Today’s event with poet, activist and feminist Nellie Wong was inspiring. I have not heard an eighty-one year old woman say cunt as casually as I heard her say it today, and I don’t think I will stop feeling grateful for her for it for some time to come.
Nellie Wong read poetry from several of her collections of poetry today, including poems about forced prostitution in countries like Thailand and Vietnam and a poem about her mother that expressed a longing for her scoldings as well as a poignant desire for the softness her mother endowed on strangers but not, as readily, her kin.
A poetry reading with Nellie Wong, it turns out, is much more like a delving into her whole being. She told anecdotes about her work as a secretary where supervisors would refer to her as “that Indian woman” or an instance where she was told to translate, even after she stated that the man she was being asked to provide a translation for was speaking Korean.
There is not a lack of issues, Nellie said, in response to a question about her experience with Feminism throughout the years and the state of women today.
Jezebel Delilah X, opened for Nellie Wong with two existence altering pieces about love and the selection of her performance name. As with all of JDX’s pieces, nothing is ever just about love or just about a name. Somehow, she manages to wrap an inordinate amount of history, references to other works, quotations and an impressive performance to her pieces. As a queer woman of color in her early 30’s with a day designated to her through the Town of Oakland for her contributions to the community, Jezebel Delilah X is an activist and creatrix made of the same determination, vision and talent as Nellie Wong.
To the power of voice and these two inspiring women!
Check out Nellie Wong’s latest collection of Poetry, Breakfast Lunch Dinner, and get more info on Radical Women, the Socialist Feminist Organization she is an active member of.
In 2015 LIMINAL’s tagline and mission statement was “Theory Made Actual,” a notion that meant walk your talk, in terms of acknowledging and moving past the history of Feminism being a privileged white woman’s word and reality, in terms of our personal and collective voices as women, as gender non-conforming, as gay, bi, pan or a-sexual, as trans people of all social classes and racial backgrounds, being the voices of our truths and our experiences, undiluted by the pressure of the patriarchy to shut up, water down or take blame for what is real. In 2015, though LIMINAL was started with the idea that “feminism” could become something more than it has been in the past, could be done differently so as not exclude people of color and pretty much everyone not white, of a certain income and privilege and accompanying set of blinders on, the word is still problematic. Though the term “intersectional feminism” exists, it is also too often a part of the politically correct verbiage that all pseudo liberals have mastered in speech and are not making any moves towards putting into action. I have started to say that LIMINAL is a Feminist and Womanist space, which is better, but still not good enough. We are far from making theory actual, to the point it is necessary to change the reality of our world and society, but the dedication to this cause remains in 2016.
In addition, LIMINAL is going into 2016 with the notion of Deviance & Inhabiting the liminal space. We are not only here, walking our talk, but we are HERE living, breathing, crying, fighting, BEING. To the rest of the world, what is necessary may look deviant. Good. That means we are doing something right. Buy Tickets to February Soiree
In 2015, LIMINAL has been witness some of the most powerful voices of the Bay Area through our bi-monthly showcases. LIMINAL was a part of Beast Crawl this year, capturing an array of narratives from the creative to the journalistic to the academic. LIMINAL held community workshops with Chandra Friend and Brenda Usher Carpino, a Solo Performance Group made up of Liz Green, Sarah Elovitch and Elana Issacs, a pop-up weekend residency focusing on Experimental Fiction writing with Gina Goldblatt and Poetry writing with Liz Demi Green. Brenda Usher-Carpino and Gina Goldblatt attended the Laurel Street Fair and made friends, including one who ended up in Brenda’s Writing the Dramatic Dialogue Workshop. Julia Park Tracy taught a one time workshop on social media and platform for writers.
LIMINAL continues because of the amazing people that come perform here, that support events, that hash out ideas, propose solutions, and give their love and appreciation and their open-mouthed and armed selves. Recently, LIMINAL’s first advisory board meeting took place, looking towards 2016 and how to make some more of our ideas reality.
In 2016, LIMINAL is expanding and solidifying its programming and community. We continue to have community workshops priced at $100 for 6 weeks of 2 hour sessions, with a final reading at the end. We continue to have bi-monthly showcases of Feminist and Womanist writers, performers and other narrative artists. We continue to host book readings, discussions, and intensives. New for 2016, we will be focusing on setting up the space to support working artist hours and night owl coworking memberships, which will include discounted rentals of the space and access to a like-minded community.
This is all to say, thank you everyone who has been involved, who has sent good vibes over to the space, and those who will be here in the future. Thank you also to the fucked up world for providing inspiration. We seek to reform, educate and if necessary, beat you into a more enlightened existence.
The first calls of 2016 are for Work-Study shifts at LIMINAL in return for free membership, Winter Writing Instructors for Workshops to start feb 20th and Visual Artists to submit their work for the Feb 13th One Year Anniversary Soiree. Please spread the word and help us move into 2016 and inhabit the hell out of the liminal space!