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LUNADA Literary Lounge - Fall Season Opener

Spoken Word * Música * Open Mic

Monday, August 7, 2017 | 7:30 pm

Featuring Chris Abani, Denise Chavez, Cathy Arellano, Norman Zelaya & special guests. Open Mic sign-up 7:00pm.

Please arrive early, anticipating a full house. 

At Lunada's Fall Season Opener we swing the gate wide with a fierce and resounding bang, featuring a special evening of visiting writers and faculty of the Las Dos Brujas Writers Workshops. Nigerian novelist, poet, essayist, screenwriter and playwright Chris Abani, will join leading Chicana playwright and novelist Denise Chavez, in exchange with additional local luminaries from around the Bay, to celebrate the celestial phenomena and 17 year lunar literary tradition we represent.

OPEN MIC sign-up starts at 7:00pm: 8 spots on the list, 5 min. ea., inviting poets, storytellers, emcees, musicians, laureates and first-timers to share their voices under the lunar spotlight. 

Host & Curator: Sandra García Rivera

$5.00 Admission: Please arrive early, in anticipation of a full house.

2857 24th Street, at Bryant
SF, CA 94110

LUNADA is the Bay Area’s only full moon bilingual literary ritual & performance gathering devoted to spoken word, música, song, and story. Located in the heart of the Mission District at Galería de la Raza, and guest curated by some of the Bay Area’s most dynamic word slingers and artists, each LUNADA features community poets, local legends, visiting mystics, and other mero meros of the stage. Voted Best Literary Night of 2016 by the SF Bay Guardian.


Chris Abani is a novelist, poet, essayist, screenwriter and playwright. Born in Nigeria to an Igbo father and English mother, he grew up in Afikpo, Nigeria, received a BA in English from Imo State University, Nigeria, an MA in English, Gender and Culture from Birkbeck College, University of London and a PhD in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Southern California. He has resided in the United States since 2001. He is the recipient of the PEN USA Freedom-to-Write Award, the Prince Claus Award, a Lannan Literary Fellowship, a California Book Award, a Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, a PEN Beyond the Margins Award, the PEN Hemingway Book Prize and a Guggenheim Award. Through his TED Talks, public speaking and essays Abani is known as an international voice on humanitarianism, art, ethics, and our shared political responsibility. His critical and personal essays have been featured in books on art and photography, as well as Witness, Parkett, The New York Times, O Magazine, and Bomb. 

Denise Chávez is a leading Chicana playwright and novelist who comes out of the Southwest United States. Chávez has been honored with many awards for her literary contribution in Chicana writing. New Mexico State University awarded her play “The Wait” with Best Play. In 1995, she received the New Mexico Governor’s Award in literature and the El Paso Herald Post Writers of the Pass distinction. This same year she was awarded with the Premio Aztlan Award, American Book Award, and Mesilla Valley Writer of the Year Award, all for her work of Face of an Angel. She is also a founding member of the National Institute of Chicana Writers. Chávez focuses her writing in the Southwest, “in heat and dust” where she claims “love is as real as the land.” From here, she draws inspiration for her characters that reflect the love that “is as real as the land.” She has written over of 21 plays, novels, and a children’s book. Chávez is also represented in anthologies including An Anthology: The Indian Rio Grande, Voices: An Anthology of Nuevo Mexicanos Writers, An Anthology of Southwestern Literature, as well as many others.

Cathy Arellano is just another Mexican lesbian writer from The Mission. Kórima Press recently published Arellano’s collection of broken-hearted lesbian love poems I Love My Women, Sometimes They Love Me suitable for anyone who has loved, been loved, been left. Last year, Kórima published Salvation on Mission Street, Arellano’s memoir in poetry and prose about love and loss within her family from the 1960s to the 2000s. Salvation is a finalist for the 2017 Golden Crown Literary Society’s Debut Author Award.

Norman Antonio Zelaya was born and raised in San Francisco, CA. He has published stories in ZYZZYVA, NY Tyrant, 14 Hills, Cipactli, Apogee Journal, among others, and he was a 2015 Zoetrope: All-Story finalist. He is a founding member of Los Delicados, and has performed extensively throughout the US with them. Zelaya has appeared on stage, in film and in the squared circle as luchador, Super Pulga. Currently, he lives and works in San Francisco's Mission District as a special education teacher. Orlando & Other Stories is his first published book.


NORMAN ZELAYA, Lunada featured artist Aug. 2017 CATHY ARELLANO, Lunada featured artist Aug. 2017 CHRIS ABANI ~ Lunada featured artist August 2017 DENISE CHAVEZ - Lunada featured artist August 2017
Galería de la Raza: an Interdisciplinary Chicano/Latino Space for Art, Thought and Activism
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