WeHo Reads: Light in Our Hearts

Meet the Writers

bridgette bianca

bridgette bianca is a poet and professor from South Central Los Angeles. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Howard University and her Master of Fine Arts in Writing from Otis College of Art & Design. Her first book of poetry, be/trouble, was released by Writ Large Press/The Accomplices in 2020. When she is not sharing her poetry, she hosts two instagram series, Young, Black, and Tenure-Track where she documents her experiences in higher education and We Be Readin! Wednesdays where she discusses her romance reading obsession!

Find her online at @bridgettebianca on instagram and bridgettebianca.com.

Cassandra Lane

Cassandra Lane is winner of the Louise Meriwether First Book Prize and author of We Are Bridges, which NPR named a “Best Book of 2021” and called “a stunning contribution to what must become our collective memory.” Lane received her MFA from Antioch University LA. She formerly worked as a newspaper reporter, high school English and journalism teacher, college admissions advisor, senior writer, and community relations manager for the Dodgers. Her stories have appeared in the New York Times’s “Conception” series, the Times-Picayune, the Atlanta Journal Constitution, and elsewhere. She is editor in chief of L.A. Parent magazine.

Find her online at cassandralane.net.

traci kato-kiriyama

traci kato-kiriyama (they+she) is the author of Navigating With(out) Instruments and is an award-winning multi-, inter- and transdisciplinary artist – recognized for their work as a writer, performer, theatre deviser, cultural producer, and community organizer. Recognition and support includes the Art Matters Foundation; CA State Senate Breaking Silence Award; ONE Archives Pride Publics. tkk has been presented in hundreds of venues throughout North America and their writing, commentary, and work appear in numerous media and print publications (incl. NPR; PBS; Elle.com; The Hollywood Reporter; Entropy; Chaparral Canyon Press; Tia Chucha Press; Bamboo Ridge Press; Heyday Books; Regent Press; Temple University Press).

Find them online at traciakemi.com

Shonda Buchanan

A Pushcart Prize nominee, a USC Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities Fellow and a Department of Cultural Affairs City of Los Angeles (COLA) Master Artist Fellow, Shonda Buchanan is the author of five books, including the award-winning memoir, Black Indian.

An award-winning poet, fiction, nonfiction writer and educator, Shonda has been a journalist for 25+ years, publishing in the Los Angeles Times, the LA Weekly, AWP’s The Writer’s Chronicle, Los Angeles Times Magazine, Indian Country Today, and The International Review of African American Art. VP of Beyond Baroque Literary Art Center’s Board of Trustees, Shonda is also a Sundance Institute Writing Arts fellow, a PEN Center Emerging Voices fellow and a Jentel Artist Residency fellow. Finalist for the 2021 Mississippi Review poetry contest, Shonda’s memoir, Black Indian, won the 2020 Indie New Generation Book Award and was chosen by PBS NewsHour as a “top 20 books to read” to learn about institutional racism.

Her memoir begins the saga of her family’s migration stories of Free People of Color communities exploring identity, ethnicity, landscape and loss. Her first collection of poetry, Who’s Afraid of Black Indians? was nominated for the Black Caucus of the American Library Association and the Library of Virginia Book Awards. An international lecturer and workshop leader, Shonda received an MFA from Antioch University, a MA and BA in English from Loyola Marymount University where she is a Senior Lecturer. Daughter of Mixed bloods, Shonda lives and writes in her adopted home on Tongva and Chumash land in Los Angeles, California.

For more information, follow @shondabuchanan or contact her at Shondabuchanan@gmail.com or visit www.ShondaBuchanan.com.

Cat Moore

Cat currently serves USC as the first Director of Belonging in the history of American higher education. She is the course designer + instructor for CLICK!, gaining national media attention. She is also the CEO of Re-human, a company that empowers digital users to connect on purpose on + off-screen.

She partnered with the Los Angeles Unified School District to analyze the role of relationships and integrity in systemic change before directing communications for a non-profit that helps locals to transform their contexts through relationships.

For the last 7 years she has partnered with leaders across industries to prototype models for organic connecting. Her work has been studied by universities + received grants.

Find her online at cat-moore.com

Catch Up On The Road to Joy

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