THIS WEDNESDAY: Resistance
Reading Fundaiser for RAICES and Open Mic
When: THIS WEDNESDAY, September 4th from 8-10pm Where: UGLY MUG Café in Orange (261 N Glassell St, Orange, CA 92866) Parking is available on some streets and parking lots close to the venue Open Mic Signup begins at 7:45pm
by Nadia Alamah
ORANGE, CA—If you’ve been following what’s happening at the border
and with immigrants and refugees across the country, or have questions and want
to learn more, join us this Wednesday, Sept. 4 at the Ugly Mug Café from 8-10
pm for the Resistance Readings fundraiser, which will highlight performances by
two featured poets, provide additional resources for information, and display a
mini-bazaar of art and collected works, including those from Moon Tide Press.
Proceeds from the features, and sales of art and
poetry will go towards the support of RAICES, a legal-based organization
dedicated to supporting and assisting immigrants and refugees at the border. There
will also be a creative open mic for all to participate in, with a cover charge
of $3 which goes directly to local café The Ugly Mug, as the fundraiser is
presented by the Two Idiots Peddling Poetry weekly series.
Of the two featured poets, Mexican-Indian American
poet Ra Avis, will share a new poem and some from her works Dinosaur-Hearted and Sack Nasty,
speaking to both her experiences as a first generation American and her time in
“The immigrant and refugee experience, asylum
seekers—when you try to get from one country to another, there is a journey and
a story there. Because of language [barriers], those stories don’t always get
translated. And because of systemic racism, and sexism, and all these other
issues in the publishing and media world, they don’t get highlighted,” Avis
said. “So people like myself who grew up in close proximity to those who came
from another country, we have heard these struggles, and we know these
struggles. But all of their stories are filled with pain and grief
and trauma, leaving behind everything you know, starting over on a much smaller
The other feature and event organizer, HanaLena
Fennel, a Jewish-Hawaiian American poet, will be performing poetry from her
book Letters to the Leader, poems published by Moon Tide in response to the
numerous executive orders issued during Trump’s term in office. “I think that
the best thing I can do is amplify the voice [of a refugee] if it’s there—but I
can speak to my own family’s history, and to the history
of the atrocities that human beings can commit on each other, and
what that looks like, and what those steps are, and how we end up in those
places, and how to stop those things,” Fennel said.
Fennel’s main reasons for choosing RAICES as the
main beneficiary from this fundraiser include its structural capacity and
willingness to assist as many cases as possible in all demographics and age ranges.
Its structure is largely impacted by location independence, as the organization
can contact law offices to volunteer across the country.
“Two Idiots Peddling Poetry believes the work RAICES
is doing is among the most important things any organization is doing right
now. Protecting the rights of immigrants is vital to preserving who we should
be as a people,” co-founder/host Ben Trigg said, when reached for comment.
Moon Tide Press founder Eric Morago also had
something to say: “Moon Tide is happy and grateful to support HanaLena in
her fundraising for such a noble cause,” Morago said. “It’s a
privilege to get to support my authors in the work they do beyond the
Fennel’s other reason for supporting RAICES through
this fundraiser – that they take on as many cases as possible—also stems from
her empathy derived from being a mother herself. “We have two year-olds who are
expected to represent themselves as their own attorneys in immigration court
without an interpreter. That’s obscene,” Fennel said. “I have children. I have
toddlers. They couldn’t represent themselves answering my front door, let alone
in front of a judge trying to explain why their life is in danger if they were
to leave this country.”
This fundraiser is intended to raise community
awareness and inspire us to take action. “I don’t like it when people speak
hyperbolically, but there are currently people dying in ICE custody right now— because
they’re not receiving the health care services they need,” Fennel said. “They
don’t have basic hygiene, they don’t have basic care. And one of the very small
things we can deal with that is to help RAICES pay somebody’s bail so they can
go and pick up their kid out of these containment centers/
Avis connects to what refugees and immigrants are
going through given her experiences with incarceration: “I can only imagine
myself that the camps are so much worse because there isn’t any kind of
illusion of fairness or justice protecting you,” Avis said. “You put people in
cages, you take away basic humanities, you tell them over and over again that
they are not worth basic dignities, and then you expect them to be okay when
you let them go, and that’s just not likely. Nor does it solve any problems. It
doesn’t at all address the actual problem you locked them up for. Especially
not in the case of immigration.”
There will be resources available at the fundraiser
to provide more information about the border crisis and provide suggestions for
ways to take action in our everyday lives. “[We want] to remind everybody in
our community that we’re not alone in the face of learning all of this terrible
information and that there are things we can do—in our lives, in our art, in
our day-to-day communication with each other—there are ways to make sure that
we are not looking away from this horror, but also not paralyzed
by it,” Fennel said.
“I want to be available to people as another
resource. If they have questions, if acceptance of this is a question of
ignorance, I want to make myself available for a conversation,” Avis adds. “As
much as you may understand at a conscious level—how locking people up is
detrimental to them and to our society—it’s much different when you’re sitting
with someone who was locked up. Someone who isn’t necessarily how you imagine,
doesn’t necessarily speak how you imagine, or even someone who does.”
While she is supportive of the many other events happening to
support and connect community in the face of these tragedies, Fennel also
encourages you to come out to this or another fundraiser to make an impact: “There’s
more of an added drive. Not only do I feel like I could do something tomorrow,
I know I did something today.”
To participate virtually in this fundraiser, donate at:https://www.classy.org/team/250297 Want to be involved but can’t make it to the fundraiser? Here are some things you can doto make a difference: – Write a letter to your representatives, senate, and local political officials. – Contact your governor, who can aid in establishing sanctuary cities and preventing state level guard from being used as a resource by ICE – Encourage your city officials to prevent local enforcement from cooperating with ICE – Donate to an organization of your choice that you trust is doing their utmost to help refugees and immigrants who are adversely affected by this targeting – Use your voice however you speak the loudest—through art, music, writing, conversation—to keep awareness spreading in your community – Share posts on social media. Keep sharing. Don’t let this conversation drop.
Laura Minning began
writing creatively at the tender age of nine. Her first poem was published by
her Alma-matter in 1989, and her second received an Editor’s Choice Award by
the National Library of Poetry in 1993. Laura’s work has been featured both in
hard copy and on-line, via publications like “Literature Today”, “Amulet” and
Laura received her
first International Merritt of Poetry Award in 1995 and her second in 1998.
Both were presented to her by the National Library of Poetry. Her outstanding
achievements in poetry were internationally recognized again in 2005 by
Poetry.com, who was kind enough to bestow the title of International Poet of
the Year on to her.
collection of poetry, “dear diary” was published by Vantage Press in 2003. Her
second book, “sunburst” was published by Xlibris a year and a half later.
accomplishments have been equally impressive. She’s been creating and
exhibiting abstract work since 2013. Her pieces have been displayed at venues
like the Iowa Children’s Museum, the Trenton Free Public Library and Barcode.
Her artwork, as well as her original photography, has also obtained publication
status both in hard copy and on-line.
The Barcode exhibit
was held in 2016. It featured thirty-six pieces of Laura’s original abstract
artwork. Four of those pieces were sold over the course of the exhibition’s
opening weekend, and the entire event was sponsored by Bacardi.
In 2018, Laura
produced a chapbook, entitled “fusion”, which featured photographic images of
As a person with legal blindness, Laura hopes to inspire other creative people with disabilities to never allow anything to hinder them from reaching for the stars and accomplishing their dreams. If you were to ask her about her creative successes, she would tell you that the difficult is but the work of the moment, and the impossible takes a little longer.
Laura Minning’s Artist Statement
“My creative passions began with poetry. I started writing at the tender age of nine as a means of expressing my own thoughts and feelings. A few years later, I developed a desire to share my work with others. This not only aided me in strengthening the bonds that I had with friends and family, it was also instrumental in helping me to come out of my shell and become less timid.
Toward the end of
2013, my attentions shifted from poetry to art. I immediately decided to fan
the flames of my new passion by applying the methods that I had used for my old
one. I subsequently found this to be rather effective in developing my artistic
skills and techniques.
I began by utilizing acrylic paints. Next, I tried my hand at combining the paint with candle wax, crayons, nail polish, sidewalk chalk and glitter glue. I’d additionally affix original poetry or Imax film strips to the canvas board and incorporate the acrylic or wax based mediums around them. These techniques created some exceedingly colorful tactile and three-dimensional effects.”
Calling for submissions of art in all forms: Poetry, songs, video links, pictures, paintings, etc.
In this series, I am joining together people’s art as a form of peaceful protest against the recent attack on immigrants and refugees in the U.S. I want to combat the inhumane treatment and hateful speech by creating a space where people can express the greatness that comes from loving other countries and cultures. People are people no matter which country they come from and all deserve to be treated with compassion and respect.
Together, let’s make the sounds of love cry out so loudly that the hate cannot be heard in its midst.
Subject: Art in regards to protests against the recent inhumane treatment of refugees in the U.S., fighting against racism, embracing immigrants, and finding the love and joy in surrounding countries and cultures.
About your Art: Please include a brief summary as to the meaning behind your submission or what is on your heart about the subject.
Picture: Please submit a picture of yourself or one that represents your work.
Links: Lastly, if you have any links that you would like to be shared, feel free to include any social media or website links to be attached to your feature.
Mia Savant – firstname.lastname@example.org. Please type: ‘Love Thy Neighbor-ing Country Submission’ in the subject line.
I intend for this to be an ongoing series, so as of right now, no deadline is set.
I have become utterly numb.
My skin has hardened to cement,
a statuesque shell of dissociation.
Blood streaks my skin, bruises blossom,
but no pain can get in.
This cocoon has petrified itself around me,
solidifying under every slight,
every glancing blow, every slice.
I watch the cigar burn down
until the embers graze my calloused fingers,
just to see if I can still burn.
The singed scent fills my nostrils
and yet coldly I only look on.
A laceration, a punch, a kiss from the whip –
and still nothing is all I feel.
Each nerve is dead, stillborn in my veins.
Love ricochets against me, unrecognised –
too foreign a concept to a fossilised soul.
Only the nectar drips of wine seep through
the stone of my scar tissue;
a red tear leaking through my mask.