Residency Dates
  • November 2023 – November 2023
  • April 2024 – April 2024

Arlene Biala (she/her) is a Pinay poet and performance artist born in San Francisco, California and raised in the South Bay. She participated in poetry performances and workshops in the Bay Area for over 30 years and was Poet Laureate of Santa Clara County in 2016 and 2017. She is the author of several collections of poetry: bone, continental drift and her beckoning hands, which won the 2015 American Book Award. Her latest book, one inch punch, was published in 2019. Biala’s poetry has been described as “grounded in ritual object and ritual practice, mantras that resonate within the body, and plant the body firmly in the world.” Her work responds to the call of ancestors and our own broken bodies, spirits, and the spaces we inhabit. Her poems are prayer flags offered to those whose stories have been silenced, hidden and ignored. Biala’s work centers on stories of family, of generations who have left their native lands to live in diaspora, particularly those from the Philippines. She writes poetry to serve as witness, to create space for recognition and dialogue toward healing.