

Jeffers, who wrote, “it is bitter earnestness

that makes beauty; the mind

knows grown adult”?

 

Jason Syzdlik studied poetry at City College of San Francisco.

 

Karman ghia parked by streetlamp and building
KARMAGIA, illustration by Joshua Yule

Joshua Yule  has actively been producing artwork including print, screen printing, illustrations, and digital illustrations for the likes of many local Bay area bands for almost two decades.

Dialectic

The absence of

Desire is sometimes

Called peace.

 

See flowers.

Smell them.

See birds.

Hear them.

 

Imagine their absence.

 

Who can deny life’s desire for more life?

The absence of desire is sometimes called peace,

 

But perhaps only by those too weary

To witness spring.

 

Jason Szdlik‘s poem This Morning can also be found on the Forum Blog.

Shy

 

S

Accessible Word Version_ Shy_Kayla_Wilton

Shy by Kayla Wilton

 I received my English degree with a Spanish minor from CSU Stanislaus in Spring 2019, and I will complete my creative writing certificate at CCSF in Spring 2020. Writing is my passion, but I also dabble in drawing, painting, photography, and performance. My work has appeared in Penumbra Literary Magazine.

Glass canister with metal top
It’s Not a Salt Shaker by Travis Yallup

It’s Not A Saltshaker by Travis Yallup

Travis Yallup is a contemporary realist who lives and works in San Francisco. He has studied art at various colleges and universities over the past eleven years and has developed a preference for drawing and painting in a variety of mediums. His  focus usually comes from life, photos, and collages and he often draws an inspiration from influences such as Andrew Wyeth and Vija Celmins.

Solanum Lycopersicum

light from overhead fixtures

reflects off of your hallowed surface

like distant low beams

cutting through fog 

 

cold and unyielding

though supple in places,

your smooth skin covers familiar topography

in reds and oranges so fine

hiding the vulnerable flesh within 

 

nightshade sepal

that you wear as a crown

does it remind you of the flower

which commenced your only season? 

 

your scent is strongest

at the point where you jettisoned the connection

to the vine of your birth

leaving behind countless brothers and sisters

to find your destiny before my eyes 

 

thank you.

Written By: Steven Louis Ray

Steven Louis Ray is a multidisciplinary artist working in traditional film and darkroom processes, in addition to writing and recording experimental music and writing poetry. He’s currently slogging his way to a creative writing certificate and studying printmaking at City College of San Francisco. More of his photography can be viewed at stevenlouisray.com

Copy of The Little People in Our Plants_Visual Arts_Procreate Digital Illustration

Art Title: The Little People in our Plants

Artist: Bianca Joy Catolos

Bianca Joy Catolos is a graphic designer based in the Bay Area  with a passion for drawing and illustration. She illustrates to document memories, stories, and assets of life in a quirky, abstract and colorful way to share and commentate how she sees people and world. Bianca is a digital artist with a traditional background in painting and often mixes the two to create endless worlds and scenes to fuel the imagination.

Bag of Marbles

We were shooting marbles with our older brother

Arnulfo kneeling on a patch of dirt

Front of a mud brown apartment building 

 

Clink as one marble collides      into another

He won a ruby glass Cleary 

 

Shiny marbles, shiny joy in our eyes

As he was 27 and playing with us kids

My little brother Herbie and me

Written By: Rocio Ramirez

Rocio Ramirez is a Counselor who works with families. She has a Masters in Counseling Psychology and a Certificate in Expressive arts therapies. She has been a Presenter for IVAT, Center for the Prevention of Abuse and Trauma, in La Jolla. She has recently presented on the use of Sandplay therapy and Collage with Domestic violence survivors. She is currently writing a book on sandplay therapy and art therapy with disenfranchised populations. She is always happiest when she is next to the sea.

Copy of Canid I_Visual Arts_Pastel on Stipple Paper

Art Title: Canid I

Artist: Teresa Beatty

San Francisco based artist, Teresa Beatty, has spent the last few years honing her skills in printmaking and drawing. Her interests span from scientific illustration to art therapy. In pursuit of bettering her craft she’s traveled across the globe. She uses art as a tool for healing, expression and connection.