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Fog and Light: Vince Gotera, Ken Haas, Kathleen McClung, Diane Frank, more

24 JUNE 2021 — thursday

Poetry Flash presents a virtual poetry reading to celebrate Fog and Light: San Francisco Through the Eyes of the Poets Who Live Here, a new anthology, with contributors Vince Gotera, Ken Haas, Jodi Hottel, Kathleen McClung, Gwynn O'Gara, and editor Diane Frank, 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)


Please join us for a Poetry Flash virtual reading on Thursday, June 24 at 7:00 pm PDT! We are excited to bring you this anthology celebration 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 event. 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; Fog and Light is available at bookshop.org/lists/poetry-flash-readings.

MORE ABOUT THE READERS
Many of these bio notes are from the Fog and Light anthology:
Vince Gotera's recent book is The Coolest Month, a collection of poems written everyday throughout April, in response to NaPoWriMo and Poem-a-Day prompts. Maureen Thorson says, "Vince Gotera's The Coolest Month leans into T. S. Eliot's bromide for April while turning it on its head.…An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but as Gotera shows, a poem a day can help chase away the blues." Now a professor in Iowa, Gotera was born and raised in San Francisco. He grew up in the Haight-Ashbury and was a teenager during the Summer of Love. "As a lead guitarist," Vince says, "I was influenced by the rock bands that played around The City: Jefferson Airplane, Big Brother and the Holding Company, The Charlatans, The Grateful Dead, Quicksilver, Santana, and many others. In fact, I fondly remember being an eighth grader at St. Agnes School on Ashbury and hearing The Dead rehearsing in their house across the street." Gotera left for grad school in the Midwest and hasn't lived in The City since. "But I am always excited to visit and enjoy the dazzling diversity, charming neighborhoods, and utter beauty of San Francisco, forever home."

Ken Haas's first full-length collection, Borrowed Light, won the 2020 Red Mountain Press Discovery Award. Ellen Bass said, "…Ken Haas's first collection of poems…is complex, vibrant, capacious and wildly imaginative. With affection and wonderful clarity, Haas describes a childhood of 'taking infield practice and shagging flies,' Atlantic City's 'sunburn and saltwater taffy,' a trip into Manhattan to see the legendary John Coltrane, who 'emptied his arms in a wave that even now speaks to the kind of man I could become.' But it would be a mistake to call this book nostalgic. Haas is keenly aware of the darker forces of history. The same Antisemitism that forced his grandparents to flee Nazi Germany is alive and well today—'we just forgot that shirt-wise brown is brown, words do burn, and we can see the rest from here.'" Haas's work has appeared in over fifty literary magazines, journals, and anthologies. He has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and received the Betsy Colquitt Poetry Award. He grew up in New York City, but has lived for the past forty-four years in San Francisco.

Jodi Hottel is a sansei, third generation Japanese American. She is author of the chapbooks Out of the Ashes, Voyeur, and Heart Mountain, her collection of poems about the Japanese American incarceration, winner of the 2012 Blue Light Press Poetry Prize. Most of those families were initially taken to a temporary detention site at the Tanforan race track in San Bruno, now the site of a shopping mall.

Kathleen McClung's books include Temporary Kin, Three Soul-Makers, A Juror Must Fold in on Herself, The Typists Play Monopoly, and Almost the Rowboat. Julie Kane wrote of Temporary Kin, " Kathleen McClung is a master of the sonnet crown. In her skilled hands, that venerable form expands to encompass active shooter drills, smartphones, and Lyft drivers, as well as songbirds, the sea, and the moon." She fell in love with San Francisco at age nine when she came with her mother on a Greyhound bus to see Carmen at the War Memorial Opera House. She cried when they had to leave at the intermission to catch the bus back to Sacramento. For over thirty years, Kathleen McClung has lived, taught, and written on the foggy west side of San Francisco.

Gwynn O'Gara's books include Snake Woman Poems, with a foreword by Nanos Valaoritis, and the chapbooks Fixer-Upper, Winter at Green Haven, Fruit of Life, and Sea Cradles. She grew up in San Francisco and left many times, almost always coming back. For twenty-five years she worked as a California Poet in the Schools and served as Sonoma County Poet Laureate 2010-2011.

Diane Frank is author of eight books of poems; her 2021 collection is While Listening to the Enigma Variations: New and Selected Poems. Los P. Jones said this of Frank's 2018 book, Canon for Bears and Ponderosa Pines: "In this new and startling collection, Diane Frank's poems transcend not just genres but entire dimensions. When she speaks to J.S. Bach, she really means it and when Bach speaks back, she listens—entirely—the way certain moths perceive sound via their whole body, even their wings. How is this accomplished? It will seem to come through the poems themselves—their music, tonal qualities and subjects, yet it goes even deeper as it pushes up like duende through the soles of your feet." She is also the author of Blackberries in the Dream House, winner of the Chelson Award for Fiction, two other novels, and a photo memoir of her 400-mile trek in the Himalayas. She teaches at San Francisco State University and Dominican University and lives in the Outer Sunset in San Francisco, where she dances, plays cello, and creates her life as an art form. She selected the poems for the Fog and Light anthology.




Daily Listings

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18 SEPTEMBER 2021 — saturday

  • Michael McClure Memorial Celebration presents music, poetry, and a celebration of the late, great poet Michael McClure's life and artistic legacy (Michael McClure, 1932-2020); featuring poet Juvenal Acosta, musician George Brooks, City Lights editor Garrett Caples, poet-musician Clark Coolidge, actor Peter Coyote, poet Jack Foley, musician Henry Kaiser, City Lights publisher Elaine Katzenberger, poet-translator Andrew Schelling, author Rebecca Solnit, plus Paul Nelson, Gyan Riley, Michael Rothenberg, Frank Wildman, and other speakers; before entering, all guests must show either proof of full vaccination or a negative test within the preceding 72 hours, masks may be required, the gate opens at noon, eventbrite.com rsvp required, California Shakespeare Theater, 100 California Shakespeare Theater Way, Orinda, 1:00 pm-4:00 pm PDT (Register in advance: www.eventbrite.com/e/michael-mcclure-memorial-celebration-tickets-166467505791)

19 SEPTEMBER 2021 — sunday

  • The Before Columbus Foundation presents the 2021 American Book Awards, celebrating outstanding literary achievement from America's diverse literary community, honoring the winners: Ayad Akhtar (Homeland Elegies: A Novel, Maisy Card (These Ghosts Are Family), Anthony Cody (Borderland Apocrypha), Ben Ehrenreich (Desert Notebooks: A Road Map for the End of Time), Johanna Fernández (The Young Lords: A Radical History), Carolyn Forché (In the Lateness of the World: Poems), John Giorno (Great Demon Kings: A Memoir of Poetry, Sex, Art, Death, and Enlightenment), Cathy Park Hong (Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning), Randall Horton ({#289-128}: Poems), Gerald Horne (The Drawing of the Apocalypse: The Roots of Slavery, White Supremacy, Settler Colonialism, and Capitalism in the Long Sixteenth Century), Robert P. Jones (White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity), Judy Juanita (Manhattan my ass, you're in Oakland), William Melvin Kelley and Aiki Kelley, illustrator (Dunfords Travels Everywheres); the Lifetime Achievement Award winner: Dr. Maryemma Graham; the Walter and Lillian Lowenfels Award for Criticism winner: Shana Redmond (Everything Man: The Form and Function of Paul Robeson); and the Anti-Censorship Award winner: Jacob Soboroff (Separated: Inside an American Tragedy); celebrate these writers and their work, free, online, 2:00-4:00 pm PDT (Register to attend: www.beforecolumbusfoundation.com)
  • Poetry Flash presents a virtual Zeitgeist Press poetry reading by Bruce Isaacson, Leningrad to Las Vegas, and Jan Steckel, Like Flesh Covers Bone; poet and editor Deborah Fruchey presents the late Rudy Jon Tanner's If Thirst is Proof of Water, 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)

20 SEPTEMBER 2021 — monday

  • Rivertown Poets presents an open mic poetry reading, three-minutes per reader, hosted by poet and artist Sande Anfang, Xylem Highway, held the first and third Mondays of the month, free, online via Zoom, 6:15 pm PDT (Register to attend/sign up for open mic: aqus.com/rivertownpoets)
  • Join novelist Nathaniel Rich, Losing Earth, Odds Against Tomorrow, and nonfiction writer Chris Jennings, Paradise Now: The Story of American Utopianism, for a discussion of George R. Stewart's eco-novel, Storm, first published in 1941, the prescient novel is a pioneer in the genre examining humans' relationship to the natural world, hosted by Point Reyes Books, free, online, 6:00 pm PDT (Register to attend: www.ptreyesbooks.com/event/nathaniel-rich-and-chris-jennings)

21 SEPTEMBER 2021 — tuesday

22 SEPTEMBER 2021 — wednesday

23 SEPTEMBER 2021 — thursday

  • San Francisco Public Library presents a reading featuring poets Josiah Luis Alderete, Baby Axolotls & Old Pochos; Ricardo Tavarez, Pan Dulce Poets; Monica Zarazua, co-founder of Pochino Press; hector son of hector, Jose Hector Cadenas, and Lourdes Figueroa, Ruidos = To Learn Speak; all members of the San Francisco International Flor y Canto, a literary festival celebrating the literature and culture of San Francisco's Mission District, free, online via Zoom, 6:30-7:30 pm PDT (Register to attend: sfpl.org/events/2021/09/23/performance-reading-flor-y-canto)
  • City Lights Books presents a reading featuring poet CA Conrad, While Standing in Line for Death, reading from their new collection, Amanda Paradise: Resurrect Instinct Vibration, and artist and poet Sawako Nakayasu, Pink Waves, reading from her new book, Some Girls Walk Into the Country They Are From, finalist for the Big Other Award in Poetry, free, online via Zoom, 6:00 pm PDT (Register to attend: www.citylights.com/bookstore/?fa=books_events)
  • Point Reyes Books presents Pulitzer Prize-winner and best-selling novelist Richard Powers, The Overstory, discussing his new book, Bewilderment, the heartrending story of an astrobiologist raising his son after the death of his wife, and the ties of family, the natural world, and what lies beyond, free, online, 6:00 pm PDT (Register to attend: www.ptreyesbooks.com/event/richard-powers)

24 SEPTEMBER 2021 — friday

25 SEPTEMBER 2021 — saturday

  • Book Passage presents novelist and activist Cathy Rath reading from and discussing her debut novel, Ripple Effect, a complex story of family secrets and discovery set during the 1960s student rebellions in the United States, Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Boulevard, Corte Madera, free, 4:00 pm PDT (More information here: www.bookpassage.com/event/cathy-rath-ripple-effect-corte-madera-store)

26 SEPTEMBER 2021 — sunday

  • The Claremont Library's Fourth Sundays Reading Series presents a poetry reading featuring Andrea Carter Brown, The Disheveled Bed, Brook & Rainbow, and Beverly Lafontaine, published in Blue Satellite, Waves, and elsewhere, Claremont United Church of Christ, 233 Harrison Avenue, Claremont, free, 2:00-4:00 pm PDT (More information here: www.facebook.com/events/3736094436495622)
  • San Francisco Center for the Book presents the 18th Annual Roadworks Steamroller Printing Festival; this year's classic print artists are Katherine Case, Danguole Kuolas, Rik Olson, Erik Rewitzer, Michelle Wilson, SFCB, 375 Rhode Island Street, San Francisco, between 16th and 17th, San Francisco, free, 11:00 am-4:00 pm (Visit: sfcb.org/Roadworks2021)

27 SEPTEMBER 2021 — monday

  • Green Apple Books presents Keith Boykin, CNN political commentator and best-selling author of Beyond the Down Low: Sex, Lies, and Denial in Black America, discussing his new book, Race Against Time: The Politics of a Darkening America, a call to fight racism, xenophobia, sexism, and homophobia, free, online via Zoom and in person, Green Apple Books, 1231 9th Avenue, San Francisco, 6:00 pm PDT (Register for the Zoom link here: www.greenapplebooks.com/event/9th-ave-keith-boykin)
  • The Center for Literary Arts of San José is pleased to present Claudia Rankine, author of Citizen: An American Lyric, a reflection on racial inequalities through personal, professional and artistic lenses, in a reading and conversation with Jalylah Burrell, Assistant Professor of African American Studies at San José University, online via Crowdcast, free, 5:00 pm PDT (Register to attend: www.crowdcast.io/e/cla-presents-claudia/register)
  • City Lights Books presents Steven Reigns, first Poet Laureate of West Hollywood, Inheritance, reading from and discussing his new book, A Quilt for David, which uncovers the hidden history of the life and death of Dr. David Acer, a gay man accused of infecting his patients with HIV, and the media hysteria and scapegoating that overshadowed his life, free, online via Zoom, 6:00 pm PDT (Register to attend: www.citylights.com/bookstore/?fa=books_events)

28 SEPTEMBER 2021 — tuesday

  • Cobalt Poets presents a reading featuring poet Chen Chen, When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities, winner of an A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize, open mic to follow, free, online via Zoom, 7:30 pm PDT (Zoom link here: www.poetrysuperhighway.com/cobalt/calendar.html)

29 SEPTEMBER 2021 — wednesday

  • City Lights Books presents a reading of Project 1521, a collection of Southern California poets, artists, and scholars, featuring poets Gloria Enedina Alvarez, Yago S. Cura, Adolfo Guzman-Lopez, Arminé Ikandossian, Darren J. de Leon, Diana Magaloni, Linda Ravenswood de Montaño, and visual artist Sandy Rodriguez, hosted by Josiah Luis Alderete, poet and host of the reading series "Speaking Axolotl", reading from their new collection, You Will Not Be Forgotten, the debut volume of poetry from the group, free, online via Zoom, 6:00 pm PDT (Register to attend: citylights.com/events)

30 SEPTEMBER 2021 — thursday

  • San Francisco Public Library presents poet Brian Komei Dempster, Topaz, reading from his new collection of poetry, Seize, winner of the Julie Suk Award and finalist for both the Eric Hoffer Book Award and the National Indie Excellence Award in Poetry, free, online, 6:00-7:00 pm PDT (Register to attend: sfpl.org/events/2021/09/30/author-brian-komei-dempster-seize)

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