The Retrospective: The CQT/LGA/GS Reading w/ Special Guests

July 25, 2015 - 7:00pm

Join members of the Gazillion Strong/CQT/Land of Gazillion Adoptees publishing team at Boneshaker Books as they feature writers who have contributed to the books they’ve published in the last few years. There will be special guest writers and performers, as well as some DJ action by Flipstyle to get you moving.


Kevin Vollmers is the Executive Director of Gazillion Strong and also the founder of Land of Gazillion Adoptees, LLC (LGA). He has been a contributor to Entertainment Weekly’s – The Community, hosted Gazillion Voices Radio on KFAI, and is a co-host of We Have White Names.

Music by

Flipstyle TC, aka, John Castillo, has been involved with music in one form or another his entire life. He started doing events as a dj in 2008 and mostly does events that are community related or give to some form of nonprofit activity. Some events he’s supported: The Cowles Center for Performing Arts, Human Trafficking Awareness Campaign, Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Minneapolis, The Greg Marzoff Jr. Foundation, National MS Society, Mid-Continent Oceanographic Institute (formerly known as Rock Star Supply), Giving HeArts, The Beautiful Foundation, Pro Choice Resources, Katie Care Missions, No Kid Hungry, and the Art Shanty Project. Eemanna is a young emcee from Minneapolis. She started writing poetry in 2013, discovering her love for hip-hop. Inspired by hip hop used for social justice and change, she aspires to inspire others. Eemancipation is her 1st mixtape and big project, released April of 2015.

Readings by

Esther Callahan is a mixed raced Black woman who was adopted at the age of one month by a white family in Minnetonka. After 12+ years working with abused and neglected children in public schools in MN and Iowa, as well as at local nonprofit Free Arts Minnesota, she decided to start her life over and follow her dreams of furthering her college education. Esther is currently a student at MCTC as well as a student of life and this thing called marriage. She is a volunteer, activist, organizer, aspiring writer, outdoor enthusiast, wife aunt and godmother of 4. She loves being a part of a living, moving, ever changing world filled to the brim with amazing experiences, people and opportunities. Shannon Gibney is a writer, educator, and activist in Minneapolis. Her Young Adult novel, SEE NO COLOR, will be released by Carolrhoda Lab in November, 2015. Her writing has appeared in a variety of venues, including The Crisis, Gawker, and Inside Higher Ed. Gibney is Faculty in English at Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC), where she teaches critical and creative writing, journalism, and African diasporic topics, and lives with her husband and children. Aaron King was born in Texas, raised in Wisconsin, and schooled in Minnesota. He’s the editor of micropublisher Pockets Press. His works have appeared in MPLSzine, Neat Magazine, Vita.MN, and more, and he’s a finalist in the Loft’s Mentor Program. Hye-Kyong Kim’s first collection of poetry and prose, The Translation of Han, was released in June 2014 by CQT Publishing and Media. Her additional work can be found in numerous journals and anthologies, including Parenting as Adoptees, Outsiders Within, Seeds from a Silent Tree, Paj Ntaub Voice, Journal of Asian American Renaissance, New Truths: Writing in the 21st Century by Korean, and Adoption Today. R. Vincent Moniz Jr. has been a part of the Twin Cities artistic community for over two decades as an actor and only recently has begun to share his poetry. He has performed at The Loft Literary Center’s highly acclaimed Equilibrium series, Revolver Magazine’s Revolver at the Ritz, The Chazen Museum of Art, The Minneapolis Institute of Arts and the outdoor amphitheater of the Minneapolis American Indian Center. Vincent’s themes contain multitudes. From growing up in the Phillips neighborhood to speaking against Native American Stereotypes, Moniz finds agency, humor, and poetry in the adventure of being an Urban Indian. The work of this Southside firestarter has been published in the Yellow Medicine Review, online as part of Native Literatures: Generations and The Center for Victims of Torture as apart of their 30th anniversary It Starts With Hope series. His work can be seen on the walls of the MIA as a part of their new exhibit “Arriving at Fresh Water: Contemporary Native Artists from Our Great Lakes” and on the Cedar avenue people bridge in the center of the Little Earth of United Tribes housing projects. Moniz was selected as a 2012 Jerome Fellow, a 2013 Beyond the Pure Fellow, 2014 Verve Fellow, 2015 Loft Literary Center Spoken Word Immersion Fellow and most recently Vince was selected to be a recipient of the Minnesota Emerging Writers’ Grant. At the E. Donald Two-Rivers Memorial Poetry Slam, Vincent was crowned and is now the current and reigning Individual World Poetry Slam, Indigenous Poetry Slam Champion. View his performances online at This IS his short bio. Sandy White Hawk is a Sicangu Lakota adoptee from the Rosebud Reservation, South Dakota. She is the founder and Director of First Nations Repatriation Institute (formerly First Nations Orphan Association). First Nations Repatriation Institute (FNRI) is the first organization of its kind whose goal is to create a resource for First Nations people impacted by foster care or adoption to return home, reconnect, and reclaim their identity. The institute also serves as a resource to enhance the knowledge and skills of practitioners who serve First Nations people. Sandy is an Indian Child Welfare Consultant for Hennepin County, Minneapolis, MN Indian Child Welfare Unit, the NRC4Tribes, and the White Earth Tribe of Minnesota. She serves as a Commissioner for the Maine Wabanaki State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission. And Sandy serves as an Honorary Witness for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission on Residential Schools in Canada.