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San Diego Writers, Ink Member Feature

The April 12, 2024 newsletter from San Diego Writers, Ink featured an announcement about this upcoming performance: 

"Author and SDWI member Michelle Smith's monologue titled 'Ode to Jesse' will be performed at the Mounarath-Powell Dance's 15th anniversary celebration! The celebration will include several other performances across the dates May 2-4, 2024. Tickets for the event are on sale now! Click here for more information. Congratulations, Michelle!"

San Diego Writers Festival Open Mic Poetry Reading

My first Open Mic reading took place at the 5th annual San Diego Writers Festival. The poem titled "The Butterfly" will appear in the 2024/25 edition of the San Diego Poetry Annual.

A New Collaboration to be Performed May 2-4, 2024!


My monologue titled "Ode to Jesse" will be choreographed to music and presented at Mounarath-Powell Dance Studio (formerly Visionary Theatre Dance) next month in La Mesa, CA May 2-4, 2024. This collaborative effort with Artistic Director Spencer Powell came about as an extension of the Creative Alchemy program sponsored by San Diego Writers, Ink in July 2023. Spencer and I branched off on our own to develop this project in which he sets music and choreography to my tale about a Black Vietnam veteran who returns to a country that still treats him as a second-class citizen and who tries to raise his son, Jesse, to be a thoughtful and independent young man, all while struggling with PTSD, substance abuse, and AIDS. This piece is one of several works that will comprise the 15th anniversary celebration for the studio. For more information, click here.



Reading my work at the Creative Alchemy event July 2023. In collaboration with Artistic Director Spencer Powell, we participated in a showcase event along with three other teams of collaborators to demonstrate how writers and dancers can come together to produce a joint work. The grant only allowed for the "process" portion of this endeavor; however, we were then free to see the project through to its completion. Spencer and I will collaborate on a new piece to be presented at a future date through his studio, Visionary Dance Theatre in La Mesa, CA.

Creative Alchemy group photo

A wonderful group of BIPOC creatives came together to showcase their collaborative efforts in a project designed to pair writers and choreographers that was sponsored by San Diego Writers, Ink. Our unique projects were previewed before a nearly sold-out audience in an art gallery setting. It was a magical evening!

Creative Alchemy represents a merging of two creative arts (writing and choreography) into unique performances developed by a diverse group of collaborators, presented in an art gallery setting. Talk about inspiration!

Creative Alchemy: Igniting Collaborations among BIPOC Writers and Choreographers

Join us for an intimate evening of artistic exploration and collaboration at 'Creative Alchemy: A Night of Shared Creations'. This special event brings together a collective of eight exceptional BIPOC writers and choreographers for a captivating showing and discussion of their collaborative journeys thus far. Through this one-night-only presentation, witness their evolving collaborations, filled with poignant words, striking movements, and unspoken connections. 

After the collaborations are shared, we invite you to join us for an insightful Q&A session with the artists. This is your chance to intimately connect with these remarkable BIPOC writers and choreographers and delve deeper into their individual journeys as well as the collaborations. 

Don't miss this exclusive event, where the magic of collaboration meets the stage. Immerse yourself in an evening of artistry, dialogue, and the celebration of new beginnings. Experience the profound impact of BIPOC artists coming together to shape a brighter, more inclusive artistic landscape. 

Creative Alchemy
July 8, 2023 at 7pm
Inspirations Gallery: 2730 Historic Decatur Rd #204, San Diego, CA 92106
Admission: Free. 40 seats are available.

RSVP Link: https://forms.gle/eUzPsE3zuNoFet6G9




Thelma de Castro

Ted Washington

Blanca Lucia Bergman

Michelle Smith


Trixi Agiao

Margaret Moreno (Dancers: Tanya Lewis and Ileana Lim)

Laray Egea-Saez

Spencer Powell

A Beautiful Soul - Coretta Scott King

Photo taken in 2000 in California. Posted in honor of Black History Month February 2021


February 17. 2021. San Diego Public Library Local Author Program-video promotion of local authors of color aired.


June 15, 2020. Participated in the Mills College Alumnae Association's Writers' Salon. I read my personal essay titled "Gatsey's Blues," a personal reflection on racism in this country and its historical ties to the legacies of African Americans. The YouTube video link (I'm the second reader) is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sgs1nyggcyc&feature=youtu.be



October 27, 2007. Keynote speaker at the Coalition of Scholarship Organizations' second annual high school and college information forum. Theme: Motivating Students to Reach Their Goals.


The Oldemeyer Center, Seaside, California.



2008 San Francisco Writers Conference held at the Mark Hopkins hotel in February.

Photo taken by Cheri Eplin

Author Michelle Smith receives advice from Teresa LeYung Ryan, Author and Manuscript Consultant/Career Coach for Writers.

Photo taken by Cheri Eplin

Conference attendees listen in earnest at one of several guest speaker sessions held at the hotel.

Photo taken by Cheri Eplin

Michelle Smith dines at the Nob Hill Cafe with guest lecturers and members of the publishing industry, along with the famous San Francisco Twins.