6:00 - 7:30
Celebrate the debut record of San Francisco's current Poet Laureate Tongo Eisen-Martin, I Go To The Railroad Track And Follow Them To The Station Of My Enemies. The spoken word album was released under Rocks In Your Head Records. Eisen-Martin, LadiRev, Meilani Clay and Landon Smith share their poetry in the African American Center on the third floor of the Main, San Francisco Public Library. A discussion with Sonny Smith, from Rocks In Your Head Records, follows the poetry reading.
Eisen-Martin, originally from San Francisco, is a poet, movement worker and educator. His latest curriculum on extrajudicial killing of Black people, We Charge Genocide Again, has been used as an educational and organizing tool throughout the country. He is the author of Heaven Is All Goodbyes (City Lights Books, 2017), which was shortlisted for the Griffin International Poetry Prize, received the California Book Award for Poetry, an American Book Award and a PEN Oakland Book Award. He is also the author of Someone's Dead Already (Bootstrap Press, 2015). Blood on the Fog (City Lights Books, 2021), his newest collection of poems, is volume 62 in the City Lights Pocket Poets Series. He is the San Francisco's current Poet Laureate.
Clay is a writer, mama, and educator from Oakland, CA. Her work has appeared in Nomadic Press’s Patrice Lumumba: An Anthology of Writers on Black Liberation and online literary journal The Ana. Her debut poetry collection, and the creek don’t rise, was the winner of the 2021 Michael Rubin Book Award from San Francisco State University’s Fourteen Hills Press. Meilani aspires to be in school forever, to bridge worlds with her words, and to one day build forts out of books written by Black folks.
LadiRevolutionary (LadiRev) is a spoken word artist from Double Rock in Bayview Hunters Point. Her poetry is a reflection of personal struggle and understanding along with values learned from friends and family. LadiRev is passionate about community, education, and healing. “It only takes one person to make a stand but it takes a community to make a change” - LadiRev
Smith (he/him) is a father, a professor, a poet, half Mende and half Balanta & Fulani, the amethyst geode on your desk, Angela Davis' afro, Frantz Fanon's pocket notebook, Walter Rodney’s fingernail, the 7-10 bowling split, your favorite pillow. Despite his institutional degrees, he really became a poet through the East Side Arts Alliance in Oakland. Landon thanks his sister Alia for buying him his first journal, Brit Hill for pushing him to read poetry in public, and Black Freighter press for publishing his first book - No Bedtime Stories of Soil. "Abolish all prisons and police".
I Go To The Railroad Track And Follow Them To The Station Of My Enemies is available on Bandcamp (release date June 18, 2022).