Poetry Flash readings take place at Moe's Books, Berkeley, and at Diesel, A Bookstore, Oakland.
To find out more about the Poetry Flash Reading Series, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (510) 525-5476, weekday afternoons. ASL interpreters for the deaf and hearing impaired may be provided for these events with at least one week's notice. To request, email email@example.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Our reading series venues are wheelchair accessible. Read more about the series on the Poetry Flash Reading Series page.
17 JANUARY 2013 — thursday
Word Palace Press Reading
Poetry Flash presents a reading celebrating Word Palace Press with poets Michael Hannon, Lee Perron, Kevin Patrick Sullivan, Leslie St. John, Peter Dale Scott, and fiction writer Joe Riley, wheelchair accessible, request ASL interpreters one week in advance from editor @poetryflash.org, Moe's Books, 2476 Telegraph Avenue, Berkeley, 7:30 (510/849-2087, moesbooks.com)
This poetry and prose reading celebrates San Luis Obispo-based Word Palace Press, publisher of all six writers.
Michael Hannon's new collection, Who On Earth, is a selection from three letterpress chapbooks published by Jerry Reddan at Tangram in Berkeley. Sam Hamill says, "Michael Hannon's poems are full of the resonance that comes only from an understanding of silence…the kind of poems one wants to lift out of a book and into memory." Lee Perron will read from his forthcoming book of poems Celtic Light. Also an antiquarian bookman, he has published twelve chapbooks, including Psyche & Cubism. Joe Riley's new book of fiction, How Strange It Is To Be Anything At All, was praised by San Francisco Golden Gate Express as "part story, part life manual for the young and urban. It's a celebration of a very uncertain age and time in life…and commemorating existence in general." When not writing songs for garage bands in San Francisco, he is completing work on a romantic novella and a novel. Leslie St. John's new book of poems is Beauty Like A Rope. Jim Cushing says of it, "…having lost one eye in an absurd accident ("She Washed My Hair" tells the harrowing story), Leslie St. John has let the poet in her see with a unique third eye…with an accurate, compassionate, wisdom-inviting gaze." Peter Dale Scott is Professor Emeritus at UC Berkeley, and the author of Coming to Jakarta: A Poem About Terror, among many other books and articles. He will be reading from his forthcoming collection, Tilting Point. Kevin Patrick Sullivan's new book of poems is Under Such Brilliance. Dian Sousa says of it, "Kevin Patrick Sullivan wakes up every day in love with the world. He is an ecstatic descendent of Rumi, but his poems illuminate the roots of joy growing in a more difficult terrain."
24 JANUARY 2013 — thursday
Francisco X. Alarcón and Melinda Palacio
Poetry Flash presents a reading by Francisco X. Alarcón and Melinda Palacio, wheelchair accessible, request ASL interpreters one week in advance from editor @poetryflash.org, Moe's Books, 2476 Telegraph Avenue, Berkeley, 7:30 (510/849-2087, moesbooks.com)
Francisco X. Alarcón's new book of poems is Ce Uno One: Poemas para el Nuevo Sol/Poems for the New Sun. His book poetically announces the New Sun—which the Mayans believe arrives in 2012—and he identifies as the era of the "Flower Sun" when the world's great concerns will be "the colors/ and the scents/ of flowers/ sprouting/ from nowhere/ everywhere…" He is the author of twelve books of poems, including Sonnets to Madness and Other Misfortunes and De Amor Oscuro/Of Dark Love, and a number of bilingual books for children. His many honors include the 1993 American Book Award, the 1993 PEN-Oakland Josephine Miles Award, the 1984 Chicano Literary Prize, and the Fred Cody Lifetime Achievement Award from the Northern California Book Reviewers.
Melinda Palacio's first full-length book of poems is How Fire Is A Story, Waiting. Juan Felipe Herrera says of it, "Melinda's collection has Bop and "swagger," lingo, song, denuncia, compassion and wild, unexpected turns—all the key ingredients and hard-won practices of a poet (and shaman) in command of her powers." She has also published a first novel, Ocotillo Dreams, which won the 2012 Mariposa Award for Best First Book and the 2012 PEN-Oakland Josephine Miles Award for Excellence in Literature.
27 JANUARY 2013 — sunday
White Pine Press 40th Anniversary Reading
Poetry Flash celebrates the fortieth anniversary of White Pine Press with readings by poets and translators Dennis Maloney, Carlota Caulfield, Mojdeh Marashi, Andrew Schelling, Richard Silberg, and Gary Young from their White Pine Press books, wheelchair accessible, request ASL interpreters one week in advance from email@example.com, Diesel, A Bookstore, 5433 College Avenue, Oakland, 3:00 (510/653-9965, dieselbookstore.com)
Dennis Maloney, editor and publisher of White Pine Press, is also a poet and translator, his most recent publications are Just Enough, poems, and Tangled Hair, poems of Yosano Akiko. Dennis Maloney says of the press, "From the classic writers of Asia to contemporary voices from around the world, White Pine Press is your passport to a World of Voices. We publish literature exploring the world of ideas and cultures that make up the American mosaic and celebrate the diversity of the world."
Carlota Caulfield, author of The Mapmaker's Diary: Selected Poems.
Mojdeh Marashi, co-translator (with Chad Sweeney) of The Art of Stepping Through Time, by H. E. Sayeh.
Andrew Schelling, poet and translator, whose works include Dropping the Bow: Poems from the Sanskrit and Arapaho Songs, poems.
Richard Silberg, poet and translator, co-translator (with Clare You) of This Side of Time, poems by Ko Un.
Gary Young, author of Even So: New and Selected Poems.
14 FEBRUARY 2013 — thursday
Valentine Reading with Brittany Perham
Poetry Flash presents a reading by Brittany Perham, wheelchair accessible, request ASL interpreters one week in advance from editor @poetryflash.org, Moe's Books, 2476 Telegraph Avenue, Berkeley, 7:30 (510/849-2087, moesbooks.com)
Brittany Perham's first book of poems is The Curiosities (Parlor Press, 2012). D.A. Powell says, "With curatorial precision and a starling's penchant for multiple threads in both song and shelter, Brittany Perham has fashioned a haven of curiosities captivating to the ear as well as the eye. These poems dream in color and sound: bright, chantant, lifting and lowering the music and the light, so that we are transported from this world into the antechambers of the heart and back again. You cannot re-enter the waking world after reading these lucid, eloquent poems and not feel forever changed." She was a Stegner Fellow 2009-2011, and is now a Jones Lecturer at Stanford University.
17 FEBRUARY 2013 — sunday
Cheryl Dumesnil and Judy Grahn
Poetry Flash presents a reading by Cheryl Dumesnil and Judy Grahn, wheelchair accessible, request ASL interpreters one week in advance from firstname.lastname@example.org, Diesel, A Bookstore, 5433 College Avenue, Oakland, 3:00 (510/653-9965, dieselbookstore.com)
Cheryl Dumesnil's new book is a memoir, Love Song for Baby X: How I Stayed (Almost) Sane on the Rocky Road to Parenthood. Steve Fellner says, "Imagine combining Emily Dickinson's grace with Rosie the Riveter's know-how and Annie Hall's neurosis with Billy Jean King's determination. Then put a quest for a baby in the mix. You might come up with something like Cheryl Dumesnil's new memoir on lesbian motherhood." Her book takes us through the madcap maze of the (il)legality of lesbian marriage, fertility treatments, multiple miscarriages, neurosis, and spiritual practice to the ultimate blessed arrival of a son. She is author of the book of poems In Praise of Falling, which won the 2008 Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize from the University of Pittsburgh Press.
Judy Grahn's new memoir is A Simple Revolution, a dramatic narrative of her working class roots, her army career and discharge for being lesbian, her education as one of the first whites to attend Howard University, and her life as a celebrated poet in the Bay Area during the tumultuous beginnings of the lesbian movement in the late 1960s. Her recent books include love belongs to those who do the feeling and The Judy Grahn Reader, among many other collections. Her honors include an American Book Award for Queen of Wands, a Bill Whitehead Lifetime Achievement Award from The Publishing Triangle, a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and a Lambda Literary Award.
21 FEBRUARY 2013 — thursday
Beverley Bie Brahic, Ann Fisher-Wirth, and Chana Bloch
Poetry Flash presents a reading by Beverley Bie Brahic, Ann Fisher-Wirth, and Chana Bloch, wheelchair accessible, request ASL interpreters one week in advance from editor @poetryflash.org, Moe's Books, 2476 Telegraph Avenue, Berkeley, 7:30 (510/849-2087, moesbooks.com)
Beverley Bie Brahic is the author of White Sheets, short-listed for the Forward Prize, one of the UK's top poetry awards. The US/Canadian edition was nominated for Canada's Governor General's Award. Eavan Boland says of it, "These poems live and breathe in large subjects. They move easily from urban pastorals to domestic portraits, never losing their balance, always commanding their narratives." She has published one previous collection, Against Gravity, and a number of translations from the French, including Guillaume Apollinaire's The Little Auto; Francis Ponge's Unfinished Ode to Mud, a finalist for the 2009 Popescu Prize for Poetry in Translation; Julia Kristeva's This Incredible Need to Believe, a finalist for the 2010 French American Foundation Translation Prize; Jacques Derrida's Geneses, Genealogies, Genres, and Genius, and several works of Hélène Cixous, including Portrait of Jacques Derrida as a Young Jewish Saint.
Chana Bloch’s most recent book of poems is Blood Honey. Jane Hirshfield says of it, “These poems of intimate memory and sure-handed imagination survey the human condition with a tender, compassionate, unflinching gaze…Chana Bloch’s poems carry their reader into a hard-won, music-ripened wisdom.” She is the author of three previous books of poems, The Secrets of the Tribe, The Past Keeps Changing, and Mrs. Dumpty, and is a celebrated translator from the Hebrew. She is co-translator of The Song of Songs, The Selected Poetry of Yehuda Amichai, and Hovering at Low Altitude: The Collected Poetry of Dahlia Ravikovitch. Among her awards are the Poetry Society of America's Di Castagnola Award, the Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry, and the 2012 Meringoff Poetry Award.
Ann Fisher-Wirth’s new book of poems is Dream Cabinet. Camille T. Dungy says, “All the world and life are here, in the Dream Cabinet. Children, grandchildren, husbands, fathers, mothers, redwoods, dogwoods, tree frogs: the living and the dying and the dead…Ann Fisher-Wirth is a vital and a vibrant poet, and this is her best book yet.” Her other collections include Blue Window, Five Terraces, and Carta Marina: A Poem in Three Parts. She is also the co-editor, with Laura-Gray Street, of The Ecopoetry Anthology, just published, with an introduction by Robert Hass and over 700-pages of nature poetry and ecopoetry from Whitman to the present. Among her honors are a Malahat Review Long Poem Prize, the Rita Dove Poetry Award, and a 2007 Pushcart Special Mention.
14 MARCH 2013 — thursday
Rose Black, Susan Terris, and Joseph Zaccardi
Poetry Flash presents Rose Black, Susan Terris, and Joseph Zaccardi in a poetry reading from their new books, wheelchair accessible, request ASL interpreters one week in advance from email@example.com, Moe's Books, 2476 Telegraph Avenue, Berkeley, 7:30 (510/849-2087, moesbooks.com)
Rose Black’s new book of poems is Green Field. David St. John says, “Like fables and dreams gone dark in the lens, these poems instruct us in the complex measures we need to employ in determining what values still remain—and will endure—in our lives.” She is Editor of the Marin Poetry Center Anthology; her first two poetry books, Clearing and Winter Light, were accepted by Yale’s Beinecke Library for the Yale Collection of American Literature. Her poems have been published in Runes, South Carolina Review, Spillway, and elsewhere.
Susan Terris’s book of poems is Ghost of Yesterday: New & Selected Poems. Norman Dubie says, “Susan Terris’ new and selected poems is described best in the surprising way its images align as proofs of story with and against voice…These are strongly meditative poems. This is a wonderful book.” A longtime co-editor of Runes, A Review of Poetry she is now editor of Spillway Magazine and is poetry editor for two other publications. She is the author of six full-length books of poems and three artist’s books; her work was included in PUSHCART PRIZE XXXI.
Joseph Zaccardi’s new collection, The Nine Gradations of Light, is his third book of poems, following Vents and Render. A former editor of the Marin Poetry Center Anthology, he reads poetry as a volunteer a convalescent hospitals. His poems have appeared in Southern Poetry Review, Poet Lore, Seattle Review, Runes, Paterson Literary Review, Spillway, and elsewhere.
21 MARCH 2013 — thursday
CJ Evans and Ben Mirov
Poetry Flash presents a reading by CJ Evans and Ben Mirov, wheelchair accessible, request ASL interpreters one week in advance from editor @poetryflash.org, Moe's Books, 2476 Telegraph Avenue, Berkeley, 7:30 (510/849-2087, moesbooks.com)
CJ Evans's full-length book of poems is A Penance (New Issues Press/Western Michigan University, 2012). Terrance Hayes says, "There is an uneasy tenderness to CJ Evans's A Penance. His poems trouble desire, they trouble the world…until it fractures into the sort of captivating music a modern day Orpheus might sing." He co-edited, with Brenda Shaughnessy, Satellite Convulsions: Poems from Tin House (Tin House Books). He works as managing editor of Two Lines: World Writing in Translation and is a contributing editor for Tin House magazine.
Ben Mirov's new book of poems is Hider Roser (Octopus Books, 2012). His previous collection, Ghost Machine, was selected for publication by Michael Burkard and chosen as one of the best books of 2010 for Believer Magazine's Reader Survey. He has also published several chapbooks, including My Hologram Chamber is Surrounded by Miles of Snow (YesYes Books).
4 APRIL 2013 — thursday
Elana Bell and Tiffany Higgins
Poetry Flash presents a reading by Elana Bell and Tiffany Higgins, wheelchair accessible, request ASL interpreters one week in advance from editor @poetryflash.org, Moe's Books, 2476 Telegraph Avenue, Berkeley, 7:30 (510/849-2087, moesbooks.com)
Elana Bell's book of poems, Eyes, Stones (Louisiana State University Press, 2012), is the 2011 winner of the prestigious Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets, selected by Fanny Howe, who says, "Elana Bell has undertaken a task many others have avoided: facing the agony of the Palestine-Israel conflict and its history.…She gives her voice over to others without changing her vocabulary or her beat. Elements basic to life—bread, fruit, water, and rats—are here in profusion. These poems are built for our time." Bell has conducted poetry workshops for educators, women in prison, and high school students in Israel, Palestine, and throughout the five boroughs of New York City.
Tiffany Higgins's debut book of poems is And Aeneas Stares Into Her Helmet (Carolina Wren Press, 2009), winner of the 2008 Carolina Wren Press Poetry Contest, selected by Evie Shockley. Patrick Herron says of it, "Tiffany Higgins' anachronistic and recast hero is one brilliantly charged nexus of exploitation and war; she is captured, tortured, and released as a series of heartbreaking lyrics. A stunning book." In the collection, we follow the story of its main character, Aeneas, a female American soldier, and trace her journey through our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, always linking these scenes to our daily life here at home. Tiffany Higgins has translated poems of the Lebanese writer Nadia Tuéni from the French, and recordings of her poems are forthcoming on From the Fishouse, an online audio archive (www.fishousepoems.org). She blogs at http://tifhiggins.blogspot.com.
7 APRIL 2013 — sunday
Joseph Campana, Jane Mead, and Kerri Webster
Poetry Flash presents a reading by Joseph Campana, Jane Mead, and Kerri Webster, wheelchair accessible, request ASL interpreters one week in advance from firstname.lastname@example.org, Diesel, A Bookstore, 5433 College Avenue, Oakland, 3:00 (510/653-9965, dieselbookstore.com)
Joseph Campana's new book of poems, winner of the 2011 Iowa Poetry Prize, is Natural Selections. David Wojahn says of it, "Like James Wright and Sherwood Anderson—both of whom he pays homage to in this stunning collection—Joseph Campana understands that the Midwest is less a place than a strangely inscrutable state of mind, where our losses and vulnerabilities are shown in terrifyingly high relief…Campana also understands…that the principal business of the lyric poem is heartbreak." He is also the author of a first book of poems, The Book of Faces, and a critical work.
Jane Mead's most recent book of poems is The Usable Field; her forthcoming collection is Money Money Money/Water Water Water, forthcoming in spring 2014. Her honors include fellowships from the Lannan and Guggenheim Foundations and a Whiting Writer's Award.
Kerri Webster was the co-winner, with Joseph Campana, of the 2011 Iowa Poetry Prize for her collection Grand & Arsenal, which Catherine Wagner calls "…poems that gather unusual objects, places, remembered bodies—each weathered, handled roughly or gently…hot under the lights of Webster's attention…This poetry is dark, tender, rather bitter, but I want to linger; it's sequin-gorgeous in here." Author of the earlier poetry collection We Do Not Eat Our Hearts Alone, Webster is also a winner of a 2011 Whiting Writer's Award.
11 APRIL 2013 — thursday
Mariela Griffor and Kjell Espmark
Poetry Flash presents a reading by Kjell Espmark and Mariela Griffor, wheelchair accessible, request ASL interpreters one week in advance from editor @poetryflash.org, Moe's Books, 2476 Telegraph Avenue, Berkeley, 7:30 (510/849-2087, moesbooks.com)
Kjell Espmark, Swedish poet, novelist, and literary historian, will read from his book of poems Outside the Calendar, translated by Robin Fulton Macpherson. A member of the Swedish Academy since 1981 and a sitting member of the Nobel Committee since 1988, Espmark has published thirteen volumes of poetry and received a bevy of honors, including the Bellman Prize for Poetry, the Schuck Prize for Literary Criticism, the Kellgren Prize, The Great Prize of De Nio ("The Nine"), and the Tranströmer Prize.
Mariela Griffor was born in Concepción, Chile. She is the founder of Marick Press and author of three books of poems, Exiliana and House, both published in 2007, and the 2010 collection Heartland, about which Jim Schley says, "While she is capable of acknowledging and dramatizing ghastly geopolitical realities with stark veracity, she always—yes, always—approaches the momentous historical complexities she is uniquely situated to describe with a tenderness most people…can only summon for their home life…She is dedicated, intellectually penetrating, and endlessly curious." Her forthcoming publications include translations by Neruda, Raul Zurita, Gabriela Mistral, and Kristina Lugn.
16 APRIL 2013 — tuesday
Irish poets Patrick Cotter, Matthew Sweeney
Poetry Flash, Culture Ireland, and Moe's presents a reading by Irish poets Patrick Cotter and Matthew Sweeney, wheelchair accessible, request ASL interpreters one week in advance from editor @poetryflash.org, Moe's Books, 2476 Telegraph Avenue, Berkeley, 7:30 (510/849-2087, moesbooks.com)
Patrick Cotter was born in Cork in 1963 where he still lives. His published work includes several chapbooks, the verse novella The Misogynist's Blue Nightmare and the poetry collections, Perplexed Skin and Making Music. His work has appeared in many anthologies including Separate Islands: Contemporary British and Irish poetry, Irish Poetry Now, Jumping off Shadows - Some Contemporary Irish Poets (Cork University Press), The Irish Eros, The Backyards of Heaven, Something Beginning with P, and The Great Book of Ireland. His translations of the Estonian poet Andres Ehin are collected in the book Moosebeetle Swallow (Southword Editions). His play Beauty and the Stalker was produced at the Granary Theatre, Cork in 2000, and he has published short fiction in journals and newspapers.
Matthew Sweeney, born in Lifford, County Donegal in 1952, lives in Cork, Ireland. Sweeney has published not only many poetry collections for adults but also several poetry collections for children and two children's novels. Writing Poetry, which he co-wrote with John Hartley Williams, appeared in 1997, and he has co-edited two anthologies of poems. He has held several fellowships and writer-in-residence positions, most recently at University College Cork. He won the Prudence Farmer Prize in 1984, the Cholmondely Award in 1999, a Henfield Writing Fellowship in 1986, and several bursaries from the Arts Councils of Ireland and England. He was nominated for the T.S. Eliot award for Black Moon. Horse Music (Bloodaxe, 2013) is his most recent collection.
2 MAY 2013 — thursday
Jennifer Elise Foerster and Andrew Schelling
Poetry Flash presents a reading by Jennifer Elise Foerster and Andrew Schelling, wheelchair accessible, request ASL interpreters one week in advance from editor @poetryflash.org, Moe's Books, 2476 Telegraph Avenue, Berkeley, 7:30 (510/849-2087, moesbooks.com)
Jennifer Elise Foerster's first book of poems is Leaving Tulsa. Joy Harjo says, "Wow. This first book of poems by Jennifer Foerster reminds me of the urgent vision fueling Kerouac's On the Road…Foester spins her poem-songs like wheels. She's from a younger generation, and not a man but a native woman trying to put the story of a broken people back together." A former Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, she is of mixed German, Dutch, and Muscogee descent and a member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation of Oklahoma.
Andrew Schelling's new book of poems is A Possible Bag. Kit Robinson says of it, "Translator, scholar, poet Andrew Schelling works from linguistic roots both East (Sanskrit) and West (Arapaho) to imagine how we might relate to earth differently since we can now see human inhabitation as a limited engagement." Among his previous books of poems are From the Arapaho Songbook and Old Tale Road; he's published a collection of essays, Wild Form, Savage Grammar: Poetry, Ecology, Asia; the most recent of his translations from Sanskrit—he's been studying Sanskrit and Indian raga for thirty years—is Dropping the Bow: Poems of Ancient India.
5 MAY 2013 — sunday
Kazim Ali, Tony Barnstone, and Willis Barnstone
Poetry Flash presents a reading by Kazim Ali, Tony Barnstone, and Willis Barnstone, wheelchair accessible, request ASL interpreters one week in advance from email@example.com, Diesel, A Bookstore, 5433 College Avenue, Oakland, 3:00 (510/653-9965, dieselbookstore.com)
Kazim Ali's new book of poems is Sky Ward. Fanny Howe says of it, "In, out, secrecy, exposure. The book is resonant with the poetry of Hafiz and Rumi but stays grounded in the contemporary, especially in its candor and unease. But then the language and vision is also Romantic and pleasurable, calling to be heard aloud." He is the author of nine books of poetry, fiction, essay and translation. His exciting, transgenre work Bright Felon: Autobiography and Cities, part detective story, part memoir, part imagined past, originally published in 2009, is being re-issued.
Tony Barnstone's latest books of poems are Tongue of War: From Pearl Harbor to Nagasaki, winner of the John Ciardi Prize in Poetry, and The Golem of Los Angeles, winner of the Benjamin Saltman Award in Poetry. Translator and scholar as well as a poet, he will present a visual and art slide show in collaboration with the artist Alexandra Eldridge at this event. He has also recently recorded a poetry and music CD, Tokyo's Burning, inspired by Tongue of War, a collaboration with Genuine Brandish: the songwriting team of John Clinebell and Ariana Hall.
Willis Barnstone, poet, translator, editor, and scholar, has three new books of poems, Stickball on 88th Street, the bilingual Café de l'Aube à Paris/Dawn Café in Paris, and The Poems of Jesus Christ. This last collection stems from his recent two-volume translation of The Restored New Testament. He is a Guggenheim Fellow and the distinguished author of some seventy volumes of poetry, prose, and translation.
23 MAY 2013 — thursday
Alex Dimitrov and Genine Lentine
Poetry Flash presents a reading by Alex Dimitrov and Genine Lentine, wheelchair accessible, request ASL interpreters one week in advance from editor @poetryflash.org, Moe's Books, 2476 Telegraph Avenue, Berkeley, 7:30 (510/849-2087, moesbooks.com)
Alex Dimitrov's new book of poems is Begging for It. Mark Doty says, "Dimitrov's passionate, headlong poems seem to want to carve beneath the surface of gestures, beneath the skin, to the warm and dangerous blood beneath…Begging for It is a fierce and memorable debut." A winner of the Stanley Kunitz Prize from The American Poetry Review, Dimitrov is a founder of Wilde Boys, a queer poetry salon, author of the e-chapbook American Boys, and Program Coordinator at the Academy of American Poets.
Genine Lentine's new book is Poses: An Essay Drawn from the Model. Mark Doty says, "Poses dwells in a space between forms, and in fact these pieces feel like spaces, each block of text becoming the rectilinear space of a drawing. The white space between passages of ink creates a rhythm, a sense of time passing, as each piece points toward a different moment of composition." The book features eight figure drawings by Richard Diebenkorn, and it grew out of Lentine's attendance at a particular drawing studio and her creative transition from drawing to writing from the model. Her previous poetry collection is Mr. Worthington's Beautiful Experiments on Splashes, and she is co-author, with Stanley Kunitz and photographer Marnie Crawford Samuelson, of The Wild Braid: A Poet Reflects on a Century in the Garden.
26 MAY 2013 — sunday
Tim Kahl and Joshua McKinney
Poetry Flash presents a reading by Tim Kahl and Joshua McKinney, wheelchair accessible, request ASL interpreters one week in advance from firstname.lastname@example.org, Diesel, A Bookstore, 5433 College Avenue, Oakland, 3:00 (510/653-9965, dieselbookstore.com)
Tim Kahl's new book of poems is The Century of Travel. Camille Norton says of it, "Tim Kahl's poems are an "open source" for the end of the West. These big, bold poems swerve between history and pop culture, between nineteenth century bull and bear baiting to twenty-first century bull and bear markets." Also author of the collection Possessing Yourself, he is vice president and events coordinator for the Sacramento Poetry Center, appears as Victor Shnickelfritz at the poetry blog "The Great American Pinup" and the video blog "Linebreak Studios," and is editor of Bald Trickster Press.
Joshua McKinney's new book is Mad Cursive. In this book, McKinney, an accomplished swordsman, moves toward the Japanese concept of binbu ichi—"the unity of martial and literary arts"—a Samurai ideal. Claudia Keelan wrote, "The poems in Mad Cursive move gracefully between beauty and destruction, the essential real locale of poetry in our times. A mad swordsman inside a poet-seer, McKinney dares to locate what resembles, in my reading, spirit laid bare.…A truly courageous book." McKinney is the author of two previous collections, Saunter, co-winner of the University of Georgia Press Poetry Series competition, and The Novice Mourner, winner of the Dorothy Brunsman Poetry Prize.
9 JUNE 2013 — sunday
James Arthur, Natalie Diaz, and Tomás Q. Morin
Poetry Flash presents a reading by James Arthur, Natalie Diaz, and Tomás Q. Morin, wheelchair accessible, request ASL interpreters one week in advance from email@example.com, Diesel, A Bookstore, 5433 College Avenue, Oakland, 3:00 (510/653-9965, dieselbookstore.com)
James Arthur's debut book of poems is Charms Against Lightning; speaking of his work, Poetry's Don Share says, "This is one of those poems—we get them once in a while—where we don't know who the poet is, and you see this poem, and you go 'Who is this? How did they do that?'" His work has appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry, Ploughshares, and many other journals.
Natalie Diaz's first book of poems is When My Brother Was an Aztec: "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." The book is a Lannan Literary Selection. Diaz is Mojave and an enrolled member of the Gila River Indian Community. She played professional basketball for several years in Europe and Asia, and now lives in Mojave Valley, Arizona and directs a language revitalization program at Fort Mojave, her home reservation.
Tomás Q. Morin's collection, A Larger Country, was chosen for the American Poetry Review/Honickman First Book Prize: "It charts the land we call memory, a place the dead and the outcast call home; the map that emerges shows us that while the terrain of memory may be rugged, filled with both joy and sorrow, it is also 'the world we always said we wanted.'" Tomás Q. Morín's poems have appeared in New England Review, Slate, Threepenny Review, Narrative, and elsewhere. He teaches literature and writing at Texas State University.
20 JUNE 2013 — thursday
Kim Shuck and Chris Hoffman
Poetry Flash presents a reading by Kim Shuck and Chris Hoffman, wheelchair accessible, request ASL interpreters one week in advance from editor @poetryflash.org, Moe's Books, 2476 Telegraph Avenue, Berkeley, 7:30 (510/849-2087, moesbooks.com)
Chris Hoffman is an organization consultant, an ecopsychologist, and a poet. His new book of poems is Realization Point, about which Joseph Bruchac says, "Chris Hoffman's poems speak with a clear meditative voice that bridges the gap between our human lives and the healing spirit of nature." His previous book of poetry is Cairns; he's published a book of psychology/spirituality, The Hoop and the Tree: A Compass for Finding a Deeper Relationship with All Life, and the Afro-pop band Monkey Siren has recorded his lyrics on two CDs.
Kim Shuck is a writer, weaver, and bead artist, who has shown her artwork on four continents. Shuck's new book, Rabbit Stories, is fiction, about which Deborah A. Miranda says, "Kim Shuck's collection is tenderly constructed, finely woven in and out of Rabbit Food's lifetime as girl, young woman, new mother, and mature artist. Rabbit Stories winds through waters layered with dream and memory, loops around time with a wise/cracking humor." Kim Shuck's first book of poetry, Smuggling Cherokee, won the Diane Decorah Award from the Native Writers' Circle of the Americas.
27 JUNE 2013 — thursday
Bruce Isaacson and Jan Steckel
Poetry Flash presents a reading by Bruce Isaacson and Jan Steckel, wheelchair accessible, request ASL interpreters one week in advance from editor @poetryflash.org, Moe's Books, 2476 Telegraph Avenue, Berkeley, 7:30 (510/849-2087, moesbooks.com)
Bruce Isaacson is one of the pioneers of spoken word in San Francisco, a galvanizing performer of his work, and editor of Zeitgeist Press. His new book of poems is the chapbook, Book of Rebellions; his other recent books of poetry include Dumbstruck at the Lights in the Sky and Ghosts Among the Neon. Former San Francisco Poet Laureate Jack Hirschman says, "[Isaacson] gives his realist and insightful eye to seeing and revealing how poetry remains the king of affirmation amid devastating negations and the ghosting of the soul."
Jan Steckel is a poet and a retired Harvard and Yale-trained pediatrician and activist for bisexual and disability rights. Her new book of poems, The Horizontal Poet, a 2012 Lambda Literary Award-winner, is audacious, worldly, and deeply compassionate. Mixing Tracks, published in 2009, won the Gertrud Press Fiction Chapbook Award, and her previous book of poems, The Underwater Hospital, won a Rainbow Award for lesbian and bisexual poetry.
10 JULY 2013 — wednesday
Joan Houlihan, Rusty Morrison, Ellen Doré Watson
Poetry Flash presents a poetry reading to kick off the Colrain Poetry Manuscript Conference, featuring faculty members Joan Houlihan, Rusty Morrison, Ellen Doré Watson, wheelchair accessible, request ASL interpreters one week in advance from editor @poetryflash.org, Moe's Books, 2476 Telegraph Avenue, Berkeley, 7:30 (510/849-2087, moesbooks.com)
Joan Houlihan founder of the conference, has published four books of poetry, including The Us, named a "must-read" book of 2009 by Massachusetts Center of the Book, and The Mending Worm, winner of the Green Rose Award from New Issues Press. Among other critical endeavors, she's author of Boston Comment, a series of critical essays archived online.
Rusty Morrison, co-editor and publisher of Omnidawn, has published four books of poems, including After Urgency, 2012 winner of the Dorset Prize from Tupelo Press; the true keeps calm biding its story, winner of the Academy of American Poets' James Laughlin Award, Northern California Book Award, Ahsahta's Sawtooth Prize, and the DiCastagnola Award from the Poetry Society of America; and Whethering, winner of the Colorado Prize for Poetry.
Ellen Doré Watson is director of the Poetry Center at Smith College and poetry editor of The Massachusetts Review. She's published five books of poems, most recently Dogged Hearts. Her collection Ladder Music won the New England/New York Award from Alice James Press.
11 JULY 2013 — thursday
Avotcja and Q.R. Hand
Poetry Flash presents a Taurean Horn Press reading by Avotcja and Q.R. Hand, Jr., wheelchair accessible, request ASL interpreters one week in advance from editor @poetryflash.org, Moe's Books, 2476 Telegraph Avenue, Berkeley, 7:30 (510/849-2087, moesbooks.com)
Avotcja's latest book of poems is With Every Step I Take. Al Young says, "Introducing herself as storyteller, 'wild woman,' a 'bonafide sound junkie,' nothing slows or dampens Avotcja's passion for the power and wonder of music. Guided by ancient, ancestral wisdom, she refuses to separate poetry and storytelling from song or dance." She has published in English and Spanish in the USA, Mexico, and Europe, and she's been widely anthologized. She's shared stages with Sonia Sanchez, Piri Thomas, Janice Mirikitani, Diane di Prima, Michael Franti, Jayne Cortez, and with José Montoya's Royal Chicano Air Force. Also a musician and percussionist, she is a Bay Area star with her jazz group Avotcja & Modúpue.
Q. R. Hand's new book of poems is Whose Really Blues. Reginald Lockett said, "Q. R. Hand's poetry traverses the terrain of form, music, and language. This is an inspired, well crafted poetry that is political in intent and spirited in execution and defies any comparison to any literary predecessors or contemporary schools of thought." A beloved figure in Bay Area poetry who has read as a featured poet at many venues, Hand's previous publications include We Came to Play and I Speak to the Poet in Man.
14 JULY 2013 — sunday
Brynn Saito and Caroline Goodwin
Poetry Flash presents a reading by Brynn Saito and Caroline Goodwin, wheelchair accessible, request ASL interpreters one week in advance from firstname.lastname@example.org, Diesel, A Bookstore, 5433 College Avenue, Oakland, 3:00 (510/653-9965, dieselbookstore.com)
Brynn Saito's book of poems, The Palace of Contemplating Departure, was the winner of the 2011 Benjamin Saltman Award from Red Hen Press. Tina Chang says, "The body is merely a cage for the radiant and otherworldly in Brynn Saito's startling debut collection.…The manifold selves created here reside deeply inside mystery. These poems are fully alive as they struggle between opposing forces of life and death, conflict and peace, gods and demons, darkness and light, the material and heavenly." Her poetry has been selected for anthologies edited by Helen Vendler and Ishmael Reed, and she's been published in many literary journals.
Caroline Goodwin's new book of poems is Trapline. Donna de la Perrière says, "In Caroline Goodwin's Trapline, nature's flux and torque are embodied in a language that is taut, luscious and musical. These are poems of rot and salt, dragonflies and kinked reeds, where the world is always with us—raw and omnipresent, beautiful and terrible." Born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska, she moved to the Bay Area in 1999 to attend Stanford University as a Stegner Fellow in poetry. Her sequence of five poems, Text Me, Ishmael, was published in 2012.
18 JULY 2013 — thursday
Zara Raab, Susan Cohen, Connie Post, David Alpaugh, more
Poetry Flash presents Marin Poetry Center's Summer Traveling Show, featuring poets Zara Raab, Susan Cohen, Connie Post, David Alpaugh, Adrienne Amundsen, Joan Stepp Smith, hosted by Rose Black and Richard Silberg, wheelchair accessible, request ASL interpreters one week in advance from editor @poetryflash.org, Moe's Books, 2476 Telegraph Avenue, Berkeley, 7:30 (510/849-2087, moesbooks.com, www.marinpoetrycenter.org)
The readers for the Marin Poetry Center's East Bay Summer Traveling Show, co-hosted by Rose Black, editor of the Marin Poetry Center Anthology, are:
David Alpaugh, whose most recent book of poems is Crazy Dave Talks With The Poets.
Adrienne Amundsen, psychologist and world traveler, whose new book of poems is Cassandras Falling.
Susan Cohen, also a journalist, whose debut poetry collection is Throat Singing.
Connie Post, former Poet Laureate of Livermore, whose most recent chapbook is And When the Sun Drops.
Zara Raab, a contributing editor to Poetry Flash, whose two most recent books of poems are Swimming the Eel and the forthcoming Fracas & Asylum.
Joan Stepp Smith, whose latest poetry collection is In a Pasture with Palominos.
1 AUGUST 2013 — thursday
Hugh Behm-Steinberg and Larry O. Dean
Poetry Flash presents a reading by Hugh Behm-Steinberg and Larry O. Dean, wheelchair accessible, request ASL interpreters one week in advance from editor @poetryflash.org, Moe's Books, 2476 Telegraph Avenue, Berkeley, 7:30 (510/849-2087, moesbooks.com)
Hugh Behm-Steinberg's new book of poems is The Opposite of Work, illustrated by Mary Behm-Steinberg. Kevin Prufer says, "In these anxious, playful, formally brilliant poems, Hugh Behm-Steinberg meditates on the inapproachable divine, the complexity of political culpability, and the evasive idea of the self.…It is the mind at work here that is so astonishing, and the processes of rigorous thought that are so important, and so lovely." A former Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, he is the author of a previous book of poems, Shy Green Fields, and of a libretto for the children's opera, The Clever Wife, commissioned by the Houston Grand Opera and performed in Houston area elementary schools.
Larry O. Dean's new book of poems is Brief Nudity, a collection that features many San Francisco-centric poems, in particular a series of persona poems based on the Loma Prieta earthquake. Katrina Vandenberg says, "Poet Larry O. Dean is equal parts storyteller, trickster, and urban philosopher. He's a rock and roll showman and a gifted speaker in tongues." The author of ten chapbooks, widely anthologized, translated into Chinese, Italian, and Spanish, he is also a singer, songwriter, and producer who has worked both solo and with several 'hard pop' bands, including Malcontent and The Me Decade.
4 AUGUST 2013 — sunday
Sharon Coleman and Alice Jones
Poetry Flash presents a reading by Alice Jones and Sharon Coleman, wheelchair accessible, request ASL interpreters one week in advance from email@example.com, Diesel, A Bookstore, 5433 College Avenue, Oakland, 3:00 (510/653-9965, dieselbookstore.com)
Alice Jones's new book is Plunge, a nominee for the 2013 Northern California Book Award in poetry. Donald Revell says, "With Plunge, Alice Jones brilliantly and with beautiful tact revives the art of menippean satire.…En route, she proves willing to dismantle anything—including her own voice and her own distinctive music—that might distract us from the ruined truth of our Republic." Her previous full-length collections are The Knot, Extreme Directions (The fifty-four moves of the Tai Chi Sword), and Gorgeous Mourning. Widely anthologized, in Best American Poetry of 1994, Strange Attraction: A ZYZZYVA Anthology, and elsewhere, her honors include an NEA fellowship and the Poetry Society of America's Robert H. Winner and Lyric Poetry Awards; she is a practicing psychoanalyst in Berkeley.
Sharon Coleman's new book of poems is Half Circle. Mary Mackey says, "The poems in Sharon Coleman's Half Circle are haunted by buried landmines of memory, and a past that can't be put to rest. Lyric, tragic, deftly conceived, painterly and yet at the same time dynamic, they give us unexpected images mediated by a fierce, courageous intelligence." She is Director of the Berkeley Poetry Festival, a curator of the Lyrics & Dirges series, and is the faculty advisor for Berkeley City College's award-winning literary and art journal, Milvia Street.
8 SEPTEMBER 2013 — sunday
Maxine Hong Kingston, Jean Valentine, Fred Marchant
Poetry Flash presents a reading by Maxine Hong Kingston, Jean Valentine, and Fred Marchant, wheelchair accessible, request ASL interpreters one week in advance from firstname.lastname@example.org, Diesel, A Bookstore, 5433 College Avenue, Oakland, 3:00 (510/653-9965, dieselbookstore.com)
Maxine Hong Kingston's most recent book is a memoir-in-verse I Love a Broad Margin to My Life. Her previous memoirs and works of nonfiction and fiction include The Woman Warrior, China Men, Tripmaster Monkey: His Fake Book, a novel, and The Fifth Book of Peace. She is also the editor of Veterans of War, Veterans of Peace, an anthology of writings from more than a decade of writing-and-meditation workshops she's led for Vietnam veterans and others to heal themselves through art. Among her honors are the National Book Award, National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction, PEN West Award in Fiction, and a National Humanities Medal from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Fred Marchant's latest book of poems is The Looking House. Ilya Kaminsky says, "In a time of lies and mediocre ironies in literature, here is the voice that is never afraid to say what matters. This is the poetry of home, yes—but the many doors and windows in this book first and foremost ‘teach the heart how to be a heart.'" The author of three previous collections, including Full Moon Boat, Marchant was one of the first Marine officers to be honorably discharged as a conscientious objector during the war in Vietnam.
Jean Valentine's latest book of poems, her eleventh, is Break the Glass. Library Journal says of it, "As elliptical and demanding as Emily Dickinson, Valentine consistently rewards the reader." It was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. She recently co-translated, with Ilya Kaminsky, Dark Elderberry Branch: Poems of Marina Tsvetaeva, one of the great Russian poets of the early twentieth century. Her honors include a National Book Award, the Wallace Stevens Award, and the Shelley Memorial Award.
12 SEPTEMBER 2013 — thursday
Gerald Fleming and Barbara Swift Brauer
Poetry Flash presents a Sixteen Rivers Press poetry reading by Gerald Fleming and Barbara Swift Brauer, request ASL interpreters one week in advance from email@example.com, Moe's Books, 2476 Telegraph Avenue, Berkeley, 7:30 (510/849-2087, moesbooks.com)
This reading celebrates Sixteen Rivers Press.
Barbara Swift Brauer's new book of poems is At Ease in the Borrowed World. Molly Fisk says, "Haunted by loveliness and by ghosts, Barbara Swift Brauer's collection, At Ease in the Borrowed World, maps out a new geography of belonging. Not to place, exactly, or to family, but to a suspended world where everyone gathers: parents and children, women and men, characters from novels, from history, the dead." A freelance writer and editor, she is co-author with portrait artist Jackie Kirk of the nonfiction book Witness: The Artist's Vision in the Face of AIDS.
Gerald Fleming's new book of poems is The Choreographer. Joan Larkin says, "All through The Choreographer we encounter our own humanness in mirrors both dark and bright, as Gerald Fleming reveals us to ourselves. Each of these pieces feels unexpected yet somehow inevitable. I love their mordant wit, their sparseness and precision, their relentless truthfulness." His previous collections include Night of Pure Breathing and Swimmer Climbing onto Shore. He edited and published the literary journal Barnabe Mountain Review from 1995 to 2000. A longtime teacher in San Francisco's public schools, Fleming has also written three books for teachers.
19 SEPTEMBER 2013 — thursday
Jack Marshall and Anne Winters
Poetry Flash presents a poetry reading by Jack Marshall, Spiral Trace, and Anne Winters, The Displaced of Capital, request ASL interpreters one week in advance from firstname.lastname@example.org, Moe's Books, 2476 Telegraph Avenue, Berkeley, 7:30 (510/849-2087, moesbooks.com)
Jack Marshall's new book of poems is Spiral Trace. Stephen Dunn says, "Jack Marshall is one of our unheralded masters, which Spiral Trace demonstrates on almost every page.…His fine ear is always evident…the sound of words finding and gracing sense, permitting the overtly political, and helping to color his broad sympathies." He is the author of the memoir From Baghdad to Brooklyn and many previous books of poems. His honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship, the PEN Center USA Award, two Northern California Book Awards, and a finalist nomination for the National Book Critics Circle Award.
Anne Winters's new book of poems is The Displaced of Capital. Robert Pinsky says, "Anne Winters's The Displaced of Capital is innovative, even startling, in ways that make its materials not remote but immediate. Vivid and reflective, documentary and visionary, re-imagining the city of New York with the same urgency that ponders the opening words of Genesis, this is a passionate, artful and re-readable book." This is her second collection, following twenty years after her first, The Key to the City, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Among her honors are a Guggenheim Fellowship, a William Carlos Williams Award, and the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize.
3 OCTOBER 2013 — thursday
Charles Entrekin, Lucille Lang Day, Stewart Florsheim, Marcia Falk, more
Poetry Flash presents a book launch reading for The Berkeley Poets Cooperative: A History of the Times, edited by Charles Entrekin, with readings by contributors Lucille Lang Day, Stewart Florsheim, Belden Johnson, Bruce Hawkins, Rod Tulloss and Marcia Falk, wheelchair accessible, request ASL interpreters one week in advance from email@example.com, Moe's Books, 2476 Telegraph Avenue, Berkeley, 7:30 (510/849-2087, moesbooks.com)
Charles Entrekin, who will be at the event with these contributors:
Lucille Lang Day's newest book is the memoir, Married at Fourteen. She's also published one children's book and eight poetry collections and chapbooks, most recently The Curvature of Blue.
Stewart Florsheim's most recent book of poems is A Split Second of Light. His other collections include The Short Fall From Grace, winner of the Blue Light Award, and the chapbook The Girl Eating Oysters. He's the editor of Ghosts of the Holocaust, an anthology of poetry by children of Holocaust survivors.
Belden Johnson published Snake Blossoms with the Berkeley Poets Workshop & Press, and has since published a novel, Fathers and Teachers and a self-help book Real Relationships: Essential Tools to Help You Go the Distance.
Bruce Hawkins is the author of The Ghost of the Buick, poems.
Rod Tulloss has been writing since his early teens and continues to do so while pursuing various day jobs that have included being a managing researcher in digital electronics and a mycologist. He is a co-founder of BPC and the US1 Writers Cooperative in Princeton, New Jersey.
Marcia Falk has published three books of poems, including This Year in Jerusalem; she is the author of The Book of Blessings, a bilingual recreation of Jewish prayer in poetic forms, and her translations from Hebrew and Yiddish include The Song of Songs, works of the Hebrew poet Zelda and of the Yiddish poet Malka Heifitz Tussman.
6 OCTOBER 2013 — sunday
Dean Rader and Alan Soldofsky
Poetry Flash presents a Truman State University Press poetry reading by Dean Rader, Works & Days, winner of the T.S. Eliot Poetry Prize, and Alan Soldofsky, In the Buddha Factory, wheelchair accessible, request ASL interpreters one week in advance from firstname.lastname@example.org, Diesel, A Bookstore, 5433 College Avenue, Oakland, 3:00 (510/653-9965, dieselbookstore.com)
Dean Rader's book of poems, Works & Days, won the 2010 Truman State University T. S. Eliot Prize. It was selected by Claudia Keelan, who says, "Works & Days asks timely questions, never forgetting that Self too is a fundamental part of the landscape. This is a serious book that never takes itself too seriously." Three poems from his new chapbook, Landscape Portrait Figure Form (Omnidawn), have been nominated for Pushcart Prizes. He's a noted reviewer, who's written for the San Francisco Chronicle and The Huffington Post, as well as for Poetry Flash. His work appears in the 2012 Best American Poetry. He has also published several prose books dealing with American Indian writing and art. He is professor of English at University of San Francisco.
Alan Soldofsky's book of poems is In the Buddha Factory. Dorianne Laux says, "This first collection from Alan Soldofsky reads like a fourth or fifth—dense with memorable imagery, the grit of experience, and a careful attention to language that together make it resonate with a captivating yogic hum." An important figure in Bay Area poetry, he's been a contributing editor of Poetry Flash and a co-host of a KPFA poetry show, Planet on the Table. His poems have been published widely in magazines and journals including Poetry Daily, Grand Street, The Georgia Review, Rattle, The Rattling Wall, and The Rumpus. A former contributing editor of Poetry Flash, his essays, interviews, and reviews have also appeared in Chelsea, The Writer's Chronicle, and Narrative. He is professor of English and director of creative writing at San Jose State University.
10 OCTOBER 2013 — thursday
David Lau and Ed Pavlic
Poetry Flash presents Ed Pavlic, Visiting Hours at the Color Line, and David Lau, Virgil and the Mountain Cat, request ASL interpreters one week in advance from email@example.com, Moe's Books, 2476 Telegraph Avenue, Berkeley, 7:30 (510/849-2087, moesbooks.com)
David Lau's full-length book of poetry is Virgil and the Mountain Cat. Calvin Bedient says, "…David Lau's first book of poems evokes the shattering of Western civilization (not its collapse, but the tense, apprehensive moment before the cracked vessel falls apart). It's at once uncompromising and highly inventive." Also the author of the chapbook Bad Opposites, he co-edits, with Cal Bedient, Lana Turner, a Journal of Poetry and Opinion. Lau teaches at the University of California, Santa Cruz and Cabrillo College, and is on the faculty of the UC Berkeley Summer Creative Writing Program.
Ed Pavlic's new book of poems is Visiting Hours at the Color Line, selected as a winner of the 2012 National Poetry Series by Dan Beachy-Quick. Terence Hayes says, "Ed Pavlic shapes the ineffable (some call it Duende, some call it Soul) into a language haunting the borders of the sayable and unsayable, the sung and the unsung." The lines are musically infused, bearing tones of R&B and jazz. Pavlic is the author of five previous collections, the first of which, Paraph of Bone & Other Kinds of Blue, was awarded the APR/Honickman First Book Prize, judged by Adrienne Rich. He teaches English at the University of Georgia.
22 OCTOBER 2013 — tuesday
Annie Finch and Brenda Hillman
Poetry Flash and Moe's Books co-present a poetry reading by Annie Finch, Spells: New and Selected Poems, and Brenda Hillman, Seasonal Works with Letter on Fire, request ASL interpreters one week in advance from firstname.lastname@example.org, Moe's Books, 2476 Telegraph Avenue, Berkeley, 7:30 (510/849-2087, moesbooks.com)
Annie Finch's new book is Spells, New and Selected Poems. Joy Harjo says, "Annie Finch's poetry is a pure tone that calls us home to the first impulse of poetry. We link to mystery. We lift off." She’s the author of four previous books of poetry and a number of prose books, including The Ghost of Meter: Culture and Prosody in American Free Verse. Regarded as an authority on form in poetry and on women in poetry, she's edited a number of books including A Formal Feeling Comes: Poems in Form by Contemporary Women, and An Exaltation of Forms: Contemporary Poets Celebrate the Diversity of Their Art. She's translated, also, The Complete Poetry of Louise Labé.
Brenda Hillman's new book of poems is Seasonal Works with Letters on Fire, which is the fourth in her grand tetralogy on the elements, the third of which, Practical Water, won the Los Angeles Times Book Award for Poetry. Her exciting new book, Seasonal Works with Letters on Fire, has just been longlisted for the National Book Award. Donald Revell says of Cascadia, an earlier book in the tetralogy, "Earth reaches through Hillman’s hand…to show its voice, which is earth in a pencil moving across the earth of the page. Poetry is tectonics. The paper grew and grows in Cascadia." An activist for peace and for social and environmental justice, she also co-edited The Grand Permission: New Writings on Poetics and Motherhood and teaches in the MFA program at Saint Mary's College in Moraga, California.
7 NOVEMBER 2013 — thursday
George Higgins and Greg Wrenn
Poetry Flash presents George Higgins, There, There, and Greg Wrenn, Centaur, winner of the Brittingham Prize in Poetry, request ASL interpreters one week in advance from email@example.com, Moe's Books, 2476 Telegraph Avenue, Berkeley, 7:30 (510/849-2087, moesbooks.com)
George Higgins's first book of poems is There, There, a subtle tapestry of his African American heritage and his work as a criminal defense attorney. His work was anthologized in Best American Poetry 2003 and has appeared (or is forthcoming) in many literary journals including 88, Pleiades, Nimrod, Poetry Flash, and SLAB.
Greg Wrenn's first book of poems, Centaur, won the Brittingham Prize in Poetry. Eavan Boland says of it, "These powerful poems mark the aliveness, suffering and sensuality of the body. They map out erotic adventures and the loneliness of human need." A former Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, he is a recipient of the Lyric Poetry Award from the Poetry Society of America.
10 NOVEMBER 2013 — sunday
Amber Flora Thomas and Sholeh Wolpé
Poetry Flash presents a poetry reading by Amber Flora Thomas, The Rabbits Could Sing, and Sholeh Wolpé, author of Keeping Time with Blue Hyacinths, and editor of The Forbidden: Poems from Iran and its Exiles, wheelchair accessible, request ASL interpreters one week in advance from firstname.lastname@example.org, Diesel, A Bookstore, 5433 College Avenue, Oakland, 3:00 (510/653-9965, dieselbookstore.com)
Amber Flora Thomas's new book of poems is The Rabbits Could Sing. Honorée Fanonne Jeffers says, "In this important second book, we see her ever-strengthening poetic voice, a gathering that moves beyond promise. We see a prophet of the earth. And we do more than read. We listen." Her first book of poems is Eye of Water: Poems, which won the Cave Canem Prize. Among her other honors are the Dylan Thomas American Poet Prize, the Richard Peterson Prize, and the Ann Stanford Prize.
Sholeh Wolpé's new book of poems is Keeping Time with Blue Hyacinths. Annie Finch says of it, "Like dreams peopled with healing clues, Wolpé's poems are rich with surrealism and harmony, telling deep truths of women across cultures and languages." Her previous book of poems is Rooftops of Tehran. Born in Iran and based in southern California, she is the editor of two recent anthologies, The Forbidden: Poems from Iran and Its Exiles and Breaking the Jaws of Silence: Sixty American Poets Speak to the World. Her translations include Sin: Selected Poems of Forugh Farrokhzad and a Persian edition of Walt Whitman's Song of Myself, which she co-translated.
14 NOVEMBER 2013 — thursday
Roxane Beth Johnson and Tess Taylor
Poetry Flash presents Roxane Beth Johnson and Tess Taylor, wheelchair accessible, request ASL interpreters one week in advance from editor @poetryflash.org, Moe's Books, 2476 Telegraph Avenue, Berkeley, 7:30 (510/849-2087, moesbooks.com)
Roxane Beth Johnson's new book of poems is Black Crow Dress. Jennifer Sweeney says, "In Black Crow Dress, Roxane Beth Johnson writes from the ghosted voices of her enslaved ancestors. …I could feel them breathing. I could feel them in my own body. I finished this stunning and important book and then began again." Her first book of poems, Jubilee, won the 2005 Philip Levine Prize, as well as an AWP Prize in Poetry and a Pushcart Prize.
Tess Taylor's first full-length book of poems is The Forage House. Major Jackson says, "In Tess Taylor's collection of poetry, American history is a garment woven from tattered bits of family lore and large swaths of imaginative inlays, so that which shines most is a spun strand of stunningly rich language." Tess Taylor's previous collection, The Misremembered World, was selected by Eavan Boland for the Poetry Society of America's inaugural chapbook fellowship. Tess Taylor's work has appeared in The Atlantic, The Times Literary Supplement, and The New Yorker.
30 JANUARY 2014 — thursday
Roy Mash and Robert Sward
Poetry Flash presents a poetry reading by Roy Mash, Buyer's Remorse, and Robert Sward, New and Selected Poems, request ASL interpreters one week in advance from email@example.com, wheelchair accessible, Moe's Books, 2476 Telegraph Avenue, Berkeley, 7:30 (510/849-2087, www.moesbooks.com)
Roy Mash's first full-length book of poems is Buyer's Remorse. Charles Harper Webb says, "Roy Mash's insightful, touching, and wholly delightful Buyer's Remorse is a celebration of the non-epic and unheroic, the bad decision, the finish out-of-the-money, the cannonball we do to spite the back flip that eludes us, the inglorious lives we seem to have wound up with by mistake.…" Widely published in such journals as Agni, Barrow Street, Nimrod, and River Styx, he is a long time board member of Marin Poetry Center.
Robert Sward's latest book is New and Selected Poems 1957-2011. Jack Foley says, "Robert Sward's poems are the result of a plunge into a never fully ironized, often hilarious sense of mysticism: they are the product of a restless, spiritually adventuresome sensibility masking itself as a stand-up comedian." Among his thirty books are Four Incarnations, Heavenly Sex, God is in the Cracks, and Rosicrucian in the Basement. He's served in the navy in the combat zone during the Korean War, worked for CBC radio, and been a book reviewer and a feature writer for The Toronto Star and the Globe & Mail among other exploits in his long and eventful life.