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Babar in Exile #22: Up Close and Personal

February 13, 2020 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm PST

Free of charge

Babar in Exile will be ending in May, and for its penultimate installment we proudly feature a lineup of queer readers who will take a close look at all our lives. Two of our features honed their chops at the original Café Babar and remain performers of towering skill, and the third is blazing a trail as we speak. Three-time SF Slam Team member and former Lake County Poet Laureate Russell Reza-Khaliq Gonzaga will share some of his Filipino American gaze, while special educator, Union activist, and longtime Berkeley resident Tim Xonnelly will endow us with some true Bay Area queerness. And “Honorary Babarian” Anna Allen will vibe us with some next-gen activist energy.

So come on down to check out a slice of Bay Area poetry history, now and in the making, and make your way home with a bindle full of inspiration and a thimbleful more hope for the species.


Babar in Exile #22: Up Close and Personal
a revival of the Cafe Babar, Paradise Lounge, and Club Chameleon reading series

Russell Reza-Khaliq Gonzaga
Tim Xonnelly
and “Honorary Babarian” Anna Allen

and you, in our all-inclusive open mic

Hosted by Richard Loranger and Paul Corman-Roberts



Three-time SF Poetry Slam team member, Russell Reza-Khaliq Gonzaga honed his poetic and spoken word skills at Cafe Babar on a weekly basis. Gonzaga is an esteemed member of the arts, activism, and healing communities. The sixth Poet Laureate of Lake County, former bookstore co-owner, and resident of Harbin Hot Springs, Gonzaga was displaced by the devastating Valley Fire in 2015. He has recently returned to San Francisco where he is working on his first novel. Born in the Philippines and raised in the East Bay, Gonzaga has been a dervish, minister, writer, freelance journalist, editor, social justice activist, arts educator, youth mentor, and martial artist. He states: “Giving expression and voice to our grief, rage, hopes, and joys serve the healing of an individual, and in turn, a community.”

Tim Xonnelly is a special educator and Union activist living in downtown Berkeley since 1991. He’s recently had poetry published in Be About It, Naked Bulb 2018 Anthology, the-fabulist.org, 11 Eleven, Cross Strokes: Poetry Between Los Angeles and San Francisco, and 1001 Nights: Twenty Years of Redondo Poets at Coffee Cartel.

Born in Stockton, CA, Anna Allen has been writing fairy tales and tragedies since childhood. Her work has appeared in various literary mags and journals. You can read some of her work on Sparkle and Blink, Chronically Lit, The Scribelrus, and Little Death Lit.


February 13, 2020
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm PST
Free of charge
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