Thanks to a generous grant from the Mazza Foundation, the Poetry Center at San Francisco State University is pleased to announce the first Mazza Writer in Residence, Bay Area poet and activist Tongo Eisen-Martin.
Tongo Eisen-Martin will work during his one-week residency with students of poetry and drama, and present performances both on and off the SFSU campus, with intensive student and community involvement. The residency will pair classroom workshop situations aimed at university students with performances open to the general public. Public performances will be video documented for online distribution. This premier residency is a prototype toward exploring possibilities for a more extended writer in residency program. Fall semester dates of the residency to be announced.
You can view videos from Tongo Eisen-Martin's September 8, 2016 reading at The Poetry Center, along with poet Jasmine Gibson, to a packed house event at the Poetry Center at SFSU reading room.
Biography: Originally from San Francisco, Tongo Eisen-Martin is a movement worker and educator who has organized against mass incarceration and extrajudicial killing of Black people throughout the United States. He has taught in detention centers from New York's Rikers Island to California country jails. He designed curricula for oppressed people's education projects from San Francisco to South Africa. 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 also a revolutionary poet who uses his craft to creatie throughout the country. He is also a revolutionary poet who uses his craft to create liberated territory wherever he performs and teaches. His first full-length book of poems, Someone's Dead Already (Bootstrap Press), was nominated for a California Book Award. He recently lived and organized around issues of human rights and self-determination in Jackson, MS.
His second book, Heaven Is All Goodbyes, will be out soon in City Lights Books venerable Pocket Poets series (whit a cover painting by his brother, Biko Eisen-Martin): http://www.citylights.com/book/?GCOI=87286100115800