Join us for an evening of poetry, storytelling and visual art that portrays women's various experiences with war. The event will begin with an open mic before the presentation by local poet Portia Choi, who will talk about the Korean War and share her family's experience as refugees. She will also perform poems from her chapbook "Sungsook: Korean War Poems".
Accommodations are available with advance. Please contact Jessica Martinez
Portia Choi began writing poetry about her memories of being in the Korean War as a young child. She published a chapbook, Sungsook, composed of poems of these experiences, those of her mother, and those of Korean War veterans. Regarding the book, Don Thompson, the Kern County Poet Laureate, commented that “Choi writes honest, heartfelt poems that portray the courage and resilience of refugees struggling to survive, without sacrificing the charm of the little girl who lived through it all.” Choi wrote a one-act play, Survivors, that was performed at the Bakersfield Community Theatre in 2001. The play is about a chance meeting of a homeless woman and a woman who had survived a war.
Choi performed at the First Night Bakersfield in 2000, at Spotlight’s Les Femme Artistes in 2000 & 2013, and at “Drama and Poetry Night” during National Poetry Month 2011. She has recited her poems for the Korean War veterans and the Korean community. Choi has provided workshops on poetry writing at the Art for Healing Program of Mercy Hospital and at Second Chances Charter School. Choi is involved with the poetry community. Currently, she and other community poets organize the National Poetry Month, an annual event in April since 2010. She hosts the monthly First Friday Open Mic at Dagny’s Coffee. She also manages the Kern Poetry website. Her poems are published in a number of journals and anthologies.