Leticia Garcia Bradford tours the San Francisco Bay Area with her stories and poetry at open mics and readings. As featured poet Leticia has appeared in San Fransisco at the North Beach Branch Library’s Tuesdays at North Beach, curated by Jack Hirschman, SF Poet Laureate, emeritus, at San Francisco’s Sacred Grounds Open Mic, the longest running open mic and at Alley Cats books hosted by Kevin Killian. She has also featured in Oakland, Alameda and a few times in San Jose at American Indian gatherings in honor of Leonard Peltier. She has a BA in Theatre Arts from California State University, Hayward Campus and a MA in Drama from San Francisco State University.
As a playwright, her solo show, How Do You Slip On a Banana Peel Gracefully premiered in San Francisco at The Garage, directed by Jonathan Bender, which she won runner up to the Hugh Gregory Gallagher Memorial Excellence in Playwriting Contest in 2010. Mama Nellie’s House is her play about Nathan LeRoi James, a young boy whose life was intersected by the Black Panthers in Oakland in 1968 which is forthcoming. In 2014, she founded B Street Writers Collective, Hayward, CA- a community of writers both amateur and professional. In 2017, Leticia toured around the entire SF Bay Area with her poetry and stories at open mics and readings.
She launched her publishing company MoonShine Star Co.-an imprint of Bradford Productions in 2018. For MoonShine Star Co. Leticia had edited and published Fly With Me, 2016 and What Is Love, 2018
What Kind of Poet Am I?
I was asked the question once and I had to stop and think. How do I define myself as a poet? I just write what comes from within me. I’m inspired by the world around me. I have activist pieces. A few embrace the Native American population. Many more especially under the pen name Nathan LeRoi James, speak of the voice acknowledging Black Americans. My passion is for the written word. With words on the page and words in my voice.
Also, my passion includes cultivating the voice of writers who don’t know they are writers yet. Encouraging others to put into words what needs to be heard. We all have something to say. Being heard is a way to express oneself gaining poise and self-fulfillment. Being proud to say, ‘This is me.”
In my poetry I cover many areas—travel, grandchildren, mental illness, disability, grief, love, loss of love. Some of my inspirations come from mural art, NPR, a song, maybe a sermon at church and many a sunset.
I write poetry of dark days and enlightenment always pushing forth with optimism and perseverance. Many of my poems are written for people—friends, family, coworkers or the waitress at my favorite diner. I spent time early in my poetry writing Limericks, Twitter poems and poems culled from found words on Facebook. I haven’t found the Japanese poetic art forms like Tanka or Haiku. Maybe one day. For now I explore poems of repetition and imagery of past personal history invoking emotions as my life is a shared experience in ups and downs, joys and heartbreaks, wins and losses.
Me—I have something to say. It is an honor to share my voice with you. Be open to your own voice and find yourself in the world of poetry—mine, yours and poetry found.
Poet Leticia Garcia Bradford read her poem on the struggle at Standing Rock against the Dakota Access Pipeline, as well as one of Leonard Peltier’s poems.
Acclaim for Leticia’s poetry:
“Your beautiful poems on your blog are reminiscent of some of Robert Hayden's work.” Robert Hayden was the first African-American to be appointed Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress, a position now titled Poet Laureate.
~ The Black Geek on Goodreads
“LGB..you're one o greats, spreading love of words, new beach front in spread of literacy !”
~Michael Louis Noel