Gears Turning Poetry Series: Hosted by Kim Shuck featuring John Twaddell, Kurt Schweigman, and Tongo Eisen-Martin with Music by Ed Dang

Originally from San Francisco, Tongo Eisen-Martin is a poet, movement worker and educator. He has taught in detention centers from New York’s Rikers Island to California county jails. He designed curricula for oppressed people’s education projects from San Francisco to South Africa. His latest curriculum on extrajudicial killing of Black people, We Charge Genocide Again, has been used as an educational and organizing tool throughout the country. His latest book of poems titled, Someone’s Dead Already, (Bootstrap Press) was nominated for a California Book Award. He recently lived and organized around issues of human rights and self-determination in Jackson, MS.

Kurt Schweigman is co-editor of Red Indian Road West: Native American Poetry from California (Scarlet Tanager Books, 2016). His poetry appears in Shedding Skins: Four Sioux Poets (Michigan State University Press, 2008). Kurt was a featured poet at the prestigious Geraldine R. Dodge 12th Biennial Poetry Festival and the first spoken word poet to receive an Archibald Bush Foundation artist fellowship in literature. Although retired from competition, he has won Poetry Slams across the United States and in Germany. Kurt has a Master of Public Health degree in Epidemiology from the University of Oklahoma. Born and raised in Rapid City, South Dakota, he now resides in Oakland and is an enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe.

John Twaddell “Ye’es”, is of the Tsimshian First Nations, Gitando Tribe. John is of the Gisbudwada Clan literally translated as Black Fish commonly known as Killer Whale. John maintains cultural identification and oral traditions through association with the California Indians Story Teller Association and the San Francisco Tlingit & Haida Community Council which he actively supports and participates as guest story teller. He has participated in Cultural Events held at North West Indian College, Bellingham and Tlingit & Haida Cultural celebration in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Modern Comedy: Hosted by Nato Green, Allison Mick and Natasha Muse

NATO GREEN was summed up more or less accurately by The East Bay Express as, “erudite and acerbic, a San Francisco-raised father, union organizer, gastronome, bibliophile, and political sparkplug.” His first comedy album, The Nato Green Party, was released by Rooftop Comedy in 2012. Nato has been named San Francisco’s Best Comedian by the SF Weekly, Huffington Post, SFist, and CBS. Nato is the creator of Iron Comic, the Iron Chef-spoofing comedy game show he sometimes co-hosts with Moshe Kasher. Nato has a regular column in the San Francisco Examiner, and his humor commentaries have appeared in VICE, Truthdig, Huffington Post, The San Francisco Bay Guardian, The Rumpus, and The Bold Italic. He also hosts FSFSF, a short spotlight on Bay Area comedy that airs every weekday during NPR’s All Things Considered on 91.7FM KALW. Nato wrote for Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell on FX.

ALLISON MICK is an Oakland-based comedian and writer originally from Rochester, NY. She draws from her upbringing and personal experiences to address topics like race, gender, and serial killers. She’s performed in festivals in Northern California (SF Sketchfest), New York (Hudson Valley Comedy Fest), and Even Farther Northern California (Savage Henry Festival). In 1997, she was featured in the book Humor Works by Dr. John Morreall, the founder of the International Society for Humor Studies. She has managed to stay very grounded despite this fame.

NATASHA MUSE is like the C3P0 of San Francisco comedy: a bunch of small bears once mistook her for a golden god but in reality she’s a bumbling robot (as well as a mom, a transsexual, and a firm agnostic). Natasha made her TV debut on the show Night Train on the NBC comedy streaming channel Seeso. The SF Weekly declared her a “Comedian to Watch” in 2014, and in 2016 they upgraded her to an “Artist to Watch.” Natasha features at the SF Punchline and Cobb’s Comedy Club, and has worked with such comedy luminaries as Maria Bamford, Roseanne Barr, Janeane Garofalo, Wyatt Cenac, and God. Natasha’s comedy is so good, it’s not even funny.

Queer Open Mic: Hosted by Baruch Porras-Hernandez and Blythe Baldwin

BARUCH PORRAS-HERNANDEZ When he’s not hosting the SFQOM Porras-Hernandez is a writer and performer. His poetry appears in Aim for the Head an anthology of zombie poetry (Write Bloody Publishing), Divining Divas 100 Poems by Gay Men on Their Muses (Lethe Press), Flicker and Spark Queer Poetry Anthology (Low Brow Press) and Tandem an anthology of the LitSlam contest winners for 2012 (Bicycle Comics Press). He has performed as a feature in Washington D.C., New York City, Canada and all over California. Porras-Hernandez holds a Bachelor Arts in Theatre Arts, Drama concentration from Sonoma State University. He was born in Toluca, Mexico.

BLYTHE BALDWIN is a performance poet, storyteller, and visual artist. Hailing from the Bay Area, she attended Pitzer college where she created her own major: Narrative Arts. Blythe has performed her poetry on air with KPFA and has been televised on KCSM’s The Bay Today. She has performed spoken word at The Berkeley Poetry Slam, The Oakland Poetry Slam, The VettedWord Showcase, Return to The Tender Nob: Home Theater Festival, Califia Festival, K’vestch Queer Open Mic, Bawdy Storytelling, Punk Blood Bath 2.0, Life With Laughter, That’s What She Said, and The Golden Pussy Posse Show part of The International Home Theatre Festival. She has been a featured artist at The San Francisco Queer Open Mic and Modesto’s Slam on Rye. Blythe competed as a semi-finalist for the 2011 Berkeley Poetry Slam Season. She spends her days working in media production and by night writes poetry and draws comics.