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Bert Meyers Tribute: Eric Gudas, David Shaddock, Anat Silvera

22 JUNE 2023 — thursday

Poetry Flash presents a reading celebrating the publication of Bert Meyers: On the Life and Work of an American Master, readers include poets Eric Gudas, David Shaddock, and Anat Silvera, the poet's daughter, in person, Art House Gallery & Cultural Center, 2905 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, two blocks north of Ashby BART, refreshments, free, 7:00 pm PDT (poetryflash.org).

Thank you for continuing to support Poetry Flash and our reading series.
Bert Meyers: On the Life and Work of an American Master will be available at the event and online at bookshop.org/shop/poetryflash(a portion of the proceeds support Poetry Flash).

Bert Meyers: On the Life and Work of an American Master, the latest volume in The Unsung Masters Series, offers a large selection of his very best poetry alongside essays and appreciations from José Angel Araguz, Jim Bogen, Victoria Chang, Amy Gerstler, Garrett Hongo, Daniel Meyers, Barry Sanders, Ari Sherman, Maurya Simon, and Sean Singer, among others. The Unsung Masters Series exists to bring great but largely overlooked writers to new readers. This volume is edited by Dana Levin and Adele Williams.

"Bert Meyers is an American original—a brilliant poet whose use of tone and figurative language was so emotive, intelligent and nuanced, it became inimitable, became its own unique perspective on our world. I wouldn't be surprised if mid-twenty-first century scholars announce that in Bert Meyers we have overlooked the best poet of his generation." —Ilya Kaminsky
MORE ABOUT THE READERS

Eric Gudas is the author of Best Western and Other Poems, winner of the Gerald Cable Book Award, and Beautiful Monster, a chapbook. His work has appeared in The American Poetry Review, The Iowa Review, Poetry Flash, Los Angeles Review of Books, Raritan, and elsewhere. He lives in Los Angeles.

David Shaddock is a poet and psychotherapist. His most recent poetry book is A Book of Splendor: New and Selected Poems on Spiritual Themes. He has a regular column in Poetry Flash, "Poetry and Healing," and is the author of Poetry and Psychoanalysis: The Opening of the Field (Routledge), and two books on relationships and couples therapy. He lectures widely on those topics, and maintains a private practice in Berkeley.

Anat Silvera, Bert Meyers's daughter, is one of the founders of Silvera Jewelry School in Berkeley. Before and after college she studied with artists and craftsmen, apprenticing as a metalsmith and learning how to create fine beadwork. She is the author of a book on her craft, and has exhibited her work all over the U.S., including as featured artist at the Oakland Museum of Art Collector's Gallery.

The son of Romanian and Polish Jewish immigrants, Bert Meyers (1928-1979) was born in Los Angeles. Always rebellious and a questioner of authority, he dropped out of high school and became a poet. For many years he worked at manual labor jobs, including printer's apprentice, until he became a master picture framer and gilder. Here he found satisfaction in craftsmanship and attention to detail, the same approach he used in composing his poetry. Throughout those years he continued to write, feeling that a poet should be immersed in the world, and should have real world things to write about. Meyers wanted to be self-taught. He read everything he could get his hands on and had a prodigious literary memory. He frequented the vibrant circles of LA poets at the time, with Thomas McGrath and others. His fellow poet and friend Robert Mezey said, "Bert Meyers belonged to no school or coterie and had no use for fashion. He was that rarest of creatures, a pure lyric poet. His poems are very much what he was—gentle, cantankerous, reflective, passionate and wise." Although he had never taken undergraduate classes, and had no high school diploma, in 1964 he was admitted to the Claremont Graduate School on the basis of his poetic achievements. By 1967 he had a Ph.D in English Literature and was hired to teach poetry and literature at Pitzer College in Claremont, where he taught until 1978. During his life as a professor, Meyers finally had the time to focus on his writing; he also had an important and lasting influence on his students, a new generation of poets and writers, including Dennis Cooper, Amy Gerstler, Garrett Hongo, and Mauyra Simon among others.

He published at least eight collections of poetry, including Early Rain (1960), The Dark Birds (1968), Sunlight on the Wall (1976), Windowsills (1979), The Wild Olive Trees (1979). Before he died, he selected the core poems of In a Dybbuk's Raincoat: Collected Poems (2007). His widow, Odette Meyers, son Daniel Meyers, and poet Morton Marcus shepherded the book into posthumous publication. Meyers's precisely framed poems are image driven and often quite short. Noting that "the image is unequivocally at the center of his work" in her introduction to In a Dybbuk's Raincoat, Denise Levertov lamented that "Bert Meyers death has deprived us of one of the best poets of our time." (Information from bertmeyers.com)




Daily Listings

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25 MAY 2024 — saturday

  • Fourth Saturdays presents a reading with featured poets Tim Steele, Toward the Winter Solstice, and Angela Narciso Torres, Blood Orange, winner of the 2013 Willow Books Literature Award for Poetry, Claremont Helen Renwick Library, 208 N. Harvard Avenue, Claremont, free, 2:00 pm PDT (More information here: www.facebook.com/fourthsaturdayspoetry)

26 MAY 2024 — sunday

27 MAY 2024 — monday

28 MAY 2024 — tuesday

29 MAY 2024 — wednesday

30 MAY 2024 — thursday

  • City Lights Bookstore celebrates the publication of Gil Cuadros's latest collection, My Body Is Paper: Stories and Poems, hosted by editor Kevin Martin, professor Rafael Pérez-Torres, and filmmaker Amy Scholder with readings by Joseph Cassara, The House of Impossible Beauties, and Flavia Elisa Mora, City Lights Bookstore, 261 Columbus Avenue, San Francisco, free, 7:00 pm PDT (For more information, visit: citylights.com/events/launch-party-for-gil-cuadros-my-body-is-paper)
  • Writers Read Ukiah presents a reading featuring Diane Pendola, followed by an open mic, six-minutes per reader, emceed by Michael Riedell, Grace Hudson Museum, 431 South Main Street, Ukiah, $5 suggested donation, 7:00 pm PDT (Email: innisfreeriedell@gmail.com for more information)
  • The Horror Writers Association presents Stokercon, the annual convention for horror genre authors; Guests of Honor include Jonathan Maberry, Rot & Ruin, Paul Tremblay, The Cabin at the End of the World, and Paula Guran, New Cthulhu, with panels, the Bram Stoker Awards, readings, a dealer's room, parties, signings, and more, San Diego Mission Marriott Valley, 8757 Rio San Diego Drive, San Diego, $300 in person or $75 virtual (For more information and to purchase tickets, visit: www.stokercon2024.com)

31 MAY 2024 — friday

  • The Horror Writers Association presents Stokercon, the annual convention for horror genre authors of the horror genre; Guests of Honor include Jonathan Maberry, Rot & Ruin, Paul Tremblay, The Cabin at the End of the World, and Paula Guran, New Cthulhu, with panels, the Bram Stoker Awards, readings, a dealer's room, parties, signings, and more, San Diego Mission Marriott Valley, 8757 Rio San Diego Drive, San Diego, $300 in person or $75 virtual (For more information and to purchase tickets, visit: www.stokercon2024.com)

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