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Have you ever met someone only to find out they’ve been your neighbor for years? Surprisingly enough, I had such an experience in Japan.

The majority of JETs placed in Fukuoka are from Hawaii, as Fukuoka and Hawaii are Sister States. While I was there, Americans from the mainland were precious few, and my first year, I knew only one other from Michigan in Fukuoka. In my second year, I met an ALT who was not only from Michigan, but from Detroit! When she mentioned Clark Park my jaw hit the floor. Southwest Detroit!

We went to different schools and universities, and Southwest Detroit being as populous as it is, it’s not really a surprise we never crossed paths here. But to meet in Japan! Imagine that.

Now, this friend, Alicia (Fukuoka 2010-2013), is trying to go overseas again, albeit not so long-term. She has won a partial scholarship to attend a writers’ conference in Prague, and has been saving up and working hard to raise the rest of the money she needs. So, she will have a poetry reading this coming Wednesday, the 25th, at Detroit’s own Spanish tapas restaurant, La Feria.

The event is called "Tapas de Poesía," which we could translate to something like "Appetizers of Poetry."

The event is called “Tapas de Poesía,” which we could translate to something like “Appetizers of Poetry.” I made this flyer, but the drawing is ©2012 A.L. Castañeda.

If you can’t attend this reading but would still like to support this poet & former JET, you can make a donation online through www.gofundme.com/pragueorbust. You can donate anonymously if you want, and any amount helps, even if it’s just as much as it takes to buy a tall latté at Starbucks. So far, she has received $3200 in donations, and only needs $1800 more. So, how about it? ^_^/☆