Sunday, February 24, 2019

Sunday, March 3rd: @SEA #18 – colonies // communities

The Poetic Research Bureau's monthly live magazine is back!

Our secular Sunday afternoon salon – bringing together artists & writers, academics & activists, all gathered around a one-word theme – @SEA ("at sea") returns for its eighteenth installment. This time the theme joins "colonies" & "communities" – and stretches across both March and April sessions of @SEA to consider the overlapping social histories and community formations that have defined Chinatown, greater Los Angeles, and elsewhere.

This Sunday, we'll begin with recent video work set in LA's Chinatown, and feature a talk by sociologist Jan Lin, author of the excellent Taking Back the Boulevard: Art, Activism and Gentrification in Los Angeles, on bohemias and ethnic communities in Northeast LA. In the second half of the program, we'll take on more speculative ideas of colony and community, with a reading from Janalyn Guo's new collection, and an incredible filmwork of speculative fiction by Jorge Jácome, which will take us well asea, to the islands of the Azores off the coasts of Portugal and W. Africa. 

When April's program resumes, we'll find our way back to familiar California climes, with talks and work by David de Rozas, Hadley Meares, and others. Come out, install yourself in our living room on Chung King Rd, and join the conversation.

* * *

@SEA #18
colonies // communities

Recent video work by Lin Shih-Chieh (Sanmu)

A talk by Jan Lin on bohemias and ethnic places across
Arroyo Seco, Chinatown & NE LA 

A reading by Janalyn Guo from her new collection of fiction
Our Colony Beyond the City of Ruins

A screening of Jorge Jácome's short film Flores  

* * *

Sunday, March 3rd
Doors open 12:30
Program 1-3pm

Free & open to the public.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Saturday, February 22: Vernon Keeve III & Stephen van Dyck

The Poetic Research Bureau presents...


Hosted by Harold Abramowitz and Andrea Quaid

Saturday, February 23 2019

Doors 7:30pm
Reading 8:00pm


Vernon Keeve III is a Virginia born writer. He currently lives and teaches in Oakland. His purpose is to teach the next generation the importance of relaying their personal narratives, sharing their experiences, and taking control of their destinies. He holds a MFA from CCA, and a MA in Teaching Literature from Bard College. His full-length collection of poetry, Southern Migrant Mixtape, was published by Nomadic Press last year.

Stephen van Dyck is a writer, performer, organizer and educator. An MFA graduate of Integrated Media, Critical Studies and Experimental Sound Practices at CalArts, van Dyck has performed and presented work all around Los Angeles. Since 2008, van Dyck has curated the Los Angeles Road Concerts, all-day arts events where over 300 LA artists and locals have re-imagined unused public space. On his radio show "Customer Care" on KChung Radio, van Dyck calls debt collectors, telemarketers and customer service agents, and through an episodic narrative about his debts and defaulted loans, they converse about his and their personal lives. His first book, People I've Met From the Internet, is forthcoming from Ricochet Editions in May 2019.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Friday, February 22: Gabrielle Civil's Experiments in Joy Book Launch

Join us as we celebrate the release of Gabrielle Civil's second memoir Experiments in Joy.

Gabrielle Civil
Kenyatta A. C. Hinkle
Jess Arndt
& Madhu H. Kaza 


Doors 7:30pm
Reading 8pm

Gabrielle Civil’s Experiments in Joy celebrates black feminist collaborations and solos in essays, letters, performance texts, scores, images, and more. Following her explosive debut Swallow the Fish, Civil now documents her work with From the Hive, No. 1 Gold, and Call & Response—whose collaborative Call inspired the title. The book also features her solo encounters with artists and writers, ancestors and audiences. Here you will find black girlhood, grief, ghosts, girls in their bedrooms, lots of books, dancing, reading, falling in love, fighting back, and flying. With lots of heart and the help of her friends, Civil keeps reckoning with performance, art and life.


GABRIELLE CIVIL is a black feminist performance artist, originally from Detroit, MI. She has premiered fifty original solo and collaborative performance works around the world engaging race, body, art, politics, grief, and desire. Since 2014, she has been performing “Say My Name” (an action for 270 abducted Nigerian girls)” as an act of embodied remembering. She is the author of Swallow the Fish and Tourist Art (with Vladimir Cybil Charlier). Her writing has appeared in Small Axe, Obsidian, Aster(ix), Rain Taxi, and more. She teaches Creative Writing & Critical Studies at the California Institute of the Arts. The aim of her work is to open up space.

KENYATTA A.C. HINKLE is an interdisciplinary visual artist, writer, educator and performer. Her artwork and performances of experimental texts have been reviewed by the Los Angeles Times, Artforum, Huffington Post and The New York Times. Her writing has appeared in Not That But This, Obsidian and Among Margins: Critical and Lyrical Writing on Aesthetics. She is the author of the artist book Kentifrications: Convergent Truth(s) and Realities (Occidental College/Sming Sming Books) and SIR, her first book of poetry, a reflection on naming as a tool for undefining the defined (Litmus Press). Hinkle is assistant professor of painting at University of California, Berkeley.

JESS ARNDT was born in Washington State, and lives and works in Los Angeles. Jess received an MFA at Bard and was a 2013 Graywolf SLS Fellow and 2010 Fiction Fellow at the New York Foundation of the Arts. Jess has written for Fence, BOMB, Aufgabe, and the art journal Parkett, among others. Jess is a co-founder of New Herring Press. Jess’ debut collection of short stories, LARGE ANIMALS was published in 2017 by Catapult Press. She is Visiting Faculty in Creative Writing this year at the California Institute of the Arts.

MADHU H. KAZA was born in Andhra Pradesh, India and is a writer, translator, artist and educator based in New York City. She is the co-editor of an issue of Aster(ix) Journal entitled What We Love and editor of Kitchen Table Translation, a volume that explores the connections between translation and migration. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Chimurenga, Gulf Coast, The New Inquiry, Waxwing, and more. She is a founding member of the No.1 Gold artist collective.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Thursday, February 21: RAD! Residencies (Part 3) with Will Alexander

Doors 7:30pm
Event 8pm


On Thursday, February 21st, Will Alexander concludes his RAD! Residency at the Poetic Research Bureau with a collaborative community discussion and snacks!

We would like to invite anyone who is interested to write a brief response to Will’s Residency theme, and then bring their response to the Poetic Research Bureau on the 21st for informal presentation, discussion, and snacks.

Will’s theme: “Language As Interior Alchemical Archery”


Hosted by Andrea Quaid & Harold Abramowitz

With generous support from the CalArts Alumnx Council Seed Grant

Monday, February 18, 2019

Tuesday, February 19: J. Gordon Faylor & Lily Bartle


The Poetic Research Bureau presents...


Tuesday, February 19

Doors 7:30pm
Reading 8pm


J. Gordon Faylor is the author of Registration Caspar (Ugly Duckling Presse), Plummet (TROLL THREAD), and four volumes of Christmas poems in collaboration with Brandon Brown. He edits Gauss PDF and is managing editor of SFMOMA's Open Space.

Lily Bartle is a poet and editor from New York City. She is the founder of Hole, Earth, Catalog and has a forthcoming publication from Gauss PDF. Her phone number is 646 264 8339

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Friday, February 15: Kristen E. Nelson's The Length of This Gap Tour

Kristen E. Nelson is taking her new collection of poetry, the length of this gap, on the road.



Doors 7:30pm
Reading 8pm


Praise for "the length":

One of the most powerful, breathtaking bodies of poetry fortifying the will to survive. I am an enormous fan of Kristen Nelson’s poems and am always excitedly anticipating the next poem showing me the better parts of our species and how to love and thrive! —CA Conrad

In the length of this gap, Kristen E. Nelson does the trembling work we so often try to avoid. Here she makes eye contact with the abyss – seeking to understand how we metamorphose in the moment of (and days, weeks, years following) inexplicable loss. This is a book of great courage, striving to put the world back together with long lists of what now is and can become. How thankful I am to have her and her work as my guide – she who dares to “wish to go back and walk through the wasps,” and returns full of “love and love with some commas.”—tc tolbert

Death is not always tragedy, but then again, neither is love – its encounter, its ennui, its wound. Kristen Nelson’s the length of this gap revels in passionate ambivalence, gliding between emotions without netted hearts to catch her fall. Oh foolish bravery! Sorrow becomes lust and lust becomes abandonment, and Nelson makes me want to be bolder, hotter, sexier – and I crave. These poems persuade my addiction. —Lily Hoang


Kristen E. Nelson is a queer writer, performer, activist, and community builder. She is the author of the length of this gap (Damaged Goods, August 2018) and two chapbooks: sometimes I gets lost and is grateful for noises in the dark (Dancing Girl, 2017) and Write, Dad (Unthinkable Creatures, 2012). Kristen is the founder of Casa Libre en la Solana, a non-profit writing center in Tucson, Arizona, where she worked as the Executive Director for 14 years.

Classical violinist gone rogue, SAMANTHA BOUNKEUA is a queer experimental musician, composer and artistic collaborator specializing in non-traditional violin performance. She’s performed internationally as a guest artist with the Southern Arizona Symphony, New Mexico Symphony, Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble, Britten-Pears New Music Festival, Festival de Opera San Luis, the Rogue Theatre and more. She appears regularly with Tucson, Arizona music projects including ChamberLab, Two-Door Hatchback, Jimmy Carr & the Awkward Moments. To find out more, visit

Sam Cohen’s writing is in Delirious Hem, Sidebrow, Pank, Black Clock, Joyland, Gaga Stigmata, RECAPS, and elsewhere. Her chapbook Gossip was published by Birds of Lace Press in 2013. She has an MFA from CalArts and lives in Los Angeles.

Born during a blizzard in New York with the gifts of premonition, and manifestation, Bernadette McComish is a fortuneteller and a medium. Her father was an extraterrestrial from the future that traveled back in time, and impregnated her mother in an astral field of honeysuckle. When she writes, her words become reality, and she’s been known to turn lovers into goldfish with a sonnet, and speak directly with shades of drag queens. To her, all people are just a john, regardless if they are a woman, a ghost, or the president…especially if they're the president. She earned an M.F.A. in Poetry from Sarah Lawrence, and an M.A. in Teaching English as a Second Language from Hunter College. Her poetry has appeared in The Cortland Review, Sunday Salon, Hospital Drive, Slipstream, Storyscape, Rag Queen Periodical, Flapper House, DeLuge, and New Millennium Writers. She performs and tours with the Poetry Brothel and Poetry Society of New York curing one human at a time with words and glitter. She also teaches High School in Los Angeles.

Wendy C. Ortiz is a Los Angeles native. She is the author of Excavation: A Memoir (Future Tense Books, 2014), Hollywood Notebook (Writ Large Press, 2015), and the dreamoir Bruja (CCM). In 2016 Bustle named her one of “9 Women Writers Who Are Breaking New Nonfiction Territory.” Her work has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, The Rumpus, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and the National Book Critics Circle Small Press Spotlight blog. Her writing has appeared in such venues as The New York Times, Joyland, StoryQuarterly, and a year-long series appeared at McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. Most recently her “Urban Liminal” series of texts appear alongside signature graphic representations of the projects of Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects in the book Amplified Urbanism (2017). Wendy is a psychotherapist in private practice in Los Angeles.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Friday, February 8: Steve Benson, Jermane Cooper, Suzanne Stein

The Poetic Research Bureau presents...

Suzanne Stein and Steve Benson, reading and performing together, and celebrating the GaussPDF release of DO YOUR OWN DAMN LAUNDRY, which documents the 36 improvisational dialogues they performed together in 2011-2012. Accompanying them will be poet Jermane Cooper.



Friday, February 8 2019

Doors 7:30pm
Reading 8pm


Steve Benson has written in various modes and media under the sign of poetry, most often orally and textually, since 1966. He has lived in downeast Maine since 1996, where he’s worked as a clinical psychologist in a small town. His poetry readings have often incorporated diverse media, improvisation, and collaboration with brilliant, radical writers, musicians, and filmmakers. Benson acted in the late 1970s Poets’ Theater in San Francisco, directed Carla Harryman’s play La Quotidienne at New Langton Arts in 1983, and held a poets theater workshop at Intersection for the Arts in 1992. He wrote and transcribed (from orally improvised performances) the material in Blindspots (1981), Blue Book (1988), Open Clothes (2005), and other books. What This Is is forthcoming from chax press. Benson co-authored the Grand Piano series of autobiographical essays (2006-10) with nine old friends. He and Suzanne Stein partnered in a series of 36 improvised on-line messaging chat performances in 2011 and 2012, appearing as a book this month from Gauss.pdf as DO YOUR OWN DAMN LAUNDRY. They also created a half-hour film, NOW, for the Third Annual Festival of Poets Theater in December 2017. Benson shares links to work products on-line through

As an African American military brat growing up around the U.S., Jermane Cooper did not often think about heritage or culture. Only when diverse populations and college-level coursework broadened his horizons did he realize that a significant part of who he was had turned up missing. Jermane’s work explores common issues, often portrayed through fantastical elements. It stresses the ideals that should be a part of every culture, such as acceptance, honor, and compassion, as well as concepts of what ‘could be’ regarding himself and the world. His work can be found online at under the pen name ‘Tyiako’, or his blog at

Suzanne Stein’s poetry publications and performance documents include The Kim Game, TOUT VA BIEN, and Passenger Ship; her book-length poem New Sutras is forthcoming this spring. With the poet Steve Benson, she is the author of DO YOUR OWN DAMN LAUNDRY, just released from GaussPDF, which documents the 36 improvisational dialogues they performed together between 2011 and 2012. Essays and poems have appeared recently in The Best American Experimental Writing, Elderly, and Open Space; performance recordings are archived at PennSound. Suzanne is also a publisher, editor, and curator. She was the founding editor, and for eight years editor-in-chief, of Open Space, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s hybrid art and language platform and publication. Her chapbook press TAXT was formed in 2005 to distribute the work of Bay Area writers and artists then under-represented in print. In the mid-90s she was the co-director and film curator of a little gallery called {four walls, in San Francisco.