Calendar of Coming Features



10/28/19 Grace Grafton hosted by Gary




Grace Marie Grafton's most recent book is LENS from Unsolicited Press. It features poems inspired by California artists, 1853-2010. She is the author of six previous collections of poetry. Zero won the 2000 Poetic Matrix Chapbook contest. Visiting Sisters is a collection inspired by the artwork of contemporary women. Other Clues consists of experimental prose poems. A chapbook, Chrysanthemum Oratorio, plays with language and concept. Whimsy, Reticence & Laud, also from Poetic Matrix, explores the sonnet form. Jester, from Hip Pocket Press, features surreal persona poems.
Ms. Grafton taught for many years in the California Poets In The Schools program, for which she was awarded twelve California Arts Council grants. She was named Teacher of the Year by the River Of Words annual student poetry contest co-sponsored by Robert Hass, United States Poet Laureate.


11/4/19  host Elaine

11/11/19 Bruce Fessenden hosted by Jim


Bruce lives in Berkeley and is co-owner of Fessenden Firewood with his partner Christine.  He has been deeply immersed in the natural world his entire life through the activities of backpacking, climbing and skiing.  A book of his poems —“Crimson Coat” — was published in 2014 by Goldenstone Press.  Pieces of Bruce’s writings have appeared in a MoonShine Star Co. anthology called “What is Love”, and also in Richard Grossinger’s book “2013”.  A second volume of poems, titled “Bones” will be published shortly.


                              Frieda

My Mothers’ Mother was a gentle woman
    I remember her deep set, brown eyes.
She had a hearing aid, like a little microphone
    all that was available in the 50s.
She had her hearing aid as long as I can remember
    her hearing impaired by typhoid fever
    is the story I was told.

An uneducated woman living in a rooming house
    as a boy I felt we were connected close.
Two quiet souls, filled with empty time
    and the occasional unfriendly ghost.
When in high school, I’d drive
    her to her solitary room
    in my fathers’ forest green sports car.
He never gave her a single penny
    he was blind in so many ways.

Often I wonder why a few rise up
    while the others struggle and fall.
Hands of the clock easily seen
    but the inner gears remain hidden.
I’ve heard it said
    broken ones of this world sacrifice themselves
    discarded fruit enriching the soil.
She liked menthol cigarretes and dime store crime novels.
Who was the kindly elementary school teacher
    who taught her how to read?
Welfare checks and food stamps, TV in the lobby
    Bathroom and showers at the end of the hall.

The last forty years of her life
    spent in that solitary room
    with her paperbacks, her cigarretes, her silence.
For the forgotten ones, its almost a blessing
    to be so broken, and disassociated from their grief.
She lived her life a little bit stunned
    in that way we are so much alike.
There was not a single instance her entire life
    where my father realized
    that she actually existed.

Its october now, my favorite time of year
    angle of the sun so sublime.
I don’t even have a photo of her
    my memory of her face grows hazy in my mind.
Too many people never find their place
    punch the clock, ground up for fodder.
A choir sings sweetly
    from the other side of the horizon
    I stand tall and take the next step.







11/18/2019 Joyce Young hosted by Bruce



Joyce E. Young is the author of How it Happens, published by Nomadic Press. Her writing has been nominated for both a Pushcart and a California Book Award
and has appeared in Smith Alumnae Quarterly, WORDPEACE, riverbabble, The New Poets of the American West, and elsewhere. She has received grants from the California Arts Council, the Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation and Writers on Site residency program at the Oakland Museum and Oakland Public Library through
Poets & Writers, Inc. Joyce has been awarded residencies at Virginia Center for
the Creative Arts, Hedgebrook, Soapstone and Vermont Studio Center. She works as a Writing Consultant at John F. Kennedy University, teaches writing privately, and is currently at work writing poetry, essays, and Parallel Journey, a novel.
Joyce maintains regular Yoga and Chi Gung practice and is a semi-retired Afro
Cuban folkloric and modern dancer. She keeps lots of music in her life,
particularly Jazz, Salsa, Reggae, Samba, and combinations of notes that defy

category. In reality, though, she really doesn’t like to assign categories for music.


Because

Like angels are supposed to
You don’t do it because
you want to be good,
get candy, or ice cream

You do it because you love
And forgetting all else
You tend to her or him,
watching, waiting, praying
for life, health, the best
for that person or persons

you love

11/25/19 Dave Holt hosted by Gary



Dave Holt, born in Toronto of Irish/English and Ojibwe Indian ancestry, moved to California as an aspiring songwriter, then graduated from SF State University’s Creative Writing program (B.A. ‘93, M.A. ‘95). He’s won several poetry prizes, including a Literary/Cultural Arts award for his book Voyages to Ancestral Islands, and is included in several anthologies, most notably, Red Indian Road West: Native American Poetry from California; Fire and Rain: Ecopoetry of CaliforniaThe Wild, Marin Poetry Center Anthology 2019, and Descansos: Words from the Wayside, where his poem received a Pushcart Prize nomination. Also a musician & composer, he sometimes performs his poetry with Ojibwe drum or keyboard.

Bering Strait, Dakota Pipeline Straitjacket

I come from ice and snow, winter memories
carry me, crossing tundra to a new land.
Fleets of dugout canoes floated us through kelp forest.
Bass, crabs, otters fed us,
this history etched in our hearts like petroglyphs
pecked in stone by our native artists.
This new Turtle Island formed by Skywoman
and before then, he who descended to Earth
as if by a rope dropped through Bugonagiizhig,
“Hole in the Sky,” the seven sisters, the Pleiades.

A different people followed Giiwedin’anung,
North Pole star, brought trade goods from the south,
taught us their friendship songs,
gave us the three sisters: corn, beans, squash,
traded for gifts of the north, obsidian, copper, beaver furs.
They shared their strange stories of origin and creation,
here on this land, where they emerged like ants
from an anthill, from an underground world
into the fourth world of pueblos and mesas,
and Spanish soldiers offering Bibles.

We nodded, knowing that what we were hearing was sacred.
Like us, they came from the Star People
who gave us seven sacred laws, affirmed our place
in the sacred hoop, and another non-heavenly origin
in the land across the water, beyond snows and ice flows,
back in time where we were given stewardship of the earth.
Of the four races, the white race became guardians
of the fire, the spark at the center of things.

Carried here across the Bering Strait, to where our fight
for protection of the water has earned us pepper spray,
guard dog attacks, jail cells, federal prison sentences.
Of what crime, against who, have we been accused? 






12/2/19  host Elaine

12/9/19 Becky Bishop White  hosted by Jim


The east coast, the SF Bay Area, and Lake Tahoe are threaded throughout the poetry of Becky Bishop White. An emerging poet, Becky won the 2019 First Prize in the Benicia Love Poetry Contest for her poem, Flying Start, and was Second Place winner for an unpublished poem, Ghost Fleet, at the 2019 Solano County Fair. Becky lives in Benicia with her husband, author James W. White, who is her very best friend.
ALIGNMENT

To try to set a problem right
requires courage. Some might
think to leave or just pout
in silence, but to talk it out
or try for a hug is huge.
You are no longer fugitive
from your best self.
You have broken the spell
that makes you think ‘other.’
But it’s not really another
who aligns with you.
Here is what is true:
The soul who makes peace is nearer
to the person in the mirror.

            © Becky Bishop White

12/16/19  Andrena Zawinski  hosted by Bruce





Photo Credit: Don Dutra

Andrena Zawinski’s latest poetry collection, Landings, is from Kelsay Books (Hemet, CA). She has published two previous full collections of poetry: Something About (Blue Light Press, San Francisco, CA), a PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award recipient, and Traveling in Reflected Light (Pig Iron Press, Youngstown, O), a Kenneth Patchen competition winner. She has also authored four chapbooks and is editor of Turning a Train of Thought Upside Down: An Anthology of Women’s Poetry (Scarlet Tanager Books, Oakland, CA). Her poems have received accolades for free verse, form, lyricism, spirituality, and social concern. She founded and runs the San Francisco Bay Area Women’s Poetry Salon and is Features Editor at PoetryMagazine.com.


In Landings, Zawinski presents poems that embrace, in original ways and with deep-rooted emotional power, the worldwide condition of women, immigrants, and the working class alongside an abiding reverence for the natural world. Of this work, Jan Beatty says Zawinski is the necessary voice of the truth teller, speaking trouble among the beauty. Rebecca Foust lauds the collection as a book that offers wisdom and solace and one you will take comfort in reading again and again. Carolyne Wright goes on to say in these Landings, she embraces the richness of human experience and praises the courage of those who go on ‘living as if they could do anything.’
poem recited with images: 

Andrena Zawinski:

Rafts
Sun spills silver stars of light along rippling summer waves.
A string of pelicans wing the horizon,
light in flight for all their heft.

Children squeal and squirm inside their plastic inflatable.
One slips over the side, feigns drowning, splashing and kicking,
holding onto his crying sister, jumps back in to tickle her side––
all of them then swimming in giggles and smiles in frolic and fun,
family picnicking at the shore, waving from bright beach towels.

Other children, roped onto rafts in flimsy life jackets, float in
from Aleppo across the Aegean away from bombs and bullets
to find a way out, forge a way in, whole families cattled
by smugglers, squeezed in dozens deep. But those who slip
into this dark sea cannot be rescued with innocent teasing and mirth.

A three-year-old washes up onto the beach face down on the sand,
limp body leaden in his father’s arms,
water lapping the wounded shore.

Publication Credit:
Reunion Dallas Review, Vol 6, 2017. Univ. of Texas, Dallas, TX



12/23/19 hosted by Gary

12/30/19 No PE, Happy Holidays host  S Clause 

1/6/2020


1/13/2020Paul Jolly hosted by Jim

Paul Jolly was raised in Oakland, and, after a thirty year detour on the East Coast, returned to Berkeley in the summer of 2019.  His poems have appeared in Permafrost, the Columbia Review, and Straylight.  His first book, Why Ice Cream Trucks Play Christmas Songs, was published by Fernwood Press in December of 2018. 


Miracle drugs

Sunlight through clouds, taa-daa!  Trumpet
fanfares in the lab window, refracts
on beakers and test tubes.  Lab
drudges halt their rote to compare

charts with angels.  The apothecary
cleric’s shelf recently held a smatter
of cures: saints’ relics, holy
water, tinctures, unguent.  Now

many shelves hold baskets and baskets,
loaf baskets, fish baskets. 
High church muckety mucks
(mucks at least) preside at drug

trials.  The mucks want crutches
heaved by healed cripples, billion
dollar profits, Nobel prize, handicapped
stickers discarded from cars.  Proof

requires reams of forms.  Check
miracle type: blindness cure,
hemorrhage plug, cripples walk,
or the Lalapalooza: Lazarus alive

post-flatline.  And randomized
samples!  No chocolate sampler
was ever so random.  Did placebo
-takers get prayed at same as druggies? 

Did all the docs carry the same tracts
in their grand round lab coat
pockets?  Did prayer warriors spout
glossolalia in the same dead language?

Was there a between-shifts non sectual
moment of silence at the nurses station
in each clinic?  Identical hymns, time
-release capsules, scriptures, syringes,

Hallmark prayer cards, patches, inhalers,
beads, inhibitors, enzymes, chants,
implants?  Double-blinders want to know:
Was the philanthropist who endowed each hospital

faithish?  Does a buried urn in the arid
land of Genesis hold test results that went
wrong for pharma, papyrus
that proves placebo as helpful as drug? 

1/20/2020 Caroline Goodwin host Bruce

1/27/2020 hosted by Gary

2/3/2020 host Elaine

2/10/2020 hosted by Jim

2/17/2020  Dennis J. Bernstein hosted by Bruce




Dennis J Bernstein lives in San Francisco. He is the award-winning host/producer of Flashpoints, syndicated on public and community radio stations across the United States. Bernstein is the recipient of many awards for his work, including the 2015 Pillar Award in Broadcast Journalism. In 2009, Pulse Media named him one of the “20 Top Global Media Figures.” Bernstein’s articles and essays have appeared in numerous newspapers and magazines including The New York Times, Denver Post, Philadelphia Enquirer, Newsday, The Nation, Dallas Times Herald, San Francisco Chronicle, Boston Globe, Mother Jones, Village Voice, The Progressive, Vibe Magazine, Spin Magazine, Toronto Globe, Kyoto Journal, Der Spiegel, and many more. Bernstein is the author of Henry Hyde’s Moral Universe, and the co-author of two decks of political trading cards, Friendly Dictators and The S&L Scandal Trading Cards. He founded The Muriel Rukeyser Reading Series in Park Slope Brooklyn, and broadcast it over public and community radio in New York City; the series was named after his friend and mentor, the late poet and biographer, Muriel Rukeyser. Bernstein also produced the first complete live, 35 hour broadcast of James Joyce’s Ulysses in the U.S. at New York’s Bloomsday Bookstore. He is author of the poetry collection Special Ed: Voices from a Hidden Classroom, which won the 2012 Artists Embassy International Literary Cultural Award. His poetry has appeared in The New York Quarterly, The Chimaera, Bat City Review, The Progressive, Texas Observer, ZYZZYVA, Red River Review, and numerous other journals. Alice Walker, Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Color Purple, writes that Special Ed “is art turned to us through the eyes of love.” Carol Smaldino says in The Huffington Post that the poems remind us how “we are all connected to the sorrows as well as to the grandness of being human.” Bernstein’s earliest  poems appeared as a chapbook, Particles of Light, with woodcuts by Stan Kaplan. His artists’ books/plays French Fries and GRRRHHHH: a study of social patterns, co-authored with Warren Lehrer, are considered seminal works in the genre, and are in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Georges Pompidou Centre, and other museums around the world

2/24/2020 hosted by Gary

3/02/2020 Ashia Ajan host Elaine


Ashia Ajani is an emerging Black storyteller hailing from Denver, CO, Queen City of the Plains. She is a graduate of Yale University. She is an Environmental Studies major with a specialization in environmental justice and food rights. Her work confronts Black environments and imaginaries, exploring the legacies of trauma and resistance in diasporic communities. She has been published in Atlas&Alice Magazine, The Journal, Pilgrimage Press, Sage Magazine, Brushfire Literature & Arts, and The Hopper Magazine, among others. She released her first chapbook, We Bleed Like Mango, in October of 2017. Follow her on Instagram: @ashiainbloom and on her website https://ashiaajani22.wixsite.com/website   



Photo cred for the head shot goes to Deanna Nagle (deannanagle.com





https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUjsnvmh9S8&t=37s 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uUahI1IvVjM 








3/9/2020 hosted by Jim


/16/2020 Lynne Barnes host Bruce

3/23/2020 hosted by Gary

3/30/2020 Maverick Night, host TBA

4/6/2020 host Elaine

4/13/2020 hosted by Jim


4/20/2020 Tony Aldarondo host Bruce







Tony Aldarondo is a Puerto Rican writer, actor and poet. He  humbly admits to falling in love with rhymes from the moment he read Dr. Seuss in the 1970's and heard rap music for the first time in the 1980's. From that moment on...,rhymes have been a apart of his DNA. He has performed in award winning films and major theatres throughout the bay area. He has also toured two seasons with the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, and has taught theatre in after school programs to youth in the inner cities for over a decade. You can catch Tony Aldarondo featuring at many poetry hot spots throughout northern California. Please feel free to enjoy his work at www.tonythepoet.com












4/27/2020 hosted by Gary
5/4/2020 host Elaine
5/11/2020 hosted by Jim
5/18/2020 Johanna Ely  host Bruce
5/28/2020 hosted by Gary
6/1/2020 host Elaine
6/8/2020 hosted by Jim
6/15/2020 host Bruce
6/22/2020 hosted by Gary
6/29/2020 Maverick Night, host TBA
7/6/2020 host Elaine
7/13/2020 hosted by Jim
7/20/2020 host Bruce
7/27/2020 hosted by Gary
8/3/2020 host Elaine
8/10/2020 hosted by Jim
8/17/2020 host Bruce
8/24/2020 hosted by Gary
8/31/2020 Maverick Night, host TBA
9/7/2020 host Elaine
9/14/2020 hosted by Jim
9/21/202 host Bruce0
9/28/2020 hosted by Gary
10/5/2020 host Elaine
10/12/2020 hosted by Jim
10/19/2020 host Bruce
10/26/2020 hosted by Gary
11/2/2020 host Elaine
11/9/2020 hosted by Jim
11/16/2020 host Bruce
11/23/2020 hosted by Gary
11/30/2020 Maverick Night, host TBA
12/7/2020 host Elaine
12/14/2020 hosted by Jim
12/21/2020 host Bruce
12/28/2020 hosted by Gary










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