Category Archives: Events

great events coming up for Forum

TOMMY ORANGE @ CCSF

We have the immense honor of hosting Tommy Orange, Pulitzer Prize Finalist and author of There, There, at CCSF’s Ocean Campus. Come join Forum for the unique opportunity to hear a local author speak about this beautiful novel, on Wednesday Novemeber 20th, from 10:30 to 12:30, @ the Diego Rivera Theater at the Ocean Campus.

From the City College website:

“Tommy Orange is the author of There There, a multi-generational, relentlessly paced story about a side of America few of us have ever seen: the lives of urban Native Americans. Pulitzer Prize Nominee and one of The New York Times’ top books of 2018, There There shows us violence and recovery, hope and loss, identity and power, dislocation and communion, and the beauty and despair woven into the history of a nation and its people. Orange talks about his craft, the writing process, and Native American history and culture, often meticulously researched visual presentations.”

Members of the Forum team will be there! Stay tuned for a recap and pictures!

The event is free and open to the public.

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Queer Writing+AIDS Crisis Call For Submissions

 

 

Between Certain Death and a Possible Future:
Queer Writing on Growing up with the AIDS Crisis
CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

Hi all! Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore is looking to collect stories that narrate the queer experience in association with the AIDS crisis! Below is a description of the project, as well as guidelines, and Mattilda’s personal background. CHECK IT OUT!

Every queer person lives with the trauma of AIDS, and this plays out intergenerationally. Usually we hear about two generations—the first, coming of age in the era of gay liberation, and then watching entire circles of friends die of a mysterious illness as the government did nothing to intervene. And now we hear about a current generation growing up in an era offering effective treatment and prevention, and unable to comprehend the magnitude of the loss. We are told that these two generations cannot possibly understand one another, and thus remain alienated from both the past and the future. But there is another generation between these two—one growing up in the midst of the epidemic, haunted by the specter of certain death. A generation growing up with AIDS suffusing desire, internalizing the trauma as part of becoming queer. And these are the personal stories I’d like to collect in this book—accounts that overlap with the more commonly portrayed generations, and offer a bridge between.

By telling this specific generational story in all its complications, how do we explore the trauma the AIDS crisis continues to enact, and imagine a way out? How do race, class, gender, sexuality, age, ability, religion, ethnicity, indigeneity, rural/urban experience, regional/national origin, Global South/Global North perspective, HIV status, and access to treatment and prevention (over time and in shifting contexts) shape personal experience? What is excluded from the glorified myth of progress that now reigns?

How does the impact of growing up with the AIDS crisis continue to affect those left out of the white picket fence version of respectability promoted by dominant “LGBTQ” institutions? How does this apply to sex work, migration, public sex, cruising spaces and apps, abuse and survival, incarceration, reproductive health, homelessness, activism, drug use and addiction, subcultural striving, gay bar culture, HIV criminalization, and hierarchies within gay/queer/trans cultures?

Any generational frame offers only a partial truth, and I’m especially interested in the gaps between accepted narratives and lived experience. As a generation coming of age both with and without the internet, how has technology changed our lives, for better and worse? How does stigma against HIV-positive people continue today, and does the rhetoric around “undetectability” further exclusion rather than ending it? Who is dying of AIDS now, in spite of “AIDS Is Over” rhetoric? Has the energy around PrEP shifted the focus of public health campaigns away from demanding a cure for HIV? How could a meaningful intergenerational conversation about HIV/AIDS take place? What would communal care actually look like?

I’m interested in your most intimate stories, and your most personal fears—what you’re afraid to say is what I want to hear.

About the Editor: Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore (mattildabernsteinsycamore.com) is the author of three novels and a memoir, and the editor of five nonfiction anthologies. Her memoir, The End of San Francisco, won a Lambda Literary Award, and her widely hailed anthologies include Why Are Faggots So Afraid of Faggots?, That’s Revolting!, and Nobody Passes. Her latest novel, Sketchtasy (one of NPR’s Best Books of 2018), is about this generation between certain death and a possible future.

Guidelines: Please submit nonfiction personal essays of up to 5000 words, as Word attachments (no PDFs, please), to nobodypasses@gmail.com. Contributors will be paid for their work, and will receive copies of the book. Feel free to contact me with any queries. The deadline for submissions is March 1, 2020, but the sooner the better!

Forum Open Mic and Fundraiser

Hey guys!! Our official fundraiser and open mic event is happening next wednesday from 6:30-8:30 on the City College Mission Campus in room 109. The open mic is on a first-come-first-serve basis and has a 4-minute limit, so plan wisely. Everyone and anyone is welcome to join us! Come share your work with us and have a great evening! Food and drinks will be served 🙂 Hope to see you there!

Forum Open Mic - November 13

Author Reading: Carolina de Robertis

Join us at for a reading from Carolina De Robertis’ new novel Cantoras and a discussion about writing and its relationship with social change.

Monday, Novemeber 4th, from 1-2:30pm @ the Rosenberg Library at Ocean Campus, room 305.

Free and open to the public!

More about De Robertis:

A writer of Uruguayan origins, Carolina De Robertis is the author of the novels Cantoras, The Gods of Tango, Perla, and the international bestseller The Invisible Mountain. She is also an award-winning translator of Latin American and Spanish literature, and editor of the anthology Radical Hope: Letters of Love and Dissent in Dangerous Times, which features essays by leading thinkers and writers in response to the shifting political atmosphere in the U.S. In 2017, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts named De Robertis on its 100 List of “people, organizations, and movements that are shaping the future of culture.” She teaches fiction and literary translation at San Francisco State University, and lives in Oakland, California, with her wife and two children. Untitled-design-2-1

Poetry Reading: Joseph Lease

Join us tomorrow night at the Mission Campus at 6pm for a reading featuring Joseph Lease.

His critically acclaimed books of poetry include The Body Ghost (Coffee House Press, 2018), Testify (Coffee House Press, 2011), and Broken World (Coffee House Press, 2007). Lease’s poems “‘Broken World’ (For James Assatly)” and “Send My Roots Rain” were anthologized in Postmodern American Poetry: A Norton Anthology. Lease’s poem “‘Broken World’ (For James Assatly)” was anthologized in The Best American Poetry (Robert Creeley, Guest Editor). His poem “Free Again (Why don’t people)” was published in The New York Times.

Of The Body Ghost, David Shapiro wrote: “When I was very young, my father a ‘skin doctor’ would show gleaming models of body parts at medical fairs. They frightened my sisters but they were also illuminations of a whole world. Joseph’s poems are like these terrifying wholes/holes. They travel into us. Joseph has been 2 making an American Buddhist poetry, and he is as maximalist as flesh and bone. He gives me the sensation that poetry is in gleaming hands, healing and grasping and letting go. He is the future of poetry.”

CCSF’s Mission Campus, 1125 Valencia St., Room109
October 17, 2019 6:00-8:00 PM

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Author Reading Tonight: Sehba Sarwar, Fan Wu, and liz gonzález

Come to the San Francisco Library’s Main Branch tonight for readings and book signings from three female authors with diverse cultural backgrounds: Sehba Sarwar, Fan Wu, and liz gonzález.

The event is happening at the Chinese Room at the Main library tonight, Thursday 10/10 from 5:30-7:00. The Main Library is in downtown San Francisco, right off Market street and next to Civic Center BART.

From the SFPL’s website:

“This literary event celebrates women of color authors, who will be reading from and talking about their writing and how their various backgrounds influence their creative works. Award-winning Pakistani writer and artist, Sehba Sarwar, will read from her recently-published debut novel Black Wings. This book is about a story of a mother and daughter who struggle to meet across the generations, cultures and secrets that separate them. Bay Area-based writer Fan Wu will read from her critically acclaimed novels including Beautiful as Yesterday, a book about two sisters who were born and brought up in China and now reside in the United States. Her writing explores the impact of history and memories on one’s life. And fourth-generation Southern Californian liz gonzález will share from her multi-genre collection Dancing in the Santa Ana Winds. Her book explores memories, pivotal experiences and cultural influences that shaped her when growing up as a nontraditional Catholic Mexican American in San Bernardino.

A book sale and signing will follow the event.”

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Pedro Uc Be Reading: Recap and Pictures

We had the honor of hosting the Yucatec Mayan poet Pedro Uc Be last night at CCSF’s Mission campus. Mr. Uc Be held an illuminating conversation with us about the aggressive development in the Yucatan peninsula and its effects on the large Mayan population there. He also read three beautiful pieces of poetry in the Yucatec Mayan language and in Spanish. Dr. Steven Mayers translated the conversation and poems into English.

Mr. Uc Be cast light upon the poorly publicized struggle between the Mayan people of the Yucatan and the various forces at play looking to develop their ancestral land for economic gain. Specifically, large corporations and state actors are aggressively pursuing the development of a train that runs right through the jungle of the Yucatan, which would bring with it widespread damage to the ecosystem of these peoples’ homeland. Worse, Uc Be informed us that State actors are blatantly unwilling to investigate the ecological effects of these projects before proceeding. The Yucatec Mayans have a deep connection with the natural environment around them, relying on plants for medicinal, alimentary, and cultural purposes. Such rash development projects will surely be a crippling blow to this indigenous population’s way of life. Please take a look at Mr. Uc Be’s blog for more information and ways to help.

Pedro Uc Be’s blog.

Check him out on Facebook here.

 

 

Photos by Tigran Demurjian

Get Lit At Lit Night, this Monday the 16th!

Come join us at Lit Night on Monday night at 7:30pm to get lit, so lit, so very literary! Featuring the always inspiring writing from our large CCSF community, including students and faculty, staff and alumni, passerby and Ocean Ale house locals.

Want to read? Email ahead or waltz in and put your name down. The theme is CHANGE: “We all change, but that change is never easy. Tell us a story or poem about a time you or your character was experiencing some great life change that made them question everything—life, love, hopes, dreams.”

Lit Night happens every third Monday of the month at Ocean Ale house at 1314 Ocean Ave, a few blocks from CCSF’s Ocean campus. Check them out at http://www.litnight.org

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Poetry Reading: Pedro Uc Be

Poetry Reading: Pedro Uc Be

Thursday, September 19, 6:30-8:00pm

CCSF’s Mission Campus, Room 109
Free and open to the public!

Prof. Uc Be is a prominent Yucatec Maya poet and essayist who uses the pen name Lázaro Kan Ek. He contributes to training and reflection projects in Maya culture and identity in many indigenous communities of the Yucatán peninsula, through consulting and facilitation of workshops in Mayan language. Pedro has a Middle School Teaching Credential in Social Sciences from the Escuela Normal Superior de Campeche. He is the author of many poems as well as articles. He has won the State Poetry Prize for “Spirit of the Letter,” as well as the 5th Festival of the Mayan Culture (FICMAYA) prize. He has written articles on biodiversity, sustainable energy, and the preservation of nature.

We are honored to have Pedro Uc Be visit San Francisco to take part in a series of events sponsored by City College of San Francisco and Asociación Mayab. On September 19, he will be reading poems in Mayan and Spanish, and English, and talking about environmental issues in his home state. For more of the activities this month in San Francisco celebrating Mayan writing, art, music, and ideas, please visit: https://www.mayawomeninart.org/coming-soon.

This event is sponsored by CCSF’s Creative Writing Program and Asociación Mayab.

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