Poet Josiah Luis Alderete (S3E26)
Photography by Michelle Kilfeather
Josiah Luis Alderete's poetry speaks for a people devastated by gentrification and colonization.
In Part 1, Josiah traces his life back to his parents' union at a club in North Beach roughly 50 years ago. He moved around the Bay Area a bit, from various spots in the Mission to Marin and back. He tells stories from the back room at Cafe Babar, including his first time to read poetry in front of people, and the connections he made as a result. Josiah reflects on how he finds representation and expression in poetry. He and other poets formed a group called Molotov Mouths that toured the country doing readings, which he'll talk more about in Part 2.
Josiah ends this podcast describing the world of artists in the Mission in the late-'80s and early-'90s and the influence that Bucky Sinister had on him.
In Part 2, Josiah shares stories from his time with Molotov Mouths, the touring poetry collective from the 1990s. He pivots to talking about the gentrification he saw happening first-hand in the Mission in the late-'90s/early-2000s.
Josiah has been working at City Lights Books in North Beach for the last several years, and he talks about his job at this iconic San Francisco business (which is open during the pandemic).
He ends this podcast with a hella powerful poem about gentrification in the Mission. The words to that poem:
I got the Galería De La Raza blues
Please check out Josiah's reading series, Speaking Axolotl, on Facebook.
We recorded this podcast on Zoom during quarantine in San Francisco in July 2020. Special thanks to S3E1 storyteller Cassandra Dallett for introducing us to Josiah.
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