May 6th, Future Now Readers: Teka Lo, Briana Muñoz, & Alan Chazaro

Join us on Thursday, May 6th, for our monthly Reading & Open Mic series, Future Now! This month we are featuring Dryland contributors: Teka Lo, Briana Muñoz, and Alan Chazaro! Hosted by Assistant Editor Nikolai Garcia.

Fill out this google form to sign up for the Open Mic!


Teka Lo (Issue 10, 2020)

Teka Lo is a poet, essayist, and journalist from Los Angeles currently residing in New York. She is the founder and editor of Public Intellectuals and the author of the poetry collection Queen of Inglewood (Word Palace Press). She has been published in Time, L.A. Weekly, Truthdig, and other progressive media of note. 

Briana Muñoz (Issue 10, 2020)

Briana Muñoz is a writer from Southern California. She is the author of Loose Lips, a poetry collection published by Prickly Pear Publishing (2019), and author of the forthcoming collection Everything is Returned to the Soil (FlowerSong Press 2021). Her work has also been published in Dryland, in Boundless: The Anthology of the Rio Grande Valley International Poetry Festival, and in the Oakland Arts Review, among others. Find her on IG: @awomanofwords

Alan Chazaro (Issue 10, 2020)

Alan Chazaro is the author of This Is Not a Frank Ocean Cover Album (Black Lawrence Press, 2019) and Piñata Theory (Black Lawrence Press, 2020). He is a graduate of June Jordan’s Poetry for the People program at UC Berkeley and a former Lawrence Ferlinghetti Fellow at the University of San Francisco. His chapbook, Notes from the Eastern Span of the Bay Bridge, is now available on Ghost City Press. He’s on Twitter and finally IG, too, @alan_chazaro.


Open Mic Guidelines:

  • Be ready to unmute yourself when your name is called and please mute yourself again once you are done sharing. 
  • Open-mic readers will have three minutes to share. Please be respectful of our other readers’ time. We will use the mute button at our discretion. 
  • We will not tolerate any hate speech. (No racism, sexism, homophobia, etc). 

Help us get the word out by sharing the flyer on Instagram, FB, or Twitter and invite a friend to come hang out! This is a great opportunity for anyone looking to showcase their poetry and connect with artists of the Los Angeles community and beyond.

Future Now, A Black & Brown Open Mic & Reading Series

Calling all Black & Brown poets and writers to join us for the launch of FUTURE NOW, a Virtual Open Mic & Reading Series happening every first Thursday month, hosted by Viva Padilla & the Dryland team. The first open mic will take place on April 1st, 2021, featuring readings by Dryland contributors Eva Recinos, Aruni Wijesinghe, and Alexandra Martinez.

We welcome everyone from all over the world to sign up for the open-mic; there are limited spots available so if you’re interested in performing, sign up as soon as possible! Click here for the sign-up sheet and fill out some info about yourself and what you would like to showcase.

Open Mic Guidelines:

  • Be ready to unmute yourself when your name is called and please mute yourself again once you are done sharing. 
  • Open-mic readers will have three minutes to share. Please be respectful of our other readers’ time. We will use the mute button at our discretion. 
  • We will not tolerate any hate speech. (No racism, sexism, homophobia, etc). 

Help us get the word out by sharing the flyer and inviting a friend or two to come hang out!

When: Every first Thursday of the Month

Where: Virtual (Zoom ID: 878 8950 0444)

Time: 7-9 PM PST

This is a great opportunity for anyone looking to showcase their poetry and connect with artists of the Los Angeles community and beyond. For every reading we will also be featuring three poets and writers published in previous issues of the Dryland literary journal.


More info on our readers:

Eva Recinos (Issue 10, 2020)

Eva Recinos is an LA-based arts and culture journalist and creative non-fiction writer focusing on stories that often get left out of mainstream media. Her profiles, features and reviews have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, GOOD, The Guardian, KCET Artbound, Art21, VICE, Bitch, Jezebel and more. She was a 2019 finalist in the LA Press Club awards for Arts & Entertainment Feature (Online). 

Read Eva’s essay featured in issue 10

Aruni Wijesinghe (Issue 10, 2020)

Aruni Wijesinghe (pronounced Wih-jay-SING-hah, Think of the sentence “We’re chasing her” ) is a project manager, ESL teacher, erstwhile belly dance instructor and occasional sous chef. She has been published in anthologies and journals both nationally and internationally and has collections forthcoming with Moon Tide Press and Silver Star Laboratory. She lives a quiet life in Orange County with Jeff, Jack and Josie.

Alexandra Martinez (Issue 10, 2020)

Alexandra Martinez is a baker and poet living in the tumble-weeds of Southern California.

Questions from our IG Followers for Viva Padilla, EIC of Dryland

Thank you to all our Instagram followers for sharing your questions with Editor-in-Chief Viva Padilla of Dryland literary journal.

Viva shares a few tips to help you in your writing journey, overcoming some of the challenges in the publishing world, and how else you can collaborate with us. Remember, submissions to Issue 11 are open until April 20th, 2021. Los editors are hoping to read your best work!

Also, we invite you to join us on Thursday, April 1st, for FUTURE NOW, a virtual Los Angeles Black & Brown reading and open mic series happening every first Thursday of the month. We will be hosting this event via zoom from 7-9 PM PST. For more info & how to sign up, click here. ¡Nos vemos!

What makes a piece stand out the most?

There are at least three things that make a poem stand out that I am conscious about. A poem might have all these things going on that makes it fly or it might just have one: a sincere voice, a succinct use of language, a boldness in it the way it conveys its message without preaching. The thing is to try to hit as many as you can (and more in the spiritual, psychic, and other planes) when you write. Sometimes, though, a poem might hit me in such a way that I can’t describe what happened. That’s usually when I know something must be published. It’s a gut feeling mostly.

Is it bad taste to submit poems written and performed years back?

If a poem has wings, even though a good amount of time has passed, it will still fly.

Will you be publishing other authors’ books in the future?

My plan is to publish poetry collections under Ponte Las Pilas Press and another press I am looking to get together. When is another question. I need to find some poets to publish first. I hope that through the FUTURE NOW reading and open mic series we find our future authors.

When is the last day to submit?

The last day to submit this year is April 20. Last day to submit to our journal we hope never comes. <3

What are the guidelines to submit?

Our submission guidelines are pretty straightforward and easy to follow. You can send us an email or go through Submittable. If you go through Submittable you’re going to have to upload files. Not everyone has subscriptions or access to Microsoft Word so it’s ok if you just type it up in an email and send it like that. You could even take a picture of something handwritten and send it like that if you are in a circumstance where you don’t have 24/7 access to the internet. Send at least one poem; three is better.

Hey love, are you interested in visuals by any chance?

I am always looking for artists to feature on the cover and inside the journal. Right now, there’s no official process, so there’s nowhere to submit for consideration. If you’re an artist, the best thing to do is to just email me with links to your work or DM me.

Editing approaches tips? ¿Consejos?

I think the thing is not to fall in love with your own words. Once you get emotionally attached to the way you wrote something you won’t want to make any changes to it. If you can take an “unemotional” step back and care about how you wrote something, you’ll start to see how great the piece could become.

Aside from submitting, how else can we collaborate?

There is a lot I still want to do, so I’m always itching to collaborate. If you have an idea for a photo essay, short film, podcast, reading, book, play– anything really– that you think I might be down for, just get in contact with me.

What is/was the hardest part of starting a publishing press?

With how cheap the cost of printing a book is nowadays (thanks to print-on-demand), I can’t even say that the funding is the hardest. I think the hardest thing for me is just all the work that is involved beyond creating a book. For a long time I was doing all the social media, PR, maintaining the website, booking authors, organizing readings, all that. Now there’s 4-5 of us working on the whole thing so it’s not just me alone anymore. I think that’s been the hardest but I think it’s also what makes the whole thing work. If we don’t stay connected to the community, the journal doesn’t happen. And if the journal doesn’t happen, no one gets read. 

Dryland Literary Journal Awarded Critical Minded Grant

We are excited to announce that Dryland has been awarded a $5,000 grant from Critical Minded, a grantmaking and learning initiative of The Nathan Cummings Foundation and The Ford Foundation which aims to support critics of color in the United States. The purpose of the initiative is to “build the resources and visibility of cultural critics of color through: direct support to publications and individuals, research, advocacy, and convening.”

Historically, critics of color have been pushed out of cultural and political conversations. In the article “Why Cultural Critics of Color Matter,” Elizabeth Méndez Berry, Director of Voice, Creativity, and Culture at the Nathan Cummings Foundation, wrote: “If we have been made painfully aware of the lack of representation of people of color in the industries that tell us stories, we should also be aware of the lack of representation of people of color in the places where we make meaning of those stories…the majority of full-time critics — at the few media outlets that still have them — are white.”

Through the Critical Minded grant the editors of Dryland are using these funds to publish criticisms from writers of color that challenge narratives, aesthetics, and topics in the arts while engaging in political discourse relevant to our readers. 

We are currently accepting pitches until March 1st, 2021. Accepted pitches will be published in Issue 11. For more information head over to our submissions guidelines.

Tongo Eisen-Martin named San Francisco’s 8th Poet Laureate

The editors of Dryland congratulate Tongo-Eisen Martin for being selected as San Francisco’s 8th Poet Laureate by city Mayor London Breed. 

Eisen-Martin is a previous contributor of Dryland; his poems “I Do Not Know the Spelling of Money” and “I Make Promises Before I Dream” were featured in Issue 10 in 2020. He joins the honorary list of Bay Area poets laureate that include Devorah Major, Alejandro Murguía, and Kim Schuck; In 1998, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, founder of City Lights Books, was the first poet to be awarded the title. 

In 2018, City Lights published Eisen-Martin’s chapbook Heaven is All Goodbyes for their Pocket Poet series, which won several book awards, including the 2018 American Book Award. Born and raised in San Francisco, Eisen-Martin’s latest curriculum on extrajudicial killing of Black people, “We Charge Genocide Again,” has been used as an educational and organizing tool nation wide. 

In a press conference via zoom with Mayor Breed, Eisen-Martin delivered a speech reflecting his commitment to the Bay Area community as a poet, movement worker, and educator in order to create cultural work that is transformative and conducive to liberation. “A poet of any station is secondary to the people. A poet of any use belongs to the energy and consciousness of the people,” he said, “my aim as San Francisco poet laureate is to join with that energy in order to create vehicles of unity. Events, workshops, readings, are all vehicles for unity. I will never tire building as many as this city can handle.”  

His second book in the City Lights Pocket Poet series will be released in fall 2021.

E.M. Franceschini wins 2020 Anzaldúa Poetry Prize

The editors of Dryland congratulate issue 10 contributor Eric Morales Franceschini for his upcoming chapbook “Autopsy of a Fall,” winner of the 2020 Gloria E. Anzaldúa Poetry Prize. The annual award is provided by Newfound, a non-profit publisher based in Austin, Texas. As listed on their website, the prize awards a poet whose work “explores how place shapes identity, imagination, and understanding. Special attention is given to poems that exhibit multiple vectors of thinking: artistic, theoretical, and social, which is to say, political.” 

Franceschini is a previous contributor of Dryland; his poem “Caracoles” was featured in issue 10 in 2020.  The author was born in Puerto Rico and is a former day laborer and U.S. Army veteran who now holds a PhD from UC Berkeley. He is currently an Assistant Professor of English and Latin American Studies at the University of Georgia. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Somos en escrito, Moko, Chiricu, among others.

The Anzaldúa Prize panelists alongside guest judge Marcelo Hernandez Castillo (author of poetry collections Cenzontle and Dulce) chose Franceschini’s chapbook out of three additional finalists. The prize also includes a $1,500 award plus 25 copies of the published manuscript, however, Franceschini is allocating all royalties to the Undocupoets Fellowship Fund and The Colectiva Feminista en Construcción in Puerto Rico.  


“Autopsy of a Fall” will be published by Newfound in fall 2021.