Calendar Poetry

Rivertown Poets & Aqus Café present

Nellie Wong + Vincent Kobelt Monday, April 8th at 6:15 p.m.  an online reading via Zoom Rivertown Poets is a first-Mondays poetry series that has been hosted by the Aqus Cafe in Petaluma, CA since 2013. Vincent Kobelt has written poetry for the page, stage, and the mic.  His early work explored the murals of the Mission where he grew up, the music of jazz, a cry for justice, the birth of his daughters, milkweed…

Continue reading

Calendar Poetry

Poets! Every First Thursday @ Bird and Beckett

Featured Poets: Nellie Wong and Robert Eugene Rubino Thursday, April 4, 7pm – 9 pm Bird & Beckett Books & Records, 653 Chenery Street, San Francisco, CA 94131 On the first Thursday of each month, Jerry Ferraz and Michael Koch host a poetry reading that showcases local legends, poets passing through and folks from around the Bay — typically two featured poets followed by an open mic. We can count on a warm group of…

Continue reading

Poetry Work

When A Woman Tells the Truth

“When a woman tells the truth she is creating the possibility for more truth around her.” ― ADRIENNE RICH This new anthology, When a Woman Tells the Truth: Writings and Creative Work by Women Over 80, edited by Dena Taylor and Wilma Marcus Chandler, will be published in the spring of 2024 by Many Names Press. The national book launch for the 80’s anthology, which includes poems by Nellie, will be held at Bookshop Santa Cruz on…

Continue reading

Activism Feminism Movies Reviews

Zora Neale Hurston: Claiming a Space

A Movie Review by Nellie Wong | February 2024 “A woman by herself is a beautiful thing,” intones the narrator of Zora Neale Hurston: Claiming a Space, a two-hour documentary produced in 2023 by PBS for the American Experience series. This vibrant film speaks well about a heretofore under-recognized anthropologist, playwright, novelist, and researcher. The viewer sees Hurston “claim her space” by doing the work she wanted to do: to tell the stories of Black…

Continue reading

Calendar Poetry

“Poetry in Chinatown” Double Feature at Clarion

“3rd Saturday Poetry in Chinatown” Feb 17, 2024, 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM Clarion Performing Arts Center, 2 Waverly Pl, San Francisco, CA 94108, USA Encounter poets and poetry in a cozy space every 3rd Saturday of the month, 1-3 pm. We begin with a toast of plum wine or tea, and proceed to two hours of expressive audio pleasure. Curated by Bay Area poet Greg Pond, there are two features and an open mic.…

Continue reading

Feminism Mentors Poetry Recording The Memory Palace Work

Ironing, Ironing

IRONING, IRONING (For Tillie Olsen) Like a drunken fool I pick out the wrinkles linen and shirt, the foam-green dress, the black, long sleeve T and I drink ice cold glasses of lemon tea as the temperature lingers at 90 plus degrees. When I ironed as a 12-year old, I listened to the radio. Imogene Coco and Sid Caesar battled in their boisterous humor, the Lone Ranger and his faithful companion, Tonto, rode in clouds…

Continue reading

Poetry Recording Work

No Luck In This Equation

Hung Liu. Strange Fruit: Comfort Women, 2001, oil on canvas, 80 x 160. Private collection. http://www.hungliu.com/comfort-women.html Seven women, strange fruit, stare at you Their eyes awash with tears dripping, cast downward onto yellow straw hats, their fingers at rest but for one, stern without malice, pulls you into paint, a butterfly with purple and white wings of unheard voices as comfort women unsurreal, their lives forsaken in droughts, the moisture of art in world war…

Continue reading

Poetry Recording Work

How A Girl Got Her Chinese Name

On the first day of school the teacher asked me: What do your parents call you at home? I answered: Nellie. Nellie? Nellie? The teacher stressed the l’s, whinnying like a horse. No such name in Chinese for a name like Nellie. We shall call you Nah Lei which means Where or Which Place. The teacher brushed my new name, black on beige paper. I practiced writing Nah Lei Holding the brush straight, dipping the…

Continue reading

Movies Poetry Recording The Memory Palace

After viewing “Three Seasons,” A Film by Tony Bui (2001)

Three Seasons (Vietnamese title: Ba mùa) is a 1999 American film shot in Vietnam about the past, present, and future of Ho Chi Minh City in the early days of Doi Moi. It is a poetic film that tries to paint a picture of the urban culture undergoing westernization. The movie takes place in Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon. As the characters try to come to terms with the invasion of capitalism, neon signs,…

Continue reading

Activism Poetry

We Can Always (1975)

My very first poem, We can Always, was published in the anthology, Poetry from Violence, published in 1975 by Allie Light for the San Francisco Conference on Violence Against Women.  Allie Light and Ann Hershey taught “Woman as Creative Agent” in the early 70’s at San Francisco State University.  I credit that class for my writing, as well as the class where the professor told me I should discard my angry poems.  Just a bit…

Continue reading