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Essential Truths front.jpg


Edited by Shizue Seigel

Pease Press, 328 pp, 100 color images. $17.95

Publication date:  June 2021

ISBN: 978-0-9904173-9-2

Watch the book launch on YouTube HERE

Watch Oakland Asian Cultural Center creative showcase  HERE.

130 writers and artists respond to the unprecedented uncertainty of our times with prose, poetry, and visual art reflecting their Bay Area realities as Black, Brown, Indigenous and People of Color or White allies.

The pandemic and other events have tested every fiber of our being and shaken our relationships with family, community, the nation, and the earth itself. As our basic assumptions about lifewere upended again and again, what essential truths emerged?


• What has it been like living with uncertainty?

• What did we lose, what have we released, what have we gained?

• What has tested and inspired us as people of color or allies? 

• What gives us strength to keep going? 

• What have we learned? How are we working for positive, sustainable change?

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS (partial list) See complete list of contributors HERE

Tongo Eisen-Martin, Poet Laureate of San Francisco

Kim Shuck, Poet Laureate Emerita of San Francisco

Rafael Jesús González, Poet Laureate of Berkeley

Kimi Sugioka, Poet Laureate of Alameda

Ann Muto, Poet Laureate Emerita of Cupertino

Avotcja, poet, musician and DJ KPOO and KPFA radio

Celeste Chan, Chinese American queer activist

Dena Rod, Iranian American poet and queer activist

Elmaz Abinader, lebanese American writer, and educator, co-founder of VONA/Voices

James Cagney, African American poet

Josiah Luis Alderete, Chicano poet

Karla Brundage, African American writer

Karina Muǹiz Pagan, Latinx labor organizer 

Kevin Madrigal Galindo, writer and food justice advocate

Nancy Wang, Chinese American writer/performer, Eth-Noh-Tec

Sandra Bass, Associate Dean and Director of the UC Berkeley Public Service Center

Susana Praver-Perez, Assistant Medical Director, Clinica de la Raza, Oakland

Tony Aldorondo, Puerto Rican American poet/performer

Tony Robles, Filipinx America poet and activist

Truong Tran, Vietnamese American poet and educator

Tureeda Mikell, poet, storyteller, energy therapist

Hassan Abdul-Haqq, community gardener &
     Wei-Ming Dariotis, Professor of Asian American Studies, San Francisco State           



Karen Seneferu, African American artist, educator, and co-founder of The Black Woman Is God

Adrian Arias, Peruvian poet, artist, performer

Ajuan Mance, African American visual artist and professor of English at Mills College 

C.K Itamura, Japanese Americanartist

Cece Carpio, Filipinx street muralist

Cindy Shih, Chinese American painter

Cynthia Brannvall. African American artist and faculty member, Foothill Community College

Edsel Rivera, Nuyorican street mural photographer

Elaine Chu & Marine Pérez-Wong, Twin Walls Mural Company

Lorraine Bonner, African American sculptor and poet

Malik Seneferu, African American artist, educator, and community activist

Mark Harris, African American artist

Wanda Sabir, journalist, Wanda’s Picks podcast and educator, College of Alameda

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