Thursday, March 11, 2010

Yellow Rage and SULU DC in the Washington Post!

Hello beautiful peoples!

Um, yeah, so I know it's been a minute. I've been preoccupied. But I'm here to let yall know that we made it in the press again recently, this time in DC. Catzie and I featured at SULU DC last month. Curated by an amazing and talented crew of APIA poets and artists including Regie Cabico (Love you, Regie!), Jenny Lares, Simone Jaconson, Alex Cena, and Brian Wang, SULU DC is another performance space dedicated to showcasing APIA artists and connecting our communities. Last month, a reporter and photographer from The Washington Post was hanging out at SULU DC and our mugs made their way in the paper. Check it out:

Washington Post article

Washington poetry: Sulu DC showcases Asian American poets
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, March 5, 2010

Last month's Sulu DC was an exercise in extremes. The showcase for Asian American and Pacific Islander American poets and other performers featured Vijai Nathan, a rising local stand-up comic of Indian descent who regaled the crowd with slightly ribald tales of her dating woes. At the other end of the spectrum was Yellow Rage, the Philadelphia-based duo of Michelle Myers and Catzie Vilayphonh. At times speaking over each other, and at others reading solo, the Korean American Myers and Laotian American Vilayphonh delivered often-barbed observations about being marginalized because of their appearance, language and traditions.

The tonal shifts are both intentional and, according to Sulu co-founder Simone Jacobson, inevitable. Although the lineup is carefully vetted by Jacobson and her co-curators, the goal is to maintain the same freewheeling fusion of moods that you might find at an open mike -- minus the sometimes-dicey quality.

About that name: Sulu co-founder Regie Cabico says he wanted something open-ended. True, Sulu is the name of an island in the Philippines, where Cabico's family is from, but most people hear it and think "Star Trek." That association works well, says Cabico, who wryly notes that George Takei's character on the show was, counter to stereotype, not the alien. But Cabico also thinks the old TV tag line could just as easily apply to what Sulu DC is trying to do: to boldly go where no man has gone before.

What to expect: A lively mix of spoken word, music, stand-up comedy, film and other offerings, and a diverse crowd. "The 'Asian' is about what's up on stage,' says Jacobson, "not who's in the audience."

If you go: Sulu is held the third Saturday of the month starting at 7 p.m. Its current home is Almaz restaurant, 1212 U St. NW (Metro: U Street). $10; $8 for students. The March 20 show will feature poets Sahra Nguyen and Sham-e-Ali Al-Jamil and comic-storyteller Brian Wang. Visit, e-mail or join the "Sulu DC" group on Facebook.

-- Michael O'Sullivan

There's also a photo gallery from the show and more of the performers that night. Check it out here:

SULU DC, Feb 20, 2010, Washington Post Photo Gallery

Now that we're plugging stuff, let's talk about upcoming events/shows.

FAMILY STYLE, Fri, March 19
at The Asian Arts Initiative
$5-$10 Sliding Scale Admission

March's open mic features poet SHAM-E-ALI AL-JAMIL and the theme "HOLDING UP HALF THE SKY: A Tribute to Women."

Our feature for our special March edition of Family style is the beautiful Sham-e-ali Al-Jamil

SHAM-E-ALI AL-JAMIL is a poet who was born in Hyderabad, India, and raised in both the UK and the US. Her poetry has appeared in publications such as SALT Journal, SAMAR, Roots & Culture Magazine, and Mizna, and can be found in anthologies such as Shattering the Stereotypes: Muslim Women Speak Out, Living Islam Out Loud: American Muslim Women Speak, and Shout Out: Women of Color Respond to Violence. Sham-e-Ali has performed her poetry internationally at various events including the Oxford Literary Festival and the "Sister Fire Cultural Arts Tour of Radical Women of Color Artists and Activists."

Hope to see you there!

SULU DC, SAT, 3/20

Almaz Restaurant and Lounge
1212 U St, NW (U Street Metro, green/yellow)
$10 General Admission

Michelle performs solo at SULU DC--and Sham is the feature that night! And we're celebrating how beautiful and strong women are! And there's a dance party afterwards! Happy happy joy joy! Hope you can make it!

Love always,