417 N Broadway b, Santa Ana, CA 92701

1:00PM - 2:00PM

Curator: Laura Robinson
Theme: Celebrating the work of Enrique Pilozo

Enrique Pilozo

Enrique Pilozo was born in Ecuador, Enrique came to the States when he was seventeen years old, he has written, produced and directed several short films and a full length documentary. He is a graphic artist, a writer as well as an actor, he has also published several books. Enrique Pilozo won two awards from the Oaxacan Film Festival for his film The Replacement/ El Reemplazo.  Other films include “Los dibujantes” ,“The night of broken pencils, La noche de los lápices”.

Enrique Pilozo no es Fulgencio, ni como Honoré de Balzac daría un reino por un argumento, pero su pasión igual que una flecha etrusca, une la psicología, el cine, el comic, la literatura, y como acertando en una diana, ha cosechado frutos a nivel nacional en su natal Ecuador, e internacionalmente, en Estados Unidos y otros países. Igualmente, este hombre comprometido con las ilustraciones y las letras ha escrito columnas de opinión para medios importantes, tiene algunos libros en su haber, y ha realizado seis cortometrajes en español e inglés, mejor dicho, es un hombre interesante e inquieto, creativamente hablando. (diegofirmiano.wordpress.com).”

2:00PM - 3:00PM

Curator: Laura Robinson / Session Curator Sussanah Drissi
Title: Author Talk by Sussanah Rodriguez Drissi“Until We Were Fish”


Susannah Rodriguez Drissi is the award-winning author of Until We’re Fish (2020), a Nautilus Book Award winner and winner of the International Latino Book Award Gold Medal for Best Historical Fiction. Her work has appeared in journals and anthologies such as In Season: Stories of Discovery, Loss, Home, and Places in Between, winner of the 2018 Florida Book Award; Publisher’s Weekly; the Los Angeles Review of Books; Miami Herald; Nuevo Herald; Saw Palm; Literal Magazine; Diario de Cuba (Madrid); SX Salon; and the Acentos Review, among many others. Her award-winning play, Houses Without Walls, premiered at the Hollywood Fringe Festival in 2018. More recently, her plays, The Fruit Flies and Rey y Atenea premiered at the Lee Strasberg Film & Theatre Institute, in Los Angeles. Rey y Atenea received an Audience Choice Award and was Finalist for the 2019 NBC Universal Talent Infusion Programs Award. Rodríguez Drissi is also the author of The Latin Poet’s Guide to the Cosmos (Floricanto Press, 2019) and Rey y Atenea / Rey and Atenea, a Bilingual Edition (Cassandra Press, 2019). She has a Ph.D. in comparative literature from the University of California, Los Angeles, where she is on the faculty of the Writing Programs.

3:00PM - 4:00PM

Curator: Laura Robinson /Session Curator Brian Glaser
Title: “Green Party Tetralogy” A Poetry Reading by Author Brian Glaser

Session Description: Glaser will read from four books of poems written during the Trump Era, one each year. In these poems I sought to keep alive eco-socialist political hopes and values in a dark time.


BRIAN GLASER lives in Santa Ana and works as an educator at Chapman University. He has worked as a grant writer for Catholic Charities of the East Bay in Oakland and as a dramaturg for The Wooden Floor in Santa Ana. He has published four books of poems and more than twenty essays on poetry and poetics. 

4:00PM - 5:00PM

Space Curator: Historian/Urban Planner Manny Escamilla
Laura Robinson/ Session Curator Manny Escamilla
Theme: The Godmother of Latin American & Chicana/o Art: A look at the life, writings, and impact of Professor Shifra Goldman.

Event Description: Professor Shifra Goldman was one of the first academics to seriously study Chicano/a & Latin American Art. Her pioneering work in the field was paired with a lifetime of activism, an encyclopedic knowledge of artwork, an eagerness to teach others, and a willingness to vocally defend threatened Chicano/a and Latin American Art. She was a driving force behind the preservation of Siqueiros’ 1932 “La América Tropical” mural on Olvera Street. She taught courses in Mexican Pre-Colombian, Modern and Chicano Art at Santa Ana College for 21 years where she organized the college’s first mural program. She personally documented thousands of works of art across the country and her collection at UC Santa Barbara remains a starting point for researchers. This presentation will highlight her work and a slide show of murals/paintings from her collection.

Manny Escamilla

Manny Escamilla is a local historian, urban planner, and lifelong Santa Ana resident. He graduated from Santa Ana College, from UC Berkeley with a BA in History, and from UCLA with a Master of Library and Information Science & a Master of Urban and Regional Planning. 


Manny worked for the City of Santa Ana from 2005-2019 as a local history librarian, management analyst, and urban planner. In 2020 he was appointed to the City’s Art and Culture Commission and is currently working as an urban planner with the City of Oakland. Over the past 14 years he has assisted with, led, and implemented a range of projects covering the areas of urban planning, government administration, digital humanities, historic research, place-based art, political strategy,

5:00PM - 6:00PM

Curator: Laura Robinson
Theme: “The Fire Within”

Session Description: The Fire Within. This amazing and dynamic line up will feature Villa Fundamental Intermediate students from the Speech and Debate Program and season and published poets alongside each other. Participants will be delivering spoken word, prepared monologues, and short stories. Their voices will touch your heart, inspire you to action, and shake and rattle your bones. You will be in awe of their unique, fresh, and diverse voices.

Jennifer and Doug Lord

Doug and Jennifer Lord are Co-founders and Directors of The Butterfly House performance center and arts charity located in downtown Santa Ana. As middle school teachers for the Santa Ana Unified School District, they promote Literacy through Arts integration, creative problem solving and connection with the community. Doug teaches Social Studies along with Speech and Debate, and Jennifer advocates for and supports student learning and development as a Special Education Teacher. Outside of the classroom, as a self-taught musician, Doug has enjoyed a full life of writing, singing, and songwriting on the edge of a bed for his family and friends, and as a self-taught muralist and amateur seamstress, Jennifer is currently developing her skills with digital art, and animation. You can follow Jennifer on instagram @_lord.teaches and @butterflyhouse_dtsa. You can follow Doug on Instagram @wechalkalot

Jhoana Melo-Barcenas, Miriam Mateo, Emily Thach, Tristan Thach

Villa Intermediate Speech Team members Jhoana Melo-Barcenas, Miriam Mateo, Emily Thach, and Tristan Thach are veteran competitors and performers. Each speaker has earned multiple awards at speech tournaments throughout their middle school careers. They recently competed in the Madi Gras Tournament hosted by S.A.U.S.D. which had over 900 student entries. They will be performing their competition scripts for Boca de Oro at the Avant Garden evening session as part of a lineup of local spoken word performers.

Camille Lacey

Camille Lacey is a multifaceted artist, actress and a professional soccer coach. She holds a B.A. in English, with an emphasis in theater and science from Brevard College, NC. Raised in the south and midwest, the arts have been an intimate part of Camille's diverse education. Classically trained, she has performed at Goldenwest College under Tom Amen in roles such as Blanche DuBois in "Streetcar Named Desire,'' Sister James in "Doubt," and the Governess in the "Turn of the Screw.” Whether on stage or on the pitch, she continues her pursuit in portraying characters with exquisite authenticity, utilizing her love of accents and playful nature. Her passion for the arts and her attention to rehearse every nuance and detail can be observed in how she is able to support athletes individually as well as an ensemble. She strategically trains her players through precision drills that deconstruct their body mechanics and develop their physical vocabulary. Through repetition, this enhances their body awareness in such a way that extends beyond the reach of the sport. In her continued 15+ years of service in southern California, she coaches players of all ages, genders, and levels. To connect with Camille, her website is: https://www.illmannered.me/

Jessica M. Wilson Cárdenas

Jessica M. Wilson Cárdenas is a Chicana Poet born in East Los Angeles, CA She is a 3rd generation Beatnik... a Beat Poet from the lines of Jack Spicer to Paul Vangelisti, and the heartbeat of the visual Muse and Master Poet, Maurya Simon. She completed her BA in Creative Writing and Art History from UC Riverside in Riverside, CA, and obtained her Master of Fine Arts from Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles, CA. In 2009 she founded the Los Angeles Poet Society and began a network of literary events and open mics such as: Writers' Row: The DTLA Artwalk's Showcase of the Written Art, SoapBox Poets Open Mic, Salon @ NoHo, Gallery 19, LAPS Presents on Full Spectrum, and Writer Wednesday. She teaches poetry with California Poets in the Schools, the oldest non-profit dedicated to the empowerment of our youth in CA. Jessica is currently an English teacher for the Los Angeles Unified School District. Her books of poetry include: What Breathes, Raw Kit, Marie Morrison, and most recently, Serious Longing, published by Swan World Press in Paris, France. Jessica is an International Poet!

Karo Ska

Karo Ska (she/they) is a South Asian & Eastern European non-binary poet, living on unceded Tongva Land. Anti-capitalist & anti-authoritarian, they find joy where they can. Some of their other work resides in Dryland Lit, Resurrection Magazine, the Intercultural Press, Cultural Daily, Sobotka Literary Journal, Ayaskala Magazine, & Marías at Sampaguitas. They are a 3-time 2020 Pushcart Prize nominee, a 2021 Cal Arts Artist Fellow, and were a 2020 semi-finalist in the Jack Grapes Poetry Prize. Currently, they are the teaching assistant for Community Literature Initiative’s Poetry Publishing Class. Their first full-length collection, loving my salt-drenched bones was released on February 23rd, 2022. For updates, follow them on instagram @karoo_skaa or check out their website karoska.com.

Donato Martinez

Donato Martinez teaches English Composition, Literature, and Creative Writing at Santa Ana College. He hosts and curates a bi-annual afternoon of artistic expression with poetry, dance, and live music. These events generate large crowds and active participation. He is also a poet and writes about his barrio upbringing, his community, his culture, his bi-cultural and bilingual identities and other complexities of life. He is influenced by the sounds and pulse of the streets, people, music, and the magic of language. He has a self-published collection with three other Inland Empire poets, Tacos de Lengua. His work has been published by City Works, Eastside Rose, Acentos Review, and Ofrenda Magazine. Forthcoming publications will appear in La Raiz Magazine and The San Diego Poetry Annual. He loves the outdoors and is inspired by music, books, movies, and his children, Gabriel and Abigail.

Matt Sedillo

Matt Sedillo has been described as the "best political poet in America" as well as "the poet laureate of the struggle" by academics, poets, and journalists alike. He has appeared on CSPAN and has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, among other publications. He has spoken at Casa de las Americas in Havana, Cuba, at numerous conferences and forums such as the National Conference on Race & Ethnicity in American Higher Education, and at over a hundred universities and colleges, including the University of Cambridge, among many others. He is the current literary director of the dA Center for the Arts and author of Mowing Leaves of Grass (Flowersong Press, 2019), which is currently being taught at California State University at Northridge and Monterey Bay, as well as at Mission College. His Three Act Poem structure has been taught as capstones of coursework at UCLA and Occidental College. City on the Second Floor, his second collection of poetry has been recently published. Born in El Sereno, California in 1981, Matt Sedillo writes from the vantage point of a second generation Chicano born in an era of diminishing opportunities and a crumbling economy. His writing - a fearless, challenging and at times even confrontational blend of humor, history and political theory - is a reflection of those realities.