March 28, 2003

UCSD Chávez Celebration, Voz Alta Project to Present Urban World Poetry Series

The César E. Chávez Celebration at the University of California, San Diego, in collaboration with the Voz Alta Project of San Diego, will present an Urban Word Poetry Series April 4, 18, and 25 in the Cross-Cultural Center on the UCSD campus.

Each event begins at 4 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

Poetry, spoken word, and performances will feature Harry Gamboa, Piri Thomas, and Marisela Norte. The poetry series is among month-long events, Celebrate, Educate, Serve, at UCSD during April honoring the life and achievements of labor leader and champion of human rights César E. Chávez.

Harry Gamboa will perform April 4. He has created works in various media, including video, photography, fotono-velas and performances documenting and interpreting the contemporary Chicano experience. He is the co-founder of ASCO, a conceptual East Los Angeles-based performance art group; has produced more than 30 videos, including Mourn the Living Dead and L.A. Familia, and is the author of Urban Exile: Collected Writings of Harry Gamboa.

On April 18, poet, writer, and storyteller Piri Thomas will perform. The son of Puerto Rican and Cuban parents, Thomas grew up in New York City’s Spanish Harlem, learning in a street environment of poverty, racism, and crime. He is the author of the 1960s classic, Down These Mean Streets, and other books including Stories from El Barrio and Seven Long Times.

Performance artist Marisela Norte will take the stage April 25. Her works include Peeping Tom Girl taken from her spoken word CD Norte/Word. Norte will read from a collection of her poems and short stories dealing with life in East Los Angeles, many of them written on the bus taking her from East L.A. into downtown Los Angeles.

On the evening of his/her 4 p.m. UCSD performance, the artist will appear at 8 p.m. at Voz Alta, 917 E. St., San Diego. The Voz Alta Project of San Diego is a non-profit Chicano/Chicana organization dedicated to promoting community empowerment and social change through cross-cultural and multi-disciplinary art forms.

For further information on the Urban Word Poetry Series, call De La Torre at (858) 534-3551. For information on César Chávez activities at UCSD during April, visit events.htm.

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