Out of Our Minds on KKUP-logo

Out of Our Minds on KKUP

Arts & Culture Podcasts

I have three collections of poetry: Imaginary Animal (Willow Books 2015 & 2022), Me Drawing a Picture of Me[n] (Willow Books 2019) and Space Junk from the Heavenly Palace (Nomadic Press & Black Lawrence Press 2023). I'm the winner of the Academy of American Poets prize and was a visiting scholar at the Library of Congress. This is the archive of KKUP's Out of Our Minds, which was on air from the 1970s until the pandemic. I was the producer and host for 5 years, until my production director, Razz, died of Covid. I have done work for Philip Glass, Danny Elfman and a number of other amazing artists.


United States


I have three collections of poetry: Imaginary Animal (Willow Books 2015 & 2022), Me Drawing a Picture of Me[n] (Willow Books 2019) and Space Junk from the Heavenly Palace (Nomadic Press & Black Lawrence Press 2023). I'm the winner of the Academy of American Poets prize and was a visiting scholar at the Library of Congress. This is the archive of KKUP's Out of Our Minds, which was on air from the 1970s until the pandemic. I was the producer and host for 5 years, until my production director, Razz, died of Covid. I have done work for Philip Glass, Danny Elfman and a number of other amazing artists.




Davis Foreword Intro & Chapter 1

Davis Foreword Intro & Chapter 1 by Poetita


Imaginary Animal Test Recording

Imaginary Animal Test Recording by Poetita


Rachelle At Henry Miller Library

Rachelle escamilla is a Chicana poet from Hollister, California. her nationally award winning first book is slated to become an off broadway play. Rachelle is the founder of a number of poetry programs all over the world, she is a scholar recognized by the Library of Congress and a community-based activist whose research and work includes the fair treatment of migrant workers, anti-fracking and most recently the Decriminalization of Psilocybin. She lives in Monterey, Ca and does media and marketing for the Philip Glass Days and Nights Festival.


James Cordero of Border Angels Water Drop

James Cordero, Co-director of Water Drops for Border Angels San Diego.


Marcelo Hernandez Castillo and Nathan Xavier Osorio on KKUP

Marcelo Hernandez Castillo is a poet, essayist, translator, and immigration advocate. He earned a BA at Sacramento State University and is the first undocumented student to earn an MFA at the University of Michigan. In this pre-recorded reading, Marcelo is reading from and discussing his groundbreaking, debut novel, Children of the Land. In conversation with Castillo is Nathan Xavier Osorio who is also a poet and essayist. This interview was recorded on February 11, 2020 at Book Shop Santa Cruz.


Matt Sedillo on KKUP

Matt Sedillo is a Chicano poet, writer, creative director and public intellectual. He has been called “the poet laureate of the struggle” by Dr. Paul Ortiz and “the best political poet in America” by investigative journalist Greg Palast. Sedillo has been featured at over 90 colleges and universities including the University of Cambridge and a recent appearance at San Jose City College. He has been invited by countless cultural institutions, including Casa De Las Americas and has been featured on various media outlets including The Associated Press, Los Angeles Times and C-Span. He is the current literary director of the Center for the Arts in Pomona, California. His first book is called “Mowing Leaves of Grass” published by FLowerSong Books.



IN HINDI MEANING HOPE ASHA is an Artist, Educator, and Revolutionary. Originally from LA, ASHA is currently an 8th grade teacher in San Jose. She is an international poet, striving to use art to create radical change. ASHA has been featured on the cover of Content Magazine, is a feature at many of the prominent poetry events in the Bay Area, as well as active speaker, emcee, and performer at numerous rallies and marches for civil and human rights. ASHA was the focus of a recent short documentary by KQED ARTS. She was given the Hank Hutchins award by the Santa Clara County Alliance of Black Educators for supporting and advocating for black youth. She is actively training educators across California on equitable practices and building student agency. She is certified as a facilitator through Teaching Tolerance. Her dream is to establish her own K-12 school rooted in restorative justice and social justice based standards. ASHA consistently uses her platform to voice out against injustice and to speak up for those who have been marginalized and silenced for centuries.


MK Chavez on KKUP

Oakland-based writer MK Chavez is a champion for public health and social justice. She is the author of several chapbooks, including MOTHERMORPHOSIS (Nomadic Press, 2016). DEAR ANIMAL, is her first full-length collection of poetry. Chavez is co-founder and co-curator of the reading series Lyrics & Dirges, curator of the Fruitvale Friday readings at Nomadic Press, co-director of the Berkeley Poetry Festival, and recipient of a 2016 Alameda County Arts Leadership Award. She believes in literary confrontation and its capacity to challenge all forms of oppression.


Arisa White on KKUP

"She approaches words as reference points, rather than endpoints. By reimagining language, she exerts control over her sense of self.”—Los Angeles Review of Books ARISA WHITE is a Cave Canem fellow, Sarah Lawrence College alumna, an MFA graduate from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and author of the poetry chapbooks Disposition for Shininess, Post Pardon, Black Pearl, Perfect on Accident, and “Fish Walking” & Other Bedtime Stories for My Wife won the inaugural Per Diem Poetry Prize. Published by Virtual Artists Collective, her debut full-length collection, Hurrah’s Nest, was a finalist for the 2013 Wheatley Book Awards, 82nd California Book Awards, and nominated for a 44th NAACP Image Awards. Her second collection, A Penny Saved, inspired by the true-life story of Polly Mitchell, was published by Willow Books, an imprint of Aquarius Press in 2012. Her newest full-length collection, You’re the Most Beautiful Thing That Happened, was published by Augury Books and nominated for the 29th Lambda Literary Awards. Most recently, Arisa co-authored, with Laura Atkins, Biddy Mason Speaks Up, a middle-grade biography in verse on the midwife and philanthropist Bridget “Biddy” Mason, which is the second book in the Fighting for Justice series. Arisa was awarded a 2013-14 Cultural Funding grant from the City of Oakland to create the libretto and score for Post Pardon: The Opera, and received, in that same year, an Investing in Artists grant from the Center for Cultural Innovation to fund the dear Gerald project, which takes a personal and collective look at absent fathers. As the creator of the Beautiful Things Project, Arisa curates poetic collaborations that center narratives of women, queer, and trans people of color. Selected by the San Francisco Bay Guardian for the 2010 Hot Pink List, Arisa was a 2011-13 member of the PlayGround writers’ pool. Recipient of the inaugural Rose O’Neill Literary House summer residency at Washington College in Maryland, she has also received residencies, fellowships, or scholarships from The Ground Floor at Berkeley Rep, Juniper Summer Writing Institute, Headlands Center for the Arts, Port Townsend Writers’ Conference, Squaw Valley Community of Writers, Hedgebrook, Atlantic Center for the Arts, Prague Summer Program, Fine Arts Work Center, and Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. Nominated for Pushcart Prizes in 2005, 2014, 2016, and 2018, her poetry has been published widely and is featured on the recording WORD with the Jessica Jones Quartet. A native New Yorker, living in central Maine, Arisa serves on the board of directors for Foglifter and Nomadic Press and is an advisory board member for Gertrude. As a visiting scholar at San Francisco State University’s The Poetry Center in 2016, she developed a digital special collections on Black Women Poets in The Poetry Center Archives. Arisa is as an assistant professor in creative writing at Colby College. For booking inquiries, contact Allison Connor at Jack Jones Literary Arts.


Lee Ann Roripaugh on KKUP

A Wyoming native and second-generation Japanese American, Roripaugh studied music, earning a BM in piano performance and an MM in music history before earning an MFA in creative writing from Indiana University, Bloomington. She is the author of Beyond Heart Mountain (1999), which was selected by Ishmael Reed for the National Poetry Series; Year of the Snake (2004); On the Cusp of a Dangerous Year (2009); and Dandarians (Milkweed, 2014). In 2015 she was appointed poet laureate of South Dakota. In Beyond Heart Mountain, Roripaugh drew on her heritage and life in the American West to create a series of portraits in the voices of Japanese American internees at the Heart Mountain Relocation Center in Wyoming. In Year of the Snake she explores issues of mixed-race identity, myths, Japanese fairy tales, and metaphors of transformation. Poems in On the Cusp of a Dangerous Year delve into the lives of contemporary women, with a nod to Lady Murasaki; poet Maura Stanton identified “desire, along with its many disguises and tricks” as a theme of the collection. Roripaugh’s awards include a Bush Artist Foundation Individual Fellowship and the 1995 Randall Jarrell International Poetry Prize.


Manuel Paul Lopez on KKUP

Manuel Paul López’s books include These Days of Candy (Noemi Press, 2017), The Yearning Feed (University of Notre Dame Press, 2013), winner of the Ernest Sandeen Poetry Prize, 1984 (Amsterdam Press, 2010) and Death of a Mexican and Other Poems (Bear Star Press, 2006). He also co-edited Reclaiming Our Stories (City Works Press, 2016). A CantoMundo fellow, his work has been published in Bilingual Review, Denver Quarterly, Hanging Loose, Huizache, Puerto del Sol, and ZYZZYVA, among others. He lives in San Diego and teaches at San Diego City College.


Toi Derricotte & Naomi Edwards on KKUP

Toi Derricotte is an American poet and recently retired from her post at University of Pittsburgh where she taught writing. Toi won a 2012 Pen Award for Poetry and is the co-founder with Cornelius Eady of Cave Canem Foundation, a summer workshop for African-American poets. Naomi Edwards holds degrees from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and University of Pittsburgh. Her poetry has appeared in Tupelo Quarterly. She lives in Pittsburgh. Community Calendar:


Rob Ruck on KKUP

Rob Ruck is a professor of history at the University of Pittsburgh. His documentaries include The Republic of Baseball: Dominican Giants of the American Game. He has written for the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, Salon, and other publications and is the author of Tropic of Football: The Remarkable and Bittersweet Rise of Samoans in the NFL (The New Press). He lives in Pittsburgh.


Joseph Lease at City Lights Books on KKUP

Joseph Lease's critically acclaimed books of poetry include The Body Ghost (Coffee House Press, 2018), Testify (Coffee House Press, 2011), and Broken World (Coffee House Press, 2007). Lease’s poems "'Broken World' (For James Assatly)" and "Send My Roots Rain" were anthologized in Postmodern American Poetry: A Norton Anthology. "'Broken World' (For James Assatly)" was also anthologized in The Best American Poetry (Robert Creeley, guest editor). Lease's poem “Free Again (Why don’t people)” was published in the New York Times. With Peter Alvarez.


Reading at the Library of Congress Hispanic Division

I'm the producer and host of the longest running poetry radio show in the United States: Out of Our Minds on KKUP. I co-founded Sun Yat-sen University's English-language Center for Creative Writing and headed a lecture series at the American Center of the United States Consulate of Guangzhou called "Literature of the Margins." I am the founder of the Poets & Writers Coalition at San Jose State University, the winner of the Virginia de Arujo Academy of American Poets prize and my first book, Imaginary Animal (Willow Books 2015) won their national prize in poetry. I teach Creative Writing and Social Action at California State University Monterey Bay. My nonfiction can be found in In The Red Magazine (South China's Vogue), National Geographic, Benitolink and Mission Village Voice. During the summer of 2018 I was a visiting scholar at the Library of Congress, Hispanic Division, where I conducted research around my grandfather's 1969 testimony for the fair treatment of migrant laborers in California and I recorded poems for the library's archive . I was born and raised in Hollister, California and currently live about 20 minutes west of my hometown.


Jose-Luis Moctezuma on KKUP

Born in San Gabriel, CA, Jose-Luis Moctezuma is a Mexican-American poet, translator, and editor whose poetic and critical work has been published in Jacket2, Big Bridge, Chicago Review, MAKE Magazine, FlashPoint,Cerise Press, and elsewhere. His chapbook, Spring Tlaloc Seance, was published by Projective Industries in 2016. His manuscript, Place-Discipline, was selected by Myung Mi Kim as the winner of the 2017 Omnidawn 1st/2nd Poetry Book Prize. Place-Discipline is forthcoming in Fall 2018. Moctezuma is completing a PhD in English at the University of Chicago, where he works on anglophone modernism, the poetics of automatism, avant-garde politics, and visual cultures.


May-lee Chai & Cinequest Poets on KKUP

The show begins with Kimy Martinez, Bill Cozzini, and vocalist Lena Nelson read from their upcoming performance at Cinequest 2018. May-lee Chai is the author of eight books, including three novels, My Lucky Face, Dragon Chica, and Tiger Girl; two works of memoir, The Girl from Purple Mountain (co-authored with her father, Winberg Chai) and Hapa Girl; a collection of short stories and essays, Glamorous Asians; a nonfiction book about the culture and history of China, China A to Z (also co-authored with Winberg Chai); and her translation into English of the Chinese author Ba Jin’s 1934 Autobiography (Ba Jin Zi Zhuan). Her own books have been translated into German, Hebrew, and Chinese. May-lee Chai is a writer and educator. May-lee is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship; 2014 APALA (Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association) Literature Award, Young Adult category for Tiger Girl; Kiriyama Prize 2008 Notable Book for Hapa Girl: A Memoir; Honorable Mention for the 2007 Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights Award for Hapa Girl: A Memoir; and a nomination for the National Book Award in nonfiction for The Girl from Purple Mountain. Her essay “The Blue Boot” was named a Notable Essay of 2012 in Best American Essays 2013, edited by Cheryl Strayed. In addition to her books, she has published numerous short stories in journals, magazines and anthologies as well as essays and journalism. Her work has appeared in various publications, including Entropy, The Rumpus, Gulf Coast, North American Review, ZYZZYVA, Missouri Review, Seventeen, Many Mountains Moving, Christian Science Monitor, Dallas Morning News, Denver Post, Jakarta Post Weekender, Southwest Magazine, the Bedford Introduction to Literature, and At Our Core: Women Writing on Power. May-lee was born in California but has lived in fourteen states in the U.S. and four countries. She received her B.A. from Grinnell College, where she majored in French and Chinese Studies. She received her first M.A. from Yale University in East Asian Studies and a second M.A. in English-Creative Writing from the University of Colorado-Boulder. She received her M.F.A. from San Francisco State University.


Richard Jeffrey Newman on KKUP

As a poet and essayist, Richard Jeffrey Newman’s work explores the impact of feminism on his life as a man. As a co-translator of classical Persian poetry, he writes about the impact of that canon on our contemporary lives. He has published two books of poetry, Words for What Those Men Have Done (Guernica Editions 2017) and The Silence of Men (CavanKerry Press 2006). He has also published a chapbook of poetry, For My Son, A Kind of Prayer (Ghostbird Press 2016), as well as three books of translation from classical Persian poetry, most recently The Teller of Tales: Stories from Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh (Junction Press 2011). Newman is on the executive board of Newtown Literary, a Queens, NY-based literary non-profit and curates the First Tuesdays reading series in Jackson Heights, NY. He is Professor of English at Nassau Community College in Garden City, NY, where he also serves as secretary of his faculty union, The Nassau Community College Federation of Teachers (NCCFT). His website is www.richardjnewman.com.


Raoul Fernandes on KKUP

Raoul Fernandes lives and writes in Vancouver, with his wife and two sons. His first collection of poems, Transmitter and Receiver (Nightwood Editions, 2015) won the Dorothy Livesay Award and the Debut-litzer Award for Poetry in 2016 and was a finalist for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award and the Canadian Authors Association Award for Poetry. He has been published in numerous literary journals and anthologies, including the Best Canadian Poetry 2015.


Stephanie Elizondo Griest on KKUP

ALL THE AGENTS AND SAINTS DISPATCHES FROM THE U.S. BORDERLANDS University of North Carolina Press July 2017 After a decade of chasing stories around the globe, intrepid travel writer Stephanie Elizondo Griest followed the magnetic pull home–only to discover that her native South Texas had been radically transformed in her absence. Ravaged by drug wars and barricaded by an eighteen-foot steel wall, her ancestral land had become the nation’s foremost crossing ground for undocumented workers, many of whom perished along the way. Before Elizondo Griest moved to the New York/Canada borderlands, the frequency of these tragedies seemed like a terrible coincidence. Once she began to meet Mohawks from the Akwesasne Nation, however, she recognized striking parallels to life on the southern border. Having lost their land through devious treaties, their mother tongues at English-only schools, and their traditional occupations through capitalist ventures, Tejanos and Mohawks alike struggle under the legacy of colonialism. Toxic industries surround their neighborhoods while the U.S. Border Patrol militarizes them. Combating these forces are legions of artists and activists devoted to preserving their indigenous cultures. Complex belief systems, meanwhile, conjure miracles. In ALL THE AGENTS AND SAINTS, Elizondo Griest weaves seven years of stories into a meditation on the existential impact of international borderlines by illuminating the spaces in between.