"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 Norma Smith, Manny Martinez, and Alan Chazaro.

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.



Suzy Huerta was born and raised in San Jose, California. She is an educator teaching full-time at Foothill College. Her writing is featured in Cheers from the Wasteland, Poetry of Resistance: A Multicultural Anthology in Response to Arizona SB 1070, Xenophobia and Injustice by University of Arizona Press, Bordersenses, La Bloga, The Packinghouse Review, La Bloga and other journals. Suzy is a two-time VONA alum, a Lucille Clifton Scholar at the Community of Writers in Squaw Valley, and a Macondo fellow. 



José Manuel “Manny” Martínez is a native New Yorker who spent his formative years (age 12-19) on the island of Puerto Rico. He has been an accomplished poet, lyricist, playwright and Bay Area musician for over twenty years, singing for various acts and fronting Atlantic Records Funk-Rock band Psychefunkapus, the independently signed Latin Rock group Los Mocosos who toured with Carlos Santana in 2003, salsa bands Mazacote and Azabache and currently with his own band La Rebeldia. He holds a Masters in Education and teaching credential from Stanford University and is currently teaching 9th Grade Humanities and Ethnic Studies at Gateway HS in San Francisco.



Alan Chazaro is a public high school teacher pursuing his MFA in Writing at the University of San Francisco. He is the current Lawrence Ferlinghetti Fellow and a graduate of June Jordan's Poetry for the People program at UC Berkeley. His work has received an AWP Intro Journals Award and appears in Huizache, The Cortland Review, Borderlands, Iron Horse Review, Juked, decomP, and others.



Norma Smith was born in Detroit, grew up in Fresno, and has lived in Oakland since the late 1960s. She worked in hospitals for more than 40 years. She has also worked as a journalist, a translator, an educator, and as an editor and writing coach. She has organized events and conferences and facilitated writing groups, including “narrative medicine” workshops for healthcare providers and people experiencing illness. Her work has been published in academic, political, and literary journals.

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.