Act out, speak up

Poetry Night Against Political Repression

Art by Thomas “Tomás” Matzat.

Art by Thomas “Tomás” Matzat.


The Poetry Night Reading Series in Davis has long served as a bastion for free expression and the pursuit of ideas. In that spirit, artists and poets will gather on Thursday, November 15, for Poetry Night Against Political Repression, a benefit art auction preview and reading for Thomas Matzat, a UC Davis studio-art student commonly known as just “Tomás.” On November 18, 2011, Matzat was arrested with nine other students during the UC Davis pepper-spray incident. A few weeks later, Matzat was arrested again, this time on charges of felony vandalism. Then, in March, Matzat, one of 12 students who've been dubbed the “Davis Dozen,” received criminal charges for conspiracy and blocking movement during the Occupy UC Davis protest that took place outside the campus's U.S. Bank branch in January and February. Matzat has since entered a plea bargain, but the poetry reading and auction preview aim to raise funds so that he may pay restitution to the campus.

The event will feature Matzat's art (pictured) as well as works from the likes of Malaquias Montoya, a member of the renowned Chicano art movement. Poets Joe Wenderoth, Juliana Spahr and Joshua Clover are scheduled to read. The art auction will be conducted online, but the works will be available for viewing at the gallery. Admission is free, but donations will be accepted. John Natsoulas Center for the Arts, 521 First Street in Davis;