Literary Arts

  • Poet
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  • Program Instructor
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  • School Teacher
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  • University Instructor
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  • Writer
Spoken Word, Narrative Poetry, Personal Narrative, Memoir
Performance & Reading, Writing, Teaching
African American, Ghanaian, Zimbabwean

Karla Brundage is a Bay Area based writer. Founder of West Oakland to West Africa Poetry Exchange (WO2WA), she holds an MA in Education from San Francisco State University and MFA from Mills College. She is a board member of Before Columbus Foundation.


February 2019 - Present


Colossus: Home is a collection of Bay Area writers speaking out on the atrocities of the housing crises in Oakland and in support of Moms4housing. Editors: Sara Biel and Karla Brundage

  1. Literary Arts
January 2019 - Present

Clarion Alley Mural Project: Wall + Response

A series of curated poetic works celebrating the murals of Clarion Alley to raise awareness about and Clarion Alley Mural Project (CAMP) efforts to keep art in public spaces and advocate for affordable housing.

  1. Literary Arts
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  3. Arts & Culture
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  5. Education

Personal Statement

My writing seeks to bring light to the underexposed. In order to restore balance and to reclaim our humanity as Black people, this issue of racism and the racist structures that uphold this belief, must be dismantled. My writing is for black women and people disenfranchised by poverty abuse neglect or violence. Poetry can be an ascending or descending spiral. By looking at something from above or below or sideways, my work hopes to create tiny shifts in perspective from which my reader can gain strength. I learn from the impact the work has had on the reader, either positive or negative, this resonates with me. I’m writing to save my own life or to resurrect yourself/myself. At one time I wrote for revenge, now I'm writing beautiful things for the same audience. I'm not as angry. I used to actually receive letters commenting on my first book. A lot of single moms wrote me love letters through a connection made through the cathartic response they felt and that caused me to go deeper. I am a fighter. As a woman of many heritages, African, colonial white, indigenous, I have been impacted by racism not only in society, but in my own family. I walk with anger. I speak to racism in my poetry and hope to find equality not only in skin tone but in this way we respect and love each other as humans. Even without love, there is a fundamental respect that is necessary for harmony.