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Poet Josiah Luís Alderete: Sights & Sounds


Sights & Sounds is your weekly guide to the Bay Area arts scene. Poet and radio maker Josiah Luis Alderete told KALW’s Jen Chien about three fantastic arts events happening around the Bay this week.

Mouth Off is a night of spoken word and soul music featuring Tongo Eisen-Martin, Thea Matthews, and Youssef Alaoui. This will be a night of rapid fire collaboration between these talented spoken word artists and the soul funk band, No Lovely Thing.  Doors open at 8 p.m., and the poetry flows at 9 p.m.


"Thea is amazing! She's a Mission poet. And Tongo, for those of you who haven't seen him perform, is a force of nature."



With the recent news revealing the overwhelming loss of life related to Hurricane Maria, the #PoetsforPuertoRico movement is have holding events all over the country to amplify the needs of the island and to send our community a message: Sometimes poetry is about more than the poetry. Proceeds from this event will support hurricane preparedness for The Poet’s Passage — a living museum of poetry, art center, café, gift store, and local craft studio for local and visiting poets in Old San Juan.

The night will include performances by #PoetsforPuertoRico founder Willie Perdomo, Aya de León, Rico Pabón, Berkeley Poet Laureate Rafael Jesús González, and the band CaliGente, among many more. And if you want to spend a second night at La Peña, Saturday is the their 43rd birthday celebration.

"There's some old school puertoriqueño poets gonna be reading that night. And also a lot of new poets are going to be there ... It's going to be so good! You've got to emphasize the poetry!"

Jim McKay’s first feature film in over a decade takes a slice of life approach to a timely subject: the lives, hopes, dreams, and daily existences of undocumented immigrants in Brooklyn. Bicycle delivery guys, construction workers, dishwashers, deli workers, and cotton candy vendors work long hours six days a week, and then, on the seventh day, they play soccer.

José, a bicycle-delivery worker, is the team’s captain – young, talented, hardworking and responsible. When José’s team makes it to the finals, he and his teammates are thrilled. But his boss throws a wrench into the celebration when he tells José he has to work on Sunday, the day of the finals.


"This one in particular caught my eye, I'll be honest with you ... They called the movie Cassavetes-like. I'm a huge John Cassavetes fan."


Josiah is reading at the Molotov Mouths Reunion on Valencia Street in San Francisco on 6/27, and he'll be reading at the San Frnacisco Main Library on 6/28.