Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Zurawski & Tran 10/23 7pm IPRC

Magdalena Zurawski & Stacey Tran

The Switch is happy to co-host a reading with Spare Room featuring Magdalena Zurawski and Stacey Tran

Friday, October 23
IPRC 1001 SE Division
Portland, OR
7:00 PM

Magdalena Zurawski's poetry collection Companion Animal was published in 2015 by Litmus Press. Her novel, The Bruise (FC2 2008), won both the Ronald Sukenick Prize for innovative fiction and the LAMBDA Award for Lesbian Debut Fiction. Her online column on teaching aesthetics after Ferguson can be viewed at Jacket2. Zurawski teaches in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Georgia.

Stacey Tran is a curator of Pure Surface and an editor at Poor Claudia. www.staceytran.com


After everyone stops
smoking the Ovid
it gets ugly to be alive.

The dead refuse us
and instead someone I know turns over
a police car and nothing

happens anymore not even
my face so empty and
too full of other people's


I was bored and you
were bored, remember?

We dreamed of
leaving our heads
without a single
noun in them.

Magdalena Zurawski


I'm in no danger

flowers resemble
years of wandering
aiming elsewhere

a puzzle of a map

try to help

scatter laughter

pick out paint

exaggerated care

a nest
an open wound

Stacey Tran

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Berkowitz & Toliver Oct. 9, 7 p.m. IPRC

The Switch is happy to host Amy Berkowitz from San Francisco and Portland's own Ashley Toliver.

When: Friday, October 9, doors at 7 pm, reading at 7:30 sharp. FREE 

Where: IPRC, 1001, SE Division, PDX

Amy Berkowitz is the author of Tender Points (Timeless, Infinite Light, 2015). Her writing has appeared in publications including Dusie, Textsound, and Where Eagles Dare, and on the VIDA blog. In 2014, she was a Writer in Residence at Alley Cat Bookstore & Gallery. She lives in a rent-controlled apartment in San Francisco, where she is the founding editor of Mondo Bummer Books and the host of the Amy's Kitchen Organics reading series.

Ashley Toliver is the author of IDEAL MACHINE (Poor Claudia, 2014). Her poems have appeared in Caketrain, Front Porch, PEN America and Third Coast, among others. A Cave Canem graduate fellow, she currently lives in Portland, Ore.

by Amy Berkowitz

from Tender Points

One of the most persistent lies is that boys are angry. 

And the shadow lie: that girls aren’t angry. 

But even though we aren’t formally trained to hate like boys are, every girl is a natural expert: 

We have so much to hate. 

A growl that tastes like blood 

Black reservoir 
Of anger splashing 
Closer than you think 
Beneath the slimy dock of everything I say 
In my person voice 
Nice woman voice 

To google yellow wallpaper and find

Yellow wallpaper 

I mean like swatches of it

by Ashley Toliver

Dear night possessor: your funeral barge rocked tight in the fisting water makes small winter 

melodies. The light ends a pattern we learned to stupefy by motion or admitting away. A 

statutory list puts the blame on the hour. You move as I move, whistling measures in salt 

grass, patient and guarded processions. At night, the line is a current to wade through: older 

names sifting past the flotsam, the water rising up to here.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Saturday, August 8: Tolbert & Gray

The Switch is proud to announce a reading from Anastacia Renee Tolbert, and Portland’s own Robert Duncan Gray.

When: Saturday, August 8, doors at 7 pm, reading at 7:30 sharp. FREE 

Where: IPRC, 1001, SE Division, PDX

Anastacia Renee Tolbert is a queer super-shero of color moonlighting as a writer, performance artist and creative writing workshop facilitator. She has received awards and fellowships from Cave Canem, Hedgebrook, VONA, Jacks Straw, Ragdale and Artist Trust. She was recently selected as the 2015-16 poet-in-residence at Hugo House, a place for writers in Seattle. Her Chapbook 26, recently published by Dancing Girl Press, is an abbreviated alphabet expression of the lower and uppercase lives of women and girls. A Pushcart nominee (2015), her poetry, fiction & nonfiction have been published widely. Recently Tolbert has been expanding her creative repertoire into the field of visual art, and has exhibited her painting and photography surrounding the body as a polarized place of both the private and political. This year she has begun a yearlong theatrical mixed-media project in collaboration with the Project Room, 9 Ounces: A One Woman Show: Lately she’s been obsessed with the body & the stories (true & not true) it holds.

RDG.jpgRobert Duncan Gray is an English artist currently living in Portland, OR. He is the author of Ticklish Animal (Bone Tax Press) and Immaculate/The Rhododendron and Camellia Year Book (1966) (forthcoming from University of Hell Press). He makes music under the name COLDGOLDCHAIN and recently self-released a cassette tape called READY2bWRONG. He curates and hosts a monthly reading series called À reading.

by Anastacia Renee Tolbert

Poem Excerpts

Memoir (lost chapter)

this memoir has a secret compartment where the dog decides he does not want his biscuits, does not want to bone, cannot keep his shit in one pile.  this part of the memoir you thought you went green on & recycled & you know some things have bigger foot prints than others, you know this print is all fingers & ligaments. you know this part of the memoir has something to do with why your bones ache in june, why you tell that calendar it is not talking to you & that circle is just is just a place mark for consensus & the start of summer stay-cation.

Memoir (8)

this memoir’s pages are taped together with lilo & stitch band aids. it talks about the things you tell your children didn’t happen: (a) you did not get a sister (b) your mother did not carry her to full 1.term (c) your father did not sit by your mothers side after your sister died. (d) the doctors said your non-sister who was not born was an 2. anomaly. (e) your mother has one ovary, one fallopian tube & a folded other fallopian tube. period.
  1. luna died in your second term of school. you & your brother spring broke your bodies bending to kiss me. saying mom we are so sorry we did not know. we did not know we are so sorry. sorry. we. did. not. know. & how could you know being a black boy in foreign country with the weight of the world plus divorce on your blades is all did not plus know.
  2. luna lived inside a wounded heart & womb for five months. you mother was completely did not & no.

by Robert Duncan Gray


I pretty much love Everything
But Fuck all the men Driving cars
Through the stop signs of the world

Take me south of the Mouth
In chair position crooning
Flexing pizza muscle Western style

What say You to the sickness
Of the Cosmos             Yes
Or No

Worried I'm a Yes man
The perfect emoticon
Matthew said I disappear'd

Explain to me the crime of poverty

Asking for too many buttons
Wrong thing I get But question
Where              I'm smiling

Are the dead ones tonight
Pigeon faced in the slop

It's time to up The moon

The moon isn't hiding It's out
Soak air plant Sunday
Do you speak To your hunger

In the mirror                I am
Pushing myself into Love Lake               You

Can't keep

A good Horse
Out of church

I was not born
To write poems

Having been Numbed
By the beauty
I put the book down

Pick it back up
The dough In hell
Is rising

The dogs of Joy are walking
Foreign graveyards
Abandon the space

Inside body
King of dumb
Pain in bed

Am I sick Because I deserve
But the Sun The clock
And feast

I kiss my own
Miss the New
And quickly Carcass my grief

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Haley, Kawano, Tran 4/22 7 p.m. Radio Room

The Switch is super excited to host a special event at the Radio Room featuring readings by Jamalieh Haley and Stacey Tran in conjunction with an exhibit of visual art by Yukiyo Kawano.

When: Wednesday, April 22, 7 pm sharp

Where: Radio Room, 1101 NE Alberta, PDX

Jamalieh Haley lives in Portland, Oregon where she co-curates If Not For Kidnap and teaches writing and literature. Her work has appeared in Interrupture, Sink Review, Everyday Genius, Sixth Finch, Plinth and she is the author of Strange Tarot (Poor Claudia, 2014).

Yukiyo Kawano, a third generation hibakusha (nuclear bomb survivor) grew up decades after the bombing of Hiroshima. Her work is personal, reflecting lasting attitudes towards the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Kawano’s main focus is her/our forgetfulness, her/our dialectics of memory, issues around cultural politics, and historical politics. She has an MFA from the Vermont College of Fine Arts, is the recipient of numerous grants, and has exhibited her work in the U.S. and Japan.

Stacey Tran is a curator of a performance series,  Pure Surface, and an editor of a small press publisher, Poor Claudia. Her poems have appeared in The Curator, Imperial Matters, BOAAT, The Volta, and other publications online and in print. She lives and works in Portland, OR.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Karmin & O'Malley, Saturday, 1/31, 7:30 pm IPRC

The Switch is pleased to present Jennifer Karmin of Chicago and Portland's own A.M. O'Malley.

When: Saturday, January 31, doors at 7 pm, reading at 7:30 sharp. FREE

Where: IPRC, 1001, SE Division, PDX

Jennifer Karmin’s multidisciplinary projects have been presented across the U.S., Cuba, Japan, Kenya, and Europe.  A founding curator of the Red Rover Series, she is author of the text-sound epic Aaaaaaaaaaalice.  Her poetry is widely published, most recently in I’ll Drown My Book: Conceptual Writing by Women, The &NOW Awards: The Best Innovative Writing, the Iraq War chronicle 4000 Words 4000 Dead + Revolutionary Optimism: An American Elegy, and as Bernadette Mayer’s assistant on The Helens of Troy, NY.  She teaches creative writing to immigrants at Truman College and has been a Visiting Writer at Naropa University, Oberlin College, California Institute of the Arts, plus a myriad of sites.  In 2015, she returns to Cuba for a collaboration that will be part of the Havana Biennial. Here is her neutrino poem, with Bernadette Mayer.

A.M. O'Malley has been writing and publishing on various planes since 1998. Ms. O’Malley left home at 17 years old and began her own odyssey, zigzagging across the United States, working as a waitress, bartender, a community organizer, a Kirby vacuum salesman, a maid, canvasser and through it all she was writing and reading and making zines. She has recently been published in The Newer York, Jerkpoet, Poor Claudia, Phenome, UnShod Quills, The Burnside Review and The Portland Review. Her work also appears in the forthcoming anthology Untangling the Knot: Queer Voices on Marriage, Relationships & Identity edited by Carter Sickels for Ooligan Press. She is a Literary Arts Writers in the Schools teaching artist, a Young Audiences Teaching Artist Studio graduate, a Regional Arts and Culture Council grant recipient and winner of the 2014 Skidmore Prize. In 2012, Ms. O’Malley started a writing and publishing program at the Columbia River Correctional Institution and goes there every Tuesday night to teach writing to incarcerated men. She lives and works in Portland, Oregon.  Find her work HERE, HERE, and HERE.