For the March 14, 2017 2nd Tuesday event, Poetry Santa Cruz brought Travis Massotti all the way from the Endangered Wolf Center in St. Louis, MO to read at Bookshop Santa Cruz. Travis is poet-in-residence at the Center, where he works with his wife Regina, a carnivore biologist. Regina and Travis spent time working with the Bay Area Puma Project at UCSC.
Our own David Allen Sullivan joined Massotti in a very complementary pairing. When not writing and reading poetry, David teaches English and film at Cabrillo College.
This year, the February reading sponsored by Poetry Santa Cruz fell on Valentine’s Day. Accordingly, a program was assembled featuring sixteen readers, presenting two poems each, on the general theme of love. For those of us who attended and/or read, it was a lot of fun. Listen for yourself, and we think you’ll agree.
To help celebrate African-American History Month, we’re re-posting a podcast of the KUSP Poetry Show, from February 22, 2015. Host Dennis Morton was joined on that broadcast by guest David Anthony for some history and poetry.
Also, join us on Tuesday evening at Bookshop Santa Cruz for a special Poetry Santa Cruz Valentine’s Day reading.
The first Poetry Santa Cruz reading event of 2017 was at Bookshop Santa Cruz. Readers were Christopher Buckley and Gary Young. A good-sized and appreciative audience braved the elements to attend. Now you can enjoy the podcast, safe and dry and warm.
Happy 2017 to Poetry Show listeners everywhere. It’s not too soon to remind everyone to mark your calendars for this month’s very special Poetry Santa Cruz reading, Tuesday, January 10. Featured readers are Christopher Buckley and Gary Young.
To start getting us all in the mood, this post includes a recorded conversation from the Poetry Show archives, between Gary Young and host Dennis Morton (our apologies for the missing first few seconds). It was broadcast January 31, 2010, on KUSP-FM. The occasion was the beginning of Gary Young’s term as the first Poet Laureate of Santa Cruz County.
By request, we’re re-posting this podcast of a conversation which occurred in April, 2014. Poetry Show host Dennis Morton sat down in the KUSP production studio with Juan Felipe Herrera, then Poet Laureate of California. Beginning in 2015, he has been the United States Poet Laureate. Joining the conversation was Stephen Kessler, a former Poetry Show host and longtime friend of Juan Felipe Herrera.
Poetry Santa Cruz staged its annual Local Poets Reading on December 13, 2016, at Felix Kulpa Gallery in Santa Cruz. A capacity audience warmly welcomed the three poets, whose disparate ages gave the reading a multi-generational flavor. Enjoy the podcast.
The upcoming Poetry Santa Cruz reading event will feature a trio of local poets: Dane Cervine, Robin Estrin, and Bert Glick. We’ll be there to record that event and podcast it here. In anticipation, host Dennis Morton sat down on Sunday for a conversation with Dane Cervine.
During the hour, Dane read from and discussed poems from his newest poetry collection, titled Kung Fu of the Dark Father. From the publisher, Plain View Press:
“Kung Fu of the Dark Father presents not only the poet’s father, the author’s own enigmas, but also a veritable lineage of men confronting what Lorca describes as the duende in art and life—mythology’s insistence that one must enter the underworld before there is any hope of bearing light.”
Join us at Felix Kulpa Gallery, 107 Elm Street, Santa Cruz, to hear Dane, Robin, and Bert. It’s on Tuesday, December 13, starting at 7:30 pm.
Two recent events have highlighted the fact that some of the best English-language poetry of the past 50 years has been written by poets who were also musicians. Selection of Bob Dylan to receive the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature took many people by surprise, and generated a lot of both criticism and praise in the literature world.
A writer for the New York Times Review of Books chose an excerpt from the song Mr. Tamborine Man to demonstrate Dylan’s poetic prowess:
Though you might hear laughing, spinning, swinging madly across the sun
It’s not aimed at anyone
It’s just escaping on the run
And but for the sky there are no fences facing
And if you hear vague traces of skipping reels of rhyme
To your tambourine in time
It’s just a ragged clown behind
I wouldn’t pay it any mind
It’s just a shadow you’re seeing that he’s chasing.
The Nobel was not the first literary award Dylan (who changed his last name to honor Dylan Thomas) has received. Dylan’s online bio at The Poetry Foundation notes that:
In 2008 he was awarded a Pulitzer Prize Special Citation for his “profound impact on popular music and American culture, marked by lyrical composition of extraordinary poetic power.”
The recent passing of Leonard Cohen affords an opportunity to pay tribute to another of the finest contemporary English-language poet-musicians. Though far less well-known than Dylan, Cohen’s writing made him a giant among his peers, many of whom covered Cohen songs over the years. Rolling Stone writes:
Cohen was the dark eminence among a small pantheon of extremely influential singer-songwriters to emerge in the Sixties and early Seventies. Only Bob Dylan exerted a more profound influence upon his generation, and perhaps only Paul Simon and fellow Canadian Joni Mitchell equaled him as a song poet.
Last week, we promised to try to atone for our sin of failing to record Debra Spencer’s wonderful reading at Bookshop Santa Cruz. Here’s a small gesture in that direction – a reprise of Debra’s Poetry Show guest appearance on December 1, 2013.
On that Sunday evening, Debra sat down to converse with host Dennis Morton and, of course, to read poetry from her new book.
At that time, she was about two weeks away from publication of her first poetry collection, titled Gleams When Wet, from our local Hummingbird Press.