Fresno Grand Opera Announces Poets for
Opera Remix: Music & Verse
Fresno, California – September 22, 2015
Poets Jennifer De La Cruz, Michael Dominquez, Taylor Harris, Aideed Medina, S. Bryan Medina, Michael Medrano and James Tyner will perform original works of poetry alongside the Central Valley premier of Philip Glass and Allen Ginsberg’s chamber opera Hydrogen Jukebox.
Jennifer De La Cruz
Jennifer De La Cruz is a Registered Marriage and Family Therapist Intern. Born in Southern California, she has lived in the Central Valley for 28 years. Jennifer began writing as a teen, but started sharing her work publicly in 2014. She is excited to share her story and inspire others through writing and performing. Jennifer has competed and performed in various open mics and slams throughout the Central Valley, Southern California, and Hawaii. Her work has been published by xxxchurch.com with plans to release her first chapter book in 2016.
Michael Dominquez is the Executive Director and facilitator of OutWords, an after-school poetry program operating in Fresno, CA. Through OutWords, Michael has hosted writing workshops, produced poetry events, and collaborated with other youth-oriented organizations. He has participated in Fresno County Office of Education and Fresno Arts Council’s “Teaching-Artist” certification program. Most recently, Michael competed in the 2014 National Poetry Slam conference in Oakland.
Taylor Harris is a speech-language pathologist by day and psychology instructor by night, but poetry pounds in her chest 24/7. She has competed in the Inner Ear’s Beat Down Slam and has performed in Fresno’s Rogue Festival as both a poet (All’s Fair in 2014) and actor (Genesisters in 2015). Performances also include the Woodward Shakespeare Festival. Harris was classically trained in voice, and dreamed of becoming an opera singer as a child, and is excited to return to her “first love” with this marriage of opera and spoken word.
Aideed describes her writing as illustrations of singular moments and “momentary poetry”. She writes her poetry in English, and Spanish, as dictated by the inspiration of each individual poem. The richness and complexity of the people and the land of California inspires a great deal of her poetry. She writes about the sacredness of the human experience in relation to, nature, love, and family as well as social justice issues that are close to her heart. Aideed performs at Arte Americas, The Inner Ear Poetry Slam, The Visalia Loud Mouth Poetry Slam, and cultural events sponsored by the Dulce Up Front Collaborative and AMX Productions.
S. Bryan Medina
A former student of U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera, his poetry has graced stages in the Bay Area, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Kansas City. He founded the Inner Ear as a way to free poetry from the confines of academic institutions, making it accessible to all. Bryan has been awarded two City of Fresno Commendations for contributions to Fresno’s rich artistic and cultural heritage including being a winner of the 2014 Fresno Arts Council Horizon Awards, and has been featured as one of the four “Fresno Poets” from writer Nick Belardes’s Distinguished Valley Writers series as well as appeared in journals such as Flies, Cockroaches, and Poets, In The Gove, The San Joaquin Review, Jubilee, and Invisible Memoirs and was an Honorable Mention in the ’06 Larry Levis Poetry Prize. Medina is a recent graduate of Fresno Pacific University and plans to teach Special Education.
Michael Medrano’s holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Minnesota. His first collection of poetry, “Born in the Cavity of Sunsets”, was published in 2009 from Bilingual Review Press. Medrano’s poetry and prose have appeared in numerous literary journals including: The Cortland Review; Bombay Gin; North American Review; Rattle; and many others. In 2014, he wrote a four month blog on Fresno’s literary scene for the national publication, Poets & Writers Magazine website. Medrano spearheaded the movement to establish the city charter for the Fresno Poet Laureate. He hosts the literary arts interview show, “Pakatelas”, on KFCF 88.1fm, and airs throughout the central valley, streaming worldwide at kfcf.org. Medrano teaches English at Fresno City College, and is at work on a novel, based on high school lives in early 90’s Fresno, California.
James Tyner grew up in Los Angeles and in Fresno, California. A graduate of the MFA poetry program at Fresno State, his awards include the 2008 Coal Hill Review chapbook contest, the Larry Levis poetry prize, the Ernesto Trejo Poetry Prize, and the Andres Montoya Scholarship. He has appeared in many journals and anthologies, including The Working Poet, New America, and the Autumn House Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry. His poems “At a Barbeque for R.C.” and “After the Artichoke Harvest” were nominated for Pushcart Prizes. Tyner was the first Poet Laureate of Fresno.
Andre Yang lives in Fresno, California. He is a founding member of the Hmong American Writers’ Circle (HAWC), and actively conducts and participates in free public creative writing workshops with HAWC. He received his Creative Writing MFA degree from Fresno State and currently teaches English at Fresno State and Fresno City College. Andre is a Kundiman Asian American Poetry Fellow and has been awarded an artist residency at the Ucross Foundation. His poetry has appeared in Crate, Lantern Review, and Beltway Poetry Quarterly.