WordTemple Poetry Series
The WordTemple Poetry Series takes place at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts
Sebastopol Vets Building
282 S. High Street, Sebastopol
Please scroll down for the most recent scheduled reading
Saturday, January 12, 2013 at 7 p.m.
ARISA WHITE and JACQUELINE KUDLER. Opening Poet: CLARA ROSEMARDA
Arisa White is a Cave Canem fellow and an MFA graduate from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Her debut collection, Hurrah’s Nest, was published by Virtual Artists Collective and is the 2012 winner of the San Francisco Book Festival Award for poetry. A Penny Saved is her second collection, released by Willow Books. An editor for HER KIND (herkind.org), the official blog of VIDA: Women in Literary Arts, and the editorial manager for Dance Studio Life magazine, Arisa has received residencies, fellowships, or scholarships from Port Townsend Writers’ Conference, Rose O’Neill Literary House, Squaw Valley Community of Writers, Hedgebrook, Atlantic Center for the Arts, Prague Summer Program, Fine Arts Work Center, and Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. Nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2005, her poetry has been widely published and is featured on the recording WORD with the Jessica Jones Quartet. Breaking News 12/12/12: Arisa White has been nominated for an NAACP Image Award for her collection Hurrah’s Nest. She joins U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey as the only other woman nominated for the award in 2012. Come help her celebrate at WordTemple!
Jacqueline Kudler is the author of two books from Sixteen Rivers Press, Sacred Precincts (2003) and Easing into Dark (2012). Winner of a Marin Arts Council Board Award and a Marin Poetry Center Lifetime Achievement Award, she teaches memoir writing and literature at the College of Marin in Kentfield, California. Her poems have appeared in numerous literary reviews, magazines and anthologies. “The power and consolations of family resonate throughout all of the poems in Jacqueline Kudler’s moving and deeply reflective new collection…Joy is generational and renewable, making the slowly encroaching ‘dark’ more tolerable and even, at times, something to honor.” — David St. John
Clara Rosemarda, poet, memoirist, counselor, coach, and workshop leader, teaches creative writing as spiritual practice. An inspirational teacher, Clara has worked with beginning as well as nationally known writers for 30 years. A finalist in The Dickens, her poems and essays have been published in literary journals such as Tiny Lights:A Journal of Personal Narrative; Zebulon Nights; Jasmine Nights and Monkey Pluck. She is co-editor and co-author of STEEPED: In the World of Tea. During warm seasons she can be found swimming in the Russian River or Ionian Sea.
Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 7 p.m.
MARY MACKEY. KEVIN SIMMONDS. Opening Poet: SANDY EASTOAK
Mary Mackey’s published works include six collections of poetry, including Sugar Zone, winner of the 2012 PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award for Literary Excellence (Marsh Hawk Press 2011). She is also the author of thirteen novels. Her poems have been praised by Wendell Berry, Jane Hirshfield, Dennis Nurkse, Ron Hansen, Dennis Schmitz, and Marge Piercy for their beauty, precision, originality, and extraordinary range. Four times Garrison Keillor has featured her poetry on his program The Writer’s Almanac. Mackey’s works have been on The New York Times and San Francisco Chronicle bestseller lists, sold over a million and a half copies, and been translated into twelve foreign languages including Japanese, Hebrew, Greek, Russian, and Finnish. She is past president of the West Coast branch of PEN, a Fellow of the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Professor Emeritus of English at California State University, Sacramento. For the last twenty years she has been traveling to Brazil with her husband, Angus Wright, who writes about land reform and environmental issues. At present she is working on a series of poems that combine Portuguese and English to evoke the lyrical space that lies at the conjunction of the two languages.
Kevin Simmonds presents Ota Benga Under My Mother’s Roof — Poems by Carrie Allen McCray, Kevin Simmonds, editor
In Ota Benga under My Mother’s Roof, Carrie Allen McCray (1913–2008) uses poignant and personal verse to trace the ill-fated life of the Congolese pygmy who was famously exhibited in the Bronx Zoo in 1906 before being taken in by the McCray family of Lynchburg, Virginia. Rooted in the rich historical and autobiographic context of her own experiences with Benga, McCray offers compelling, dexterous poems that place Benga’s story within the racial milieu of the early twentieth century as the burgeoning science of social anthropology worked to classify humans based on race and culture. The theme of this book is a study of humanity, of people of all kinds, in which Benga’s vitality becomes the measure against which everyone is measured. With poems that revel in African American signifying, spirituality, and traditional storytelling, McCray’s collection establishes a sincere legacy for Ota Benga as she shares her friend’s harrowing tale with new generations.
Born in Lynchburg, Virginia, Carrie Allen McCray was an educator and social worker before turning to writing later in life. McCray is the author of Freedom’s Child: The Life of a Confederate General’s Black Daughter, which details her discovery that her mother was the child of a Confederate general and his black servant. McCray is the author of the poetry chapbook Piece of Time, and her poems have been published in Ms. Magazine, River Styx, Point, and the Squaw Review, and in the anthologies Moving beyond Words and The Crimson Edge: Older Women Writing.
Kevin Simmonds is a writer, musician, and filmmaker originally from New Orleans. He is the author of Mad for Meat and editor of Ota Benga Under My Mother’s Roof by Carrie Allen McCray and Collective Brightness: LGBTIQ Poets on Faith, Religion & Spirituality. Simmonds’s collaborations include the Emmy Award–winning documentary HOPE: Living and Loving with HIV in Jamaica and Voices of Haiti: A Post-Quake Odyssey in Verse, both commissioned by the Pulitzer Center. His genre-defying films include Singing Whitman and feti(sh)ame. Presently, he is completing the poetry and music for Emmett Till, a river, a Japanese Noh-inspired theatrical work for Theatre of Yugen commissioned by the Creative Work Fund. Recently, he debuted ORIENT: a new anthropology, a multimedia theatre piece about historic and contemporary relations between the Asian and African-American communities, commissioned by the San Francisco Arts Commission. He divides his time between San Francisco and Japan.
Sandy Eastoak is the author of several chapbooks, including Home Ground, Darkness Only Light, Elect Indians, Praise Poems, Coronoa Gaia, Corona Fauna and Corona Flora. Her work has appeared in several publications, including Rabbit & Rose, Peace & Pieces Review, Women’s Voices, Princeton Arts Journal, Kickass Review, and Kahawai: Journal of Women & Zen. An artist, Eastoak is a founding member of Sebastopol Gallery.
Saturday, April 13, 2013 at 7 p.m.
“This terrific collection of short narratives—prose poems, parables, fables, stories, extended jokes—is a pleasure from start to finish. While some pieces, like ‘No-Man’s-Land’ and ‘Companionship,’ recall the mesmerizing creepiness of early Ian McEwan, others suggest the creative exuberance of, say, Donald Barthelme. But Fleming’s world is a unique universe of his own making, defined by a poet’s sense of language and a novelist’s take on story. Readers will have a blast traveling through this wondrous place.”
—Terence Winch, author of Falling Out of Bed in a Room with No Floor
Amy Trussell is the author of several collections of poetry, including Meteorite Dealers; The Painted Tongue Flowers; Devil Lee (with A. di Michele); and Ungulations. Her work has been published widely in literary journals. Performance venues for her poetry and dance have included Loyola University in New Orleans, The Spiritual Voodoo Temple in New Orleans, and the Deep Ecology Conference in San Francisco. Excerpts of Ungulations were performed at Zeigeist Theater in New Orleans, accompanied by the music of Yona Flemming. Currently, she is working on a poetry book collaboration with Sebastopol poet Nancy Dougherty.
Natalie Diaz, born and raised on the Fort Mojave Indian Reservation in Needles, California, is the author of When My Brother Was an Aztec (Copper Canyon Press). She is the recipient of a Nimrod/Hardman Pablo Neruda Prize. Diaz lives in Surprise, Arizona where she works on preserving and restoring the Mojave language. When My Brother Was an Aztec foregrounds the particularities of family dynamics and individual passion against the backdrop of the mythological intensity of tribal life and a deeply rooted cultural history. In these distinctively voiced poems, a sister struggles with a brother's addiction to meth, while everyone, from Antigone and Houdini to Huitzilopochtli and Jesus, is invited in to hash it out.
Jonah Raskin is the author of six poetry chapbooks including "Rock 'n' Roll Women" and "Storm City," which was inspired by Superstorm Sandy. A professor Emeritus at Sonoma State University, he lives in Santa Rosa and has written books about Jack London and Allen Ginsberg. This evening he will read from "Storm City."
Saturday, September 21, 2013 at 7 p.m.
PHILIP TERMAN and IRIS JAMAHL DUNKLE Opening Poet: DAVE SETER (photos and bios forthcoming)
Dave Seter studied creative writing at Princeton University, where he earned his degree in civil engineering. His poetry has recently appeared in Appalachia, Tulane Review, Spillway, Raven Chronicles, and various other publications. He is the recipient of two Pushcart Prize nominations. Born in Chicago, he has lived on both coasts, and currently resides in Sonoma County, California. His first collection, the chapbook Night Duty, was published in 2010 by Main Street Rag Publishing Company.
ANNOUNCING: WORDTEMPLE ARTS & LECTURES
More information coming soon. Meanwhile, mark your calendars for Saturday, October 26, 2013 at 7 p.m. when writers and activists Susan Griffin and Judy Grahn take the stage for conversation, readings and Q and A with the audience
Saturday, February 11, 2012 at 7 p.m.
TONI MIROSEVICH. MARJORIE STEIN. ED FRANKEL.
Toni Mirosevich is the winner of the Frank O'Hara Award for My Oblique Strategies and author of The Takeaway Bin, her most recent collection. Oblique Strategies is a card game invented by Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt. "Over one hundred worthwhile dilemmas" are printed on a pack of cards and offer a set of possibilities to apply "when a dilemma occurs in a working situation." The Takeaway Bin borrows from that concept, presenting poems that reply to various daily dilemmas, specific or obscure. The result is an extremely interesting and sometimes playful collection. "In long-lined sonnets and jazzy improvisations, the speaker juggles a mix of colloquial and formal diction, learned and popular referents. Winning titles "Lie or Lay," "Lucky Stiff," "Old and In The Way," may charm, but this poet knows "Our worst impulse has yet to be discovered." A provocative intelligence powers these sizzling lyrics."— Robin Becker, Author of Domain of Affection
Marjorie Stein is a Sonoma County poet celebrating her first full-length collection, An Atlas of Lost Causes published by Kelsey Street Press. “The murder mystery presented as an asymptote: throughout her exquisitely careful, relentless layering of stunning phrase after stunning phrase, we feel Stein getting closer and closer, forever approaching the impossible and unidentified crime that she’s exploring ever more minutely all the time. Her tools of exploration are a twin sister, a camera obscura, one-way ephemera, an iridescent death, and much, much else, all set on the trail of all that cannot be named, or our desperate desire for it. A jubilantly haunting work.” ~ Cole Swensen. Currently serving as an Assistant Editor for Volt, Stein’s work has appeared in The Denver Quarterly, New American Writing, zaum, Phoebe, VOLT and other publications. A previous chapbook manuscript, Flammable Histories, was a finalist in the Pavement Saw Press Chapbook Contest.
Ed Frankel divides his time between his home in Sonoma County and Los Angeles, where he is on the faculty of the UCLA English Department Writing Programs. He also teaches literature, poetry, and creative nonfiction for the BA and MFA Programs of Antioch University Los Angeles. His essay "In the Lap of the Angel of History: A Memoir" appears in the textbook Eyewitness to Texas History by Almarez, et. al. Frankel was shortlisted for the Strokestown International Poetry Festival Prize 2011 in Ireland, and is the recipient of many prizes and awards, including the 2010 Little Red Tree International Poetry Competition, the 2009 New Millennium Poetry competition and others. He has been nominated for the Pushcart Best of the Small Presses Poetry Prize and the California Book Award. His chapbooks include When the Catfish Are In Bloom: Requiem for John Fahey and People of the Air.
Saturday, March 24, 2012 7 p.m.
DAVID MELTZER. JULIE ROGERS. GREGORY RANDALL
Julie Rogers and David Meltzer
A dual milestone in City Lights history, David Meltzer's When I was a Poet is volume 60 of the Pocket Poets Series as well as their first book of poems by this renowned author. At age 11, Meltzer began his literary career during the Beat heyday of San Francisco. He is the author of many volumes of poetry including No Eyes: Lester Young; Beat Thing; and David's Copy, among others. He has edited numerous anthologies such as Reading Jazz, Writing Jazz and San Francisco Beat: Talking with the Poets. Meltzer has been performing in and around the Bay Area with his wife, poet Julie Rogers. In November 2011 he received the SF Bay Guardian's Lifetime Achievement Award.
Julie Rogers is the author of five chapbooks of poetry, and in 2007 her Buddhist hospice manual, Instructions for the Transitional State, was published by Vimala. Her book of poems, House of the Unexpected is forthcoming from Wild Ocean Press. Her poems have been published in various magazines, literary journals and anthologies such as Poets Against the War and, most recently, Beatitude — Golden Anniversary 1959 - 2009.
Gregory Randall is the author of four chapbooks including Double Happiness, selected by Mark Doty for the 5th Annual Camber Press Chapbook Award; A Room in the Country (Pudding House Press); Uncommon Refrains (The Lives You Touch Publications) and Blue Water Views (Finishing Line). He is a recipient of a Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Prize and a finalist for the 2010 Sixteen Rivers Chapbook Contest as well as the 2008 White Pine Press book award and the 2006 Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize.
Saturday, April 21, 2012 7 p.m.
A Special Evening of Poets Who Curate Poetry Series
CONNIE POST. JAMES MAUGHN. GILLIAN WEGENER. ED COLETTI.
Opening Poet: Sashana Proctor
James Maughn lives in Santa Cruz where he co-edits the literary arts journal Perihelion. He also coordinates A New Cadence Poetry Series in the Felix Kulpa Gallery in Santa Cruz. His first book, Kata, was published by BlazeVOX Books. His second book, Arakaki Permutations, was published by Black Radish Books in 2011. Otoliths Press will publish These Peripheries later this year.
Connie Post served as Poet Laureate of Livermore from 2005 - June 2009. During her term she created two reading series, Wine and Words, and Ravenswood. She is the host of the Valona Deli Second Sunday Poetry Series in Crockett. Her awards include the 2009 Caesura Poetry Award from the Poetry Center of San Jose and the Dirty Napkin Cover Prize. She has a chapbook published by Finishing Line Press, Trip Wires.
Poet and painter Ed Coletti graduated from the Creative Writing Masters Program at SFSU. A Vietnam veteran, he is widely published in this country and Europe. He ran the SoCoCo and Poetry Azul reading series in Santa Rosa for many years. He currently operates the internet sites Ed Coletti's PC and No Money in Poetry. His collection of poems When Hearts Outlive Minds was published in 2011 (Conflux Press).
Gillian Wegener is the author of The Opposite of Clairvoyance (Sixteen Rivers Press). She was awarded top honors in the 2006 and 2007 Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Prize and has had her work published in many journals, including Spillway, In Posse, and Sow's Ear, among others. Wegener, originally from Queens, NY, lives in Modesto where she coordinates and hosts the 2nd Tuesday Reading Series.
Sashana Proctor is a Sonoma County poet and writer. Her work has appeared in Women's Voices; Harlots' Sauce and, most recently, in The Scream Online's anthology about heaven and hell. Recently, she has turned her attention to writing about getting older, which she muses "beats the alternative." Her poems are infused with humor, pathos, grief, wonder, fear and celebration.
Saturday, May 12, 2012 7 p.m.
GIOVANNI SINGLETON. KATHLEEN WINTER. DAVID BECKMAN.
giovanni singleton is a poet, teacher, and founding editor of nocturnes (re)view of the literary arts, a journal dedicated to the work of artists and writers of the African Diaspora and other contested spaces. A recipient of a New Langton Bay Area Award Show for Literature, she frequently presents on writing and other subjects at schools and conferences. She has been a fellow at the Squaw Valley Community of Writers, Cave Canem and the Napa Valley Writers Conference. Tonight she will read from new new book, Ascension (Counterpath, 2012). From Counterpath Press: "These poems press against our deepest held questions: What is an I? Where are my borders? What or how am I 'with'? From whom — from what — do we hide?"
Kathleen Winter first read for WordTemple during the first season of the series — way back when. We welcome her back now to celebrate the publication of her new book Nostalgia For the Criminal Past, winner of the Elixir Press Antivenom Prize. Winter grew up in San Antonio, Texas and lives in Northern California. Her poems have appeared in journals such as AGNI, FIELD, The New Republic, Anti- and the Cincinnati Review. She holds degrees from Arizona State University, the University of California, Davis, School of Law, Boston College and the University of Texas at Austin. She teaches writing at the University of San Francisco.
David Beckman's chapbook, Language Factory of the Mind, was published by Finishing Line Press in December 2011. His poems have appeared, or will soon appear, in The Marin Poetry Anthology, The Green Door, Audience, and Spillway. He is a 2012 nominee for a Pushcart Poetry Prize. David’s plays have been produced at The Beast Festival in New York, Powerhouse Theater in Santa Monica, 6th Street Playhouse in Santa Rosa, and at Pegasus Theater’s Tapas Short Play Festivals in Monte Rio. One of his short play scripts is in the coming issue of In Posse Review. His novel Under Pegasus was published in 1996 and he has a short story in the current issue of Shaking magazine.
Saturday, July 14, 2012 7 p.m.
ALICIA SUSKIN OSTRIKER. JOAN BARANOW. TERRY EHRET.
Alicia Suskin Ostriker is one of America's premier visionary poets and critics. She is the author of 14 poetry collections, including The Book of Seventy; The Mother/Child Papers; No Heaven; the volcano sequence; and The Little Space: Poems Selected and New, 1968 - 1998. She has received the Paterson Poetry Prize, the William Carlos Williams Award, the San Francisco State Poetry Center Award, the National Jewish Book Award, and has twice been a finalist for the National Book Award. Ostriker is professor emerita of English at Rutgers University and teaches in the low-residence MFA program of Drew University in Madison, New Jersey. Tonight she will read from her new collection, The Book of Life — Selected Jewish Poems 1979-2011.
Mill Valley poet Joan Baranow, PhD., is an Associate Professor of English at Dominican University of California and the Chair of the Department of Literature and Languages. She is the author of Blackberry Winter (Talent House Press); Living Apart (Plain View Press); and Morning: Three Poems (Radiolarian press). Her poems have been published widely in literary journals including Antioch Review; Cider Press Review; Cream City Review; Paris Review; and Spoon River Poetry Review among others. Baranow is a member of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers. With her husband, physician and poet David Watts, she produced the PBS documentary Healing Words: Poetry & Medicine.
Terry Ehret is the author of four collections of poetry, most recently Night Sky Journey from Kelly's Cove Press. Her literary awards include the National Poetry Series, California Book Award and Pablo Neruda Poetry Prize. A co-founder of the hands-on publishing collective Sixteen Rivers Press, Ehret served as the poet laureate of Sonoma County from 2004-2006.
SPECIAL CHILDREN'S EVENT in cooperation with Copperfields Books — RHYME-A-PALOOZA! Poetry for Kids
Sunday, July 22, 2012 1:00 p.m.
- Copperfields Books Montgomery Village
- 775 Village Court
- Santa Rosa
Join us in the Montgomery Village Courtyard for an afternoon of kid-friendly poetry. Not only will local poets Kathleen Winter, Bill Vartnaw, George Stenger, Marjorie Stein, Katherine Hastings, Terry Ehret and Iris Jamahl Dunkle read their favorite kids poems, but so can you! All young attendees are invited (but not required!) to share their favorite bit of verse.
For information about other events hosted by Copperfields Books, go to www.copperfields.com
Saturday, September 8, 2012 7:00 p.m.
BOOK RELEASE PARTY: CLOUD FIRE by WordTemple host KATHERINE HASTINGS. With a guest appearance by New York poet LEE SLONIMSKY and live music performed by TIMOTHY ZIEMINSKI.
Katherine Hastings invites you to attend a book release party for her first full-length collection Cloud Fire (Spuyten Duyvil NYC, 2012). "How refreshing to come across a book like Katherine Hastings’ marvelous Cloud Fire, rich and verdant in formal experiment and range. Mixing lyrics, narratives, curses, blessings, spells, and unabashed love poems, the work is hard-won and honest, generous and rigorous. In poem after poem Katherine Hastings casts her ever-vigilant, observing eye, sharp as it is poignant. Her deepest concern seems our perilous locale and planet: 'My city whose streams are rock doves and parrots, whose bright arm is a spring board for love and suicides,' and yet 'we breathe here better than anywhere, distressed.'" — Gillian Conoley
Lee Slonimsky is the author of four collections of poems, including Pythagoras in Love; Talk Between Leaf and Skin; Money and Light and his latest book Logician of the Wind. Together with his wife, Carol Goodman, he also writes Lee Carroll's Black Swan trilogy: Black Swan Rising; The Watchtower; and The Shape Stealer. He will give a short reading as part of the celebration of Hastings' book Cloud Fire and will also teach a workshop and give a full reading in Healdsburg the following week. Stay tuned for details!
Timothy Zieminski has been a student of Dominic DiSarro, Linda Ghidossi-DeLuca, Kathryn Marshall, Dawn Dover, and currently studies with concert violinist Axel Strauss at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He is a founding member of the Zaira String Quartet, has held the position of principal second violin of the Santa Rosa Symphony Young People’s Chamber Orchestra, and was a member of the Santa Rosa Symphony Youth Orchestra from 2006-2009, appearing numerous times as a soloist with both orchestras, and performing on a European tour in 2009 with the SRS Youth Orchestra. A member of the San Francisco Youth Orchestra from 2009-2010, he currently plays in the San Francisco Conservatory Orchestra. Mr. Zieminski has won several awards, including multiple scholarships, and third and first place in the SRS Youth Orchestra Concerto Competitions in 2007 and 2008, respectively. He was also first place winner in the 2008 Sonoma County Etude Competition.
(No WordTemple funds are being used for this event. This is a book release party for Katherine Hastings hosted by CJ Rayhill)
TRANSLATION NIGHT! PLEASE NOTE THE NEW DATE AND LOCATION
Saturday, October 27, 2012 7:00 p.m.
LOCATION: The Sebastopol Center for the Arts has MOVED to the Sebastopol Vets Building, 282 S. High Street, Sebastopol. This reading will take place in the DINING ROOM.
Featuring Alissa Valles, translator of ZBIGNIEW HERBERT — The Collected Poems 1956 — 1998 and Andrea Lingenfelter, translator of The Changing Room, poems by ZHAI YONGMING. Opening poet: Art Hoffman presenting translations of Bertolt Brecht.
One of Poland's most honored and influential poets, the late Zbigniew Herbert has an international reputation. His poetry, marked by a direct language and a strong moral concern, is shaped by his experiences under both the Nazi and Soviet dictatorships. As Bogdana Carpenter writes in World Literature Today, "from his extremely destructive experiences Herbert manages to draw constructive conclusions, and he builds a bridge between realms that seem to be irreconcilable: the past and the present, suffering and poetry." Named A Notable Book of the Year by the New York Times Book Review, The Collected contains all nine collections of Herbert's poetry published during his lifetime.
Alissa Valles is the author of Orphan Fire. She grew up in the United States and the Netherlands and studied Slavic languages, literature and history at the School of Slavonic & East European Studies in London, Poland, Russia and the United States.
Zhai Yongming's The Changing Room — Winner of a Northern California Book Award, 2012
The author of six volumes of poetry, Zhai Yongming first became prominent in the mid-1980s with the publication of her twenty-poem cycle, “Woman,” a work that forcefully articulated a female point-of-view in China’s largely patriarchal society. Her powerful imagery and forthright voice resonated with many readers. Zhai has continued to hone her critique of traditional attitudes towards women, quickly becoming one of China’s foremost feminist voices and a major force in the contemporary literary scene. She is also an installation artist and prolific essayist, and stages poetry readings and other cultural events at the bar she owns in her native Chengdu.
Andrea Lingenfelter received her MA from Yale University and her PhD from the University of Washington. She is also the translator of the novels, Candy (Back Bay, 2003), Farewell to My Concubine (W. Morrow, 1993), and The Last Princess of Manchuria (Morrow, 1992).
The poems of Bertolt Brecht, translated by Art Hofmann. The German playwright, Bertolt Brecht (1898 - 1956) is known world wide for theater pieces that achieved numerous accolades during the late 1940s for their stylistic innovations. That many of his plays include songs, like "Mack the Knife" from The Three Penny Opera, and that he wrote poetry the way others keep diaries is less well known. The major edition of his works devotes several volumes to poems and songs, which number over 2300. In the years since his death, Brecht’s reputation as a poet has taken on increased significance in Germany, where it parallels his fame as a playwright.
Art Hofmann is retired from Santa Rosa Junior College where he was an instructor of German and Chair of the Department of Modern Art and Classical Languages. On a Fulbright Scholarship in Germany in 1959 and 1960, he studied Bertolt Brecht's poems and plays, and visited the theater am Schiffbauerdamm frequently when some of Brecht's original productions were still running. On a visit to Berlin in 1998, he acquired a volume of Brecht's poems and began to translate them. His ambition is to produce a volume of 100 poems of Bertolt Brecht in English.
Saturday, October 8, 2011 at 7 p.m.
MATTHEW ZAPRUDER and ALISSA VALLES
Opening Poet: ABBY BOGOMOLNY
Matthew Zapruder Matthew Zapruder is the author of three collections of poetry, most recently Come On All You Ghosts (Copper Canyon), winner of the 2010 Goodreads Readers' Choice award for poetry, and selected as one of the top 5 poetry books of 2010 by Publishers Weekly, as well as the 2010 Booklist Editors' Choice for poetry. His poems, essays and translations have appeared in many publications, including Open City, Bomb, Slate, American Poetry Review, Poetry, Tin House, Harvard Review, Paris Review, The New Republic, The Boston Review, The New Yorker, McSweeney's, The Believer, Real Simple, and The Los Angeles Times. He has received a William Carlos Williams Award, a May Sarton Award from the Academy of American Arts and Sciences, and a Lannan Literary Fellowship. Currently he works as an editor for Wave Books, and teaches as a member of the core faculty of UCR-Palm Desert's Low Residency MFA in Creative Writing.
Alissa Valles was born to an American father and Dutch mother in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and studied languages, literature and history at the School of Slavonic & East European Studies in London and at universities in the U.S., Poland and Russia; she worked for the BBC World Service, the Dutch Institute of War Documentation, the Jewish Historical Institute and La Strada International in Warsaw, and is now an independent writer, editor and translator based in the Bay Area. Her poetry collection Orphan Fire (Four Way Books) appeared in 2008. She has been a recipient of a Ruth Lilly Poetry fellowship and the Bess Hokin Prize from Poetry magazine.
She is editor and co-translator of Zbigniew Herbert’s Collected Poems 1956-1998 (Ecco) a New York Times Notable Book in 2007, Herbert’s Collected Prose 1948-1998 (Ecco 2010). She acted as poetry editor for the web journal for international literature Words without Borders, and was an editor on the anthology New European Poets (Graywolf 2008). She is on the editorial board of the Akron Series in Contemporary Poetics and regularly contributes to the Boston Review.
Abby Lynn Bogomolny is the editor of New to North America: Writing by U.S. Immigrants, Their Children and Grandchildren and the author the poetry collection, People Who Do Not Exist. She juries the annual poetry Burning Bush Poetry Prize and teaches writing f/t at Santa Rosa Junior College.
Saturday, June 18, 2011 at 7 p.m.
SUSAN BROWNE. ROBIN EKISS. KEITH EKISS
Opening Poet: TODD MELICKER
Susan Browne is the author of Buddha's Dogs, winner of the Four Way Books Intro Prize selected by Edward Hirsch, and Zephyr, published by Steel Toe Books. Her awards include prizes from the Chester H. Jones Foundation, the National Writer's Union, the Los Angeles Poetry Festival and the River Styx International Poetry Contest.
Robin Ekiss is a former Stegner Fellow at Stanford, recipient of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Award for emerging women writers, and author of The Mansion of Happiness, winner of the 2010 Shenandoah/Glasgow Prize and finalist for the Balcones Poetry Prize, Northern California, and California Book Awards.
Keith Ekiss is a Jones Lecturer in CreativeWriting at Stanford University and a former Wallace Stegner Fellow in poetry. His poems, and his translations of the Costa Rican poet Eunice Odio, have appeared in Gulf Coast, Harvard Review, New England Review, Modern Poetry in Translation, The Christian Science Monitor, and elsewhere. Pima Road Notebook, his first book, was published by New Issues Poetry & Prose in 2010.
Todd Melicker daily wanders the streets of Petaluma, Calif., gathering data as a GPS technician. He is the author of the chapbooks, day collects (Woodland Editions) and the immaculate autopsy (Achiote Press). His work has appeared in such journals as Parthenon West Review, The Colorado Review, New American Writing, and is forthcoming in Ambush Review. He is managing editor of the literary magazine VOLT.
Saturday, April 23, 2011 at 7 p.m. features:
MELISSA STEIN, PUI YING WONG, PAUL HOOVER and ... WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
Opening Poet: JODI L. HOTTEL
Paul Hoover will present from his new book Sonnet 56 published by Les Figues Press with an introduction by Ira Monk. The book mixes Love, Poetry and Shakespeare in a marvelous grab bag of form, wit and playfulness. Starting with Shakespeare’s sonnet 56 — Sweet love, renew thy force, be it not said / Thy edge should blunter be than appetite, — Hoover writes 56 poetic variations, turning Shakespeare’s sonnet into a series of new (and traditional) forms, including: “Villanelle,” “Noun Plus Seven,” “Limerick,” “Blues,” “Course Description,” “Flarf,” “Imagist,” “Tanka,” “Answering Machine,” “Rilke,” “Morse Code” and “Bad Writing.” The result is tender portrayal of love and an excellent survey of the possibilities within contemporary poetry.
Melissa Stein is the author of Rough Honey, Winner of the APR/Honickman First Book Prize, selected and with an introduction by Mark Doty. Published by American Poetry Review with Copper Canyon Press, the poems in Rough Honey have been praised by Molly Peacock as "a miracle of a first collection." Major Jackson calls her language "seductively alert and textured enough to evoke rarely contemplated worlds." "Openness…of form, and of the receptive and longing body is Rough Honey's central subject…" (Doty)
Pui Ying Wong will be coming to WordTemple from New York City. Her new collection of poems is Yellow Plum Season, published by New York Quarterly. Born and raised in Hong Kong, she is bilingual in English and Chinese. She left Hong Kong to study in Japan before coming to the United States. Lee Slonimsky says, "when gazing at the Chinese versions that start each section, the reader becomes fluent in Chinese, for the power this book has at its core is the radiance and meaning of poetry, a global language." Please give a warm Sonoma County welcome to this poet who is traveling so far to read here.
Jodi L. Hottel is a writer and retired English teacher living in Santa Rosa. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Nimrod; English Journal; The Dickens; Frogpond and anthologies from the University of Iowa press, Tebot Bach, and the Healdsburg Arts Council. She is currently working on her first chapbook, a gathering of poems about the Japanese-American internment.
* * *
WordTemple Kicks Off 2011with Translation Night!
Saturday, February 26, 2010, 7:00 p.m.
WILLIS BARNSTONE and JANINE CANAN
Willis Barnstone "Four of the best things in America are Walt Whitman's Leaves, Herman Melville's Whales, and the sonnets of Barnstone's The Secret Reader: 601 Sonnets, and my daily corn flakes — that rough poetry of morning." — Jorge Luis Borges
In his first Sonoma County appearance, Willis Barnstone, author of many books of translations, memoirs, literary criticism and poetry, including The Complete Poems of Sappho; The Greek Lyric Poets; Sonnets to Orpheus; The Poetics of Translation and many others, will present his latest publication The Restored New Testament — A New Translation with Commentary, Including the Gnostic Gospels Thomas, Mary and Judas (Norton, 2010). This monumental translation, in which Barnstone preserves the original song of the Bible, rendering a large part in poetry and the epic Revelation in incantatory blank verse, is the first to restore the original Greek, Aramaic, and Hebrew names, thereby revealing the Greco-Jewish identity of biblical people and places. Citing historical and biblical scholarship, he changes the sequence of texts and adds three seminal Gnostic gospels. Filled with superlative writing and lyrical wisdom, The Restored New Testament is a magnificent biblical translation for our age.
"Willis Barnstone's The Restored New Testament is breathtaking, new, astounding. It is a courageous, a daring book; but by some magic, it appears not nouveau and experimental but deeply rooted and ancient…If Barnstone, through a long life of poetry, translation, story and memoir, in language after language, had nothing else but this book, it would be a lifetime of extraordinary achievement. We are blessed by it." — Gerald Stern
Barnstone is a Guggenheim Fellow and the recipient of many awards, including the Emily Dickinson Award, the W. H. Auden Award, and four Pulitzer Prize nominations. He is Distinguished Professor of Comparative Literature at Indiana University and former O'Connor Professor of Greek at Colgate University.
Janine Canan The award-winning author of 17 books of poetry, anthologies, translations, stories and essays, Canan presents her latest publication, Under the Azure — Poems of Francis Jammes. Not only are the translations gorgeous throughout, but Canan includes a forward by Jammes'' grandson, and an introduction that illuminates the life of Jammes, "poet of the Pyranees:"
"In 1895, twenty-six year old Francis Jammes experienced an epiphany:
It was during the month of April, 1895, that I was
invaded — I can find no other word to express my
meaning. A simultaneous explosion of all my
lyrical powers took place within me. I do not know
why I did not die from the blast of that violent wing
which seemed to strike me, and from which my poem
'Un Jour' was born.""
"Francis Jammes made music of his sorrow and delight, a music both simple and mysterious…Janine Canan makes you hear the whoosh of the angels' wings in his poetry, a whoosh that is the same in every language, but yields only to the highest art of translation. — Andrei Codrescu
"You don't read Francis Jammes, you breathe him, you inhale him…In Jamme's work, there is nothing but poetry and perfume…once you have abandoned yourself to him, you will think he is the only poet there is." — Andre Gide