We’re really excited to host two amazing, accomplished, dynamic writers and thinkers, Diane Ward and Roberto Bedoya!
Diane Ward was born in Washington, DC where she attended the Corcoran College of Art and Design. She received a doctorate degree in Geography from UCLA. Her poetry publications include a collaboration with Tina Darragh and Jane Sprague in the Belladonna Elders series, No List (no list) from Seeing Eye Books in Los Angeles, Flim-Yoked Scrim from Factory School, and When You Awake from Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs. Her poem, “Fade on Family” was set to music by the Los Angeles composer Michael Webster and performed as part of The Society for the Activation of Social Space through Art and Sound series at the Schindler House in West Hollywood. “InHouse,” a constructed poem, appeared in Kindergarde, the First Avant Garde Anthology for Children, edited by Lee Ann Brown. She curated an edition of the Poetic Research Bureau’s “live magazine,” @SEA, around the theme “Flows.” She has been a member of “The Reader’s Chorus,” performing in Los Angeles at MOCA, the Museum of Jurassic Technology, and the Velaslavasay Panorama. Her collaboration with the artist Ursula Brookbank is documented in the chapter, “Borne-away: Tracing a gendered dispossession by accumulation” in the edited book, Geopoetics in Practice, forthcoming from Routledge.
Roberto Bedoya is the Cultural Affairs Manager for the City of Oakland where he most recently shepherded the City’s Cultural Plan. - “Belonging in Oakland: A Cultural Development Plan”. Through-out his career he has consistently supported artists-centered cultural practices and advocated for expanded definitions of inclusion and belonging throughout his career. His essays “Creative Placemaking and the Politics of Belonging and Dis-Belonging”; “Spatial Justice: Rasquachification, Race and the City” have reframed the discussion on cultural policy to shed light on exclusionary practices in cultural policy decision making. In addition to his essays he is the author The Ballad of Cholo Dandy, a poetry chapbook (Chax Press) and an excerpt of his play “Decoto” is anthologized in Writers Who Love Too Much: New Narrative 1977-1997; ( Nightboat Books). He is a Creative Placemaking Fellow at Arizona State University.