LUNADA: A Virtual New Moon Literary Lounge

Presented by: Galería de la Raza and Borderlands Theater


For two decades Lunadas have fortified Bay Area communities on the full moon. During this time of the Covid19 crisis, Lunadas go virtual and move to the new moon, a time for intention setting and realignment. Recognizing the need to pull together Galería de la Raza joins forces with Borderlands Theater and Lunada founder Marc David Pinate, in a historic collaboration presenting an evening of truth-telling and testimonials on the dark side of the moon. Featuring the best Latinx poets in the country the virtual Lunada promises an evening of medicine for the heart and spirit. 

Chibbi Orduña is a Mexican-born, Texas-raised queer poet and actor. He is the founder of Laredo BorderSlam, a founding member of Write About Now, and has self-published two books. He has toured across the country performing his poetry, and his work has appeared in OutSmart Magazine, The Latino Book Review Magazine 2020, and has been featured online on Are Mitu, George Takei, SlamFind, Poetry Slam Inc, Button Poetry, and Write About Now.

Manuela Arciniegas is an Afro-Dominican drummer, healer priestess, dollmaker, and social justice warrior. She writes songs that are spirit messages from her ancestors, and invitations into the collective consciousness for the world. Mother of 4, funder, teaching artist, ethnomusicologist in the making, she has performed with the all-women’s band she founded Legacy Women, everywhere from Lincoln Center to south Bronx community gardens. Music is medicine and life, and the words of aché, fueled by fire and cooled by the river —run through her. 


Previous Lunada Features

***Click artists names below to see their live performance in Lunada

June 21, 2020

Marga Gomez has read at Lunada twice in San Francisco and is honored to be part of this profound experience once more, now more than ever. Marga is the writer and performer of thirteen solo plays, which have been produced everywhere including Borderlands in Tucson. These days she’s bringing them all online. She will premiere her latest show “Spanking Machine” as a commissioned work by Dixon Place NYC July 16th thru July 25th. Her acting credits include theatre roles: Campo Santos San Francisco production of  “Translating Selena” (January 2020) Off-Broadway Ars Nova production of “Dr. Rides American Beach House” (November 2019) television: “Sense8” (Netflix) and film: “Sphere” (Warner Brothers.)

Jesús I. Valles is a queer Mexican immigrant, educator, storyteller, and performer based in Austin, Texas, originally from Cd. Juarez, Mexico.  Jesús is a recipient of the 2018 Undocupoets Fellowship, a fellow of The Poetry Foundation and Crescendo Literary’s 2018 Poetry Incubator, runner-up in the 2017 Button Poetry Chapbook Contest, and a finalist of the 2016 Write Bloody Poetry Contest. Their work has been published in The Shade Journal, The Texas Review, and The New Republic (forthcoming). Jesús currently teaches social and emotional learning to high school students, focusing on those recently arrived in the U.S.

July 20, 2020

Ariana Brown is a queer Black Mexican American poet from the Southside of San Antonio, TX. She is the author of ‘Sana Sana,’ a poetry chapbook with @gameoverbooks, and is a 2014 national collegiate poetry slam champion. Ariana’s work investigates queer Black personhood in Mexican American spaces, spirituality, and healing. Find her poems + rants on IG/Twitter @arianathepoet.

Carmen Tafolla, the first City Poet Laureate of San Antonio and the 2015 State Poet Laureate of Texas, has authored more than thirty books and received numerous awards including the Americas Award, five International Latino Book Awards, and the Art of Peace Award, for work which contributes to peace, justice, and human understanding.  Professor Emeritus at the University of Texas-San Antonio, and former President of the Texas Institute of Letters, Tafolla has been called by Rigoberto Gonzalez “the Zora Neale Hurston of the Chicano community” and honored by the National Association of Chicana/o Studies for work which “gives voice to the peoples and cultures of this land.”

August 19, 2020

Mayda del Valle was born and raised on the Southside of Chicago.  She is the author of A South Side Girl’s Guide to Love and Sex, The University of Hip Hop and was a winner of the 2016 Drinking Gourd Chapbook Poetry Prize from Northwestern University Press.  She appeared on six episodes of the HBO series Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry, and was a contributing writer and original cast member of the Tony Award-winning Def Poetry Jam on Broadway.  

She began her artistic career at the Nuyorican Poets Café, where she was the 2001 Grand Slam Champion, and went on to become the National Poetry Slam Champion in the same year.  She was the youngest poet, and the first Latinx person to do so.  She has appeared in Urban Latino, Latina Magazine, Mass Appeal, The Source, The New York Times, and was named by Smithsonian Magazine as one of America’s Young Innovators in the Arts and Sciences.  Oprah’s “O” Magazine selected her as one of 20 women for the first ever “O Power List”, a group of visionary women making a mark in business, politics, and the arts.  She has performed at venues across the world, including the White House in May of 2009, by invitation of President Obama and the First Lady. 

Tony (Toño) is the son of Chicano activists Jose Antonio Burciaga and Cecilia Burciaga. He has been playing music and singing for 30 years with several bands and as a solo performer.  He attended CSUMB and received his bachelor’s degree in social work. He has been teaching in special education the last 10 years.
He currently lives in Carmel with his wife and two young boys, Toñito and

José Olivarez is the son of Mexican immigrants. His debut book of poems, Citizen Illegal, was a finalist for the PEN/ Jean Stein Award and a winner of the 2018 Chicago Review of Books Poetry Prize. It was named a top book of 2018 by The Adroit Journal, NPR, and the New York Public Library. Along with Felicia Chavez and Willie Perdomo, he is a co-editor anthology, The BreakBeat Poets Vol. 4: LatiNEXT. 

Born in the South Bronx and raised in the Throgs Neck Housing Projects, Tony Medina is a poet, graphic novelist, editor, biographer, and author of award-winning books for children and young adults. A two-time winner of the Paterson Prize for Books for Young People (DeShawn Days and I and I, Bob Marley), Medina is the author/editor of twenty-one books for adults and young readers, the most recent of which are I and I, Bob Marley (2009),My Old Man Was Always on the Lam (2010)finalist for the Paterson Poetry Prize, Broke on Ice (2011), An Onion of Wars(2012), The President Looks Like Me & Other Poems (2013) and Broke Baroque (2013),finalist for the Julie Suk Book Award. He has received the Langston Hughes Society Award; the first African Voices Literary Award; and was nominated for Pushcart Prizes for his poems, “Broke Baroque” and “From the Crushed Voice Box of Freddie Gray.” Medina, whose poetry and prose appears in over 100 anthologies and literary journals, is the first Professor of Creative Writing at Howard University. His latest book is the poetry collection, Death, with Occasional Smiling(Indolent Books, 2020).

Anna Flores is a writer and actress born in Nogales, Arizona. She is a co-founder of the New Carpa Theater Collective, and MFA candidate at Arizona State University. Anna’s poems are featured in Write-On Downtown Literary Journal, Arizona Republic Newspaper, Arizona’s Best Emerging Poets Anthology, and Shrew Literary Zine among others. When she isn’t writing or reading, she enjoys cooking, telling stories with her family, taking naps with her pets, and speaking about the desert with her friends. 

Yolanda Arroyo Pizarro es puertorriqueña y activista Afro comprometida con las comunidades vulnerables. Es además la Escritora Residente de EDP University y ha sido escritora premiada nacional e internacionalmente. Ha publicado con la Editorial Egales de España los libros Caparazones (2010), Violeta (2014) y TRANScaribeñx (2017). Su obra ha sido divulgada en varias antologías alrededor del mundo: Italia, Chile, México, Inglaterra y África. Sus libros en donde realza la identidad afro, Las Negras y TRANScaribeñx, fueron premio PENClub de Puerto Rico en 2014 y 2018.

Prophet aka Not4Prophet was born in Ponce, PR and raised in Bronx, NYC, East Harlem aka El Barrio and the Lower East Side of Manhattan that the Nuyoricans renamed Loisaida . He is former lead singer of the punk band Ricanstruction , mc of the Hip Hop group, X-Vandals , and current sonero for the Latin soul outfit, Abrazos Army .In keeping with his staunch “Malcolm X-No Sellout” stance and anti-corporate credo, Prophet has released several music albums on independent record labels.  He starred in, co-wrote, and wrote/performed the music soundtrack for the award-winning feature film, Machetero. .In 2017 his play Don’t Take Me Alive! was featured in the Downtown Urban Arts Festival (DUAF) and won the The David Dortort Prize in Playwriting in 2020 , and in 2018, his play, Trash Talk won the award for best play at DUAF. Prophet’s first collection of poetry, Last of the Po Ricans y Otros Afro Artifacts was published in 2014 and his second book of poetry, Mini Manual for the Modern day MacheteroA Poetic Polemic was published in 2020.