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

Oakland Crossroads is a monthly reading series and open mic curated by Suzana Huerta. This series occurs on the last Tuesday of every month. This month, our featured writers include Denise Benavides, Nancy Aide Gonzales, and Maria Nieto. 

Every last Tuesdays of the month, join us for Oakland Crossroads, a monthly reading and open mic series curated and hosted by Suzana Huerta. 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 together to connect and express the multitude of voices that makes Oakland so rich. 

Oakland Crossroads features local, Bay Area poets and writers. This series 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.


Oakland Crossroads host and 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.


For first generation Xicana poet, Denise Benavides, writing has become a haven for growth, for understanding, and immortalizing life’s humanness. Currently living in Oakland, CA as an emerging poet and performer, her work has been published in FatCity Review, Ground Protest Poetry, The Far East: Everything As It Is, The Acorn Review, El Tecolote 40th Anniversary Anthology celebrating Latino voices, and as of late, a zine published by Third Women Press.

She has also been invited to perform at historically LGBTQ and Latino spaces, including La Pocha Nostra Workshops at Galeria De La Raza, The Latino Spoken Word and Poetry Festival ¿Donde Esta Mi Gente?, Voz Sin Tinta, SF Queer Open Mic, and most recently hosting and performing at SOMArts Cultural Center for the opening exhibition: Today is The Shadow of Tomorrow, an exhibition with over 175 artists celebrating Dia De Los Muertos. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing and is currently working on her upcoming collection of poetry titled: Riot Girl.


Nancy Aidé González is a Chicana poet, educator, and activist. Her work has appeared in Huizache The magazine of Latino literature, La Tolteca, Mujeres De Maiz Zine, DoveTales, Tule Review, Seeds of Resistance Flor y Canto: Tortilla Warrior, Hinchas de Poesía, La Bloga, and several other literary journals. Her work is featured in the Poetry of Resistance: Voices for Social Justice, Sacramento Voices: Foam at the Mouth Anthology, and Lowriting: Shots Rides & Stories from the Chicano Soul. She hosts Mosaic of Voices, a poetry series which features multicultural poets in Sacramento. She is a participating member of Escritores del Nuevo Sol. She is on the board of directors at the Sacramento Poetry Center.


Maria is a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at California State University, East Bay where she has been involved in underrepresented minority recruitment, teaching, and research for over 27 years. Maria’s research interests and science publications have focused on cancer cell detection and destruction. More recently Maria’s interests have centered on the subject of sex and gender where she has written popular press articles and an amicus brief that was submitted to the Supreme Court of the United States in support of marriage equality.

Maria’s writings extend beyond the field of science. Her first work of fiction, a murder-mystery/crime-drama entitled Pig Behind The Bear, has won four awards to date. Maria’s second novel, The Water of Life Remains in the Dead, was ranked #5 on the Latino Author’s top ten list for 2015, named a 2016 Next Generation Indie Book Award Winner, and is a finalist in three categories for International Latino Book Awards (winners announced in September). Both novels feature a feisty Chicana who uses her Revlon lipstick like a talisman as she works to investigate crimes against the most vulnerable among us - immigrants and children. Maria’s writing uses history, science, and dark humor to force us to see the unseen; the victims we never knew, those killed and abused under the cover of nightfall.


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

$5-15 Sliding Scale*

*No one turned away for lack of funds. Contribution to artists and space appreciated.