Students and community guests gathered at the Poetry Center to converse with successful, young poets about the meaning of home.
On Thursday, April 11, The Poetry Center welcomed Chicago poet Feliz Lucia Molina and Bay Area poet Alli Warren. The poets took part in the Poetry Center “In Common Writers” series.
The “In Common Writers” series is a weekly event where the Poetry Center brings together two different poets to read their work and have a conversation with each other and the audience. Through the series, Steve Dickison, director of the Poetry Center, wishes to bring together writers from across the nation to collaborate in discussion with more local writers.
“I wanted to bring writers that were rarely here and feature writers who are from outside the area who don’t come out here very often and pair them together with somebody local who they could have strong conversation with,” Dickison said.
Molina and Warren presented their poetry on themes of Filipino culture and expectations and the concept of home.
Molina and Warren have known each other since 10th grade when they went to school together in the San Fernando Valley and came together to bring light to the meaning of home and the impact of the internet and social media.
Molina presented her manuscript for her up and coming poetry book, Thundercastle. Thundercastle is the sequel to Undercastle, one of her already published poetry books.
The poetry book expands on her experience being born and raised in a Catholic and Filipino household in the San Fernando Valley. According to Molina, in her childhood, she was quickly immersed in the environment of shared homes, as her parents ran board-and-care homes for adults with mental illnesses.
Being simultaneously raised around these homes and Filipino culture, she began to gravitate towards writing about her concept of home, and her lack of a sense of home.
“I’m always trying to understand what home is and what that means,” Molina said. “Especially growing up a certain way with parents who were immigrants from the Philippines and then having a series of boarding care facilities that never really felt like our home together but actually was.”
Molina said she is not only fascinated in writing about her own idea of home, but in investigating how others around the world live.
Poet Alli Warren shared her poetry which explored social and economic desire motivating the concept of home. Warren discussed how the internet can at times become our home.
“It feels like the internet is a place that’s like a no place, but that we spend all our time in,” Warren said. “We’re in our homes physically but yet were in the mind space of the Internet.”
Molina agreed and added that the internet is constantly selling items and ideas to consumers.
She said that she defines poetry as part of her home.
“I think poetry has always felt like a safe place and so in that sense, it’s always felt sort of like the closest thing to home,” Molina said.