March 18 2013 12:00 AM

Lesbian poet Bobbi Byrd reads at (SCENE) Metrospace event

Wednesday, Nov. 16 — The Herstories Project, which hosts
events that celebrate women, is reaching out to all genders with a written and spoken-word
open mic night to recognize the transgender community.

“I saw a real need to expand to all of
our genders and celebrate expression,” said Melissa Hasbrook, founder of
Herstories. “I felt it was important to make an explicit invitation to folks from
transgender walks of life to help make a safer community and challenge
militarism and gender violence.”

The event will be held Tuesday, Nov. 22 at (SCENE)
Metrospace in East Lansing. The lesbian poet Bobbi Byrd, of Osseo, is the
featured guest. Hasbrook met Byrd at an event for Herstories last year.

“I was really struck by her poetry as
both gentle and powerful. I think her words will have a tremendous impact,”
Hasbrook said. Some of Byrd’s poetry honors her late partner.

The event links Transgender Day of Remembrance
(Sunday, Nov. 20) and the international campaign 16 Days of Activism Against Gender
Violence, Nov. 25 through Dec. 10. Events planned for the campaign include a
peace vigil on Dec. 2 at the Capitol and a benefit for the Listening Ear Crisis
Center on Dec. 9 at (SCENE) Metrospace.

Of the venue, Hasbrook said, “They have
always been very supportive of events like this that bring together the arts
and activism.”

Hasbrook will be reciting some of her own
poetry, but will focus on her duties as co-emcee with Jeffrey Franckowiak. This
is the first time she has hosted an event to recognize the transgender

“I’m excited to be a part of it,” she
said. “We’re hoping to connect with transgenders to let them know they’re
welcome. We wanted to make a safe and supportive space for people to come share
their stories and have their voices heard.”

Bridges Open Mic Night
7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 22
(SCENE) Metrospace
110 Charles
St., East Lansing
$3 cover
Those interested in reciting their work can
register by emailing