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Bert Meyers Tribute: Eric Gudas, David Shaddock, Anat Silvera

22 JUNE 2023 — thursday

Poetry Flash presents a reading celebrating the publication of Bert Meyers: On the Life and Work of an American Master, readers include poets Eric Gudas, David Shaddock, and Anat Silvera, the poet's daughter, in person, Art House Gallery & Cultural Center, 2905 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, two blocks north of Ashby BART, refreshments, free, 7:00 pm PDT (poetryflash.org).

Thank you for continuing to support Poetry Flash and our reading series.
Bert Meyers: On the Life and Work of an American Master will be available at the event and online at bookshop.org/shop/poetryflash(a portion of the proceeds support Poetry Flash).

Bert Meyers: On the Life and Work of an American Master, the latest volume in The Unsung Masters Series, offers a large selection of his very best poetry alongside essays and appreciations from José Angel Araguz, Jim Bogen, Victoria Chang, Amy Gerstler, Garrett Hongo, Daniel Meyers, Barry Sanders, Ari Sherman, Maurya Simon, and Sean Singer, among others. The Unsung Masters Series exists to bring great but largely overlooked writers to new readers. This volume is edited by Dana Levin and Adele Williams.

"Bert Meyers is an American original—a brilliant poet whose use of tone and figurative language was so emotive, intelligent and nuanced, it became inimitable, became its own unique perspective on our world. I wouldn't be surprised if mid-twenty-first century scholars announce that in Bert Meyers we have overlooked the best poet of his generation." —Ilya Kaminsky
MORE ABOUT THE READERS

Eric Gudas is the author of Best Western and Other Poems, winner of the Gerald Cable Book Award, and Beautiful Monster, a chapbook. His work has appeared in The American Poetry Review, The Iowa Review, Poetry Flash, Los Angeles Review of Books, Raritan, and elsewhere. He lives in Los Angeles.

David Shaddock is a poet and psychotherapist. His most recent poetry book is A Book of Splendor: New and Selected Poems on Spiritual Themes. He has a regular column in Poetry Flash, "Poetry and Healing," and is the author of Poetry and Psychoanalysis: The Opening of the Field (Routledge), and two books on relationships and couples therapy. He lectures widely on those topics, and maintains a private practice in Berkeley.

Anat Silvera, Bert Meyers's daughter, is one of the founders of Silvera Jewelry School in Berkeley. Before and after college she studied with artists and craftsmen, apprenticing as a metalsmith and learning how to create fine beadwork. She is the author of a book on her craft, and has exhibited her work all over the U.S., including as featured artist at the Oakland Museum of Art Collector's Gallery.

The son of Romanian and Polish Jewish immigrants, Bert Meyers (1928-1979) was born in Los Angeles. Always rebellious and a questioner of authority, he dropped out of high school and became a poet. For many years he worked at manual labor jobs, including printer's apprentice, until he became a master picture framer and gilder. Here he found satisfaction in craftsmanship and attention to detail, the same approach he used in composing his poetry. Throughout those years he continued to write, feeling that a poet should be immersed in the world, and should have real world things to write about. Meyers wanted to be self-taught. He read everything he could get his hands on and had a prodigious literary memory. He frequented the vibrant circles of LA poets at the time, with Thomas McGrath and others. His fellow poet and friend Robert Mezey said, "Bert Meyers belonged to no school or coterie and had no use for fashion. He was that rarest of creatures, a pure lyric poet. His poems are very much what he was—gentle, cantankerous, reflective, passionate and wise." Although he had never taken undergraduate classes, and had no high school diploma, in 1964 he was admitted to the Claremont Graduate School on the basis of his poetic achievements. By 1967 he had a Ph.D in English Literature and was hired to teach poetry and literature at Pitzer College in Claremont, where he taught until 1978. During his life as a professor, Meyers finally had the time to focus on his writing; he also had an important and lasting influence on his students, a new generation of poets and writers, including Dennis Cooper, Amy Gerstler, Garrett Hongo, and Mauyra Simon among others.

He published at least eight collections of poetry, including Early Rain (1960), The Dark Birds (1968), Sunlight on the Wall (1976), Windowsills (1979), The Wild Olive Trees (1979). Before he died, he selected the core poems of In a Dybbuk's Raincoat: Collected Poems (2007). His widow, Odette Meyers, son Daniel Meyers, and poet Morton Marcus shepherded the book into posthumous publication. Meyers's precisely framed poems are image driven and often quite short. Noting that "the image is unequivocally at the center of his work" in her introduction to In a Dybbuk's Raincoat, Denise Levertov lamented that "Bert Meyers death has deprived us of one of the best poets of our time." (Information from bertmeyers.com)




Daily Listings

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14 JUNE 2024 — friday

15 JUNE 2024 — saturday

16 JUNE 2024 — sunday

17 JUNE 2024 — monday

18 JUNE 2024 — tuesday

19 JUNE 2024 — wednesday

20 JUNE 2024 — thursday

  • Book Passage's course on "Crafting Compelling Characters & Dialogue," with Anoop Judge, The Rummy Club, takes place on two Thursdays, June 20 and 27, and will teach students how to craft compelling characters and dialogue for any genre (fiction, essays, nonfiction, or memoir), online, $125, 5:00 pm PDT (For more information, visit: www.bookpassage.com/event/crafting-compelling-characters-dialogue-anoop-judge)
  • Poetry Flash presents a reading by poet and translator Carolyn Tipton, The Poet of Poet Laval, and Sandra Yannone, The Glass Studio, Art House Gallery & Cultural Center, 2905 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, two blocks north of Ashby BART, refreshments, free, 7:00 pm PDT (poetryflash.org).

21 JUNE 2024 — friday

  • Community of Writers hosts its annual Benefit Poetry Reading featuring poets Blas Falconer, Forgive the Body this Failure, Brenda Hillman, In a Few Minutes Before Later, Major Jackson, Razzle Dazzle, Patricia Spears Jones, The Beloved Community, Brynn Saito, Under a Future Sky, and Matthew Zapruder, Why Poetry; All proceeds benefit the 2025 Poetry Program scholarship fund; Palisades Tahoe Ski Area, 1990 Olympic Valley Road, Olympic Valley, free or $25 donation, 7:30 pm PDT (For more information, visit: communityofwriters.org/events/event/online-and-in-person-join-us-for-a-benefit-poetry-reading)
  • As part of the San Francisco Flor Y Canto International Literary Festival, Poetry in the Window presents Better Ancestors hosting a poetry reading featuring poets Christine No, Whatever Love Means, Connie Zheng, Kevin Dublin, How to Fall in Love in San Diego, and Michael Warr, The Armageddon of Funk, Medicine for Nightmares, 3036 24th Street, San Francisco, free, 6:30 pm PDT (For more information, visit: medicinefornightmares.com/events/poetry-in-the-window-curated-by-better-ancestors)

22 JUNE 2024 — saturday

23 JUNE 2024 — sunday

  • Sierra Nevada Field Campus at San Francisco State University presents "Gathering Stones: Writing Poetry by the River," a generative workshop led by Emilie Lygren, What We Were Born For, attendees will read the work of other poets as well as take inspiration from the outdoors and natural surroundings to inform their own writing, each day will include two writing sessions, plus time for hiking, swimming, and relaxing, all levels of experience are welcome, $500, runs six-days, June 23-28, near Sierra City in the Sierra Nevada (More information here: sierra.sfsu.edu/gathering-stones-writing-poetry-river#:~:text=Course%20Description,put%20words%20on%20the%20page)

24 JUNE 2024 — monday

25 JUNE 2024 — tuesday

  • City Arts and Lectures welcomes novelists Gabrielle Zevin, Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Rebecca Handler, Edie Richter Is Not Alone, Sydney Goldstein Theater, 275 Hayes Street, San Francisco, $36, 7:30 pm PDT (For more information and to purchase tickets, visit: www.cityarts.net/event/gabrielle-zevin)

26 JUNE 2024 — wednesday

27 JUNE 2024 — thursday

  • Writers Read Ukiah presents a reading featuring Steve Hellman, followed by an open mic, six-minutes per reader, emceed by Michael Riedell, Grace Hudson Museum, 431 South Main Street, Ukiah, $5 suggested donation, 7:00 pm PDT (Email: innisfreeriedell@gmail.com for more information)

28 JUNE 2024 — friday

29 JUNE 2024 — saturday

  • City Arts and Lectures welcomes memoirist, essayist, and critic Claire Dederer, Poser: My Life in Twenty-three Yoga Poses in conversation with filmmaker Brit Marling, A Murder at the End of the World, discussing Dederer's new book, Monsters: A Fan's Dilemma, an interrogation of art in the age of #MeToo and an elaboration of her essay, "What Do We Do with the Art of Monstrous Men?" Sydney Goldstein Theater, 275 Hayes Street, San Francisco, $39, 7:30 pm PDT (For more information and to purchase tickets, visit: www.cityarts.net/event/claire-dederer)

30 JUNE 2024 — sunday


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