Alan writes and delivers custom keynotes for conferences, universities, museums and special celebrations such as Black History Month, Latin American Heritage Month, and LGBTQIA+ History Month. Their keynotes are a hybrid of poetry, political analysis, and storytelling.
Poetry Readings / Spoken Word
Alan has performed at universities and stages across the country including Columbia University, Harvard University, NYU’s Hemispheric Institute, Stanford University, San Francisco’s African American Art & Culture Theatre, Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar among many others. Alan’s poetry centers the themes of undocumented immigration, mourning as a source of consciousness and the excellence that is Blackness and Indigeneity. .
Poetry readings are 20 or 40-minutes long accompanied by a 20 minute Q&A, or a long-form community dialogue about personal art practice and using art as a strategy for resistance.
Creative Writing Workshops
Alan has led creative writing workshops for four years and continues to develop curriculums based on community needs. Most popular thus far are “Trauma in the Body,” “A Reclamation of our Rights,” and “Writing the Black”
Writing the Black is a workshop for people of the African Diaspora where they are asked to identify the first moment in their life in which they understood what being Black meant (For some, being Black means learning to deep condition their hair; for some, being Black means learning to survive stop-and-frisk laws; for some, being Black means being proud of one’s skin, etc.). Once this moment is identified, Alan leads participants into writing exercises where participants explore their experiences with colorism and racism as a means to affirm and hold their identity and existence while living in an anti-Black world. This workshop was originally developed for Black immigrants, but it has been altered to fit any Black audience.
Trauma in the Body is a multimedia writing workshop that involves light sculpting and writing. The workshop begins with a brief presentation of how trauma works in the body and how to identify if your body is stuck in “freeze” or “flight” mode(s). Post trauma introduction, Alan leads participants through a study of three poems by poets of color writing about, with and through the body. During this study, participants are encouraged to explore where they feel pain in their bodies, create a sculpture of their body and then write poetry to their bodies.
A Reclamation of our Rights is a writing workshop centered on radical vulnerability amongst participants. As people who live at the intersection of multiple oppressions, this writing workshop is aimed at claiming back our power. Participants first engage in a community dialogue about the concept of care: who are we allowed to care for? who do you prioritize? who have you de-prioritized? for what reason? and with what intention?. Post-dialogue, facilitator passes out flashcards with “rights” attached to them. Each participant is given time to imagine how to reclaim those rights for themselves or think through how they have denied some or all of those right to someone else. In this reclamation, participants are asked to be vulnerable, meet themselves at their contradictions, hold themselves at their worst, and celebrate their best.