DPWC feats. 2021-22’s Season of Poetry and Prose

The Diasporic Peoples Writing Collective (DPWC) is hosting a fantastic line-up of poets, writers, and the afrofuturistic approach to growing connective tissue in the hallowed halls of academia: Blackbook.U. These events are open to everyone, but if you are not yet a DPWC member, then by all means, contact us to join. DPWC2020.COM/contact

Vernon Keeve III

November 8, 2021, 6PM PST

Vernon Keeve III, aka, Trey, is a Virginia born writer, living and teaching in Oakland. They hold an MFA from CCA and a teaching MA in literature from Bard College. Their full-length collection of poetry, Southern Migrant Mixtape (Nomadic Press), received the PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award.

Keeve’s Southern Migrant Mixtape is a collection that relays the experiences and observations of a Black, queer man from Virginia who thought they were leaving racism and sexual intolerance behind in the regions where they initially experienced them.

Keeve will take you heart first into their journey of growth. Their art is both transformative and the perfect entrée to conversations about intersectionality, claiming space, and making art. And they’ll engage roundtable participants in a discussion on how art can free us. Keeve will talk about how race/gender/and sexuality are focal to their lived experience and activism, and craft is bedrock to their work’s accessibility.

Zoom pre-registration is here.

The Blackbook Team

November 12, 2021, 6PM PST

Blackbook co-founder, project director, and recent grad, Ibrahim Baldé helped create Blackbook, a university app that improves student connectedness. The founding team is partially featured in the photo left to right, Nahom Solomon, Chase Ali-Watkins, Nicholas Brathwaite, Ibrahim Baldé, and (not pictured) Kyle Parkman, have partnered with a Berkley group coined Mobile Developers to ready the app for Android and iOS.

In summary, the African American Student Handbook or “Black Book” was a 1980s guide to Berkeley’s Black faculty, organizations, and campus resources. It was an important “peer-to-peer connections” reference for Black students.

The new Blackbook app therefore serves as a digital revival of its ’80s counterpart and is meeting the needs of today’s students. It acts as an ecosystem for diversity, equity and inclusion on college campuses.

Join us for a roundtable with Blackbook’s founding team, as they discuss the broad applications for this revived idea and its new foundation in modern tech.

Zoom pre-registration is here.

MK Chavez

December 13, 2021, 6PM PST

Oakland-based writer, MK Chavez, is a champion for public health and social justice. She is the author of several chapbooks, one of which is Mothermorphosis (Nomadic Press, 2016). Her first full-length collection of poetry is Dear Animal (Nomadic Press).

Chavez is co-founder and co-curator of the reading series Lyrics & Dirges, curator of the Fruitvale Friday readings at Nomadic Press, co-director of the Berkeley Poetry Festival, and recipient of a 2016 Alameda County Arts Leadership Award. She believes in literary confrontation and its capacity to challenge all forms of oppression.

She is a recipient of a 2017 Pen Oakland Josephine Miles Award and her poem “The New Whitehouse, Finding Myself Among the Ruins” was selected by Eileen Myles for the Cosmonauts Avenue 2017 Poetry Award. She is a co-founder/curator of the reading series Lyrics & Dirges and co-director of the Berkeley Poetry Festival, a fellow with CantoMundo, and guest curator of the reading series at UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive in the Fall of 2018.

Zoom pre-registration is here.

Keenan Norris

April 7, 2022, 6PM PST

Keenan Norris is a novelist, essayist, and short story writer. His latest novel is The Confession of Copeland Cane. Norris was a 2017 Marin Headlands Artist-in-Residence and garnered a Public Voices fellowship (2020), a Callaloo fellowship (2016) and two Yerba Buena Center for the Arts fellowships (2017, 2015). He serves as a guest editor for the Oxford African-American Studies Center.

Norris is the editor of the seminal text, Street Lit: Representing the Urban Landscape. His short work has appeared in numerous forums, including the Los Angeles Review of Books, Los Angeles Times, LitHub, Alta, Remezcla, popmatters.com and several anthologies of California literature. And Norris also teaches at San Jose State University.

Zoom pre-registration is here.