Mazza Writer in Residence Josiah Luis Alderete with Sara Borjas and Aideed Medina
The Poetry Center's Mazza Writer in Residence for Fall 2023, Josiah Luis Alderete, along with visiting with students as guest artist in classes across the SF State campus through the first week in October, presents his poems in two public programs. For the concluding event of Alderete's week in residency, he will be joined at home base, Medicine for Nightmares in the heart of San Francisco's Mission District, by poet friends Sara Borjas and Aideed Medina, representing for Fresno, lately reputed to be "poetry capital of the universe."
The Mazza Writer in Residence program is supported by the Sam Mazza Foundation.
This event is free and open to the public.
Josiah Luis Alderete is a Spanglish speaking full blooded Pocho poeta from La Mission de San Pancho. He is the author of the chapbook Fuchi Faces de los Estados Jodidos (Pinche Pandemico Poemas y Otra Nalga-Hyde Chismes) (2023) and Baby Axolotls and Old Pochos (Black Freighter Press, 2021), and runs the monthly Chicanx/Latinx reading series Speaking Axolotl. Alongside his bookstore sister Tân Khánh Cao, Josiah is the owner of Medicine for Nightmares Bookstore and Galeria on Calle 24, a decolonial portal of language, art, and communidad. Photo by Tatiana Luboviski-Acosta.
Sara Borjas is a self-identified Xicanx pocha and a Fresno poet. Her debut collection, Heart Like a Window, Mouth Like a Cliff, was published by Noemi Press in 2019 and received a 2020 American Book Award. Sara was featured as one of Poets & Writers 2019 Debut Poets and is the recipient of the 2018 Blue Mesa Poetry Prize. She has received fellowships from MacDowell, CantoMundo, The Poetry Foundation, Sewanee Writer’s Conference, Postgraduate Writers Conference, and Community of Writers. Her poems have been published in The Los Angeles Times, Ploughshares, The Rumpus, Poem-a-Day by The Academy of American Poets, amongst others, and anthologized in The BreakBeat Poets Vol. 4: LatiNext (Haymarket Books, 2020), Get Lit: Words Ignite, and forthcoming in Até Mais: Until More: An Anthology of Latinx Futurisms (Deep Vellum, 2024). She believes that all Black lives matter and will resist white supremacy until Black liberation is realized. She teaches creative writing at California State University, East Bay, and stays rooted in Fresno. Find her @saraborhaz or at www.saraborjas.com.
Aideed Medina is a poet and spoken word artist. She is a member of Reforma del Valle Central, advocating for “libros y comunidad”, and of Mothers Helping Mothers, an organization that works to alleviate crisis needs caused by political and environmental disasters. She is a University of California, California Naturalist Program (UC CNP) certified California naturalist, and practices “flor y canto" as part of her poetic process and exploration of California’s natural history. Her work has appeared in Fresno State's Club Austral Literary Magazine, Chicano Writers and Artists Association Journal, online on La Bloga, Poets Responding, Art of the Commune, and as part of a collection of original art songs composed for The Opera Remix, Fresno Grand Opera. Her book 31 Hummingbird: A Suite of Poems is new from editorial Xingao, of Oakland.