"To survive the Borderlands you must live sin fronteras, be a crossroads.”
– Gloria Anzaldua

Join us for the opening night of Oakland Crossroads, a monthly reading series and open mic curated by Suzana Huerta. This series occurs on the last Tuesday of every month. On this first installment, our featured writers include Lisa Marie Rollins, Norma Liliana Valdez, and Robert Ricardo Reese. 

Oakland Crossroads is a monthly reading series featuring local, Bay Area poets and writers. It takes its name from the idea that living at a crossroads, embracing community in all its rich complexity is the only way to resist borders that bind and confine us. Through poetry and story, in the space of art and song, we come to Studio Grand to connect and express the multitude of voices that makes Oakland so rich. 

Oakland Crossroads seeks to bring together Bay Area based writers, both established and emerging, to share their stories, their hearts—to reveal their own realities and dreams on the mic. Every reading will feature at least one poet or writer from Oakland and will provide an open mic for anyone who wants to read. We welcome all poets and writers, all levels of experience, all members of the community. 


Suzana Huerta, Series Host & Curator

Suzana Huerta is an educator and poet. She dedicates most of her energy to the California community college system and its inspiring student body. She strives to bring poets to the classroom and encourage all students to discover the poet within. A Bay Area native, Suzy was born and raised in San Jose, Ca. and currently lives in San Francisco. She is proud to call herself a VONA alum, and her work has appeared in La Bloga, El Coraje, The Packinghouse Review, Poets Responding to SB1070, and Sunrise from Blue Thunder. Additional work is forthcoming in Bordersenses and Poetry of Resistance: A Multicultural Anthology in Response to Arizona SB 1070, Xenophobia and Injustice by University of Arizona Press.


Lisa Marie Rollins

Lisa Marie Rollins is playwright, poet and essayist. She has performed her acclaimed solo play, “Ungrateful Daughter: One Black Girls Story of being adopted by a White Family… that aren’t Celebrities” in the New York International Fringe Theater Festival, Los Angeles Women’s Theater Festival, The Atlanta Black Theater Festival, San Francisco Solo Festival, San Francisco Theater Festival, and universities across the United States. She was a Poet in Residence at June Jordan’s Poetry for the People at U.C. Berkeley, a CALLALOO JournalLondon Writing Workshop Fellow and an alumni in Poetry of VONA Writing Workshop. Her writing is published in Eye to the Telescope, Other Tongues: Mixed-Race Women Speak Out, River, Blood, Corn Literary Journal, Line/Break, As/Us Literary Journal, the The Pacific Review and others. Currently, she is finishing her new manuscript of poems, tentatively titled, “Anchoring the Compass” and obsessing about her new play in development, “TOKEN”. She is an Adjunct Professor at SFSU in Race and Resistance Studies. Lisa Marie is a 2015-16 member of Just Theater Play Lab and Artist-in-Residence at BRAVA Theater for Women in San Francisco.  

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Norma Liliana Valdez

Norma Liliana Valdez is an alumna of the VONA/Voices Writing Workshop, the Writing Program at UC Berkeley Extension, and a 2014 Hedgebrook writer-in-residence.  A member of the Macondo Writers’ Workshop, she is the poetry winner of the 2015 San Miguel Writers' Conference writing contest.  Her poems can be found inCalyx: A Journal of Art and Literature by Women, As It Ought To Be, Dismantle: An Anthology of Writing from the VONA/Voices Writing Workshop, and Cipactli, among others.


Robert Ricardo Reese

Robert Ricardo Reese is a graduate of Santa Clara University with a B.A. in English. His writing has appeared in Asia Literary Review (alongside Nobel five-time front-runner Ko-Un), Blackbird, Drunken Boat, Poems Against War, Santa Clara Review, Poecology, Monterey Journal, and in other journals. A finalist for the California Writers Exchange Award (Poets & Writers Magazine), he is also a Cave Canem Fellow, and a graduate of the M.F.A. program at San Francisco State University. He was Emerging Artist for Kearny Street Workshop in 2014 (sponsored by Poets & Writers Magazine), and he taught poetry as a Writer-in-Residence at the Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts.

Doors at 6:30pm
Open Mic Sign-up at 6:45pm
Reading at 7:00pm

$5-15 Sliding Scale