Celebrating Women Poets from The Bay Area and SoCal in Oakland

March is National Women’s History (though some might call it Herstory) Month. There is absolutely no doubt that women have been a pillar throughout history, and specific contributions from inspirational women are highlighted during the month of March. It is important that we not focus exclusively on past contributions women have made throughout history, but that we also highlight current contributions women are making in all areas. The Laurel Book Store, located in Oakland, California, will be doing just that, celebrating the literary contributions of women poets from the Bay Area and Southern California on Saturday, March 31st, 2018.

The Laurel Book Store will be hosting a book reading and book signing focused on highlighting the topic of ‘The Body and Healing.’ Four women poets will be reading from their works, providing invaluable insight into this essential topic. The poets, all native to the Bay Area or Southern California, are Kira Lynne Allen, Natalie J. Graham, Julayne Lee, and Janice Sapigao. It will be a night in which women and men will be given the chance to come together and participate in a conversation led by women who are currently changing the literary scene in California.

It is, unfortunately, too easy to relegate the history women have made, and are currently making, to a single month. The month of March is both a reminder that women have and can continue to change the world, but also that we continue to live within a male-dominated culture that necessitates highlighting women’s achievements during a single month in order for men to maintain a sense of power. As the husband of a strong woman who is an exemplary parent, educator, and community leader and as the father of an independent young daughter who is unapologetically artistic, confident, and unafraid of growth, I am reminded everyday that power dynamics cannot hold up in the face of love and mutual respect.

I am excited to have the opportunity to listen to four impactful women speak to our community about the importance of the body and healing. I am extremely grateful for independent bookstores that support literacy and community engagement through events like the reading and book signing taking place on March 31st, 2018 at Laurel Book Store. The event will begin at 6:30 PM with book buying, followed by readings at 7:00 PM, then ending with book signing at 8:00 PM. If you find yourself in or around Oakland on March 31st, I invite you to join this powerful event — you will not remain unchanged!

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Robel Espino

Robel Espino

Robel Espino is an education specialist assistant, worked as an after school instructor, and serves as a youth leader in his local church. A first-generation college graduate, Robel attended California State University, East Bay in Hayward, CA, and received a degree in English Literature. Robel is an Oakland native who received k-12 education in the cities of Oakland, San Pablo, and Richmond, CA. He is a husband, and a father of a four-year old.

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