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2021 Poetry Flash Reading Series


Poetry Flash readings readings that are live and in person take place at Moe's Books, Berkeley, and at East Bay Booksellers, Oakland. Due to shelter-in-place and the pandemic, the Poetry Flash Reading Series has become a virtual series as of August 9, 2020, presented online until further notice. To find out more about the Poetry Flash Reading Series, please email editor@poetryflash.org. ASL interpreters for the deaf and hearing impaired may be requested with at least one week's notice, email editor@poetryflash.org. Our bookstore venues are wheelchair accessible. Read more about the series on the Poetry Flash Reading Series page.


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21 FEBRUARY 2021 — sunday

Connie Post, Margo Taft Stever, Stephanie Strickland

Poetry Flash presents a virtual poetry reading by Connie Post, Prime Meridian, Margo Taft Stever, Cracked Piano, and Stephanie Strickland, How the Universe is Made: Poems New & Selected, online via Zoom, free, 3:00 pm PST (Register to attend: please click here; you will receive an email with a link to join the reading)

MORE ABOUT THE READERS
Please join us for a Poetry Flash virtual reading on Sunday, February 21 at 3:00 pm PST! We are excited to bring you poetry via Zoom. To register for this reading, please click on the link in the calendar listing above. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. Thank you for continuing to support Poetry Flash and our reading series during these unprecedented times.

This reading is co-sponsored by Moe's Books in Berkeley, and the books will be available at https://bookshop.org/lists/poetry-flash-readings. (There may be additional book inks in the event chatbox.)

Connie Post's new book of poems is Prime Meridian. Dean Rader said, "I have been on fire / since the moment I walked / through this door." Thus begins one of the many burning poems in Connie Post's Prime Meridian. In fact, the work in this book is so good it is as though Post herself has been on fire since she walked through the door of poetry. In poems both personal and political, Post manages to connect physical and geological ailments by way of her spare but unsparing lyrics. This is an important collection everyone should be reading." Her first full-length book, Floodwater, won the Lyrebird Award; her chapbook, And When the Sun Drops, received the Aurorean's Editor's Chapbook Award. She's published seven collections. Her Awards include the Crab Creek Review Poetry Award, Liakoura Award, Caesura Poetry Award, and First Prize in the Prick of the Spindle Poetry Competition. Host of several reading series, most recently the Second Sunday Poetry Reading Series at the Valona Deli, she also served as the first Poet Laureate of Livermore, 2005-2009.

Margo Taft Stever's two new books of poems are Cracked Piano and Ghost Moose. Fred Marchant wrote, "The taut, unflinching lyricism of this work reminds us of the courage it takes to see our lives as they are. These are poems that affirm the saving grace that we remain ready and eager to sing in our sorrow, even if the accompaniment is only a cracked piano." Her other books include The Lunatic Ball, The Hudson Line, Frozen Spring (Mid-List Press First Series Award), and Reading the Night Sky (Riverstone Press Poetry Chapbook Competition). She co-authored Looking East: William Howard Taft and the 1905 U.S. Diplomatic Mission to China. Her poems, essays, and reviews have appeared in magazines and anthologies, including Verse Daily, Prairie Schooner; "poem-a-day" on poets.org, Academy of American Poets; Cincinnati Review; Plume, and Salamander. She's the founder of the Hudson Valley Writers Center as well as the founder and current co-editor of Slapering Hol Press and lives in Sleepy Hollow, New York.

Stephanie Strickland's newest books of poems are How the Universe is Made: Poems New & Selected 1985-2019 and Ringing the Changes. Marjorie Perloff says of her, "One of contemporary poetry's polymaths, her poetry displays an astonishing command of scientific knowledge and unusual verbal virtuosity." Author of nine books of poems, her honors include a Pushcart, Brittingham, Sandeen, Boston Review, and Best of the Net Prizes. She has been granted National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, New York Foundation for the Arts, and New York Creative Artists Public Service fellowships. A member of the Board of Directors of the Electronic Literature Organization, she co-edited Electronic Literature Collection/I. Her digital poems have been shown widely in Europe, Canadian, and the U.S. including at the Library of Congress and the Bibliothèque nationale de France. She lives in New York City.


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28 FEBRUARY 2021 — sunday

Nathalie Anderson and Terry Tierney

Poetry Flash presents a virtual poetry reading by Nathalie Anderson, Stain, and Terry Tierney, The Poet's Garage, online via Zoom, free, 3:00 pm PST (Register to attend: please click here; you will receive an email with a link to join the reading)

MORE ABOUT THE READERS
Please join us for a Poetry Flash virtual reading on Sunday, February 28 at 3:00 pm PST! We are excited to bring you poetry via Zoom. To register for this reading, please click on the link in the calendar listing above. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. Thank you for continuing to support Poetry Flash and our reading series during these unprecedented times.

This reading is co-sponsored by Moe's Books in Berkeley; the featured books will be available at bookshop.org/lists/poetry-flash-readings

Nathalie Anderson's latest book of poems is Stain; she's author as well of the chapbook Held and Firmly Bound. Eamon Grennan said, "Stain is Anderson's richest collection so far. Fresh and irrepressibly inventive (in language, in image, in the way thought and feeling are yoked together), it moves from secular hymns of praise for the illuminations of stained glass, to elegy-edged family memories, to scalpel-sharp probings of the deeper, darker recesses of the self." She's published three previous collections, Following Fred Astaire, which won the 1998 Washington Prize from Wordworks, Crawlers, which won the 2005 McGovern Prize from Ashland Poetry Press, and Quiver. Her poems have been anthologized and widely published in literary journals, including The New Yorker, Atlanta Review, Nimrod, and Plume. In addition to her poetry, she's an accomplished librettist, with libretti to four operas to her credit. A fellow at Yaddo in 1986, she was also awarded a Pew Fellowship in the Arts in 1993.

Terry Tierney's new book of poems, The Poet's Garage, was published in 2020. Joan Gelfand wrote, "The Poet's Garage, Terry Tierney's debut collection is, like most garages, a wild mashup. Loss, patch-ups and re-building are the themes that stitch this collection together. In compact lines and gorgeous prose poems, Tierney speaks to what it is to be an observer, a recorder and a player all at once." He's also a fiction writer whose irreverent Vietnam era road novel, Lucky Ride, is forthcoming in 2022. His stories and poems have been widely published in over forty literary journals, including Valparaiso Poetry Review, Poetry Northwest, Poetry Quarterly, and elsewhere. A teacher of college composition and creative writing, originally from the Midwest, he's re-established his roots in the San Francisco Bay Area where he survived several Silicon Valley startups as a software engineer.


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14 MARCH 2021 — sunday

Brian Komei Dempster and Lee Herrick

Poetry Flash presents a virtual poetry reading by Brian Komei Dempster, Seize, and Lee Herrick, Scar and Flower, online via Zoom, free, 3:00 pm PDT (Register to attend: please click here; you will receive an email with a link to join the reading)

MORE ABOUT THE READERS
Please join us for a Poetry Flash virtual reading on Sunday, March 14 at 3:00 pm PDT! We are excited to bring you Brian Komei Dempster and Lee Herrick via Zoom. To register for this reading, please click on the link in the calendar listing above. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. Thank you for continuing to support Poetry Flash and our reading series during these unprecedented times.

This reading is co-sponsored by Moe's Books in Berkeley; the featured books are available at bookshop.org/lists/poetry-flash-readings.

Brian Komei Dempster's new book of poems is Seize. Patrick Phillips says, "Brian Komei Dempster's central subject—his son's epilepsy—could not be more freighted with risk, and yet Seize achieves a pitch-perfect harmony of lament and praise, suffering and solace.…This is a stunning, heartbreaker of a book." His first collection, Topaz, won the 15 Bytes 2014 Book Award in Poetry. Widely published in literary journals, his poems have also been anthologized in Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia and Beyond, Asian American Poetry: The Next Generation, and elsewhere. He is editor of From Our Side of the Fence: Growing up in Concentration Camps, which received a 2007 Nisei Voices Award from the National Japanese American Historical Society, and Making Home from War: Stories of Japanese American Exile and Resettlement. As poet, workshop director, and editor, he's received grants from Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the Arts Foundation of Michigan, California State Library's California Civil Liberties Publication Education Program, Center for Cultural Innovation, and San Francisco Arts Commission.

Lee Herrick's latest book of poems is Scar and Flower, finalist for the 2020 Northern California Book Award. Juan Felipe Herrera says, "this is an incredible, luminous and most serious investigation, of being, of human suffering, of war and peace—of the factories of violence and the notebook of enlightenments.…Lee is concerned with the turning of beauty, the intimacy of death and the boundlessness of small moments, 'the broken body of a tiny bird,' fragments that can change a life." Herrick's previous poetry collections include Gardening Secrets of the Dead and This Many Miles from Desire. He is co-editor of the anthology The World I Leave You: Asian American Poets on Faith and Spirit. His poems appear widely in literary magazines, textbooks, and anthologies such as HERE: Poems for the Planet, with an introduction by the Dalai Lama; Indivisible: Poems of Social Justice, with an introduction by Common; One for the Money: The Sentence as Poetic Form; and California Fire and Water: A Climate Crisis Anthology. His prose has appeared in Dear America: Letters of Hope, Habitat, Defiance, and Democracy. He served as Fresno Poet Laureate from 2015-2017 and co-founded LitHop, Fresno's literary festival. He has traveled extensively throughout Latin America and Asia and has taught in China and in California State Prisons. He received the Bill F. Stewart Award for Excellence in Education in 2011. Born in Daejeon, Korea and adopted to the U.S. at ten months, he teaches at Fresno City College, where he co-founded the forthcoming Social Justice and Cultural Center, and in the Sierra Nevada University MFA program.


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21 MARCH 2021 — sunday

Maxima Kahn and Indigo Moor

Poetry Flash presents a poetry reading by Maxima Kahn, Fierce Aria, and Indigo Moor, Everybody's Jonesin' for Something , online via Zoom, free, 3:00 pm PDT (Register to attend: please click here; you will receive an email with a link to join the reading)

MORE ABOUT THE READERS
Please join us for a Poetry Flash virtual reading on Sunday, March 21 at 3:00 pm PDT! We are excited to bring you Maxima Kahn and Indigo Moor via Zoom. To register for this reading, please click on the link in the calendar listing above. After you register, you will receive an email invitation with a link to join the reading. Thank you for continuing to support Poetry Flash and our reading series during these unprecedented times.

This reading is co-sponsored by Moe's Books in Berkeley; the featured books are available at bookshop.org/lists/poetry-flash-readings.

Maxima Kahn's first full-length collection of poems is Fierce Aria. Annie Finch says, "I have learned to walk into the valley of my fears and losses," writes Maxima Kahn, and the evidence of what she has learned is all over these amazing poems. Fierce Aria is a book with a post-Wallace Stevens mission: to coax the still perfection of ideas out of the abstract realm, so they can take shape in the messy wilderness of reality. Distinctive, honed, vulnerable, musical, courageous, honest, Maxima Kahn's poems are fully ripened, fully considered—each one ready to drop richly into the hand like a subtly contoured fruit." Kahn also writes poetry, essays and fiction. Her work has been featured in numerous literary journals, and on blogs such as The Creative Penn, Tiny Buddha, Positively Positive and The Startup; her own blog is Creative Sparks at BrilliantPlayground.com. She is also an improvisational violinist, a composer, and a dancer. She lives in the Sierra Nevada in California.

Indigo Moor's new book is Everybody's Jonesin' for Something, recipient of The Backwaters Prize in Poetry, Honorable Mention, University of Nebraska Press. Cornelius Eady says, "I strongly suggest you carry Moor's brilliant book, Everybody's Jonesin' for Something, home.…In this dazzling book, you will read just how closely this poet has been paying attention, to us, to his histories, foreign and domestic, to our mighty (and sometimes mighty confusing) nation. Jonesin' is a verse flashlight to all the corners you thought no one was supposed to pay attention to, line by beautifully crafted line, truth by earned truth. You'll reach the last line of the last poem, and trust me, that's when the hunger for more will begin." Also a scriptwriter, Moor is Poet Laureate emeritus of Sacramento. His other works include Tap-Root, Through the Stonecutter's Window (winner of the Northwestern University's Cave Canem Prize), and In the Room of Thirsts and Hungers: The Mirrored Tragedies of Paul Robeson and Othello.


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28 MARCH 2021 — sunday

Barbara Hamby and Barbara Ras

Poetry Flash presents a virtual poetry reading by Barbara Hamby, Holoholo, and Barbara Ras, The Blues of Heaven, online via Zoom, free, 3:00 pm PDT (Register to attend: please click here; you will receive an email with a link to join the reading)

MORE ABOUT THE READERS
Please join us for a Poetry Flash virtual reading on Sunday, March 28 at 3:00 pm PDT! We are excited to bring you Barbara Ras and Barbara Hamby via Zoom. To register for this reading, please click on the link in the calendar listing above. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. Thank you for continuing to support Poetry Flash and our reading series during these unprecedented times.

This reading is co-sponsored by Moe's Books in Berkeley; the featured books are available at bookshop.org/lists/poetry-flash-readings.

Barbara Ras's new book of poems is The Blues of Heaven, both personal, dealing with grief over the death of a brother and memories of growing up in a working-class neighborhood of Polish immigrants, and national, reflecting on gun violence, the climate crisis, and the fecklessness of an ignorant, corrupt government. Naomi Shihab Nye said, "The Blues of Heaven radiates with immense tenderness—here are poems of vivid painterly wonderment, perfect pacing and weight, elegantly woven counterpoints of shimmering imagery." Ras's previous collections include Bite Every Sorrow, winner of the Walt Whitman Award and a Kate Tufts Discovery Award, One Hidden Stuff, and The Lost Skin. Her poetry has been published in The New Yorker, Tin House, Granta, Orion, and elsewhere, and she's been awarded fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation, among others. She lives in San Antonio, Texas, and is the founding director emerita of the Trinity University Press.

Barbara Hamby's new book of poems is Holoholo, the Hawaiian word for strolling without a fixed destination. A collage of one woman's consciousness, spoken in an American lingo, including Yiddish and street talk, its three sections motor across wars, racial tension, street violence, and other assorted national chaos. Billy Collins said, ""Barbara Hamby's poems are wild, outspoken, seriously funny, motor-mouth rambles that take us through hoops of association to places both unexpected and unimpeachable. This collection offers a generous helping of poems so crackling with references and busy with verbal energy you might feel them buzzing in your hands." She's the author of seven previous collections, most recently Bird Odyssey and On the Street of Divine Love: New and Selected Poems. Her book of linked stories, Lester Higata's 20th Century, was the winner of the 2010 University of Iowa John Simmons Award. A 2010 Guggenheim fellow, she is also co-editor, with her husband David Kirby, of Seriously Funny, an anthology of poetry.


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11 APRIL 2021 — sunday

"Colossus: Home": Sarah Kobrinsky, D.L. Lang, Juanita J. Martin, Kim Shuck, Kimi Sugioka

Poetry Flash presents a virtual poetry reading by Sarah Kobrinsky, D.L. Lang, Juanita J. Martin, Kim Shuck, and Kimi Sugioka, current and former poet laureate contributors to Colossus: Home; the anthology addresses the Bay Area housing crisis, online via Zoom, free, 3:00 pm PDT (Register to attend: please click here; you will receive an email with a link to join the reading)


Colossus: Home, An Anthology of Lives In & Out of Place, edited by Sara Biel and Karla Brundage, presents poetry on the San Francisco Bay Area's housing crisis. These poets, all contributors to the anthology, are current or former Poet Laureates from across the Bay Area. You can purchase this exciting anthology at www.colossuspress.org/buy.

MORE ABOUT THE READERS
Sarah Kobrinsky's recent book is Nighttime on the Other Side of Everything. Jill McDonough says, "In Nighttime on the Other Side of Everything, Sarah Kobrinsky opens with a brief meditation on the imposter syndrome that also speaks to where all poems come from, anyway. Elsewhere we read 'I make. I tinker. I create. An instinct born/of my blueprints, deep within my DNA.' But these poems also come from us, from knowing what people say about kids looking like the milkman, pranks like TP-ing houses and tying shoelaces together, a recognizable rhythm of punchlines." Born in Canada, raised in North Dakota, seasoned in England, and tempered in California, she was the Poet Laureate of Emeryville, California, 2013-2015.
D.L. Lang is the former Poet Laureate of Vallejo, California, 2017-2019. She is the author of twelve poetry books, most recently Paradise Collectors: A Book of Jewish Poetry and Armor Against the Dawn: Poetry of Protest, and one spoken word album. She can be found behind a mic throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and at poetryebook.com.
Juanita J. Martin is Fairfield, California's first Poet Laureate, 2010-2012. Her poetry book is The Lighthouse Beckons. Her poems have appeared in Blue Collar Review, SoMa Literary Review, Rattlesnake Review, and others; her nonfiction writing has appeared in Sonoma Discoveries Magazine. She was a longtime member of Redwood Writers, and is a current member of Napa Valley Writers, Benicia Writers Salon, Ina Coolbrith Circle, and Benicia First Tuesday Poets. When she isn't writing or volunteering, she reads on Vallejo Ozcat radio's ARTbeat. For more see www.jmartinpoetwriter.com.
Kim Shuck is San Francisco's seventh Poet Laureate, 2017-2020. Deer Trails, published by City Lights Books, is her most recent book. She is an Ani Yun Wiya (Cherokee)/Polish-American poet, author, weaver, and beadwork artist who draws from Southeastern Native American culture and tradition as well as contemporary urban Indian life. She is a member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. She earned an M.F.A. in Textiles from San Francisco State University. She is the winner of the Diane Decorah First Book Award from the Native Writers' Circle of the Americas and the Mary Tallmountain Award for Freedom Voices. She also received the Academy of American Poets National Laureate Fellowship and the Northern California Book Reviewers Groundbreaker Award.
Kimi Sugioka's newest poetry book is Wile & Wing. She is the current Poet Laureate of Alameda, California, 2020-2023. Anne Waldman said, "Kimi Sugioka is a poet with a lot of guises: maternal, witchy, passionate, detached observer…She moves through the female cycle confidently, poised, strong in her observance and power." Born in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and raised in Berkeley, Kimi Sugioka is a poet, songwriter, and educator who performs her work frequently throughout the Bay Area. She has worked in public education for decades. She earned her BA from San Francisco State University and MFA from the Naropa Institute in Boulder, Colorado.


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25 APRIL 2021 — sunday

Terese Svoboda and Kristin George Bagdanov

Poetry Flash presents a virtual poetry reading by Kristin George Bagdanov, Diurne, and Terese Svoboda, Theatrix: Poetry Plays, online via Zoom, free, 3:00 pm PDT (Register to attend: please click here; you will receive an email with a link to join the reading)

Please join us for a Poetry Flash virtual reading on Sunday, April 25 at 3:00 pm PDT! We are excited to bring you Terese Svoboda and Kristin George Bagdanov via Zoom. To register for this reading, please click on the link in the calendar listing above. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. Thank you for continuing to support Poetry Flash and our reading series during these unprecedented times.

This reading is co-sponsored by Moe's Books in Berkeley; the featured books are available at bookshop.org/lists/poetry-flash-readings.

MORE ABOUT THE READERS
Kristin George Bagdanov's two books of poems, both published in 2019, are her debut, Fossils in the Making, and Diurne. Ilya Kaminsky says about Diurne, "Kristin George Bagdanov has a gift of being able to make lyrics from our daily moments; she finds depths where others see only surfaces; she finds mystery and sets that mystery to music.…This is an intricate, compelling, necessary work." A PhD candidate in English Literature at the University of California, Davis, she is also the senior poetry editor of Ruminate Magazine.
Terese Svoboda's new book of poems, her eighth, is Theatrix: Poetry Plays. Virginia Konchan says, "Not since Beckett has an existential soliloquy defined the task before us with such bravura: the way forward is brilliantly, bracingly clear." Her previous collections include Professor Harriman's Steam Air-Ship, When the Next Big War Blows Down the Valley: Selected and New Poems, and Weapons Grade. Among her many other publications are seven books of fiction: a biography, Anything That Burns You: Lola Ridge, Radical Poet, and a volume each of memoir and translation. She's won a Bobst Prize in fiction, the Iowa Prize for poetry, NEH grant for translation, Graywolf Nonfiction Prize, an O. Henry Award for short story, and a Pushcart Prize for the essay. She is also a Guggenheim fellow. Her opera WET premiered at L.A.'s Disney Hall in 2005.


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29 APRIL 2021 — thursday

Katie Peterson and Phyllis Stowell

Poetry Flash presents a virtual poetry reading by Katie Peterson, Life in a Field, and Phyllis Stowell, Transformations: Nearing the End of Life: Dreams and Visions, online via Zoom, free, 7:00 pm PDT (Register to attend: please click here; you will receive an email with a link to join the reading)


This reading is co-sponsored by Moe's Books in Berkeley; the featured books are available at bookshop.org/lists/poetry-flash-readings.

MORE ABOUT THE READERS
Katie Peterson's brand new book of poems, to be released May 1, is Life in a Field, with photographer Young Suh. It is "a comedy about climate change, in which a girl and a donkey become friends, then decide to marry time." Her previous book is A Piece of Good News; it was a finalist for the Northern California Book Award in Poetry 2020. Library Journal says, "[A Piece of Good News] is written from the perspective of one who barely survived a devastating blow and is now ruminating on her loss. Coping with daily life, Peterson keeps an eye on the past…[using] words as a videographer employs details and images." Her work has been published in Journal of Alta California, Literary Imagination, and Poetry Northwest. Her other poetry collections are This One Tree, Permission, and The Accounts. She is professor and Chancellor's Fellow at the University of California, Davis, where she directs the MFA program in Creative Writing.

Phyllis Stowell's new book of poems is Transformations: Nearing the End of Life: Dreams and Visions. Patricia Berry says, "Phyllis Stowell documents the phenomena of aging by way of her personal process, including relevant details of her childhood and life. It comes alive like fiction—characters, voice, falling apart, the losses, frustrations, symptoms and pain, expressed also in poetic moments and poetry." She has authored eight collections of poetry and edited APPETITE, Food as Metaphor, An Anthology of Women's Poetry. Her poems have appeared in Poetry East, American Poetry Review, The Virginia Quarterly, Wallace Stevens Review, Columbia, Epoch, Phoebe, 13th Moon, Volt, and The Jung Journal. Professor Emerita at Saint Mary's College, she is also the former Chair of the Friends of the Institute (C.G. Jung Institute, San Francisco). She lives in Berkeley.



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