Farnaz Fatemi is an Iranian American poet, editor and writing teacher in Santa Cruz, CA. Her debut book, Sister Tongue زبان خواهر , was published in Sept 2022. It won the 2021 Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize, selected by Tracy K. Smith) from Kent State University Press and received a Starred Review from Publisher’s Weekly. She is a member and cofounder of The Hive Poetry Collective, which presents a weekly radio show and podcast in Santa Cruz County and hosts readings and poetry-related events. Some of her poems and lyric essays appear in Poets.org (Poem-a-Day), Tab Journal, Pedestal Magazine, Nowruz Journal, Grist Journal, Catamaran Literary Reader, Crab Orchard Review, SWWIM Daily, Tahoma Literary Review,Tupelo Quarterly, phren-z.org, and several anthologies (including, most recently, Essential Voices: Poetry of Iran and its Diaspora, My Shadow Is My Skin: Voices of the Iranian Diaspora and The BreakBeat Poets Vol. 3: Halal If You Hear Me).

Khanevadeh

By Farnaz Fatemi



Fig.
These figures—
They’d want figs.
You said they were Persian?
It figures they’d ask. Yes. They’re fig eaters.
These figures disappeared behind our tree, and I could see them picking figs. They’re delicious! I understand. I said: we like to eat most of these figs and haven’t
         really had trouble doing so.
My uncle gave them some figs, which also figures. He’s neighborly. I tell everyone
         about my cuttings. My aunt says, I learned to do figures on our figs, in Tehran,
         calculus of my childhood.
My cousin remembers a photo, taken in Iran of her dead father (one reason we are
         gathered today, by Zoom). He’s pleased.
Three green figs dangle from his hand, calling to mind a Baroque portrait.
I think, it figures: I’ve inherited this joy.
My disposition is lifetimes old.
I love figs.
I grieve
him.

(originally published in Nowruz Journal)

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Vivian Vargas

Founder of the Heidelberg Writers Group in Heidelberg, Germany, Vivian has been writing for many years. Her short story, A Desert Tale, was published in the Porter Gulch Review. Her latest work is a collection of ten short stories of a Latinx family in the 1960s living in the Florence Community of Los Angeles. Each story takes on the ambiguity of one of the Ten Commandments. In an effort to support writers of color in Santa Cruz County, Vivian hopes to create a forum to bring our stories forward.

Amanda Linh Vong

Vong was born in Port Arthur, Texas. She is a first-generation, queer, Vietnamese/Chinese poet, sound artist, and filmmaker. She is the recipient of the 2019 Idstrom Family Prize for Creative Writing in Poetry. She designed, printed, and handbound her chapbook Body of Water at the Creative Writing program at UCSC. Her work has appeared in such publications as Matchbox Magazine, Chinquapin Literary Magazine, A3 Review & Press, Aurora Poetry Anthology, and more.

Tiffany Lynn Wong

Poetry! Non-Fiction.
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Victoria Banales

Victoria Bañales holds a Ph.D. in Literature and Feminist Studies from the UCSC. A Chicanx writer, mother, and activist, she teaches English at Cabrillo College, is editor of Journal X, and a member of the Hive Poetry Collective. Her writing has appeared in Beyond the Frame: Women of Color and Visual Representations, Translocalities/Translocalidades: Feminist Politics of Translation in the Latin/a Américas, North Dakota Quarterly, Acentos Review, Cloud Women’s Quarterly Journal, and more. She is the recipient of the 2020 Porter Gulch Review Best Poetry Award. Victoria is currently writing her first novel, titled Candelaria.

Shirley Ancheta

Shirley Ancheta co-edited the Filipino American poetry collection Without Names (Kearny Street Workshop Press, San Francisco), one of the first of its kind in Asian American literature. She grew up in Watsonville. While attending SFSU she was a part of the student movement and became a Third World community activist in San Francisco. She fought against eviction for the elderly at the International Hotel. Shirley was one of the original members of Kearny Street Workshop and founding member of the Bay Area Pilipino Writers Group. She received her BA from UCSC in American Literature. Her work has appeared in numerous anthologies and journals, including Premonitions (Kaya Press) Bamboo Ridge, Quarry West and Babaylan. She recently retired from Cabrillo Community College where she worked as an English lab instructor and tutor. She is the widow of poet Jeff Tagami and makes her home in Santa Cruz, CA. She has two sons, Miles and Travis Tagami.

Chloe Gentile-Montgomery

Poetry and non-fiction Raised in Santa Cruz, Chloe is a recent graduate of Santa Clara University where she studied Ethnic Studies and Environmental Science. She recently published her first poetry book, Rustlings of the Spirit, which covers topics of grief, healing, and self-acceptance. Winner of Hoefer Undergraduate Writing Prize, 2021, for her essay entitled Wellbeing and Self-care of Women and Nonbinary Student of Color Activists: 'Taking care of you means taking care of me.'

Christopher Soriano-Palma

Genres: Fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and screenwriting. Christopher Soriano-Palma was born and raised in Watsonville, CA to Mexican-American immigrants. He holds an MFA in Writing from the University of San Francisco alongside a double BA in English and Philosophy from UC Santa Barbara. He is a contributor to Reclamation Magazine and has had his work appear in numerous publications. He continues to live in Watsonville, CA. He is currently at work on his first novel.

Sonya Pendrey

Sonya mostly writes short stories, prose, and poetry. She dedicates her work to her loved ones and fellow strong-minded women.

Adela Najarro

Adela Najarro is the author of three poetry collections: Split Geography, Twice Told Over, and My Childrens, a chapbook that includes teaching resources. With My Childrens she hopes to bring poetry into the classroom so that students can explore creative writing, identity, and what it means to be Latinx in US society. She teaches creative writing, literature, and composition at Cabrillo College. Adela holds a doctorate in literature and creative writing from Western Michigan University, as well as an M.F.A. from Vermont College. She is widely published in numerous anthologies and literary magazines. More information about Adela can be found at her website: www.adelanajarro.com

Farnaz Fatemi

Genres: Poetry Farnaz Fatemi is an Iranian American poet, editor and writing teacher in Santa Cruz, CA. Her debut book, Sister Tongue زبان خواهر , was published in Sept 2022. It won the 2021 Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize, selected by Tracy K. Smith) from Kent State University Press and received a Starred Review from Publisher’s Weekly. She is a member and cofounder of The Hive Poetry Collective, which presents a weekly radio show and podcast in Santa Cruz County and hosts readings and poetry-related events. Some of her poems and lyric essays appear in Poets.org (Poem-a-Day), Tab Journal, Pedestal Magazine, Nowruz Journal, Grist Journal, Catamaran Literary Reader, Crab Orchard Review, SWWIM Daily, Tahoma Literary Review,Tupelo Quarterly, phren-z.org, and several anthologies (including, most recently, Essential Voices: Poetry of Iran and its Diaspora, My Shadow Is My Skin: Voices of the Iranian Diaspora and The BreakBeat Poets Vol. 3: Halal If You Hear Me).

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An exploration of heritage: Author links Santa Cruz, Japan through art, catastrophe in new novel

Local writer Andrew Kumasaka is a third-generation Japanese American who used the events of the 2011 earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan, which even affected Santa Cruz, as a key part of his plot line in “All Gone Awry.”
By Wallace Baine    Read the article


Robert Gómez Marks Watsonville’s First Poet Laureate

WATSONVILLE—For the first time ever, the city of Watsonville has its very own poet laureate.
By Johanna Miller    Read the Article

Santa Cruz’s Writers of Color tell stories we might otherwise never hear

On one level, the term “people of color” is a way to categorize people simply by what they’re not (white).
By Wallace Baine   Read the Article

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