Poetry and the Senses Event: Celebrating Kundiman

The spring semester of Engaging the Senses Foundations ongoing Poetry and the Senses partnership with U.C. Berkeleys Arts and Research Center (ARC) is underway! Looking back at the project throughout 2020 and 2021, we can reflect on an ongoing initiative that has focused brilliantly — in the words of Julia Bryan-Wilson, ARCs Director – on poetry as a vital resource during a time unduly challenged by crisis, including a world-wide pandemic, massive wildfires, and intense political unrest.  We are grateful for the brilliant stewardship of Julia Bryan-Wilson, Doris and Clarence Malo Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art; fall 2021 semester Acting Director of Arts Research Center and ongoing Board Member Chiyuma Elliott, an Associate Professor of African American Studies at UC Berkeley; and Associate Director of ARC Laurie Macfee, a poet, artist, art administrator, and educator who facilitates the Poetry and the Senses initiative.

We are delighted to hear that, given how deeply they are engaging with each other, ARC has extended the fall 2021 Poetry and the Senses fellows cohort through the spring 2022 semester. Their ongoing theme is coexistence, which “has a spatial component, and implies the sharing of space or cohabitation within overlapping territories; it also has a temporal dimension, suggesting simultaneous presence with others in the same moment in time.” You can find the 2021/2022 fellows’ reflections on the theme of coexistence on ARCs blog here.

There will be a new cohort of fellows in fall 2022. Applications will be available in early April.

We’d like to remind you of several inspired offerings upcoming in the spring of 2022. The first is Celebrating Kundiman: Cathy Linh Che, Chen Chen, & Jenny Xie online in conversation with 2021/22 ARC Poetry Fellow Lindsay Choi and poet and ARC program coordinator Sophia Hussain. Poetry and the Senses will welcome poet and Kundiman Executive Director Cathy Linh Che (author of Split) to the ARC virtual stage, along with two poets whove benefited from the teaching and mentorship in the remarkable Kundiman Asian American writing collective: Chen Chen (author of When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities) and Jenny Xie (author of Eye Level). The reading will be livestreamed and live captioned, and is free and open to the public on Thursday, March 10th 2022 | 5:00 – 6:30pm PST.

Also, in a live presentation in Maude Fife Room, 315 Wheeler Hall Tuesday, March 15th 2022, from 4:00 – 5:30pm PST, a lecture by ARC Artist-in-Residence Dario Robleto — who has worked in collaboration with everyone from SETI scientists to cardiologists, and who describes himself as a materialist poet,” — will bring a visual artists perspective to the Poetry and the Senses project, followed by a conversation with Julia Bryan-Wilson. The lecture will be recorded and posted online after the event.

A reminder as well to access the rich trove of inspiration available at Calling the Elders: Writing Prompts, which offers opportunities for writers and activists to use creative writing to build community, articulate needs, and collaboratively build an inclusive and ambitious vision of support. The writing workshops, from spring of 2021 centered around poems and prompts offered by queer and trans poets or inspired by work they have put out into the world, and, now available online, are a consistent source of possibility for writers and change-makers seeking new ways to move forward in their work.

We can also look forward to the 2022 Flash Reading Series, in which 20 Bay Area Poets will read a poem related to the theme of coexistence, released weekly during National Poetry Month, April 2022, online. Poets will include Maxe Crandell, Eric Falci, Ra Malika Imhotep, Mason J, Nathalie Khankan, Ava Koohbor, Tatiana Luboviski-Acostatanea, tanea lunsford lynx, Zouhair Mussa, Shivani Narang, Lucie Pereira, Katie Peterson, Janice Lobo Sapigao, Angie Sijun Lou, Darius Simpson, Maya Sisneros, Monica Sok, Aimee Suzara, Lehua M. Taitano, & Nellie Wong. We’ll be reminding you closer to the date.

Please join us for these and future offerings from the innovative Poetry and the Senses initiative!