Quiet Lightning presents the sixth Better Ancestors, featuring readings and performance by Kevin Madrigal Galindo, Landon Smith, Lorenz Mazon Dumuk and Donté Clark!
Join us for our first in-person event since March '20, to be held at Medicine for Nightmares!
One of Quiet Lightning’s efforts to diversify and move toward racial equity, Better Ancestors is a new quarterly showcase of writers of color. Developed in partnership with Michael Warr, the series features 5 authors reading or performing whatever they choose. Each author selects one performer for the following show, so the series – and community – is self-generating. All authors are paid and published in an end of the year anthology.
Why Better Ancestors? As one of our initiatives to diversify from a board that has historically been mostly white, this showcase aims to provide a long-term, forward-thinking goal. As a society, we are suffering the consequences of pervasive systemic injustice against people of color, queer and trans people, the poor, disabled, and otherwise disadvantaged. But we are all ancestors of the future. If the planet is to remain inhabitable; if the function of humanity is not to sort and oppress our descendants based on their skin color, accent, or material property, we must be better ancestors. This begins by listening to one another, and by giving each other space to be heard.
Kevin Madrigal Galindo is a food justice advocate that is reimagining health with ancestral Mexican cooking. He is a first-generation Chicano hijo de su chingada madre from South San Francisco by way of Zapopan, Jalisco. Kevin’s work has been featured in The Boiler, Bozalta, The San Franciscan, & Edible East Bay. His first chapbook Hell/a Mexican is out now(!) with Nomadic Press. Kevin shines light on the comunidad whose work supports countless American lives. In his free time, you can find him feeling his feelings to highly curated R&B playlists.
Landon Smith (he/him) is a father, a professor, a poet, a painter, half Mende and half Balanta & Fulani, that feeling of falling that wakes you up in a dream, the amethyst geode on your desk, Angela Davis’ afro, Frantz Fanon’s pocket notebook, Walter Rodney’s fingernail, the 7-10 bowling split, your favorite pillow. Despite his institutional degrees, he really became a poet through the East Side Arts Alliance in Oakland. Landon thanks his older sister Alia for buying him his first journal, starting his ever-evolving relationship with words. You can often find him processing the world through poetry.
Lorenz Mazon Dumuk is a poet, spoken word artist, and curator. He is a VONA alumni, and a MALI (Multicultural Arts Leadership Institute) alumni. Ay Nako: Writing Through the Struggle, and I Think In Poetry, are the titles of his two book collections of poetry. Lorenz had curated various events such as ReWrite Open Mic, Glowing with the Moon, and the Eastridge Open Mic. His want to create a nourishing experience at his events, pushes his desire to connect communities and its people.
Donté Clark is an actor, stage and film director, scriptwriter, lyricist and Public Defense attorney consultant. His recently collection of poetry Close Caskets was released Feb 2021, available now on Amazon. All of Donté’s work as an artist and community member is dedicated to shifting the narrative(s) of black/aborigine peoples history; While challenging educators and courtroom officials to abolish all racist policies.
Rhea Dhanbhoora (pictured above, to the right) lives and writes in Upstate NY. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in various publications including Five on the Fifth, Chronogram, Connecticut Mag, Artsy, Broccoli Mag, sPARKLE & bLINK, and JMWW. She’s currently a freelance writer and editor, reads for literary magazines, is on the Board for Quiet Lightning, and is working on several creative projects, among which is a linked collection about women, based in the underrepresented Parsi Zoroastrian diaspora. Her chapbook, Sandalwood-Scented Skeletons, is just out from Finishing Line Press.
Now in its 13th year, Quiet Lightning is a literary movement to create and foster community around the written and spoken word. QL aims to democratize public space by offering performances, curation opportunities, and programming with no barriers to entry, providing a launchpad for new and emerging artists, a reliable platform for professional writers, and an inclusive, accessible gathering place for the public. QL is committed to care-taking and progressing the rich threads of literary culture that exist in the San Francisco Bay Area. Recognized by the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts as one of the 100 “people, organizations, and movements who are shaping the future of culture”, Quiet Lightning’s flagship is the literary mixtape, a submission-based series with a blind selection process and different curators for each show. The shows, which are free to attend, are published as books, handed out free to the first 100 people, and all participating artists are paid. QL has now produced 145 shows featuring 1,780 readings by 928 local authors in 91 venues, ranging from dive bars and art galleries to state parks and national landmarks, and has published 118 books and produced two films, all selected by 77 different curators. In 2019, Quiet Lightning pioneered an application process for limited-term board-membership, called Disruptors, to regularly bring new ideas and energy into the organization. QL maintains Litseen.com, a daily calendar of literary events.
Every tax deductible donation helps Quiet Lightning invest in a sustainable, ethical arts ecosystem, with the goal of building that culture into the fabric of our lives. You can donate by Venmo or PayPal or pledge a recurring donation by becoming one of our supporters on Patreon, which comes with a few additional perks and helps us expand on the work that we do.
featured images: Counter-clockwise from top L: Landon Smith by Illuminate Arts, Lorenz Mazon Dumuk, Donté Clark by Molly Cranna, Kevin Madrigal Galindo; top right: Rhea Dhanbhoora, courtesy of the authors unless otherwise noted