Celebrate Black History Month with this compelling evening of poetry, dialogue, and solidarity between Black and Asian communities. Acclaimed local poets Tongo Eisen-Martin and Michelle “Mush” Lee read from their collections and then join in discussion with Nia McAllister, Public Programs Manager at the Museum of the African Diaspora. Followed by a Q&A.
Co-presented by the Asian Art Museum and the Museum of the African Diaspora.
Tongo Eisen-Martin is San Francisco’s eighth poet laureate. He is the author of the California Book Award–nominated “someone’s dead already” and of “Heaven Is All Goodbyes,” which received a 2018 American Book Award, a 2018 California Book Award, was named a 2018 National California Booksellers Association Poetry Book of the Year, and was shortlisted for the 2018 Griffin International Poetry Prize. Eisen-Martin is also an educator and organizer whose work centers on issues of mass incarceration, extrajudicial killings of Black people, and human rights. He has taught at detention centers around the country and at the Institute for Research in African-American Studies at Columbia University.
Michelle “Mush” Lee is a poet, educator, and arts and culture advocate. Her presentations and storytelling have been featured on HBO and PBS and at the National Asian American Theater Festival, New Works Theater Festival, and Under the Radar Festival. Her writing is featured in the 2018 anthology “All the Women in My Family Sing: Women Write the World: Essays on Equality, Justice, and Freedom.”
Lee serves on the Leadership Advisory Board for Alameda County Department of Education’s Integrated Learning Specialist Program, as a senior advisor of pedagogy at Youth Speaks, Inc., and as founding CEO of Whole Story Group, Inc.
Nia McAllister is a poet, writer, and environmental justice advocate working at the intersection of art, activism, and public engagement.
As Public Programs Manager at the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD), McAllister creates participatory spaces for creative expression and literary dialogue. She leads the museum’s literary events and is the host and founder of its Open Mic series. At MoAD and beyond, she is committed to creating platforms for amplifying the work of Black artists.
McAllister’s writing and poetry have been featured on the Poets of Color Podcast and published in Radicle magazine, Meridians journal, Painting the Streets: Oakland Uprising in the Time of Rebellion (Nomadic Press, 2021) and other publications.