Adrienne Rich

The passing of poet, Adrienne Rich is a milestone. A time that has come to an end when she is among us to talk of sexism and with the courage to “tell her truth” . She was always the voice of the oppressed and the one of few women let through the “old boys network” to have her work be part of the poetry canon. I believe her talent but also her great intelligence found a way to her acceptance. I met her once in San Francisco at a reading for Diving into the Wreck. She was a wordsmith for sure. Continue reading “Adrienne Rich” »

Linda Sexton’s Reading, Anne’s Daughter, A Memoir

Linda was one of the readers at 333 in Sausalito, CA, Thursday night reading from her memoir, Half in Love: A Story of Surviving Suicide. Her famous mother took her own life when Linda was twenty, after years of  depression. Linda, struggled with her own depression and suicide attempts, and writes of her life with honesty and compassion to her troubled mother and herself. Continue reading “Linda Sexton’s Reading, Anne’s Daughter, A Memoir” »

Visaul Art As Poetry

I have talked before about how all the arts feed into an artist’s sensibility. I went to the play RED at the Berkeley Rep which was a two man show of Mark Rothko and his assistant. Rothko had an interest and talents in music, writing, philosopher and was, of course, one of the leading artists of Abstract Expressionist. In his large works of color blocks he wanted to show an absolute, uncompromising purity. His signature works were large single colored rectangles over a hovering ground. Continue reading “Visaul Art As Poetry” »

Writing Your Experiences in Poetry- Beyond the Substance/The Craft

When I edit poetry for publication, I read to see that these elements are strong.

1. Fresh Language–no common phrases/language used as jargon

2. Show, don’t tell –Don’t teach, preach or explain but show us through imagery. “A picture worth a thousand words. Continue reading “Writing Your Experiences in Poetry- Beyond the Substance/The Craft” »

Deciding If to Edit Memoir

A memoir just came across my desk that has an interesting discussion of gender. The s/he or girl as boy et al.  I found it interesting. Really wonderful poetic language. S/he, an author with a book for a prize I once judged so she has a good, beginning platform. In the end, I didn’t feel it had substance enough and couldn’t decide why since I so much liked what she was exploring. Continue reading “Deciding If to Edit Memoir” »

Ishmeal Reed

Quite a treat to hear Ishmeal Reed read his poetry at Radar Readings in San Francisco and a section from his latest novel. He is quite a political man and holds his eighty-some years with dignity. He is learning to play a french horn in order to play in a jazz group. Says he has stories to tell and keeps changing genre and disciplines to do so: poetry, prose, memoir, now music. He seems to weather the different stage of life using creativity to keep him updated and real. Continue reading “Ishmeal Reed” »