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VIRTUAL: Wall + Response: Celeste Chan, MK Chavez, Paul Corman-Roberts & Tim Xonnelly

April 30 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm PDT

Booksmith and The Bindery are proud to host a four-event series presented by Clarion Alley Mural Project (CAMP) called Wall + Response, featuring sixteen Bay Area poets responding to the social/ political/ racial/ justice narratives of four murals on Clarion Alley.

Curated by CAMP artist and organizer Megan Wilson (wall) and poet Maw Shein Win (response), the third event in the series features Celeste ChanMK ChavezPaul Corman-Roberts and Tim Xonnelly responding to the mural Affordable Housing/Vivienda Asequible by Art Hazelwood/SF Print Collective working with the Western Regional Advocacy Project (WRAP).

Affordable Housing/Vivienda Asequible (2016) by the SF Print Collective working with the Western Regional Advocacy Project (WRAP) represents people working together against the structures of oppression to become a powerful force of nurturance, peace, and justice. The mural speaks to WRAP’s critical work to expose and eliminate the root causes of homelessness and poverty, empower communities to demand protection of civil and human rights, and advocate for restoring federal funding for affordable housing. The mural will travel to Los Angeles’ Skid Row later in 2021.

This virtual event is free and all ages, but RSVP is required.


Wall + Response was originally conceived to culminate in four quarterly public events to be presented on Clarion Alley. However, due to the pandemic the poets will instead be filmed by videographer Mahima Kotian reading their work in front of the murals on Clarion Alley. Kotian will be creating videos for each series that will be presented as part of live online events (of which this is the first). All the events are free and open to the public.

The poets are creating new poems in response to the murals, and will be reading those and other selected works at the events. The specific dates for each event will be announced in the month prior to the event.

Wall + Response is made possible by the generous support of the San Francisco Art Commission and the Zellerbach Family Foundation.


Celeste Chan is a writer and filmmaker, schooled by Do-It-Yourself culture and immigrant parents from Malaysia and the Bronx. She launched her creative work in San Francisco in 2004. She founded and directed Queer Rebels (a queer and trans people of color arts project), created and curated experimental films, joined Foglifter Literary Journal as an editor and board member, and toured with legendary feminist road show, Sister Spit. Her writing can be found in Ada, AWAY, Citron Review, cream city review’s genrequeer folio, Feminist Wire, Gertrude, Hyphen blog, The Rumpus, and elsewhere.

MK Chavez is the award-winning author of Mothermorphosis and Dear Animal,. Chavez is co-curator of the reading series Lyrics & Dirges, co-director of the Berkeley Poetry Festival, and poetry editor at Rivet Literary Journal. She is the recipient of the PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award of an Alameda County Arts Leadership Award. Her most recent publications can be found in bags of coffee from Nomadic Coffee and on the Academy of American Poets Poem-A-Day series.

Paul Corman-Roberts‘ 2nd full length collection of Bone Moon Palace will be released by Nomadic Press in the Fall of 2020. Previous collections include his full length debut The Abomunauts Are Coming To Piss On Your Lawn (Howling Dog Press, 2006) and the chapbook collections NeoCom(muter) (Tainted Coffee Press, 2009) 19th Street Station (Full of Crow Chap Series, 2011), Notes From An Orgy (Paper Press, 2014) and We Shoot Typewriters (Nomadic Press, 2015.) His poem “Sausalito” won the Out of Our Magazine poetry contest in 2010 and his short story “The Deathbed Confession of Christopher Walken” placed 2nd in subTerrain Magazine’s national fiction contest in Canada. A three-time Pushcart and Best of Web nominee, he currently teaches workshops for the Older Writer’s Lab in conjunction with the San Francisco Public Library as well as the San Francisco Creative Writing Institute. He sometimes fills in as drummer for the U.S. Ghostal Service.

Tim Xonnelly was an LA poet in the late 1980s; co-facilitator of the Beyond Baroque Poetry Workshop, curator of the poetry series at Angel’s Gate Cultural Center in San Pedro, frequently published in Shattersheet and The Moment. Since 1991 he’s lived and worked in Downtown Berkeley. He taught disabled adults in a community-based program through ARC. Since 2000, he’s worked as a para-educator in the Berkeley Unified School District, specializing with students severely affected by autism. He served as the president of the Classified Union 2006-2008. His chapbooks include Velcro Heart (1989), A Season in Bed (1998), and I skip the long ones too (2004). His poems are featured in the anthologies Cross-Strokes: Poetry Between Los Angeles and San Francisco (2015) and 1001 Nights: Twenty Years of Redondo Poets at Coffee Cartel (2018). Recent poetry publications include The Racket Quarantine Journal, Berkeley Times, The Oakland Review, Sparkle & Blink, and the Naked Bulb.