2.9.23 Poem jam SFPL rev.jpg
Thursday, 2/9/2023
6:00 - 7:15
Latino/Hispanic Meeting Room A
Latino/Hispanic Meeting Room B
Main Library

100 Larkin Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
United States

Contact Telephone

San Francisco Poet Laureate emerita Kim Shuck invites writers published in the new Write Now! SF Bay anthology, Uncommon Ground: BIPOC Journeys to Creative Activism, edited by Shizue Seigel, to read at SFPL’s monthly poetry reading.


In readings from Write Now! SF Bay’s anthology UNCOMMON GROUND: BIPOC Journeys to Creative Activism, leading Bay Area creatives, Avotcja, Adrian Arias, Karla Brundage, Dr. Sriram Shamasunder and Shizue Seigel respond to these questions:  

  • What inspired you to pursue art, creative writing, and activism?
  • What are cultural, spiritual, and community values?
  • What sustains your creative practice in turbulent times?


Avotcja, an award-winning Afro-Caribbean poet, is a multi-instrumentalist and FM radio DJ airing weekly on KPFA and KPOO. She has featured at AfroSolo, San Francisco’s Carnival, Asian-American Jazz Festival, and more. She has been widely published in English and Spanish in the USA, Mexico and Europe. Her recent poetry book is With Every Step I Take II. Avotcja - Website 


Adrian Arias, born in Peru on Mochica land, is a visual artist, poet, performer, teacher and activist featured at the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts, the San Francisco International Arts Festival and the de Young Museum. He works internationally with multidisciplinary community projects that promote social justice, racial equality and peace. Adrian Arias - Website


Karla Brundage is the founder of the West Oakland to West Africa Poetry Exchange and the author of Swallowing Watermelons and Mulatta—Not so Tragic. A poet, activist, educator and a Pushcart Prize nominee, her work has been published in Konch, Hip Mama, sPARKLE & bLINK and MiGoZine. Karla Brundage - Website


Dr. Sriram Shamasunder is a published poet and essayist who believes that untold stories can shift minds and hearts. A full-time teaching physician at UCSF, he co-founded the HEAL Initiative to promote international health equity health through training fellowships in developing nations. In 2020, HEAL responded to the Navajo Nation’s COVD crisis with 40+ UCSF nurses and doctors and 50+ HEAL fellows. HEAL Initiative - Website


Shizue Seigel, Japanese American poet, memoirist, editor, and visual artist, has contributed poetry, prose, and art to (Her)oics, We’ve Been Too Patient, All the Woman in My Family Sing, Away Journal and Soundings East. Her seven books include five Write Now! SF Bay anthologies. Shizue Seigel - Website


Kim Shuck was San Francisco’s seventh Poet Laureate. Her poetry draws on her multiethnic background which includes Polish and Cherokee heritage, and her experiences as a lifelong resident of San Francisco. Her most recent book of poetry, What Unseen Thing Blows Wishes Across My Surface?, a collaboration with visual artist LisaRuth Elliott, was published in 2022. In her term as Poet Laureate, she hosted scores of free poetry and art workshops for all ages at neighborhood libraries and schools and worked closely with San Francisco Public Library and the San Francisco Arts Commission to launch major citywide initiatives to honor Native American Indigenous People’s heritage.