During a residency at the Vermont Studio Center last fall, I had the pleasure of writing, performing and hanging out with Khairani Barokka, one of the other 9 writers in attendance at the time. Small-world short, Khairani contacted me last month to ask if I knew of any exemplary performance poets to help her with “So They Hate You Hate Poetry,” a showcase introducing the art form to an audience in her hometown of Jakarta, sponsored and hosted by the American Embassy.
No-brainer that it was I put Okka in touch with the ebony to my ivory, Gill Sotu, performance poet extraordinaire and creator / host of San Diego’s best open mic experience, Train of Thought. Newly anointed as an international performer, Gill was able to do was he does best live in Jakarta via streaming video from a studio in LA. Sez Gill,
“Going in, I didn’t know what to expect. I just knew it would be a live stream with people I wasn’t even sure spoke my same language, let alone get the many american cultural references in my work. But now, when all is said and done, the feedback was so overwhelmingly positive I learned some things…love, family, dreams, are just universal. It was an amazing event.”
Check out the write-up the event received in the Jakarta Globe, and be sure to see Gill right here in San Diego every Tuesday night when Train of Thought takes over the Queen Bee Arts and Culture Center in North Park. – Justin.