Poetry Jam Featuring Troy Osaki

Submitted by Ellen Palms on
Troy Osaki

AES will host the 3rd Annual Poetry Jam for Social Justice at the Seattle 2021 Dawg Daze event. The Poetry Jam welcomes all students back to school to participate this September 28th, 2pm to learn how to create their own poetry. Students will meet outside the Intellectual House and receive journals to begin writing their poetry. And October 1st students will be able to hear from accomplished poets and also perform their own creations on a Zoom gathering starting at 2pm. Dawg Daze is an annual event welcoming students to the University of Washington campus with a multitude of activities to engage, inspire and enjoy.

This year we’re happy to welcome Troy Osaki, AES graduate 2013, to perform his creative and impactful poetry. Osaki is a Filipino Japanese poet, attorney, and community organizer. A three-time grand slam poetry champion, Osaki is the recipient of fellowships from Kundiman and the Jack Straw Cultural Center and has earned grant awards from Artist Trust and the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture. His work has appeared in the Bellingham Review, Hobart Journal, [PANK], Poetry Northwest, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, and elsewhere.

He received his Juris Doctor degree from the Seattle University School of Law where he served young people at the King County Juvenile Detention Center and interned at Creative Justice, an arts-based alternative to incarceration for youth in King County.

Osaki now supports individuals marginalized by a criminal conviction obtain thriving wage jobs in tech. Osaki’s contribution to the community is just one example of how an AES education can motivate and inform your future. The following poem is dedicated to Osaki’s grandparents.

After Our Grandparents Fled

 Swung open       door.

Bathroom not a bathroom


but barangay. My beloved

washes her face, scrubs


her nose––sink water

running. She whispers





I say something simple

& I’m the closest


I’ve been to my grandpa

since he wasn’t dust.


Ba ba––chin.

Ba ba ba––down.







they can’t take this song

from us anymore.


Original Poetry By Troy Osaki, AES Alumna 2013