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Words as Sanctuary Poetry Reading

Info for April 5, 2019 poetry reading at MJC

Words as Sanctuary: Poetry as Community, a partnership between the MJC Library & Learning Center, MJC Counseling, UndocuAlly DREAM Network, and the Modesto-Stanislaus Poetry Center. This event made possible by a grant from the MJC Foundation 

CONTACT: Stella Beratlis


Aideed Medina

Aideed Medina, poet and spoken word artist, creates and performs poetry in English, or Spanish, as dictated by the inspiration of each individual piece. She enjoys mentoring high school students under the direction of the Fresno Poet Laureate, Bryan Medina, with the Poetry Out Loud Program, and for youth slam competitions throughout the California central valley. She was honored to be the 2017 Representative for the Loud Mouth Poetry Slam of Visalia, CA at the Women of the World Poetry Slam DTX, and recently received the 2017 Fresno Arts Council Horizon Award for her contributions to the city’s artistic and cultural scene in the category of individual artist. She is currently working on her first two manuscripts, “A California Dime” and “Mis Papelitos.” Her work has appeared in Revista Literaria Austral, Fresno State's Club Austral literary magazine and Flies, Cockroaches and Poets, the Chicano Writers and Artists Association journal. Online she has work on La Bloga, Poets Responding, Art of the Commune: La comuna, and as part of a collection of original art songs composed for The Opera Remix, Fresno Grand Opera.


Esther Lin

Esther Lin was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and lived in the United States as an undocumented immigrant for 21 years. She is the author of The Ghost Wife, winner of the 2018 Poetry Society of America’s Chapbook Fellowship. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Adroit, Copper Nickel, Cortland Review, Crazyhorse, Drunken Boat, the Missouri Review, Vinyl, and elsewhere. She was awarded the Crab Orchard Review’s 2018 Richard Peterson Poetry Prize, and was a recipient of the inaugural Undocupoets fellowship and a Poets House Emerging Poets fellowship.


Soul Vang

Soul Vang is the author of Song of the Cluster Bomblet (forthcoming from Blue Oak Press) and To Live Here  (2014 Imaginary Friend Press Poetry Prize). Soul is a poet, teacher, and U.S. Army veteran. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from California State University, Fresno and is an editorial member of the Hmong American Writers’ Circle (HAWC). His writing is published in Academy of American Poets (,Water ~Stone Review, Black Earth Institute, Abernathy Magazine, Asian American Literary Review, Fiction Attic Press, In the Grove, The Packinghouse Review, Southeast Asia Globe, and The New York Times, among others.






Pos Moua

Pos Moua is a Hmong-American writer, educator, and poet who lives in Merced with his wife and their five children. He is the author of the chapbook "Towards the World Where the Torches Are Burning" (Swan Scythe Press, 2001), the first published work from a Hmong American poet. He has published work in How Do I Begin?: A Hmong American Literary Anthology, Tilting the Continent: Southeast Asian American Writing, UC Davis Poetry Review, Sacramento’s "Poetry Now," and National Poetry." Pos Moua's new book, Karst Mountains Will Bloom, is forthcoming with Blue Oak Press in April 2019.



Yu-Han Chao

Yu-Han (Eugenia) Chao was born and grew up in Taipei, Taiwan. Her poetry books & chapbooks were published by Another New Calligraphy, BOAAT Press, Dancing Girl Press, and University of Nebraska Press. Her new short story collection, Sex & Taipei City, is now out with Red Hen.