The Power in Pasifika Voices: A Poetry Workshop

Join Palauan author and student activist Des Spicer Orak and the Portland State Pacific Islander Asian and Asian American student center for a poetry workshop that amplifies the voices of Pasifilka people, their culture, art, and history. Featuring open letter writing and a collaborative poem, this workshop will center on relationships and reflection. Some central themes that will be explored are relationships to land and water, culturally specific identity, climate change, Pasifika traditions, ancestral knowledge, and interpersonal connection.
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Des Spicer-Orak (she/they) is a queer Palauan poet currently residing in Portland Oregon, where she has spent all of her life. Des has come to understand herself and her culture through her relationship to the ocean, the largest and most powerful force to be known. She believes that the ocean embodies all of life’s extremities, this truth undeniably reflected in her work. Their strong passion for learning and teaching involve them in many organizational positions focused on building community resilience and healing. Des believes in the power of knowledge, and its ability to transform our impact on both each other and the Earth. In her work, Des intentionally amplifies the voices of her people and their struggles. Without recognition and action, several smaller Pacific Island communities will continue to suffer silently in the development of climate crises.
We strive to make our events inclusive and accessible so if you require ADA accommodations, please reach out to us prior to the event at piaaa@pdx.edu or (503) 725-9390

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