Poetry in Non-English

A reading in response to the "Speaking In Non-English" captioning during the acceptance speech of Puerto-Rican singer Bad Bunny at the 2023 Grammys Ceremony. A multicultural round-up of poets and authors will be reading from their selected works challenging the lingua franca. Obed Silva, Jasmine Minchez, Tersa Mei Chuc, Allan Aquino, Nikki Dela Rosa, Robert Esnard, Peter J. Harris, Lisbeth Coiman. The event will also feature live ASL Interpretation in English & Spanish by Mona Jean Cedars and Joscelyne Cruz. Hosted by Luivette Resto.

Doors open: 3:00 p.m. Readings: 3:30 p.m.

About the authors:

Obed Silva was born in Chihuahua, Mexico and grew up in Westminster, California. He received his bachelor's degree in Creative Writing and master’s degree in English at California State University at Los Angeles. He is an Associate Professor of English at East Los Angeles College. The Death of My Father the Pope (MCD/FSG 2021) is his first published memoir. He is currently working on a second memoir titled In the Hands of My Mother.

Jasmine Minchez is an 18-year-old Los Angeles-based poet of proud Guatemalan heritage. She studies and lives in the sprawl of the San Fernando Valley where she loves visiting local coffee shops and scribbling away at messy notebooks. Mixing in dry humor and whimsical storytelling, she indulges in themes of youth, culture, womanhood, and her ever-evolving relationship with herself.

Teresa Mei Chuc was born in Sài Gòn, Việt Nam and fled her Vietnamese homeland with her mother and brother shortly after the American war in Việt Nam spending three and a half months in a freight boat stranded in the South China Sea before being rescued. Her father, who had served in the Army of the Republic of Việt Nam, remained in a Viet Cong re-education prison camp for nine years. Altadena Poet Laureate, Editor-in-Chief 2018-2020 and a member of the Pasadena Rose Poets, Teresa Mei Chuc is the author of three full-length collections of poetry, Invisible Light (Many Voices Press, 2018), Keeper of the Winds (FootHills Publishing, 2014) and Red Thread (Fithian Press, 2012). Her poetry appears in journals such as The National Poetry Review, Poet Lore, Rattle, and in anthologies such as Inheriting the War: Poetry and Prose by Descendants of Vietnam Veterans and Refugees (W.W. Norton & Company, 2018) and Tree Lines: 21st Century American Poems (Grayson Books, 2022). Teresa’s new poetry chapbook, Incidental Takes, is forthcoming from Hummingbird Press in 2023. Teresa teaches literature and writing at a public high school in Los Angeles.

Allan Arnold Gamalinda Aquino is a poet and professor of Asian American Studies at Cal State, Northridge. He has published and participated with our worldly community of poets since 1994, having featured in eclectic spaces such as the Festival of Philippine Arts and Culture (FPAC), The Tuesday Night Project (TNP), the J. Paul Getty Center, and Tia Chucha’s Centro Cultural & Bookstore. His academic work has been printed in various journals and Ethnic Studies textbooks, with foci upon Filipino and AAPI history, literary arts, and popular culture. When neither writing nor moderating his classes, Allan, a self-declared “gentleman swordsman”, proficiently trains with blunt and “live” edged weapons from various martial cultures.

Nikki Corina Dela Rosa is a queer Filipina immigrant poet and behaviorist living in SoCal with her pet familiar, Bixie. Her poems can be found in academic and literary anthologies that encompass topics in ecology, politics, spirituality, and intersectionality. She currently attends Antioch University in pursuit of an MFA in Creative Writing.

Robert Américo Esnard was born and raised in the Bronx, NY. He studied Linguistics and Cognitive Science at Dartmouth College. His work has been published by or is forthcoming in Bat City Review, Cutbank, Michigan Quarterly Review, New York Quarterly, The Offing and many more journals and anthologies.

Lisbeth Coiman is a bilingual author born in Venezuela. Her first book, I Asked the Blue Heron: A Memoir (2017) explores the intersection between immigration and mental health. Her bilingual poetry collection, Uprising / Alzamiento (FLP, 2021) alerts us about the fragility of our democracy. An avid reader and committed literary citizen, Coiman writes reviews for the New York Journal of Books. Coiman is an active member of Women Who Submit and the host La Palabra poetry series in Los Angeles.

Peter J. Harris is a 2018 Los Angeles COLA Fellow in literary arts, Fellow of the Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities at USC, and award-winning poet/essayist. He is also the author of Bless the Ashes, poetry (Tia Chucha Press) winner of the 2015 PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award, and The Black Man of Happiness: In Pursuit of My ‘Unalienable Right,’ a 2015 American Book Award winner. In 2022, Beyond Baroque Books will publish Harris’ book of poetry SongAgain and FlowerSong Press will publish his Safe Arms: 20 Love & Erotic Poems (w/an Ooh Baby Baby moan). Currently, he also serves as one of Altadena's poet laureates. Harris is founder of the Black Man of Happiness Project.

About the interpreters:

Joscelyne Cruz: A proud Latina who specializes in Spanish/ASL interpreter. I only exceed to facilitate and break language barriers within the Latinx, Deaf and hearing communities. I was born and raised in Compton CA, but Mexican as can be because of my parents. My passion for sign language initiated when I met my Deaf uncle, who lives in Mexico, back when I was 7 years old. Ever since then, I decided to be a facilitator for the rest of my time being. I am currently proceeding my career into a Master’s degree because I want to be a part of the 10% of Latinx with a Master’s. As I always said “my parent didn’t come this far, for me to get this far. I can go further.” After all, everything I do is to be an impactful being in the world, since I believe this is my purpose.

Mona Jean Cedar’s poetry is composed and performed simultaneously in Spoken word and American Sign Language (ASL) - quite a difficult task as each is different in grammar, syntax, morphology, etc. and yet, she creates mesmerizing art. She lives in Los Angeles, Ca; choreographs with ASL; has danced professionally; is an RID Certified ASL Interpreter; BASI Certified Pilates Instructor; attended the Juilliard School in New York City for Theatrical Interpreting; received a scholarship to the National Theater of the Deaf’s Actors’ Academy; performed rituals at Burning Man; co-founded ASL Cabaret (a celebration of ASL performing artists), established Pas d’ASL (a sign-dance company) and presently performs with her husband, Jeff Boynton, a circuit bender (Google it) as Circuitry & Poetry. A bunch of other stuff too.

This event is Free & In-Person at Beyond Baroque. Masks are required while inside our center.

Event attendees are expected to behave in a respectful and considerate manner while in our space. Beyond Baroque reserves the right to remove individuals from our events, virtual or otherwise, if they are not respecting the space, fellow attendees, or performers.

If you can’t join us in-person the event will be livestreamed on Beyond Baroque’s YouTube channel at the scheduled time of the event.

Please RSVP if you are planning to attend this event. We accept walk-ins, but priority will be given to people that have registered. Limited seating is available; we recommend arriving early.