The Poetry Center at San Francisco State University is hosting a free reading and conversation featuring Barbara Jane Reyes and Oscar Bermeo on Thursday, December 1, at 7:00 p.m–the final event in the Kuwentuhan (Talkstory) project. During the course of their Creative Work Fund project, the Center and Reyes have collaborated on a number of events. One highlight was a series of readings and a performance by a group of six poets in residence that took place during April 2016.
The December 1, 2016 reading and conversation concludes the project. It will include a debut screening of a short experimental video documenting the April 23, 2016 Kuwentuhan (Talkstory) Collective Performance, produced by The Documentary Film Institute, SFSU. This event at the Poetry Center is free and open to the public.
Kuwentuhan (Talkstory) takes the Tagalog term, a phoneticized form adapted through the colonial Spanish, as its title, proposition, and starting point. Kuwentuhan (“necessary step toward big talk,” by one definition) is orally based, informal in nature, usually spontaneous, and is always an opportunity for people to converge and share. It occurs in all kinds of social spaces as talkstory circle.
Barbara Jane Reyes is the author of To Love as Aswang (Philippine American Writers and Artists, Inc., 2015). She was born in Manila, Philippines, raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, and is the author of three previous collections of poetry, Gravities of Center (Arkipelago Books, 2003), Poeta en San Francisco (Tinfish Press, 2005), which received the James Laughlin Award of the Academy of American Poets, and Diwata (BOA Editions, Ltd., 2010), which received the Global Filipino Literary Award for Poetry. She is also the author of the chapbooks Easter Sunday (Ypolita Press, 2008) Cherry (Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs, 2008), and For the City that Nearly Broke Me (Aztlán Libre Press, 2012). She lives with her husband, poet Oscar Bermeo, in Oakland, where she is co-editor of Doveglion Press. More.
Born in Ecuador and raised in the Bronx, Oscar Bermeo is the author of four poetry chapbooks, most recently, To the Break of Dawn. He has taught creative writing workshops to inmates in Rikers Island Penitentiary, at-risk youth in the Bronx, foster teens in San Jose, bilingual elementary students in Oakland, and to adults through the Oakland Public Library’s Oakland Word program. He is a Bronx Recognizes Its Own, CantoMundo, San Francisco Intergenerational Writers Lab, and VONA: Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation poetry fellow. Oscar makes his home in Oakland, with his wife, poeta Barbara Jane Reyes.