Queens, Chimpanzees, and Gut-Bearing Memoirists: Lit Picks for Feb. 8 – 21
FEBRUARY 7, 2016
Saturday, Feb. 13: One Year Anniversary Party at Liminal, Oakland.
Gina Goldblatt founded Liminal, a feminist writing space in Oakland, as a place where those who feel excluded from the mainstream literary establishment might find community, workshops, and support for the often difficult writing life. Deviance: Inhabit the Liminal Space celebrates the first year of life for this crucial space, and features readings by Daphne Gottleib, Alexandra Naughton, Lauren Traetto, Annah Anti-Palindrome, Lake Lady, Indira Allegra, Alexandra Kostoulas, Liz Green, Brenda Usher-Carpino, Jezebel Delilah X, Chani Bockwinkel, Mk Chavez, Maw Shein Win, Hanna Pesha and Mg Roberts, Joy Elan and Aquelia M. Lewis. Details here
Thanks to Julia Park Tracy for a LIMINAL shout-out in Oakland and Alameda Magazine!
“In terms of events, the usual suspects will make an appearance, such as the reading and performance series BustingOut Storytelling, Tourettes without Regrets, and Quiet Lightning. But there will be newcomers, too. One of those is “Brown People Don’t Read?” which will take place at AU Lounge (2430 Broadway) during the third leg. Curated by the Mills College-based writing group Sunday Stories, it will feature readers whose stories challenge the notion that narratives told by people of color aren’t as central to the American literary canon as those by white authors. “Liminal at the Beast,” also a new addition, will be a strong session of female writers curated by author Gina Goldblatt, the founder of LIMINAL, a feminist writing space in the Laurel district. That will take place during the second leg at Farley’s East (33 Grand Ave.). Also during leg two, Pochino Press and Spectrum Queer Media will be hosting a new session called “Rise!” at Club BNB (2120 Broadway), in which a number of writers and performers will address the theme of proactive resistance.”- East Bay Express “Beast Crawl is Back” By Sarah Burke
Community gathers to support Liminal, new feminist writer space in the Laurel
Behind a pair of red double doors in the Laurel District, a crowd abuzz with chatter, music and artistic critique quieted to a foot-tapping silence as writer and visual artist Indira Allegra stepped to the makeshift center stage and read her poem “Body of the Work.”
Allegra’s piece was the first performance at the pre-opening showcase and fundraiser for Liminal, a new location for feminists and artists to workshop, meet and collaborate. The event — Sunday, Feb. 15 — featured sets of performances by artists, poets and musicians from 2-6 p.m., massages, astrology and a writing station from 6-8 p.m., and a dance party from 6-8 p.m. Throughout the afternoon, people wandered in and poked their heads through the doors, which often flowed over with the diverse crowd squeezing in.
at the pre-opening showcase and fundraiser for Liminal, a new location for feminists and artists to workshop, meet and collaborate. The event — Sunday, Feb. 15 — featured sets of performances by artists, poets and musicians from 2-6 p.m., massages, astrology and a writing station from 6-8 p.m., and a dance party from 6-8 p.m. Throughout the afternoon, people wandered in and poked their heads through the doors, which often flowed over with the diverse crowd squeezing in.
‘To be a feminist is to exist in a liminal space. To be in a neighborhood that hasn’t ever had a venue for Feminist events and workshops, or a venue for creativity such as this before, is to be in a Liminal space,’ said Goldblatt in an email. ‘To encourage and engage in conversations about sexuality, gender, equality, creativity, is to enter in and out of multiple liminal spaces.’
Part of Liminal’s mission is to be accessible to people across the board. Goldblatt said that she intends to offer a low-cost rental fee, package deals and what she calls an inclusive membership that allows people who make under a certain yearly income to attend for free.
‘A lot of people who are in the arts are not making a lot of money, and a lot of people [who] would maybe be interested in taking writing classes will not be able to afford them,” Goldblatt said. “I think we lose a lot of people whose voices aren’t heard because of the fact that writing workshops can be pricey, and it’s, like, a bourgie thing that a lot of people get locked out of.’
According to Allegra, accessibility is one aspect that makes Liminal a valuable and inviting space. Allegra pointed out that Liminal is located along the 57 bus line, and the slope at the end of the sidewalk combined with the building’s wide, flat threshold makes the space accessible to those with a wheelchair or stroller.
Immediately upon walking into Liminal, one is surrounded by art. On the right hand side, a series of colorful, three-dimensional and textile, canvas pieces line the wall. Past the entryway, where Liminal’s mission statement is posted, natural light from the building’s many windows highlight three rectangular strips that hang vertically from the ceiling to the tops of the couches below. Each strip has seven horizontal rows of photographs featuring items like shells, bottles, figurines and a bird’s nest. A sign below describes the piece as Kevin Tijerina’s “Giant Versions of Miniature Things.”
Allegra, who projected a visual piece at the event in addition to her poem, appreciated the mixture of artistic mediums at Liminal, which she feels makes it a uniquely valuable resource for artists.
“I think there is a real need for spaces like this, you know; places wherein people can present work from many different mediums,” Allegra said. “There can be art on the walls, as well as a space for folks to speak poetry … I feel like that’s how art happens and where critical conversations boil up to the surface, when there’s this cross-pollination of folks from different mediums.”
Though she plans to start small, Goldblatt hopes that Liminal will grow into a communal and cooperative place for artists that is be fully operational in March.
“One of the main principles going into this space is really supporting each other and promoting the f— out of each other,”Goldblatt said. “If we are going to combat a system that is not making a ton of space for our voices, then we really have to do that and not make a ton of divisions inside that group.”
Daphne Gottlieb, who taught poetry at Mills during the Fall semester in 2014, is supportive of Goldblatt’s vision for Liminal, and thinks it will become a valuable communal space for feminist artists.
“I’m really proud to be part of the consecration of this space because I think that this speaks to a lack that has existed for a long time now, both in the feminist community and the writing community,” Gottlieb said.
Gerald Chambers, a psychotherapist who lives two doors down from Liminal, was invited to the event by Goldblatt when they crossed paths one day. Chambers said he enjoyed the event and thinks Liminal will draw people in from the surrounding neighborhood.
“I like it; I like it a lot. It’s good for the neighborhood. People have already stuck their heads in the door who are coming back,” Chambers said. “I think it’s very, very new, and we have to give it a chance to catch on, but I think it’s going to be nice. I think people are going to come over here.”
For more information about Liminal, visit theliminalcenter.com.
LIMINAL is mentioned in a Write-up by Tanya Joyce,
An Evening of Selections from ARCANA: The Tarot Poetry Anthology
“The evening at Liminal brought tarot into an ambiance of dynamic interaction between audience and presenters, between listening to tarot poetry and perceiving a mix of card reading and poetry reading. We look forward to more events from Marjorie Jensen and ARCANA contributors.”