A Poetry and Popcorn Event

In Honor of National Poetry Month

Yuba Sutter Arts & Culture is proud to present a very special “Poetry and Popcorn” event during National Poetry Month. The program includes several accomplished local poets along with interpreters of poetry with a keynote address and reading by the Sutter and Yuba County Poet Laureate, Marcelo Hernandez Castillo. 

The party will be held on Saturday, April 23rd (also Shakespeare’s birthday!) starting at 6pm at the Sutter Theater Center for the Arts in the Clark Family Black Box Theater. Doors open at 5:30. The event is free and open to the public.  Did we mention that there will be free popcorn?

Special guest poets include Diane Funston, published poet and host of YSAC’s monthly program, “Poetry Square.” Tom Galvin is a published author and songwriter and hosts the program “Open Mic/Spoken Word Poetry and Prose” on YSAC’s Facebook and YouTube channels. An emerging local poet, just back from his studies at UCLA, is Emiliano Gomez who will share some of his poetry. In addition to these engaging poets reading their works, two local masters or poetry recitation will take the stage. Salma AlfaQeeh and Roxanne Wright, the Yuba County and Sutter County Poetry Out Loud 2022 Champions will recite poems from this year’s competition that earned them their respective County titles. 

Marcelo Hernandez Castillo will read from his poetry and share his impressions of the Yuba-Sutter community growing up, offer advice to other writers and discuss writing as a career.  Marcelo truly puts the “A” in STEM so that it becomes STEAM as the acronym to describe education curriculum issues; Science, Technology, Engineering, ART and Math!  At a young age, language was Castillo’s best defense.  Growing up undocumented, he has said that fluency in English and, later, poetry were the tools with which he could protect against deportation. Writing was “a way to kind of offset any questions or any suspicions about my documentation status,” he said. “By way of fear, along came poetry.”

Castillo, who entered the U.S. from Mexico with his family at the age of five, did not address his own story in writing until fairly recently. He earned a BA at Sacramento State and then became the first undocumented student to earn an MFA at the University of Michigan after which he returned to Mexico for the first time in 21 years.  Those two experiences gave him a new perspective on the trauma that had pervaded his experience with the U.S. immigration system.

A poet, essayist and translator, Castillo is the author of the pamphlet, DULCE, winner of the 2017 Drinking Gourd Poetry Prize. His debut full-length poetry collection titled Cenzontle was awarded the  A. Poulin, Jr. prize for poetry. His recent memoir, Children of the Land, made the NPR Best Books of the Year list in 2020 and received other accolades.  Castillo’s work has appeared in the New York Times, PBS Newshour, People Magazine, The Paris Review and the New England Review.  He is a 2022 guest editor for the Poem-A-Day project from the Academy of American Poets and currently teaches in the creative writing program at St. Mary’s University, Stanford University, and the Ashland Low-Res MFA Program, as well as poetry workshops for incarcerated youth in Sutter and Yuba Counties. Castillo is also a candidate for California Poet Laureate. 

Poetry and Popcorn…what could be better? Click the button below to RSVP and get your FREE ticket!