Wednesday, February 27, 2008

I'm headed to graduate school.

Six weeks ago I had no plans to attend graduate school. Then one sunny, chilly Sunday afternoon, after sharing Ivar's fish & chips with my friend Trevor down on the waterfront, he asked me whether I had considered reapplying to UCSB's Latin American & Iberian Studies program, which I almost attended two years ago. Yes, I explained, I had thought about it, but the deadline was coming up in just two days, on January 15, and it was too late to prepare another application.

Then it struck me that perhaps the program would consider my previous application, if indeed they still had it on file. I called, and they said yes, I could throw my hat back in the ring. By the end of January, I had received word that I had been accepted again, and two days ago, I learned that I have been awarded a generous UC Regents Fellowship, covering nearly all of my first year's expenses.

Incredible. I guess the research I've done in my free time over the last three years is paying off! Now I have just over a month to wrap up my life in Seattle before going on my planned research trip to Spain and family trip to Turkey, and then moving to Santa Barbara in the summer. Life has suddenly taken a very interesting turn.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Seattle screenings of "A Little Bit of So Much Truth"

If you haven't seen it, go see it!

When the people of Oaxaca decided they'd had enough of bad government,
they didn't take their story to the media...they TOOK the media!

"A tour de force of documentary filmmaking.
Brilliantly conceived and executed."
-David Barsamian, Alternative Radio

"I love this movie.
And Jill put my name in the credits!"
-Jeremy O. Simer

Special Jury Prize
International Documentary Film Festival Tres Continentes
Caracas, Venezuela

February 20th
Seattle University
7:00 PM
Wyckoff Auditorium
Engineering Building Room 200

February 25th
University of Washington
5:00 PM
Ethnic Cultural Center
3940 Brooklyn Ave. NE

In the summer of 2006, a broad-based, non-violent, popular uprising exploded in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca. Some compared it to the Paris Commune, while others called it the first Latin American revolution of the 21st century.

But it was the people's use of the media
that truly made history in Oaxaca.

A 90-minute documentary, A Little Bit of So Much Truth captures the unprecedented media phenomenon that emerged when tens of thousands of school teachers, housewives, indigenous communities, health workers, farmers, and students took 14 radio stations and one TV station into their own hands, using them to organize, mobilize, and ultimately defend their grassroots struggle for social, cultural, and economic justice.

From the producer of the award-winning films, This is What Democracy Looks Like and Granito de Arena, comes this intimate, breathtaking account of the revolution that WAS televised.

More info:

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

LitFuse revisited

Last summer I participated in LitFuse, a first-time poetry gathering in Tieton, Washington, outside of Yakima. It was a fantastic two days of workshops and readings, including the open mic at the closing. It was Sunday afternoon. The sun leaned down into autumn gold, light streaked into the warehouse where we read and listened. You can hear snippets from that reading and catch glimpses from the rest of the weekend in a slideshow, at And if you watch 'til the end, you'll hear me have the last word.

Thanks to Tieton Arts & Humanities for the scholarship that made my participation possible.

PS Although the photo above makes it look as if Paul Nelson is haranguing his "Organic Poetry" students, it was actually a good workshop.

Monday, February 04, 2008


I have a hard time getting excited about any presidential candidate, because I believe an elections system that allows so many millions to be spent, and denies much intelligent debate, is profoundly corrupt.

I believe that social movements -- unions, civil rights groups, the grassroots -- are the engine for major social change, and that it is a mistake to hang too many hopes on one federal official, no matter how charming or influential.

HOWEVER, I must say that I am beginning to get excited about the spirit and the strategy of Barack Obama, and I invite you to ..

watch a rockin' music video, at

and read some analysis from my man Paul Loeb:
A Dozen Reasons Why This Edwards Supporter is Backing Obama
How Obama Could Create a Long-Term Democratic Majority