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Brian Komei Dempster

Brian Komei Dempster and Lee Herrick

14 MARCH 2021 — sunday

Poetry Flash presents a virtual poetry reading by Brian Komei Dempster, Seize, and Lee Herrick, Scar and Flower, online via Zoom, free, 3:00 pm PDT (Register to attend: please click here; you will receive an email with a link to join the reading)

Please join us for a Poetry Flash virtual reading on Sunday, March 14 at 3:00 pm PDT! We are excited to bring you Brian Komei Dempster and Lee Herrick via Zoom. To register for this reading, please click on the link in the calendar listing above. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. Thank you for continuing to support Poetry Flash and our reading series during these unprecedented times.

This reading is co-sponsored by Moe's Books in Berkeley; the featured books are available at

Brian Komei Dempster's new book of poems is Seize. Patrick Phillips says, "Brian Komei Dempster's central subject—his son's epilepsy—could not be more freighted with risk, and yet Seize achieves a pitch-perfect harmony of lament and praise, suffering and solace.…This is a stunning, heartbreaker of a book." His first collection, Topaz, won the 15 Bytes 2014 Book Award in Poetry. Widely published in literary journals, his poems have also been anthologized in Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia and Beyond, Asian American Poetry: The Next Generation, and elsewhere. He is editor of From Our Side of the Fence: Growing up in Concentration Camps, which received a 2007 Nisei Voices Award from the National Japanese American Historical Society, and Making Home from War: Stories of Japanese American Exile and Resettlement. As poet, workshop director, and editor, he's received grants from Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the Arts Foundation of Michigan, California State Library's California Civil Liberties Publication Education Program, Center for Cultural Innovation, and San Francisco Arts Commission.

Lee Herrick's latest book of poems is Scar and Flower, finalist for the 2020 Northern California Book Award. Juan Felipe Herrera says, "this is an incredible, luminous and most serious investigation, of being, of human suffering, of war and peace—of the factories of violence and the notebook of enlightenments.…Lee is concerned with the turning of beauty, the intimacy of death and the boundlessness of small moments, 'the broken body of a tiny bird,' fragments that can change a life." Herrick's previous poetry collections include Gardening Secrets of the Dead and This Many Miles from Desire. He is co-editor of the anthology The World I Leave You: Asian American Poets on Faith and Spirit. His poems appear widely in literary magazines, textbooks, and anthologies such as HERE: Poems for the Planet, with an introduction by the Dalai Lama; Indivisible: Poems of Social Justice, with an introduction by Common; One for the Money: The Sentence as Poetic Form; and California Fire and Water: A Climate Crisis Anthology. His prose has appeared in Dear America: Letters of Hope, Habitat, Defiance, and Democracy. He served as Fresno Poet Laureate from 2015-2017 and co-founded LitHop, Fresno's literary festival. He has traveled extensively throughout Latin America and Asia and has taught in China and in California State Prisons. He received the Bill F. Stewart Award for Excellence in Education in 2011. Born in Daejeon, Korea and adopted to the U.S. at ten months, he teaches at Fresno City College, where he co-founded the forthcoming Social Justice and Cultural Center, and in the Sierra Nevada University MFA program.

Daily Listings

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28 JANUARY 2023 — saturday

  • The San Francisco Public Library presents Poetry from the Pandemic, a reading of San Francisco poets highlighting how they discovered their inner resources and resilience during the pandemic, featuring Karen Melander-Magoon, John Curl, Rainbow Weather, and Mahnaz Badihian, Ask the Wind, North Beach Library Community Room, 850 Columbus Avenue, San Francisco, free, 2:00-3:00 pm PST (More information here:
  • Point Reyes Books presents novelist Selby Wynn Schwartz, The Bodies of Others: Drag Dances and Their Afterlives, finalist for the Lambda Literary Award, celebrating her new book, After Sappho, longlisted for the Booker Prize, in conversation with bookstore co-owner Molly Parent, Dance Palace Church Space, Point Reyes Station, free, donations welcome, 4:00 pm PST (More information here:

29 JANUARY 2023 — sunday

  • Skylight Books presents poet and performance artist Linda Ravenswood, The Stan Poems, reading and discussing her new book, Cantadora: Letters from California, a collection of forty-four hybrid texts that read as maps, diary entries, dream fragments, and lists, spanning the 500+ years from the Spanish Conquest of Mexico to the present day, Skylight Books,1818 N. Vermont Avenue, Los Angeles, free, 5:00 pm PST (More information here:

30 JANUARY 2023 — monday

31 JANUARY 2023 — tuesday

  • Cobalt Poets presents a reading featuring poet and essayist Darius Atefat-Peckham, How Many Love Poems, with open mic to follow, online via Zoom, free, 7:30 pm PST (Register to attend:
  • City Lights Books presents nonfiction writer Thomas Crow, The Long March of Pop: Art, Music, and Design, 1930-1995, discussing his new book, The Artist in the Counterculture: Bruce Conner to Mike Kelley and Other Tales from the Edge, examining the influence of West Coast artists on California's counterculture of the 1960s to 1980s, in conversation with art historian Carrie Lambert-Beatty, online via Zoom, free, 6:00 pm PST (Register to attend:

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