Get woke at Awaken Cafe. Join us for a night of readings by Sonya Renee Taylor, Denise Jolly, Jason Bayani, Cassandra Dallett, and Joyce Lee. Music by the amazingly talented Azuah and Amber Flame.
Sonya Renee Taylor
Sonya Renee Taylor is the Founder and Radical Executive Officer of The Body is Not An Apology, an international movement and organization committed to radical self-love and body empowerment as the foundational tool for social justice and global transformation. Sonya’s work as an award winning Performance Poet, Activist and transformational leader continues to have global reach. Sonya is a former National and International poetry slam champion, author, educator and activist who has mesmerized audiences across the US, New Zealand, Australia, Germany, England, Scotland, Sweden, Canada and the Netherlands as well as in prisons, mental health treatment facilities, homeless shelters, universities, festivals and public schools across the globe.
Denise Jolly is the creator of the Be Beautiful Project. She is as a Writer, Performer and Artist Educator. She is the former Executive Director of Seattle Youth Speaks, and Vice President of Stronghold Productions. Denise’s work stands at the intersection of gender, class, sexuality, and body. She has taught and performed at colleges, universities, community centers, public and private schools all over the United States, Canada and part of Europe. Working with student populations in elementary through college and beyond. She likes doing great things with amazing people and being moved by art, community and how the two work together.
Here is the bio: Jason Bayani is the author of Amulet from Write Bloody Press. He's an MFA graduate from Saint Mary's College, a Kundiman fellow, and is currently the Program Manager for Kearny Street Workshop. http://jasonbayani.com/
Cassandra Dallett lives in Oakland, CA. Cassandra is a two-time Pushcart nominee and Literary Death Match winner. She has published online and in many print magazines, including Slip Stream, Sparkle & Blink, Chiron Review,Stone Boat Review, and Great Weather For Media. A full-length book of poetry, Wet Reckless, was released on Manic D. Press in May 2014.
In 2015, she authored Bad Sandy (Lucky Bastard Press), Pearl Tongue (Be About It Press), The Water Wars (Pedestrian Poets Series), On Sunday, A Finch (Nomadic Press), which was nominated for a California Book Award, and most recently Armadillo Heart (Paper Press) with MK Chavez.
Joyce Lee is a writer, poet, storyteller, performer and educator from Oakland, California.
This dynamic womyn has toured the East Coast and performed at venues across the United States including but not limited too: the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Yoshi's of San Francisco, First Annual Oakland Gay Pride Parade, Vagina Monologues in San Francisco to fundraise women's shelters in Haiti, UC Berkeley for Breast Cancer Awareness, 106 KMEL Street Soldiers, NPR SnapJudgment Storytelling, Berkeley Poetry Slam, San Francisco Poetry Slam, Harbin Hot Springs in Sonoma County. Joyce performs with a live jazz band, Valerie Troutt and Fear of a Fat Planet Crew. She is the 2009 and 2010 Oakland Grand Slam Champion.
Inspired by the mesmerizing sounds of Lianne La Havas and the soulfulness in the music of Allen Stone, Azuah is underway of making her debut in the music world as an alternative folk and blues artist with just the right touch of soul. Her emotionally provocative songwriting in juxtaposition with her haunting melodies captivates her audiences from the first note until the last strum.
Amber Flame is a multi-talented artist from the Pacific Northwest. She was born in Texas, raised in Arizona, and now resides in the Bay Area. Aside from her work as a poet, she’s also the lead singer and composer for the band, Last of the RedHot Mamas. She’s been on several slam teams and represented Oakland at the 2014 Women of the World Poetry Slam.