Maude Meehan Memorial reading, October 18, 2016

Maria Garcia Teutsch, Debra Spencer

Poetry Santa Cruz sponsored the 8th annual Maude Meehan Memorial reading, held at Bookshop Santa Cruz, on Tuesday, October 18. The two guest readers this year were fine local poets Maria Garcia Teutsch and Debra Spencer. Readings were, as customary, followed by a Q&A session, and some get-acquainted time.

The podcast accompanying this post is not, unfortunately, complete. The infamous “technical difficulties” reared their ugly heads, cutting off the recording after only two of Maria’s poems. We apologize to both poets and to our podcast audience.

To partly compensate, we’ll soon post past Poetry Show archive recordings featuring both Maria and Debra Spencer. Stay tuned…

Voices of the River – 2016

vofr-1As promised, here’s the podcast of the entire Voices of the River event, nearly two hours. Those of you who were there will notice an extra song in this recording. Robert wanted it to be played at the event, but we couldn’t come up with a portable CD player to plug into the sound system (!?). Anyway, we decided to “fix it in the mix” by inserting the song Gloria after Robert’s reading of his wonderful poem Love Has Made Grief Absurd.

Voices of the River Preview



Join Poetry Santa Cruz and The Poetry Show next Saturday, September 24, as we welcome Robert Sward as our new Poet Laureate. It will be a local-star-studded event, as can be seen from the lineup at right.

Most of these fine poets have been guests on The Poetry Show. Also, we posted a podcast of Robert Sward reading with Dana Gioia at a Poetry Santa Cruz event in July.

David Swanger and Robert Sward were both guests on a 2015 show, but today’s podcast is an earlier solo appearance by David, back 2013. Among other subjects of his conversation with host Dennis Morton, David discusses what it’s like to be Poet Laureate of Santa Cruz County. He was himself nearing the end of his term as County Poet Laureate at that time, and had some interesting first-hand experiences to relate.


Marc Zegans has a new book


The Poetry Santa Cruz website, lovingly maintained by Len Anderson, is an indispensible resource for keeping up with poetry happenings in Santa Cruz and surrounding areas. Most of us check the Events page regularly, but scroll down farther to find the section, “Breaking into Print: Poetry Books by Local Authors“.

That list is constantly updated, with most recent new books at the top, and is headed for the moment by Boys In the Woods, a new multi-media work by Marc Zegans. Published this spring by Crane Maiden Books, the book features:

“Stellar photography by Daniel Barnhill and musical component written & performed by Peg Simone with original lyrics by Marc Zegans.”

Marc was a guest on the KUSP Poetry Show three times in 2015, and we hope to to have him back again soon to discuss this latest work, and to learn more about his innovative multi-media style.

For now, we’ll reprise the podcast from September 20, 2015. In that visit, Marc and host Dennis Morton discussed what was then his newest book, The Underwater Typewriter. Here’s a partial screen grab of that blog post:

Marc Zegans guest poet – part 3

Robert Sward, Poet Laureate

51NWORPzqfLCongratulations to Robert Sward, recently named Poet Laureate of Santa Cruz County. His most recent published work is titled New and Selected Poems: 1957-2011.

Robert was one of two featured readers at the Poetry Santa Cruz event in July 2016. Our newest County Poet Laureate was joined at that event by the newest California Poet Laureate, Dana Gioia.

A podcast of that July PSC event can be found at the linked page. Today, we’ll repost the podcast of Robert Sward’s last guest visit with host Dennis Morton on KUSP’s Poetry Show. That visit happened on February 1, 2015, and Robert Sward was joined by fellow guest poets David Swanger and Ken Weisner in an hour devoted to International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Farewell KUSP, Hello Future

KUSPEven though we’ve been expecting it, the end of KUSP-FM was a punch in the gut for us at The Poetry Show. There will be a period of mourning among longtime KUSP veterans. An excerpt from the press release can be found at the bottom of this post.

Having said that, there’s no way to go but forward. We’re committed to continuing The Poetry Show here, with new guests and recorded local readings. We have our podcast archive going back to May, 2007, which will soon be accessible here (no podcast re-post this week).

The KUSP website is now shut down, as well, so there’s an update to this website: the indispensable Internet Archive “Wayback Machine” has a number of “snapshot” copies of the KUSP website, so the link at the top of this page labeled “KUSP’s Poetry Show (archived)” will take you to the KUSP blog pages archived on that site. Be aware that, because of the way the archiving process works, it’s not as easy to search for a particular blog post and/or podcast.

Local Independent Public Radio Station Contemplates Options

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. – July 31, 2016 – Local independent public radio station KUSP 88.9fm | will sign off at midnight tonight, ending nearly 45 years of distinguished on-air public service in the greater Monterey Bay Area and more than 20 years online.

The move is in response to the station’s current financial situation: monthly expenses exceed monthly revenues and the Board has been unable to secure bridge funds necessary to support a new music discovery format as KUSP transitions away from being a National Public Radio (NPR) member station.
“This decision reflects the reality of the station’s financial situation; we simply cannot afford to broadcast any longer,” said Board President Matt Farrell. The Board will continue to search for a buyer and is evaluating remaining options in light of financial issues facing the station.

Kevin Devaney at the MAH

Kevin Devaney and his faithful typewriter “Anklebiter”, photo by Farouk Algosaibi

Local poet and poetry promoter Kevin Devaney will be an artist-in-residence at Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History from July 26 to August 22, 2016. There’s a Q&A with museum staff on the MAH website, including descriptions of poetry-related events and a link to Kevin’s museum schedule. One highlight will be a marathon reading of Walt Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass” on Friday, August 5, starting at 5:00pm.

Kevin was a KUSP Poetry Show guest back in 2013, and has been working hard ever since to promote the spoken word in Santa Cruz. The Poetry Santa Cruz monthly events calendar will keep you current on all the things he’s involved in.

Stay tuned for another Poetry Show conversation with Kevin. Until then, we’re reposting the 2013 podcast here.


Lisa Allen Ortiz has a new book

Guide-to-the-exhibit-2016-cover-tiltedOne of our favorite Monterey Bay area poets, Lisa Allen Ortiz, has a new poetry collection, titled Guide to the Exhibit. The book is the 2016 winner of the Perugia Press Prize, so congratulations to Lisa!

Until our next opportunity to talk to Lisa in person, we’re re-posting the podcast from her last guest appearance on The Poetry Show. To use the links, go to the original post at KUSP (yes, it’s still there – don’t give up). Here’s a picture of the blog post:

KUSP s Poetry Show » Blog Archive » Lisa Ortiz guest poet

Poetry Santa Cruz reading: Dana Gioia, Robert Sward

Gioia-Sward horiz comp 600px
Both kinds of poets: Dana Gioia (cat) and Robert Sward (dog)

A standing-room-only crowd at Bookshop Santa Cruz enjoyed the poetry of Dana Gioia and Robert Sward, featured readers for the July 14, 2016 Poetry Santa Cruz event.

Gioia-Sward at BSC (crop)
After the reading: Dana Gioia and Robert Sward

Longtime Santa Cruz resident and poetry luminary Robert Sward began the evening with a special treat – an unpublished work. He read a long piece from his newest book, to be titled Love Has Made Grief Absurd.

Robert was followed by Dana Gioia, recently installed as Poet Laureate of California. His stated goal is to stage a poetry event in each of the state’s 58 counties during his two-year tenure. The large and appreciative audience was happy to help him check Santa Cruz off his list in style. Most stayed around for a Q&A session with the poets after the readings (included in the podcast).

Dana Gioia reading preview

Hard to believe, but it’s been almost four years since The Poetry Show last conversed with Dana Gioia. He’s back, this time as the Poet Laureate of California, and will be reading at Tuesday evening’s Poetry Santa Cruz event (7:30 at Bookshop Santa Cruz). Dana Gioia will be joined by Robert Sward as the evening’s featured readers.

To whet your appetite, we’re re-posting the podcast from 2012, along with the following screen shot of the accompanying blog post: