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
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
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.
Forum celebrated National Poetry Month with a reading at the San Francisco Public Library on April 24. Our featured poets were Kim Shuck and Aaron Shurin, and other Forum contributors joined in to make it an evening full of wonderful poetry (and some music). Thank you to the library for hosting us!
Kim Shuck is the author of two solo collections of poetry, one prose book, and one chapbook. She is also the seventh poet laureate of San Francisco.
Aaron Shurin is the author of fourteen books of poetry and prose, most recently Flowers & Sky: Two Talks (Entre Rios Books, 2017), The Skin of Meaning: Collected Literary Essays and Talks (University of Michigan Press, 2015), and two books from City Lights: Citizen (poems, 2012) and King of Shadows (essays, 20008). His work has appeared in over forty national and international anthologies, and has been supported by grants from The National Endowment for the Arts, The California Arts Council, The San Francisco Arts Commission, and the Gerbode Foundation. A longtime educator, he’s Professor Emeritus and former Director of the MFA Writing Program at the University of San Francisco.
MK Chavez is an award-winning author, co-founder/curator of the reading series Lyrics & Dirges, co-director of the Berkeley Poetry Festival, a fellow with CantoMundo, and a Fall 2018 guest curator of the reading series at UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive.
Join us September 19 for a free and open to the public poetry reading poetry reading on Mission Campus in Room 107-108 from 6:00pm-8:00pm.
MK Chavez Writers Series PDF Flyer
Help support the publication of Forum Magazine, City College of San Francisco’s literary journal. Members from the community will be reading poetry, and all donations are appreciated. Food and drinks are free but limited, and available for purchase.
We want to thank all who attended our reading on Tuesday at the Mission Campus with poet Javier Zamora! I think the students really appreciated meeting someone who they could see themselves in—young, down to earth, funny, casual, uncertain, honest—who is also an accomplished writer and educator. Thank you, Javier, for coming and we look forward to the next time!
Javier Zamora was born in El Salvador and immigrated to the United States as a boy. He earned a BA from UC Berkeley and an MFA at NYU and is a 2016-2018 Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford. Unaccompanied is Zamora’s first poetry collection. His poetry has been featured in numerous magazines and he has received multiple honors including a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship.
SO I know I said that I’d have this post up “soon”. A week is “soon”, right?
Anyway. We had some really great moments at the Launch Party. Many many many thanks to Adobe Books for being fabulous hosts. Thanks to the Forum Staff who came early to set up (and to Jeremy Williams, who organized the whole thing). Thanks to Jackie Davis-Martin and Saramanda Swigart for beautiful featured readings. And gigantic thanks to everyone who read, and everyone who came!
Look at all these beautiful, amazing human beings! I hope everyone who came left satisfied, and everyone who didn’t have a chance to come can come see us at the next event~!