The Poverty, Race and Resistance Book Tour Begins!

root - Posted on 01 November 2005

10 new publications are released by POOR Press authored by the poverty and race scholars at POOR Magazine in tandem with the release of Criminal of Poverty; Growing Up Homeless in America on City Lights Press

by Anna Kirsch/POOR Magazine

In 2003 POOR Magazine launched a new branch to its ever expanding web of media resistance, POOR Press and its education arm; Digital Resistance. In this program, very low and no income adults and youth are given the opportunity to create a book from start to finish, beginning with creative writing, narrative essays and poetry and then progressing to graphic design and layout publishing and promotion. Since its inception, POOR Press has allowed over 46 youth and adult poverty scholars to publish books of artwork, poetry and short stories, sharing their extremely valuable, but all too often ignored, experiences, views and opinions with the world.

This semester, POOR Press is releasing ten amazing, insightful books addressing issues ranging from child abuse and police brutality to homelessness and poverty. Each author in this year’s class has overcome many extremely difficult obstacles and dedicated numerous hours to learning the computer programs necessary to publish their books. These authors have all persevered to share their stories and scholarship.

Written honestly and from the heart, these pieces of writing and artwork are truly unlike anything else found in the corporate world of publishing today. These books allow the reader to experience and learn about the very personal struggles and resistance of the authors

The artists, essayists and poets coming from different positions of poverty, oppression, survival and resistance will be reading, performing and spitting scholarship at a bookstore, club, café or jail near you as part of the Race, Poverty and Resistance Book Tour in tandem with POOR Magazine editor, welfareQUEEN, daughter of dee and poverty scholar Lisa Gray-Garcia aka tiny, whose memoir; Criminal of Poverty; Growing Up Homeless in America will be released on City Lights Press in December. Tiny paints a vivid, intense portrait of her and her mother’s struggle with poverty , homelessness and the growing criminalization of poverty and poor folks in America as well as the fascinating story of the development of the highly innovative grassroots, organization, POOR Magazine and publication of the same name.

The following is the powerful list of POOR Press Publications and the poverty scholars that shared their knowledge and scholarship in each.

Selected Wordz


Poverty scholar, welfare QUEEN, mother, arts educator and co-founder of the F.A.M.I.L.Y. Project, Jewnbug has authored a collection of metaphorical texts as well as drawn, painted and graphically designed images to raise a new level of consciousness in her readers. Selected Wordz uses speech in a new, inventive way to address spiritual and emotional issues. A self-proclaimed wordsmith, Jewnbug says she is sharing these writings to heal and to encourage consciousness on an extremely deep level. She does not fail in her task to challenge her readers and provide a new, unique perspective on life, language and spirituality. This book has the power to change its readers way of thinking and living.

Why Can't We Play In Our Own Backyard?

Byron Gafford

Another poverty scholar and child abuse survivor, Byron Gafford has taken his own painful experiences and shared them through poetry to educate the public about the numerous problems surrounding the system of foster care and the child protective services. In his third book of poetry, Why Can't We Play in Our Own Backyard? Gafford uniquely addresses the problem of child abuse through simple, eloquent poems told through not just the eyes of a child, but also the voice of an adult survivor. These 34 poems are powerful and open the readers’ eyes extremely wide to the painful reality of child abuse that’s occurring in our own communities everyday.

El Viaje de Una Madre Immigrante

Ingrid De Leon

Ingrid De Leon is an immigrant mother, artist, writer and POOR poverty scholar. Her first POOR Press Publication, El Viaje is a first hand account chronicling her own journey on foot from Guatemala through Mexico and finally into the United States. De Leon shares her own story of struggle, pain and sacrifice. Published in both English and Spanish El Viaje is an extremely powerful, poignant and meaningful story that takes the reader on a journey to a new awareness of the immigrant struggle and the connection that all impoverished humans share.

System Bitch

Ecsta Scene

In the first edition of her zine called System Bitch , poverty scholar, welfare QUEEN and mother, Ecsta Scene has published a collection of what she calls witness statements. Authored by a variety of different people, these witness statements are first hand accounts of people’s interactions with systems in today’s modern world. System Bitch is unlimited in the scope of systems its authors confront, including but not limited to jail, child abuse, work, love, religion and politics. Ecsta Scene has put together a truly insightful collection of work, which begs for further evaluation.

Paradise Ventures II

Marvin Crutchfield

In his second book of poetry, Paradise Ventures II , Marvin Crutchfield shares his strong belief in God, knowledge and newfound peace with the reader. In this collection of 28 poems, Crutchfield boldly and directly states his beliefs and views about the role of Jesus in life. Although direct, his poems don't simply preach about his passionate beliefs, but also tell the story of his own life experiences since finding God in his struggle to come up and out of poverty. Simple and eloquent all at the same time, these poems address the importance of finding peace in the struggle for survival.

Dream Owls

Janie Dickens

A new POOR Press author, Janie Dickens is not only a poverty scholar and digital resistor but also a poet and artist. Her first publication, Dream Owls proves her engaging artistic talent and insightful writing skills. A colorful and playful book, Dream Owls , is a collection of poetry and art about why people are poor. Dream Owls has an enjoyable touch of playfulness while still engaging the reader in challenging subjects such as the environment, homelessness, childhood, and love. Dickens' poetry is full of life and reads to a nice rhythm that flows easily from one poem to the next.

My Life X 4

Jasmine Hain

Twelve-year old Jasmine Hain and her mother Vivian Hain are co-authors of My Life X 4 , which chronicles the four years their family spent living in a store front window during the dot-com boom. The book includes stories, poems, artwork, quotes and reflections of Jasmine, which highlight her remarkable social consciousness and incredible talent. Vivian and Jasmine's collaboration on the book emphasize the unique and sacred bond the mother and daughter share. My Life X 4 provides a new perspective on poverty, one that is not heard in traditional media today and should be read by all.

Citizens, Civilians Over Corruption:Savagely Removed Occupant (S.R.O)

Marlon Crump

Marlon Crump is a poverty scholar, digital resistor and extremely talented author whose debut book, Citizen, Civilians Over Corruption: Savagely Removed Occupant (S.R.O.) appears as a fictionalized account of a future where poverty and injustice run rampant in the wake of police corruption The story, however, was inspired by Crump's own experience with police, who illegally stormed his S.R.O. and arrested him for a crime he did not commit. Using his unique first-hand experience with police brutality, Crump, through this thoroughly interesting story, sheds light on the barriers that exist between race, poverty, and law enforcement. A truly enjoyable, informative and educational, novel, Citizen, Civilians Over Corruption: Savagely Removed Occupant is a shinning first novel.

Reflections of Unknown Artists


Dharma, welfareQUEEN, poet, musician, artist and graphic designer, has created a visual and literary montage of poetry, art and essay focused on the struggle, survival and resistance of a African Queen living and trying to thrive in the Bay Area in 2006, with her book; Reflections of Unknown Artists

Ask Joe Holding Up the Sky

Joseph Bolden

Poverty scholar, digital resistor, founding member of POOR Magazine and SRO tenant, Joseph Bolden provides his readers with a funny, insightful collection of his POOR Magazine columns. Bolden shares the dreams, thoughts and desires of a very low-income man living in a 21st century media-informed universe. He explores relationships, gender differences, technology and much more, disclosing his brutally honest opinions, views and experiences.

To purchase any of these books for innovative, revolutionary holiday gifts, please call 415.863.6306

To book a reading, workshop or performance with the artists on the Race, Poverty and Resistance Tour please email or call POOR at 415-863-6306. Another aspect of the tour is a series of talks, symposiums and workshops focused specifically on the increasing trend of criminalizing poor communities of color locally and globally, for more information on this national tour please email

See below for the current calendar of readings and performances

Upcoming Book Tour Events

Wed Jan 10th, 6-7:30 p.m. San Francisco Public Library Civic Center See Tiny read and speak from her new book, Criminal of Poverty at the Radar Reading Series, which features emerging and underground writers performing new work. Hosted by Michelle Tea FREE

Thurs Jan 11th, 7 p.m. City Lights Bookstore @ 261 Columbus Ave. & Broadway, SF FREE

Thurs, Feb. 8th 6 p.m. Modern Times Bookstore @ 888 Valencia St, SF FREE

Wed, April 11th Intersection for the Arts @446 Valencia (bet. 14th & 15th St.) SF FREE

For more information on tickets or to book a date, Call POOR Magazine at 415-863-6306

You can also catch the POOR Mag Poverty and Race Scholars on their monthly radio show on KPFA�s morning show at 94.1 F.M.


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