Poetry Reading
Black Fire This Time Vol. 2
In-person at MoAD
Apr 24, 2024
6:30 pm
8:00 pm
Pay What You Can
Not a member? Join now


Join MoAD and Litquake for a live poetry reading and celebration of the publication Black Fire This Time Vol. 2 with featured poets Judy Juanita, Tureeda Mikell, Karla Brundage, Thurman Watts, Sheila Smith McCoy, and Katherine Takara.

In this follow-up volume in the Black Fire This Time series, over 75 poets and writers come together on the ongoing theme of "Black is Beautiful, Black is Powerful, Black is Home." Works ranging from poetry, fiction, essays and drama represent a wide range of black literature. This "continuum" of writing, as coined by Volume 1 editor Dr. Kim McMillon, brings together legends of the Black Arts era with contemporary writers in the tradition. This edition includes a hallmark work from the Black Arts era, We Own the Night by playwright and one of the last living legends Jimmy Garrett. Volume 2 of Black Fire This Time will educate and inspire the next generation.

Featured Poets

At SFSU in the 1960s, Judy Juanita (@judyjuanita6226) joined fellow student protesters to revolutionize American higher education and create the nation’s first black studies department. Her semi-autobiographical debut novel, Virgin Soul (Viking, 2013), features a young woman in the 60s who joins the Black Panther Party. Her stories appear in Oakland Noir, Crab Orchard Review, The Female Complaint, Imagination & Place: an anthology, Tartt Six and Tartt Seven. Her writing focuses on black politics, culture and art. De Facto Feminism: Essays Straight Outta Oakland (EquiDistance, 2016) explores key shifts and contradictions in her own artistic development as it explores black and female empowerment. In her play, Life is a Carousel, featured at Beyond Baroque in Venice in 2019, a black woman academic argues with the forgotten founder of Black Studies about the academy, Black Studies and the struggle. This play is included in Juanita’s book Homage to the Black Arts Movement: A Handbook (EquiDistance, 2018). Juanita’s twenty-odd plays have been produced in the Bay Area, L.A. and NYC.

Tureeda Mikell (@storymedicinewoman), Poet Author Story Medicine Woman, called activist for holism, hell bent on asserting life named word magician, by author/professor, Ngugi wa Thiongo, is hell-bent on asserting life. D’Jele Musa, aka woman of truths, is a Qigong energy consultant of 36 years; has published 73 CA Poets in the School anthologies for at risk students. Her full length collection, Synchronicity, The Oracle of Sun Medicine, was released on 2/2020 and was nominated for the California Book Award. Her full length collection, The Body: Oracle of Memory released, 2/2024, published by Black Lawrence Press, NY, faces many awards.

Karla Brundage (@francesca5collina) is a Bay Area based poet, activist, and educator with a passion for social justice. Born in Berkeley, California in the summer of love to a Black mother and white father, Karla spent most of her childhood in Hawaii where she developed a deep love of nature. She is the founder of West Oakland to West Africa Poetry Exchange (WO2WA), which has facilitated cross-cultural exchange between Oakland and West African poets. Karla is a board member of the Before Columbus Foundation, which provides recognition and a wider audience for the wealth of cultural and ethnic diversity that constitutes American writing. She curates a monthly reading series called Ugly Beauty. Her editorial experience includes a pan-Africanist WO2WA poetry collection, Our Spirits Carry Our Voices, published by Pacific Raven Press in 2020; Oakland Out Loud (2007); and Words Upon the Waters (2006) both by Jukebox Press. Her poetry book, Swallowing Watermelons, was published by Ishmael Reed Publishing Company in 2006. Her poetry, short stories and essays have been widely anthologized and can be found in Hip Mama, Literary Kitchen, Lotus Press, Bamboo Ridge Press, Vibe and Konch Literary Magazine. She holds an MA in Education from San Francisco State University and an MFA from Mills College. Her most recent project is co-editing a collection called Colossus:Home with Sara Biel which features poets from the Bay Area in solidarity with Moms4housing and advocating for housing justice.

Thurman Watts (Tee Watts) is a founding member of The Nairobi Poets. His work has been seen in The PanAfricanist, Black Creation, Holloway House Publications (Players Magazine and Sweet Lucy), The San Francisco Examiner, The San Francisco Chronicle, and many other outlets. Currently, he writes for Cadence Jazz Magazine and Blues Blast Magazine. He is also the co-writer of Time Has Come; The Memoirs of Lester Chambers.

Sheila Smith McKoy (@sheilasmithmckoy) is an award-winning poet, fiction writer, and filmmaker. She is the recipient of the 2020 Muriel Craft Bailey Memorial Prize in poetry. Her full-length poetry collection, The Bones Beneath (BlackLawrence Press, 2024) is described as being “haunting.” She is also co-author of One Window’s Light: A Haiku Collection, a collaboration of five Black poets; the collection won the 2017 Haiku Society of America’s Merit Book Award for best haiku anthology. A native of Raleigh, NC, she lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Born in Tuskegee, AL, and a Hawaii resident since 1968, Kathryn Takara possesses a M.A. in French and a Ph.D. in Political Science. She studied at the University of Bordeaux and was a summer lecturer at the University of Qingdao, China. A retired Professor of Black Studies at University of Hawaii at Manoa and a French Instructor, Takara is an Afrofuturist, eco-poet and the author of nine books and scholarly articles. She is the owner and publisher of Pacific Raven Press since 2008. Takara is a traveler, spiritual teacher, healer, community activist, gardener, mother and wife. Awards include: Life Time Achievement (NAACP), The History Makers (national award), Black Futures Award and the Knighted Orthodox Order of St. John. Takara has been interviewed nationally and locally on Blacks in Hawaii and about inventor Alice Augusta Ball. She co-produced a jazz night in Honolulu featuring the music of Thelonius Monk and given presentations at the UN/NGO (Cry Children of the World on the Black Arts Movement for the Honolulu Museum, and performed in several poetry readings in California, Alabama, Honolulu, and online poetry readings including Black Fire—This Time and Wake Up America. She is a consultant for several projects and a film on Martin Luther King, Jr.’s early visit to Hawaii.

This program is presented in partnership with Litquake.

Made possible by

Programs, Residencies & Awards

Explore the many opportunities and experiences hosted at MoAD

Learn MORE