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Michael Warr (San Francisco) collaborating with Bayview Hunters Point YMCA (San Francisco)

Award: $40,000 Literary Arts Grant awarded in 2014

To be completed: February 2016

In Tracing Poetic Memory in Bayview Hunters Point, poet Michael Warr will capture aspects of everyday life and experience, past and present, in his childhood neighborhood through an interactive Website that incorporates spoken word, text, animated graphics, and still and digital images in video format. In his old neighborhood, Warr will trace his family history and examine what has changed and how the community is changing again.

Warr is collaborating with videographer, graphic arts producer, code writer, gamer, and animation artist Mark Sabb. Through the Bayview Hunters Point YMCA, he will conduct face-to-face interviews with inter-generational residents, and record participating teens and seniors interviewing one another.

The Bayview Hunters Point YMCA serves youth and families through diverse programs, including a Family Resource Center, on-site alternative high school, collaborations with the Department of Public Health, and a Teen Center. Established in 2008, the Teen Center offers an afterschool program with creative opportunities for youth, such as its well-equipped Multimedia Studio. There youth can hone their digital production skills and also contribute to this project.

Michael Warr is the author of The Armageddon of Funk (2012), which was honored by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association and received the PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award for Excellence in Literature.