Thea Matthews is a poet / scholar / activist born and raised in San Francisco, CA. She earned her BA in Sociology where she studied and taught June Jordan’s Poetry for the People. She writes on the complexities of humanity, grief, and resiliency. She has work in the Acentos Review, Atlanta Review, For Women Who Roar magazine, and others. She is a Tin House scholar; and has delivered her poetry at various festivals including Litquake, Lit Crawl, the National Queer Arts Festival, and the Sonido Music Fest. Her first collection of poetry, Unearth [The Flowers], will be published by Red Light Lit Press spring 2020. Find her IG/Twitter/FB: theamatthews_ and www.theamatthews.com
from the artist
Poetry validates Truth. To see and be seen, feel and be felt, listen and be heard–– poetry honors the body, memory, resiliency of humanity. When I write, I reclaim my voice and feel my own Power. When I write, I see, feel, listen to Spirit. When I write, I join you in love, dialogue, tension. I am no longer alone. I tap into the Source of Strength.
As summer winds down, we start to rev up into another academic year. After you stock up on pencils and notebooks, check out our August GLOW! For August, we're featuring poet and writer stewart shaw
stewart shaw is a poetry and fiction writer who has attended writing conferences in various African nations. His poems have been published in African American Review, Temenos Literary Journal, Serendipity and others, as well as short stories in Mighty Real: An Anthology of African American Same Gender Loving Writing and African Voices. He is a Cave Canem Poetry Fellow. He has a chapbook titled The House of Men from Glass Lyre Press.
We're so honored that RADAR Productions has been selected alongside 99 other movers and shakers in the current arts and literary landscape in the YBCA 100! Each year, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts recognizes and celebrates some of the most notable artists and activists today.
Recognition as a YBCA 100 honoree is a celebration of an individual’s present efforts and acknowledgment that their work will have future impact. Our YBCA 100 honorees come from the Bay Area and around the world. On this list, celebrities rub elbows with unsung heroes, and activists and artists are as revered as pop stars. It is a list unlike any other.
This year's list of honorees includes community favorites such as Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Jr. and well known celebrities Lizzo and Billy Porter. We're proud that the work we do here at RADAR is being spotlighted amongst such esteemed activists and artists.
Please submit all applications to this link.
Radar Productions is currently looking for prospective members for our Development Committee to help raise funds for RADAR’s presenting, commissioning, touring, and artist development programs. The Development Committee takes the lead on all of RADAR's fundraising activity and will produce and host at least two fundraisers per calendar year, while helping cultivate individual donations via our annual ask.
Founded in 2003, RADAR Productions is one of the nation’s highest profile literary arts organizations focused on queer and trans people of color (QTPOC). Our presenting, commissioning and touring programs re-imagine what the literary arts can be, stimulate the production of work by QTPOC artists and explore the community-building role played by literature and the arts. Our programs build community and create a platform for innovative, emerging and mid-career queer and trans artists of color whose works challenge mainstream concepts of culture, race, gender, sexuality and class and authentically reflect the experiences of QTPOC.
Throughout its 13-year history RADAR has employed the arts to build and amplify a queer community that creates innovative artistic interventions to culture, meaningful transformation for artists’ lives and life-changing and life-affirming access to the literary arts for our audiences. RADAR has always prioritized an inward-facing method: queer artists dialoguing with queer audiences in hopes of strengthening and affirming community, rather than queer artists representing a monolithic queer experience to straight audiences in hopes of being humanized. As such, RADAR prioritizes artistic process/practice, recognizing that the spirit of experimentation, creativity and “art first” has greater potential for cultural change than the expectation that queer artists consistently be expected to be representational first.
We're soaking into summer's fog and still accepting submissions for Sister Spit until July 20th! For this month's GLOW feature, we're taking a break from poetry. and focusing on other literary genres that are being queered by our QTPOC brethren. July's literary artist is short story author and essayist, Nancy Au!
Nancy Au’s stories and essays appear in Redivider, Gulf Coast, Michigan Quarterly Review, among others. She teaches creative writing (to biology majors!) at California State University Stanislaus, and is co-founder of The Escapery. Her debut full-length collection, Spider Love Song & Other Stories, is forthcoming from Acre Books, September 2019.
Happy Pride everyone! As we prepare for parades and celebrations, we also honor our queer elders who came before us, especially the trans women of color activists who have started these modern Pride movements, and who are still fighting for their lives and for a better world we can all benefit from. This month's featured poet is Tanea Lunsford Lynx.
Tanea Lunsford Lynx is a is a writer, abolitionist, and fourth generation Black San Franciscan on both sides. She earned a BA from Columbia University and an MA from the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS). She has more than 10 years of experience as a performing artist, curator, activist and educator in San Francisco.
Our 2019 Sister Spit Tour was a hit and we're heading on the road in 2020. We're currently accepting applications on Submittable for our 2020 tour and we want YOU to apply! Sister Spit is a 16-18 day tour that takes place in March each year. We offer 7 QTPOC artists the opportunity to develop skills on tour and showcase their work.
Sister Spit began in San Francisco in the 1990s as a weekly, girls-only open mic that was an alternative to the misogyny-soaked poetry open mics popular around the city (and the nation) at that time. Inspired by two-bit punk bands who managed to go on the road without hardly knowing how to play their instruments, Sister Spit became the first all-girl poetry roadshow at the end of the 90s, and toured regularly with such folks as Eileen Myles, Marci Blackman, Beth Lisick and Nomy Lamm.
The tour was revived as Sister Spit: The Next Generation in 2007, and has toured the United States annually since, with authors and performers such as Chinaka Hodge, Dorothy Allison, Lenelle Moise and Justin Vivian Bond. In this next incarnation, out of respect to the changing gender landscape of our queer and literary communities, Sister Spit welcomes artists of all genders, so long as they mesh with the tour’s historic vibe of feminism, queerness, humor and provocation.
Applications close July 6, 2019!
Welcome back for May's installment of GLOW! Not only is this month's GLOW feature a Seattle Civic Poet, Anastacia-Renee is also curating RADAR Superstar on Thursday, June 6th at 5:30pm-7:30pm at the Koret Auditorium. Join us for face painting, kiki-ing, and of course, the future of storytelling.
Anastacia-Renee is a multi-genre writer, educator, and interdisciplinary artist. She is the recipient of the 2018, James W. Ray Distinguished Artist Award for Washington artists (Artist Trust), and has served as the Seattle Civic Poet from 2017-2019, and the 2015-2017 Poet-in-Residence at Hugo House. She is the author of several books and her work has been published widely.
From the Artist:
If you were to go on the Sister Spit tour, what is one thing you cannot leave home without?
My essential body oils!
What are some of your artistic influences/inspirations?
Too many to name! Right now, many of my writing ancestors..dead poets, writers and artist who have passed down the legacy of writing and arting down to me/us.
Describe your work in 5 words.
raw black unpolished neon funk
When KiKi Gets to be The Bell of the Ball
“omg this is my favorite song & drake is
so cute…like i wanna be his kiki.”
In the way that drake asks: kiki do you love me
i ask the nation
(or just my colleagues)
(or just my neighbors)
(or just my waiter)
(or just my doctor)
(or just the police)
do you love me
haven’t i kept your children
alive & your contemporary
don’t you feast on the lard
in your american pie
crust of bread
in my black pudding
don’t you trust in
the gentrification of
the way you trust
god on all your dollars
Black Bodies (BE)
black bodies IS tired
from the sambo/hambo/
they exorcised out
ain’t no sit-down for the artist//ain't no spa date
for the poets pores
sweat IS the new
i can’t believe it’s not butter but it is not the fattening thing /you/ want to give
black bodies just BE told
BE still or (breast ass tittie) nipple if ya nasty but bodies can’t afford a
just BE like it’ll all work out in the end if you pray hard after Pilates & yoga &
acupuncture but it BE a cost to the black bodies pocket & the body decides to
exorcise on its own
& ain’t gone BE no more guinea pig or let’s see or throw away or testing on this
body & this body ain’t gone release nothing but the bruise that it BE.
black bodies are woe/out of being the go to bodies of let-me-tell-you what not to
do as in if someone kicked YOU down & bled YOU out YOU would not be
expected to explain how kicking is a bad thing YOU there with blood all over your
hands & tiny heaving parts crushed under the weight /at no time/as in not ever as
in black bodies don’t get an intermission or whistle or spring break or emoji
shrug the black off the body as in YOU could check out of this poem as in black
bodies cannot check out//can barely go to the store with out how it BE & how it
really IS (even now)
when i was 7 & clans members rode up in a red truck (or maybe white or maybe
blue) with a confederate flag waving at me (hi little girl hi little nigger hi little
object hi little short rib) & shit on the fender at the midwest 7 eleven where mama
was inside I DID. I DID mumble-pray -head down-eyes open to be a white girl
which is not to say praying to be visible but just to be safe. a(men).
when the sun sets
you become the
tensile skin of an alligator
green-brittle. & shedding
or an allegation biting
or an alleged sacrifice
for your future altar
of a ghost
floating in all
We're happy to announce the comeback of our GLOW! Each month, the RADAR blog will feature a queer literary artist to engage our community. For April, we have jamal rashad. jamal rashad is a Black, a Queer, an optimist when careful, a massage therapist, and poet. He has received a fellowship from The Watering Hole Poetry. His work has been featured in Maji Press, Argot Magazine, "Blackgirldangerous.com", the "Moonsalt" chapbook , and Against Equality. Currently, Jamal is working as a fiction editor for African Voices Magazine, and an editor for the forthcoming Imagoes; a Queer Anthology, being published through Love, Pain & Poetry Publishing.
Single Room Occupancy
After Wanda Coleman
The mold on my windowsill is conspiring against me to form a union
with the fungi on my sheet thin mattress and my neighbor tells me
with a full chest/ eyes swimming in water, that he is sending off
to Africa for a bride and ask what i think is a fair price
music is the slow drag of the mules at 6 am headed to pasture
only giving pause for the widow, on the other side of me, whos still screaming
about 1992 and the mice we both hear at dawn, living defiantly
has brought me solitude in a room, in neutral, in a shack
squat , in this gray struck place and slumped
on this cushionless pastel chair where i cover the chipped paint of the walls
with what art a week of sucks on unemployment can buy-
my thighs have been without moisture for months
and now the only comforts i have are in the thousands of trite little
verses i manage to write monthly, hoping to strike gold
there is a man in philadelphia who has hexed me and try as i might
I can't seem to keep the weight off
home is unmonitored doses of sleeping pills to silence
the mariachi coming from two flights down
i'm on the 5th floor and home is the light on the phone telling me
that the sender, somewhere, has some good dirt to share
sometimes i sleep in the same outfit twice hoping it will look just as good tmrw
since my money is scarce and i can't always drop quarters at the laundromat
sometimes i sleep for days and wake up missing things i can't remember
appointments for stamps, case worker visits, inspection dates.
sometimes I startle awake from my nap, feet slapping the floor
looking in the mirror, after i've done a once over and counted where them bugs done bit.
“...least I still got my eyes.”
a boy drowns in the river, which is flooding.
a boy maps out the change in currents.
boys, throwing bones in a courtyard, hear a person on the news speak about the boy who has drowned.
the boys, on a bus, read about the boy who has drowned.
the boys, who march, raise money for the families of other boys who have been taken under tow.
boys, with bloated skin, give lectures about the importance of reading moon charts.
a boy threatens to drown.
A boy cynicist, reads the skies and warns that there will be more drowning- silent, painful and slow.
boys become professional lifeguards.
near the gap, boys gather to make nice under trees, turn each other around and dance.
some boys lay wreaths.
a boy bathes himself in river water, finds the mouth and makes his bed.
Hoy vengo a decir adiós.
Michelle Tea gave me the best job I’ve ever had. I remember meeting her downtown at a coffee shop that’s not there anymore, she came with Atti, her kid, on a stroller. That day we spoke for hours. I had a hard time swallowing the surprise that I was soon to be the director of the place where I had witnessed so much queer magic and brilliance. RADAR Productions, the home of queer literature in SF. The first place that ever paid me to read. The first reading series in San Francisco where I witnessed writing that pushed all the boundaries of craft and storytelling. Where I said, you can write like that? And do that? On stage!? A place where all misfits, all the weirdos found a home to experiment and witness the insane power of queer literature. A place where I found a home.
It’s been a wild four years since then. We’ve done so much together. I am incredibly grateful for the community of artists who welcomed me from the beginning into this position. Thank you for believing in my vision for RADAR. For helping me craft that vision by showing up at our events, by giving me feedback, by filling up every room with your creativity and brilliance. You have made this possible. Every single one of you that has shared the RADAR stage has shaped its trajectory. Thank you.
I will be leaving my position at the end of the fiscal year, in June. Imani Sims, our current managing director, will take on the executive and artistic director position. Imani is an incredible writer, community organizer and curator. During the last eight months that we’ve worked together I’ve seen her extraordinary passion and leadership in supporting queer writers. She’s a visionary, a problem-solver and an incredibly kind and honest human being. RADAR is in really great hands, y’all. Please continue to support this space, support Imani in her vision and support the queer writers that keep the magic of literature alive.
To say that RADAR changed my life is an understatement.
Me voy con el corazón lleno.
Mil gracias y mucho amor.
Juliana Delgado Lopera
Imani Sims is a curator, alchemist, and author. She believes in the healing power of ritual, performance art, and the power of words. She is the Curator of Kitchen Sessions, a running show series in collaboration with Central District Forum for Arts and Ideas, Bellevue Art Museum, Seattle Art Museum, and Theater Off Jackson. Her goal is to continue to shift the social narrative by providing artists of color with resources that empower and display our stories in public spaces all over the nation. Her book (A)live Heart is available on Sibling Rivalry Press.