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Monday, November 13th – 7pm
On Zoom: VirtualPoets
hosted by Kim Shuck
Featured poets Zara Jamshed and KR Morrison
plus open mic

Meeting ID: 843 5026 5713
Passcode: 244211

The featured poets this time out are K.R. Morrison and Zara Jamshed. An open mic follows.  Kim Shuck hosts.

Since the pandemic, K.R. Morrison has been searching for mermaids in a sea town in Southern California, often returning to the Bay Area for her poetry nests and to play drums for two all-female fronted rock bands – Harriot and Unicröne. Morrison is a Pushcart Nominee for her poem, “Her Altar” and still enjoys readings and podcasts for Cauldrons, her first poetry collection published by Paper Press. Alongside years spent as a writer, activist, and musician, K.R. spent 17 years as a sea captain for the teens – using creative writing and books, she worked with countless students at Galileo High School in San Francisco, earning the name “Mama Mo” with many who left her classroom armed with writing and tools for healing. Morrison continues her work in education through the juvenile hall system and online teaching. These days, Morrison drowns in an abyss of new poems that will hopefully, take the form of some new manuscripts, soon.  

Zara Jamshed (they/them) is a queer, trans, disabled Pakistani American poet from NYC living in the East Bay. Their debut full-length poetry collection Neither Created Nor Destroyed was a semifinalist for the Pamet River Prize, a finalist for the Stories Award for Poetry and is available now with Game Over Books.


two poems by Zara Jamshed:


Instead of baptism by water, a Muslim baby is welcomed
into the world with a head shaved clean

I emerged from the womb with a head full of hair
in the joy of new parenthood, and the speed

hair sprouted from my scalp, there is an entire
photo gallery of my repeated blessings:

my father grinning under bulbous glasses
me bald and wailing in one hand, buzzers in the other

even before I was born my mother prayed I’d have good hair
I kept it long and unbrushed, let the dark

protein trail behind me like I was afraid of getting lost
in the scatter, I could thread an ocean

a rising of all the selves I leave behind
when the rumble of an new gender quaked

my auntie took me to the hairdresser, one loud snip
and there was no more ocean,

only rediscovery of scalp, at home
my father swallowed his disapproval, finding

his trimmer at the back of my neck
for the first time in eighteen years

I have now let most of the length return, finding
new ways to tend to and worship this wild water

I still keep an undercut along my right side
hold my duality and call it prophecy

with the clippers in my hand at the bathroom mirror
I build my own blessing over, and over again.


I am building myself a country I fully belong to,
her national anthem the sound of the tea boiling over,
her flag woven out of MetroCards and my mustache hairs,
her language missing the edges and hardness
of the colonizer’s consonants

here my gender is a thread turned loose
and my only job is to be pulled and unraveled,
I pile on the floor
and find joy in the tangle

in this nation, diaspora is divine
the third culture cracked open like a coconut
the East the husk, the West the juice

in this nation, everyone makes it home safely
in this nation, everyone makes it home
in this nation, everyone makes it


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The Bird & Beckett Cultural Legacy Project

Our events are put on under the umbrella of the nonprofit Bird & Beckett Cultural Legacy Project (the "BBCLP"). That's how we fund our ambitious schedule of 300 or so concerts and literary events every year.

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The Independent Musicians Alliance

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Read more here - Andy Gilbert's Feb 25 article about the IMA from KQED's site

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