Poetry Unbound Reading Series featuring: Andrena Zawinski Andy Ross John Curl Judith Cody and Sharon Doubiago with a brief open mic hosted by Clive Matson and Richard Loranger Sunday, March 1, 2015 signup 5 pm start 5:15 $5 donation, no one turned away Leave a comment
More evidence of how the East Bay ripples with political activity – the Oakland-based blue-collar PEN, in partnership with Heyday Books, has published Fightin’ Words: 25 Years of Provocative Poetry and Prose. This is not the careful, upper class, east-coast PEN organization – and a quick scan of the book’s contents shows activists and luminaries from many battles, from Free Speech to Ferguson, from Civil Rights to Occupy and beyond. In March, Poetry Unbound celebrates this powerful new book with readings by contributors Andrena Zawinski, Andy Ross, John Curl, Judith Cody, and Sharon Doubiago. Come by and get a taste of what author Genny Lim calls, “A tide of swelling voices that dare to speak up against the con¬fines of official narratives and connect with the growing silenced masses.”
Poetry Unbound is a monthly reading series dedicated to presenting new work in a broad range of styles and genres, and to bringing together writers from different circles and communities, to strengthen and unite. We present passionate wordsmiths on the first Sunday of each month, with a brief open mic, at the Art House Gallery in Berkeley. Hosted by Oakland writers Clive Matson and Richard Loranger.
Art House Gallery
2905 Shattuck Ave.
(one block north of Ashby, and close to Ashby BART)
Judith Cody, poet and composer, won national awards from Atlantic and Amelia magazines, also a national award in music. Poetry, in Spanish and English editions, is in the Smithsonian’s permanent collection. She was a finalist in the Bright Hills Press poetry chapbook competition, a quarter-finalist for the Pablo Neruda Prize, was put forward for the Lyric Recovery Award’s Carnegie Hall reading, and won honorable mentions from the National League of American Pen Women. Poems are published in over 80 journals and anthologies. Cody was Editor-in-chief of the first Resource Guide on Women in Music, San Francisco State University. She wrote the internationally notable biography of composer, Vivian Fine: A Bio-Bibliography, Greenwood Press, and Eight Frames Eight, poems. She is an editor for PEN Oakland’s anthology,“Fightin’ Words”and is currently the editor a NASA division history. Visit www.judithcody.com
Andrena Zawinski received an Oakland PEN Oakland award in 2010 for her poetry collection Something About from Blue Light Press in San Francisco. Her Traveling in Reflected Light from Pig Iron Press in Youngstown received a Kenneth Patchen Prize in Poetry. She has additionally authored four chapbooks, and her work appears widely in print at publications that include Blue Collar Review Journal of Progressive Working Class Literature, The Progressive Magazine, Viet Nam Generation Journal of Recent History and Contemporary Culture, Journal of Jungian Thought, Arroyo Literary Review, Rattle, Pacific Review, and many others with several Pushcart Prize nominations with individual poetry awards ranging from poetry of social concern to spiritual poetry. Her work is available widely online at Bay Area Writing Project’s Digital Paper, East Bay Review, Switched on Gutenberg, Poemeleon and many other digizines. She teaches creative writing and composition at Laney College and is Features Editor at PoetryMagazine.com. She hails from Pittsburgh, PA but has made her home in the Bay Area since 2000.
Literary agent Andy Ross has been posting to his wildly popular blog, Ask the Agent, since 2009. The blog includes no-nonsense advice on getting published and finding an agent, his incisive thoughts about the process of writing and the business of book publishing, and his recollections as a bookseller and owner of the legendary Cody’s Books in Berkeley for 30 years. Ask the Agent: Night Thoughts on Writing and Book Publishing collects the best of these writings as well as new material. The writing is rich, the insights always original, and it’s side-splittingly funny. The collection includes such classics as: “How to Pitch to an Agent,” “The Slush Pile,” “Think Like an Editor,” “The First Book Ever Written,” “Ann Lamott (And Albert Camus) on Writing,” and “Eunuchs at an Orgy: Authors on Literary Critics.”
John Curl is the author of thirteen volumes of poetry, including Yoga Sutras of Fidel Castro and Revolutionary Alchemy; three volumes of history, including For All The People; The Co-op Conspiracy (novel); Memories of Drop City (memoir); Ancient American Poets (translations of classical Native American poetry); drama, and numerous other works. He is chair of PEN Oakland and a member of the Revolutionary Poets Brigade. He represented the USA at the World Poetry Festival in 2010 in Caracas, Venezuela. “John Curl has earned a place among the foremost revolutionary American poets since the end of WW2.” Jack Hirschman
Sharon Doubiago’s memoir, MY FATHER’S LOVE: PORTRAIT OF THE POET AS A YOUNG GIRL, VOLUME 1 (Wild Ocean Press, 2009), is a finalist in the Northern California Book Awards in Creative Nonfiction, 2010. Volume Two is forthcoming. Love on the Streets: Selected and New Poems (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2008) received the Glenna Luschei Distinguished Poet Award and was a finalist in the Paterson New Jersey Poetry Prize. She has written two dozen books of poetry and prose, most notably the epic poem HARD COUNTRY (West End Press, 1999), the book-length poem South America Mi Hija (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1992), which was nominated twice for the National Book Award, and the story collections EL NINO (Lost Roads Press, 1989) and The Book of Seeing with One’s Own Eyes (Graywolf Press, 1988), which was selected to the Oregon Culture Heritage list: Literary Oregon, 100 Books, 1800-2000.
ANOTHER SIDE OF Johnny Harper SAT. MAR. 7 IN BERKELEY INSTRUMENTAL DUETS ♦ ELECTRIC GUITAR & BASS JOHNNY HARPER & MARTY HOLLAND Creative instrumental interpretations of many familiar classics Blues Soul Rock’n’Roll Jazz Country Folk & more! PLUS Very special guest SHARYN DIMMICK Vocals & Acoustic Guitar Leave a comment
ANOTHER SIDE OF Johnny Harper
SAT. MAR. 7 IN BERKELEY
INSTRUMENTAL DUETS ♦ ELECTRIC GUITAR & BASS
& MARTY HOLLAND
Creative instrumental interpretations of many familiar classics
Blues Soul Rock’n’Roll Jazz Country Folk & more!
PLUS Very special guest
Vocals & Acoustic Guitar
SAT. MAR. 7, 2015! 7:30 PM SHARP! AT
The Art House
Gallery & Cultural Center
2905 SHATTUCK AVE. · Berkeley · (510) 472-3170
DOORS OPEN 7 PM • WE WILL START AT 7:30 !
Suggested donation $15 -$20.
What’s Goin’ On ♪ This concert is a new adventure for me – one brought about by circumstance, but holding a lot of musical pleasures for me, and, I hope, for you.
The Circumstances: If you’ve been reading these newsletters recently, you know I was hospitalized for over two months this past fall, after suffering a pulmonary embolism (blood clotting condition) which I was very lucky to survive. My recovery has gone great, I feel strong and healthy, am exercising daily and walking long distances. I’m playing lots of guitar, am teaching my guitar students, and am developing some recording projects. The one respect in which I’ve been slow to recover is regaining the full power and range of my singing voice. My throat is still reacting to the breathing tubes I had to have in the hospital, and as a result I’m not able yet to reach the full range I’m used to as a singer. I’m working closely with doctors and therapists at a very highly regarded voice clinic. They say it’s likely I’ll get my full range back in time – but the time could be many months, or even longer.
What To Do while I’m waiting to heal? I want to perform, I want to offer something to my audience. Sayings come to mind – “crisis equals opportunity,” “make lemonade.” Bob Dylan says “he not busy being born is busy dying”… I wrote a well-liked song “Work With What You Got”… and Jimi Hendrix said in a classic blues song, “Oh, well, I’ve still got my guitar.”
So… Make Some New Music ♪ While playing at home in the last two months, I started to develop electric guitar instrumental arrangements of a lot of classic songs I’ve loved for many years. These arrangements grew into a whole new body of work. I reached a point where I’ve gotten quite happy with them, and decided this was music worth sharing with y’all.
A Little Help From My Friends I felt I could do with a little support in playing these songs, and was very lucky to be able to bring in my old friend Marty Holland on bass. Marty played in my band for a while, many years ago. He was plenty good then, but since that time, he has continued to grow musically and has matured into one of the most amazing musicians I’ve ever had the pleasure to know. It’s marvelous to hear him in any style or context, and I know you’ll really enjoy his playing. I also decided to add variety to the program by including a few featured vocal numbers by the wonderful folk singer Sharyn Dimmick. You’ll be captivated by her beautiful voice and by her choice of songs – some fine ones she has written herself, and some powerful versions of classics by Bob Dylan and other great writers.
More about Marty Holland: Marty has worked with an amazing array of great, famous musicians. Among them: JGB (Jerry Garcia Band), jazz giant Stanley Turrentine, guitar legends Warren Haynes and Ronnie Montrose, hot blues mama Susan Tedeschi (recently featured at a White House blues concert which aired on PBS), reggae legends Joe Higgs (he taught Marley!) and Hux Brown – and – Merle Saunders, Steve Kimock, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Tower of Power drum legend Dave Garibaldi… and the list goes on! You get the idea. Marty is (in Steely Dan’s phrase) a major dude.
What Songs Are We Going To Play? Sorry, I won’t tell you that! I want you to be surprised. But I will tell you some of the artists whose material we’re going to perform. Count on hearing classics by: The Beatles, Duke Ellington, Bobby “Blue” Bland, Horace Silver, Leon McAuliffe (Bob Wills’ legendary steel man), Bob Dylan, Howlin’ Wolf, Johnny Mercer, Jimi Hendrix (one of his soft, gentle “sweet soul” compositions), Joni Mitchell, – and more! As you can see, we’ve drawn our material from a very diverse range of sources, and I think every number we’re playing is a great piece of music. We’ll do our best to live up to our fabulous repertoire.
For Me As An Artist, this is an opportunity to express the human soul and spirit in a way I’ve never done before. I’ve always been very committed to my role as a guitarist, I take my playing seriously; but up till now, I’ve seen myself first and foremost as a singer and storyteller who also plays lead (and rhythm) guitar. Now, in this project, the guitar playing is the focus. Marty is a great partner on bass, but the guitar really carries the whole piece of music: melody, chordal harmonies, improvisations. And I feel the guitar is telling the story. The challenge is to not only arrange these great songs and play them effectively, but to play them with soul, to bring out real emotional content in each song – whether it’s upbeat and celebrative, sad and mournful, contemplative, or bittersweet. I’ve never felt so close to my instrument, so deeply involved with what I’m playing, as I have in preparing for this show. My hope is that I do convey to you some of the emotions I’m trying to express.
Come and share this experience with me, and see how I do! How we do. I think you’ll enjoy what you hear.
In Other News…
Get A Preview of Sharyn’s performance on the 7th! We recently posted a video of Sharyn singing her original blues song “Clueless,” a light-hearted look the fumblings and missed signals that can happen when two people begin to be attracted to each other. She’s singing and playing acoustic guitar, I’m playing lead guitar behind her. Just go to YouTube and type in Sharyn Dimmick. The song will come up right away. Fun!
Thanks so much, to everyone who came out to the big benefit show at Freight & Salvage a few weeks ago! You really helped me out with my medical expenses and my losses from missed work. It was great to see so many friends there – including some I hadn’t seen in a long time. Keep in touch! I hope to see each of you again before long.
I’m always glad to hear from any and all of you… Write or call me any time… Keep rockin’, keep the faith…