It’s almost fall which means it’s almost time for another session of In The Words of Womyn! Please check back for specific dates of the fall workshop!
In the meantime, I encourage you to review the publication page, and submit your work to itwow.sfv [at] gmail [dot] com. Even though the new session hasn’t yet started, you can still participate by being published!
Sym·bi·o·sis.noun \ˌsim-bē-ˈō-səs,\: a cooperative relationship; an intimate association or close union of two dissimilar organisms.
In the Words of Womyn = body of womyn writers. Tia Chucha’s Centro Cultural = transformative arts space & community center. ITWOW + Tia Chucha’s = symbiosis.
ITWOW began with an experience…a resounding void of womyn voices on the mic at a weekly open mic event. That experience turned into ideas and vision. Those ideas turned into dialogue. And dialogue turned into action: the creation of a womyn’s writing circle workshop on January 15, 2010.
Since 2010, In the Words of Womyn has held six 10-week workshop sessions connecting with over 60 womyn from all over San Fernando Valley and Los Angeles County. During that time, more womyn are stepping up to the mic each week at open mic; ITWOW showcased five womyn poets at Tia Chucha’s 2011 annual Celebrating Words Festival; in 2011, ITWOW teamed up with singer/songwriter Tapia Corel to create a quarterly event called Womyn’s Words and Music Night showcasing the talents, artistry, strength and beauty of womyn musicians and writers; and ITWOW website has published over 75 poems, stories, and memoir excerpts.
While the vision for ITWOW began as mine, it has become a community vision adopted not only by the many womyn inspired by and empowered by ITWOW, but also by Tia Chucha’s without which this vision never would have had a place to be planted and BLOOM!
I am so thankful to Tia Chucha’s co-founder Trini Rodriguez along with her incredible staff who have enthusiastically supported the ITWOW vision and mission from the very beginning. Tia Chucha’s has lavished gracious hospitality in allowing ITWOW to be held at the Centro weekly and has also created countless opportunities for womyn writers to be inspired, nurtured, and empowered. I have been deeply transformed by the people, the art, the opportunities and the community of Tia Chucha’s–both as a writer and as an individual.
Tia Chucha’s has the incredible opportunity to create a documentary and book highlighting the transformative work accomplished in the Northeast San Fernando Valley through arts programming. Tia Chucha’s is a non-profit independent bookstore and community cultural center. Not only is it the only bookstore for miles…and miles around, but is also one of the only spaces in the area offering FREE workshops and programming in music, art, culture, gardening, healthy living, and much more to kids, youth, and adults.
I’m inviting you to join with In the Words of Womyn to support the incredible work being done through spaces like Tia Chucha’s, where art and minds meet for a change and where Art Transforms Communities. If you, or someone you know, has been inspired and transformed through the presence and programming of Tia Chucha’s, please offer up your gratitude and support by donating. Whatever amount you can give–from your heart to Tia Chucha’s–will be sown into fertile ground and the harvest will indeed be bountiful!
To learn more about Tia Chucha’s and to donate, please go to their website. For those of you who already know and love Tia Chucha’s, check out this video clip and information about the Art Transforms Communities documentary/book project; you can donate there as well.
Thank you friends, family, and community!
With much love and respect, ~Jenuine
On Saturday, September 24, 2011 poets all over the globe will be stepping up to microphones in coffee shops, bookstores, cafes, community spaces, living rooms, street corners, and anywhere else people gather to share–in solidarity–our poems about change.
I get chills every time I just think about this event!
Tia Chucha’s Centro Cultural will be hosting a reading event in Sylmar, CA that afternoon from 1pm-4pm. For more information on local events, please go to the 100 Thousand Poets for Change website. If you scroll down you will find venues, worldwide, along the right sidebar. Click on a city close to you for details about local readings. If you are unable to attend an event, or there is not one available close to you, you can still participate by posting your own writings directly to the site. For more information about posting your work on the site, please visit the Community Poetry Wall.
it begins small
tiny as a seed
just one letter
FREE event! Author readings, music, performances, spoken-word, food, story-telling, crafts & activities for word-lovers of *all* ages!
You won't want to miss this *incredible* line-up of authors!!
And…some of our very own In the Words of Womyn poets will be representing on the mic!!
So if you are in the Los Angeles & San Fernando Valley Area, please come out and support our ITWOW writers and all the other incredible authors, musicians, poets, and performers. Oh, and did I mention this event is FREE!! See you there…and Write on, y’all!
That’s right, we will be starting another year of In the Words of Womyn workshop sessions at Tia Chucha’s Centro Cultural on Friday, February 4, 2011 at 6pm. We will meet each Friday for 10 weeks with our last meeting on Friday, April 8, 2011. March will be an especially exciting month as we will celebrate Womyn’s Herstory Month with fantastic events you won’t want to miss. **We will have childcare available 2-4-2011 and are currently working to line up volunteers to provide childcare during the group each week.**
Each week we will meet from 6pm-7:30pm for ITWOW followed by a weekly Open Mic for which all womyn are invited and encouraged to stay…and to perform! Each workshop consists of three components: freewrite, sharing published womyn writers, and sharing our own works. There is no fee or registration required, simply show up as you can! Donations are collected weekly and go, 100%, to Tia Chucha’s to support the wonderful programming they continue to provide to the community…free of charge!
For more information about the workshop, publishing online, or ITWOW in general, please contact me at: inthewordsofwomyn [at] gmail [dot] com.
In the Words of Womyn celebrates it’s first birthday! Wooohooo!
What an incredible first year we had! In January 2010, ITWOW was born out of conversations and experiences and a passion for empowering the voices of womyn everywhere. ITWOW began as a writing circle workshop and grew into this website featuring online publications of womyns’ writings. As I reflect upon 2010, I celebrate abundance: the completion of three, 10-week sessions of ITWOW workshops held at Tia Chucha’s Centro Cultural; over 25 womyn having participated in those workshops throughout the year; over 75 writings having been published on this site; and countless testimonies having been shared by womyn who are finding their words, their voices, their true selves!
I am overwhelmed by the honor and privilege it is to share with my sisters in this adventure of writing, growing, and healing. In the Words of Womyn has become one of the greatest delights of my life; it is a gift of priceless worth to my soul.
I extend my deepest gratitude to Tia Chucha’s for providing me with space, support, and nurturing–without which I would not be able to develop, host, and continue the work of In the Words of Womyn. I offer my utmost respect and sincerest appreciation to each of the womyn who have dared to share herself by telling her story, by participating in the workshops, by stepping up to the mic, and by publishing on this site.
I have been so profoundly inspired, encouraged, affirmed, nurtured, and blessed by this incredible community of writers that I truly stand in awe. There is healing that may not have been stirred; there is new life that may not have been coaxed; there are poems that I would not have written; there is courage I may not have found; and there is a me I might not have discovered, had it not been for ITWOW.
So thank you all and may we continue to give sound to our stories and volume to our voices in this new year!
I thought it might be helpful for me to post information about the Open Mic venues about which I know in the Los Angeles area. For those of you in other counties, states, etc. if you have information about Open Mic venues in your area (or even LA venues I haven’t listed) please email me the info to post or simply share the info in a comment below!
*If the venue has a website, I have attached the link to the venue’s name.
The three venues I frequent are:
Tia Chucha’s Centro Cultural Open Mic: Every Friday, 8-10pm
Format: Sign-up; each person gets 2 pieces or 6min Donations appreciated; no one turned away for lack of funds
Located at: 13197-A Gladstone Ave. | Sylmar, CA 91342 | Phone: 818.528.4511
Host: Nery Boche
Corazon del Pueblo (on Facebook)
Open Mic: 2nd & 4th Wednesdays, 8pm-12am
Format: Sign-up @ 7:45pm; each person gets 1 piece or 3min
$2.00 Donation appreciated; no one turned away for lack of funds
Located at: 2003 E. 1st Street | Los Angeles (Boyle Heights), CA 90033
Hosts: Busstop Prophet, et al.; Dj: Leon
A Mic & Dim Lights (on Myspace)
Open Mic: Every Thursday, 9:30p-11:30p
Format: Sign-up; each person gets 1piece
$3.00 at the door
Located at: 300 W. 2nd St. | Pomona (Arts Colony), CA 91766
Host: BessKepp; Dj: JB
Other venues I have yet to check out but hear are still pretty fresh:
Urban Culture Open Mic: 1st & 3rd Mondays, 8pm
Located at: 370 S Thomas St. | Pomona, CA 91766
Da Poetry Lounge Open Mic: Every Tuesday, 9:00pm – Midnight
Format: Sign-up–EARLY ARRIVAL IS A MUST; sign-up starts @ 7p
Located at: GreenWay Court Theater | 544 N. Fairfax Blvd. | Los Angeles, Ca 90036
Natural High Open Mic: Every Tuesday, 9pm
Located at: 6039 Washington blvd. | Culver City, CA
Lionlike Mindstate Open Mic: 1st & 3rd Wednesdays, 9pm
Located at: 5540 Schaefer Ave. | Chino, CA
Mozaic Venice Open Mic: 3rd Fridays, 7pm
Located at: 1411 Lincoln Blvd. | Venice, CA
Host: Matt Sedillo
…a few minutes later…
I just found a cool website that seems to be a collection of Open Mic venues around the US & Canada, check it out! It’s pretty sweet; I just looked up California and it displays a calendar listing various cities and their venues. A co-worker and I could’ve used this site when we were in Sacramento on a work-related trip to facilitate our search for an Open Mic away from home; delightfully, we were able to find one anyway and had an amazing evening at the Mahogany Urban Poetry Series
Update #2: Another great resource for California residents is Poetry Flash; a collection of venues, publishers, workshops, author readings, contests, and so much more!
I’m pleased to announce that the 3rd session of In the Words of Womyn workshop will be starting Friday, September 17, 2010 at 6:00pm @ Tia Chucha’s Centro Cultural in Sylmar, CA. For full details on the workshop and location, please check out the Workshop page.