While my JVC vibrates the concrete

Mic to the mic
Originally uploaded by Ben McLeod

What is the sound track of To the Break of Dawn?

Find out this Sunday, March 6th, when I feature on the Learnin’ Kirven Show as part of KWMR’s Rhythm & Muse series. We will discuss my chapbooks, the writing process, play music, explore the origins of hip-hop, and you’ll call in with your questions and comments at 415- 663-8492 or 415-663-8317.

Tune to 90.5 fm in the North Bay or Stream on kwmr.org from 4 to 6PM Pacific Time.

PAWA Arkipelago Series features Bermeo, Armas, Gaerlan and Pelaud

Philippine American Writers and Artists, Arkipelago Books, Filipino American International Book Festival present

PAWA Arkipelago Series

Saturday, February 19, 2011
5:00 PM
Bayanihan Community Center
1010 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA


Born in Ecuador and raised in the Bronx, Oscar Bermeo is the author of four poetry chapbooks, most recently To the Break of Dawn. He has been a featured writer at a variety of institutions including the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Kearny Street Workshop, Rikers Island Penitentiary, San Quentin Prison, UC Berkeley, UNC-Chapel Hill, NYU and many others. Recent poems appear in CrossBRONX, 580 Split, Milvia Street Journal, and phat’itude Literary Magazine. He has taught creative writing workshops to foster youth in San Jose, bilingual fourth graders in Oakland, and to adults through the Oakland Public Library’s Oakland Word program. Oscar makes his home in Oakland with his wife, poeta Barbara Jane Reyes, where they co-edit Doveglion Press. For more information, please visit: www.oscarbermeo.com.

Jennifer Cendaña Armas is a NYC performer/writer/teacher. Her work includes presentations at the Binational Center of Cuzco, Lincoln Center’s La Casita, Culture Project’s Women Center Stage Festival, London’s Ronnie Scott’s Upstairs, and choreographing reg e. gaines’s production of BLAK. She teaches performance and writing workshops stateside and abroad, and is a teaching artist with Brooklyn Academy of Music. her first show, skinimin12 featured at both the Downtown Urban Theater Fest and NYC Hip Hop Theater Festival at the Public Theatre. She is a member of the Blackout Arts Collective family. Her new piece, my mouth may not know all the words but everything else understands, will have an excerpted, work-in-progress presentation at La Peña Cultural Center Feb. 25th and 26th, with a workshop open to the community Feb. 27. www.junipersupadupa.com

Cecilia Gaerlan is a Bay Area playwright based in Berkeley, California. She is the founder of the multicultural theatre arts group Artis Mundi. She received an Honorable Mention in the Stage Play Script Category of the Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition in 2005 for The Hand of God and in 2010 for Magnus Laurent (Lorenzo the Magnificent). She is a recipient of a Theatre Bay Area CASH Award in 2002 for her play, Brilliance within the Darkness which is about the blind Spanish composer, Joaquin Rodrigo, the composer of the guitar masterpiece Concierto de Aranjuez. She is the author of several other plays on a wide variety of topics such as the United Nations (commissioned by City College of San Francisco for the U.N.’s 50th anniversary), child prostitution, the Chinese Cultural Revolution, etc. In Her Mother’s Image is her debut novel.

Isabelle Thuy Pelaud is associate professor in Asian American Studies at San Francisco State University. She is the author of this is all i choose to tell: History and Hybridity in Vietnamese American literature published by Temple University Press. Her academic work can be found in Mixed Race Literature, The New Face of Asian Pacific America, Amerasia Journal and Michigan Quarterly Review. Her creative works have been published in Making More Waves, Tilting the Continent, Vietnam Dialogue Inside/Out and The Perfume River. She is founder of the Diasporic Vietnamese Artists Network (DVAN).

to Holy Bronx

Originally uploaded by Pro-Zak

I’m getting ready for my feature at Writers with Drinks tonight and I can’t remember the last time I was so nervous for a feature.

If you’ve been to a Writers with Drinks, then you know what I’m talking about. The energy is incredibly kinetic and the caliber of writers is always top notch so I’m feeling some serious pressure on what I should read. I can go with the set that I’ve been used to doing the last couple of readings or go with all new stuff. The way I’m talking about this, you’d think I was doing these same poems for five years or sumthin.

Segue: Watching the National Poetry Slam finals recently through live internet stream was a nice experience cuz even if I didn’t like the poems per se, I do appreciate the spirit of competition. What I didn’t appreciate was the asshattery in the chat room. Way too many internet jerks saying things you know they would never say in real life. But, one comment did crack me up, as a poet came up and did a poem they’ve been doing in competition for a long time, and one of the commentators types “This is their Stairway to Heaven!” And as someone who used to have his own Stairway to Heaven I cracked up. End segue.

Ok, time to really get ready and I do want to try to add at least one really new poem to the mix because I don’t ever want to be that poet that does all the same things at all the same places. Been there, when I was younger, and done with it. I know all the reasons poets do the “hits” all the time but I really don’t care if there is “at least one person” in the room who has never heard that poem before. You know, that poem guaranteed to change lives. What I most care about is that the only way I can write that poem—the one that if I’m extremely lucky might get remembered 100 years from now—is by writing new stuff.

Speaking of new stuff. Here’s the latest revision of a poem I started at Martín Espada’s CantoMundo workshop. There’s at least three good stories behind this poem but that’ll have to wait for latah. See ya at the Make Out Room!

The Neighborhood and Tenant Association of Tremont Avenue, The Bronx, Gather to Erect a Statue for Robert Moses

[Poem was here. Can now be found at CrossBronx.]

Writers With Drinks, August 2010

Many thanks to Charlie Jane Anders for inviting me to read at the next edition of Writers with Drinks.

Do any of you keep a secret notepad of venues you want to feature at?  I do. And Writers with Drinks was one of those places I would visit and say, “One day, I’ll write some stuff fly enough to get me up in here.”

it also happends to be one of those spots that people who are not writers know about.  Proof?  Peep the Jet Blue write up: Writers with Drinks: One Part Alcohol, One Part Art.

Enough hype, here’s the 411:

Date: Saturday, August 14, 2010, 7:30 to 9:30 PM, doors open at 6:30 PM
Featuring: Janine Brito, Alice Sola Kim, Justine Sharrock, Monica Nolan and Oscar Bermeo
Location: The Make Out Room, 3225 22nd. St. between Mission and Valencia, San Francisco
Admission: $5 to $10 sliding scale, all proceeds benefit the CSC

About the readers/performers
• Justine Sharrock is the author of Tortured: When Good Soldiers Do Bad
. She’s a former staffer with Mother Jones Magazine.
• Alice Sola Kim’s stories have appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction, StrangeHorizons.com and Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet.
• Oscar Bermeo’s poetry chapbooks include To The Break of Dawn, Heaven Below, Palimpsest and Anywhere Avenue.
• Monica Nolan is the author of Lois Lenz, Lesbian Secretary and Bobby Blanchard, Lesbian Gym Teacher. Her films include Ashley, 22, Chuckie or Ben-Hur in Five Minutes, World of Women, and Lesbians Who Date Men.
• Janine Brito won the San Francisco Women’s Comedy competition and has performed at the Purple Onion.

About Writers With Drinks
Writers With Drinks has won “Best Literary Night” from the SF Bay Guardian readers’ poll five years in a row and was named “Best Literary Drinking” by the SF Weekly. The spoken word “variety show” mixes genres to raise money for local worthy causes. The award-winning show includes poetry, stand-up comedy, science fiction, fantasy, romance, mystery, literary fiction, erotica, memoir, zines and blogs in a freewheeling format.

Hostess Charlie Jane Anders blogs about science fiction and futurism at io9.com. She won the Emperor Norton Award for “extraordinary invention and creativity unhindered by the constraints of paltry reason.” She’s the author of the Lambda Award-winning Choir Boy (2005 Soft Skull Press) and the co-editor, with Annalee Newitz, of She’s Such A Geek (Seal Press 2007). She also published other magazine, which is on hiatus. Follow her on Twitter as charliejane.

Reading at Bird and Beckett Books and Records

POETS! at Bird & Beckett'sI’ll be reading next Monday at one of San Francisco’s nicest venues: Bird and Beckett’s.  Hope you can come through.

Bird & Beckett Books and Records
featuring Oscar Bermeo and Linda King
plus an Open Mic
Monday, June 21st, 7:00pm
653 Chenery Street
San Francisco
Click here for map