An installment in our ongoing series OBSESSIONS, where writers get to talk about what occupies their thoughts.
Kaia Said will give the talk:Tarps, Pallets, & Cinder Blocks
Among an uneven distribution of shelter, communities organize informal settlements, a continual struggle for a right to the city. The very materials of construction become pages on which both memory and demands for a future are written. Kaia Sand will discuss two informal settlements–Villa Autódromo in Rio de Janeiro and Right 2 Dream Too in Portland, Oregon, both enduring communal efforts comprised of creativity and resilience. She will draw from her new book, A Tale of Magicians Who Puffed Up Money that Lost its Puff, weaving in poetry and a magic show.
Sunday NOVEMBER 6doors open at 5:00pm, talk at 5:30pm@ ATA (Artists’ Television Access)992 Valencia Street, San Francisco,$6-10 sliding scalefree for Small Press Traffic members
Kaia Sand is the author of the newly released A Tale of Magicians Who Puffed Up Money that Lost its Puff (Tinfish Press 2016) as well as Remember to Wave (Tinfish Press 2010), and interval (Edge Books), a Small Press Traffic book of the year in 2004; and co-author with Jules Boykoff of Landscapes of Dissent: Guerrilla Poetry and Public Space (Palm Press, 2008). With Garrick Imatani, she was an artist-in-residence from 2013-2015 at the City of Portland Archives and Records Center, a public art commission in which they responded to the contents of historical surveillance files on local political activists. This past spring she exhibited Moth, Flame, Desire, at the Portland Community College Cascade Gallery, after serving in the Despina Artist Residency at Largo das Artes in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She works across genres and media, dislodging poetry from the book into more unconventional contexts; she documents work at kaiasand.net.
Here’s what Susan Schultz wrote about Kaia Sand’s new work: ” For over a decade now, Kaia Sand has been making magic with her ethical documentary poetry and prose around our globe’s fragile ecology, economies and sites of resistance. In her first Tinfish Press book, Remember to Wave, published in 2010, she wrote about the secret histories of north Portland, Oregon where Japanese Americans were warehoused before they were sent inland to be interned, and where African American workers were squeezed into housing built on a flood plain. Her work is radically interdisciplinary, encompassing collage, the craft of sewing and metal work, and (in A Tale of Magicians That Puffed Up Money Until It Lost Its Puff) a magic show that explains the 2008 crash to children young and old. This combination of serious whimsy characterizes Sand’s work and is unique in contemporary American poetry.”& Maged Zaher: “Some of us inhale what others exhale. Kaia Sand’s book reminds us of this simple fact. In this, a metaphor about love, daily life, community and power unfolds. These poems provide a tremendous answer to the question of what it means to be a poet who is deeply aware of those who live down river and down wind from power’s malice. Deeply beautiful and tough, this is a book that is not only conscious of itself and of the world, it actually invites the reader to partake in this consciousness. It will make us meander into wakefulness.”& Carolyn Forché: “Kaia Sand’s work always interests me: her inventories, interventions, recordings, dispatches, her mixing memos into songs, her soundings and measurements and exposés. These are lived poems, necessary and urgent and I learn from them. She is to be honored, read, shared, and given our undivided attention.
Photo by Ken Hawkins