Performance: SF Poet Laureate Monthly Poem Jam

Thursday, 1/14/2021
6:00 - 7:00
Virtual Library

United States

San Francisco Poet Laureate Kim Shuck and special guests open the door to an evening of Afrofuturistic poetry. Poets include Ishmael Reed, Staajabu, devorah major, Tureeda Mikell, Avotcja and Dr. Glenn Parris for a special celebration of African American literature.

YouTube Live


Ishmael Reed is the winner of the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship (genius award), the renowned L.A. Times Robert Kirsch Lifetime Achievement Award and the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Award. He is the author of more than thirty titles including the acclaimed novel Mumbo Jumbo, as well as non-fiction, plays and poetry. WebsiteInstagramFacebook

Staajabu is a poet, activist and member of Straight Out Scribes. Mother to Dr. V.S. Chochezi, she and her daughter are the Straight Out Scribes poetry duo. Born in Philadelphia and raised in Camden, New Jersey, Staajabu is a writer, poet, editor, producer, health advocate, prison rights activist, environmental activist, graphic artist and U.S. Air Force veteran who currently resides in Sacramento. WebsiteFacebook - StaajabuFacebook Straight Out Scribes – SOS | email

devorah major is a poet, novelist and short story writer, who served as San Francisco’s Third Poet Laureate (2002-2006). She was born and raised in California. Her novels An Open Weave and Brown Glass Windows have been called both science fiction and magic realism. She has published science fiction short stories in magazines and anthologies, including Stories for Chip and So Long Been Dreaming. A Willow Press Editor’s Choice awardee, her seventh book of poetry, califia’s daughter, was published by Aquarius Books/Willow Press in July 2020. Website

Tureeda Mikell, a.k.a. Toreadah, is a Story Medicine Woman, Poet Instructor, Chi Gong Energy Therapist, award-winning internationally published poet, educator and director of Tree of Life Foundation HLP. Tureeda Mikell has published more than seventy at-risk student anthologies in four San Francisco Bay Area counties, was Eth-Noh-Tec NU Wa International Storytelling Delegate in Beijing in 2018 and served as a delegate for the National and International Writing Project, Writing for the Urban Child in Denver. Tureeda Mikell’s Synchronicity: The Oracle of Sun Medicine was published by Nomadic Press in 2020. Website | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

Avotcja is an award-winning poet and multi-instrumentalist who publishes in both English and Spanish in the United States, Mexico and Europe. A popular Bay Area DJ and radio personality, Avotcja leads the group “Avotcja & Modúpue” (The Bay Area Blues Society’s “Jazz Group of The Year” in 2005 & 2010) and facilitates Oakland’s longest running multilingual poetry series. Website 

Dr. Glenn Parris is the author of cross-genre books in medical mystery, Afrofuturism, science fiction, fantasy and historical fiction. His story "The Tooth Fairies: Quest for Tear Haven" appeared in Outland Entertainment’s new faerie stories anthology, Where the Veil is Thin. The author’s Afrofuturist novel Dragon’s Heir is being republished by Outland Entertainment in 2021. WebsiteWebsite DragonsHeir.comFacebook





Programs designed to celebrate the art of the poem, including readings and talks.

Connect to engaging discussions and performances related to the Black community.

More Than a Month recognizes important events in Black history, honors community and national leaders and fosters steps towards collective change. Programming features authors, poets and craft classes. 

This program is sponsored by Friends of the San Francisco Public Library.

Attending Programs

For questions about the program or help registering, contact sfplcpp@sfpl.orgAll programs are drop-in (no registration necessary) unless otherwise noted. All SFPL locations are wheelchair accessible. For accommodations (such as ASL or language interpretation), call (415) 557-4557 or contact Requesting at least 3 business days in advance will help ensure availability.

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The views and opinions expressed in programs presented by groups unaffiliated with SFPL do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SFPL or the City.