• Recycle Bookstore
    Founded in 1967 by Pat and Joan Hayes, Recycle Bookstore has become a San Jose institution, where visitors can wander through cases of books, from literary classics to special interest texts, in the company of the shop’s well-loved felines. The distinctive character of each cat, detailed on the bookstore website, matches the character of the shop’s offerings—many of the books are rich with the history of previous readers. In 1998, Eric and Cynthia Johnson bought the store, and in 2004, they opened a second location in Campbell.
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  • Marissa Ahmadkhani
    Born and raised in Gilroy, Ahmadkhani decided to go to college at Cal Poly at San Luis Obispo because of its location. Soon after arriving, she found a group of like-minded creatives in the tightly knit English Department, a refuge in a sense from the polytechnic focus of the university. She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in English literature.
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  • Donnelle McGee - Exit Strategy
    A local novelist on the finer points of complete disappearance. A good story is like an addiction. It separates you from yourself, steeps you in a world different from the one buoyed by your immediate surroundings. But, according to McGee, only one brings you back whole.
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  • Tshaka Campbell
    If you’ve seen slam poetry live in the Bay Area, chances are you’ve seen Tshaka Campbell performing. Campbell has dedicated his artistic life to sharing his world of words and the performance of his own perspective.
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  • Poet - McTate Stroman II
    Hip-hop roots have always been in poetry. The earliest emcees knew that the human voice is the most powerful tool at our disposal, one that not only stirs a crowd but changes hearts and minds at the same time. McTate Stroman II lives and breathes by that tradition. Calling himself “the original breakbeat poet,” Stroman uses his gift of poetry to inspire others to find that tool within themselves and change the world around them. “I’m a poet who documents hip-hop,” Stroman says. “That’s how I understand myself.”
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  • Asha
    "I am not my hair, but I am proud to say my hair is me,” declares San Jose poet Asha Sudra in the closing line of a defiant, spoken-word poem exploring oppression, the self-hate that comes from it, and the self-love that follows escape from those bounds. That poem, “Baby Hairs,” is a deep reflection on Asha’s own struggles with, and eventual embracing, identity.
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  • Arlene Biala
    On Solace, Inclusion, and Poetry as Story Santa Clara County’s newest Poet Laureate, Arlene Biala, presents a rich Filipina and Pacific Islander heritage in…
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