Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

Cartoon du jour — Where Can I Find a Bookstore?   1 comment

David Fitzsimmons Arizona Daily Star — Source:

Maybe bookstores need to become Internet Cafe‘s. Or, Starbuck’s should have a book corner rather than the other way around.


Tucson Festival of Books: Where Words & Imagination Come To Life   1 comment

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While David, Janie and the girls were here we attended the Tucson Festival of Books on the campus of the University of Arizona. This two-day event attracted over 100,000 people and over 450 authors and 240 exhibitors. The event includes a lot of hands-on activities , presentations and reading for all age groups illustrating how “words and imagination come to life.”  A very impressive event, indeed.


Images by kenne

Don’t Toss Those Big Old Reference Books   1 comment


Images by Brian Dettmer — Source: Flickr

Some people have the creative ability to look and an object in more than one way. Obviously, Brain Dettmer saw a book and turned it into a sculpture. Dettmer’s work has gained International acclaim through internet bloggers, and traditional media.

I guess we will have to wait to see what he does will do with old Kindles.


Posted March 3, 2011 by kenneturner in Art, Books, Photography

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Capturing the Word — Carmen Tafolla   Leave a comment

Images by kenne

It has been over three years since Carmen Tafolla did a reading at the Lone Star College – Montgomery, Writers In Performance Series.  To see Carmen do a reading is to witness more than a poetry reading; it is to witness a performance.  Carman’s poems reflect her Chicano identity through her ancestors, and often in her readings she portrays the strong, self-empowered women who are a common theme in her works.

La Miss Low didn’t talk much
tried to raise her chin like a noble figure,
to let her Silence
(Guardian of the Princess)
speak for her,
speak complex, sensitive things,
to hold her face expressionless,
revealing the nobility of her soul.
To model a high example
for these
uncultured children.

From the poem,  La Miss Low

In Carmen Tafolla’ poetry, I listen and hear the voices of the common people, the wisdom of their experience revealed in their views.

“This hand?’
This hand?
It was an accident.
You do not understand –
Poquito aqu
í, poquito allá –
that’s how Dios meant it, yes, to be.
It doesn’t bother me too much.
In fact, it gives me less to work about.
Less people who will trust their broken chairs to me.
Yet I can still these roses plant,
Like that one, standing by your feet –
‘Las Siete Hermanas,’ for they always bloom together,
like sweet sisters – seven in each bunch.
And I can still make chocolate, stirring strong,
The fingers do not slow me down –
These two, cut off, nor this one, sews back on.

From the poem Poquito allá

Now that we live in Tucson, I am experiencing her poetry in let another perspective – so inspirational, so real!


Poem selections from: Sonnets and Salsa

Posted December 9, 2010 by kenneturner in Books, Capturing the Word, Poetry

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A Short Story, by kenne   Leave a comment

Sunrise On A Chilly Morning — image by kenne



foothills sunrise
backpack walker
cyclist passes
different pace
similar existence

My desire is to say in ten words what other’s say in a book!


Gary Snyder – University of Arizona Poetry Center’s 50th Anniversary   1 comment

Gary Snyder at the University of Arizona Poetry Center — Images by kenne

Seated in the back, while others stand checking the view. Outside retractable walls, in choice of place, we gathered as, “Largest crowd in recent memory!” repeated through the Poetry Center. Staging a Zen evening, six persimmons a backdrop for laying down the words, Gary Snyder shared anecdotal memories of friendship. Fifty years since Robert Frost read at the Ruth Stephan Poetry Cottage dedication, fifty years out, Snyder reminisced about friend, writer, and philanthropist, Ruth Stephan.

“Poetry is the food of the spirit,
and spirit is the instigator of all revolutions,
whether political or personal,
whether national, world-wide,
within the life of a single quiet human being. “

– Ruth Stephan


Capturing the Word — Beth Ann Fennelly Revised   Leave a comment

As I often do at each Writers In Performance Series reading, I purchase one of the writer’s books of poetry. It was not different May 4, 1998 when Beth Ann Fennelly was our guest writer. It was an evening I remember well, not  because she was a young attractive women, which could serve to bias one’s impression, but because I loved her poetry and her spoken-word skills.

After the reading, I ask her to sign her book of poetry, A Different Kind of Hunger, in which she was kind enough to write:

For Kenne,

Thanks for your presence here tonight.
The world needs more poetry-loving,
coffee brewing deans.

I hope you enjoy these
poems and share this hunger.

Indeed I have. My biggest regret is that I will not be there to brew the coffee when Beth Ann returns to the Writers In Performance Series this Thursday evening (7:00 p.m. September 16, 2010 at Lone Star College – Montgomery).

After her reading in 1998, Beth Ann went on to receive many awards for her writing and is now a professor at the University of Mississippi.

For this Capturing the Word posting, I have selected “Poem Not to Be Read at Your Wedding,” from A Different King of Hunger

Poem Not To Be Read at Your Wedding

You ask me for a poem about love
in lieu of a wedding present, trying to save me
money. For three nights I’ve lain under
glow-in-the-dark stars I’ve stuck to the ceiling
over my bed. I’ve listened to the songs
of the galaxy. Well Carmen, I would rather
give you your third set of steak knives
than tell you what I know. Let me find you
some other store-bought present. Don’t
make me warn you of stars, how they see us
from that distance as miniature and breakable
from the bride who tops the wedding cake
to the Mary on Pinto dashboards
holding her ripe red heart in her hands.


Beth Ann Fennelly photo source – Google Images

Capturing the Word — W. D. Snodgrass   1 comment

Dave Parsons, W. D. Snodgrass, Kenne Turner, 1999

One of my favorite Writers in Performance (WIP) appearances was that of the 1999 W. D. Snodgrass, Pulitzer Prize winner and a major influence on American poetry in the 20th century. In February of last year, after Snodgrass’s death, I wrote on the Writers in Performance blog:

from the past

in the images
of memories
only to return
on the backs
of death

by poets
serving only
to introduce
of what was
like water
from a fountain’s
to be reborn
and again
and again

This blog series, “Capturing the Word” is like the fountain’s reservoir, providing an opportunity to revisit again the WIP presenters.

Today being the 1st of September, nearing the autumn of the year, I share the following from the poem “Autumn Variation,” in Each In His Season.


In spray-paint, psychedelic, gaudy,
Fall scrawls its name – a blunt and bawdy
Challenge to the complacent wood.
We say: there goes the neighborhood;
It is not and it cannot come to good.
Soon, flustered leaves will sag like torn
Wallpaper; solid dark walls, worn
Through here and there, exposed a bitter
Sky while, on the bare ground, litter
And stub ends pile up everywhere.
Not even one green plant would dare
Poke its nose out in the crude air
Of catch-as-catch-can thievery, lust,
Cut-throat protection and sick trust.
Where year by year we walked together
Determined paths, a wilder atmosphere
Wheels in, flaunting its chains, blades and black leather.


Posted September 1, 2010 by kenneturner in Books, Capturing the Word, MCLAC, Poetry

Capturing the Word — Wendy Barker   1 comment

Images by kenne

Wendy seems like a close friend. We have met only on special occasions. Birthday parties,  Emily Dickinson birthday parties. So often over the years, Wendy is my picture of Emily. Why not? I have photos of Wendy on those special occasions when we shared our appreciation and love for Emily Dickinson’s poetry. As much as I may love poetry, it is the spoken word that really touches me. Only then can I see the poets mannerisms, hear the voice annunciation and feel the emotions of the moment. Wendy came to fill the void through which Emily and I have become friends. Wendy has added color to sepia, she is my muse.

So, it’s no wonder that when Wendy was schedule to read her own poetry at a Writers In Performance Series last December, I could help but feel that Emily Dickinson was coming to read Wendy Barker. Think about it. How wonderful! My muse meets the goddess.

At the December series, Wendy read from her recent novel in prose poems, Nothing Between Us. For this “Capturing the Word” posting, I have chosen to share Wendy’s prose poem, “Sunday Morning, Go for A Drive:”

Up the coast. Or down. Bring the binoculars. Get out of town. Breathe.
Always hungry before we got where we were going. Stinson Beach,
Bolinas, Point Reyes. Greg would want a big meal—two cheeseburgers,
double order of fries, a full pitcher of Bud. I’d want a tuna sandwich,
banana, orange juice. No matter how I’d try to focus the binos,
no matter what rock I scrambled up on, I could never spot the bird I
wanted to see up close. Feathers confused among breaches and twigs.
The wind off the water roughing my hair. And Greg’s voice, breath
smelling of tannic acid, saying hurry it up, time to go.


Capturing the Word — Bryce Milligan   Leave a comment

Bryce Milligan at Writers In Performance Series — Image by kenne

Desert mid-summer weather can provide many extremes
causing life to struggle to survive
in a relentless sun to strong winds,
heavy rains and dramatic lightning lined skies.
Since moving to the desert,
this blog has posted images of menacing skies,
with more to come, I’m sure.

Additionally, I have been writing notes
for future poems on the desert.
However, in lieu of my own poem
and as part of my “Capturing the Word” series,
I was recently reading Bryce Milligan’s book of poems,
LOST and certain of it
(a several times Writers in Performance presenter),
and read his desert poem, “Lightning.”


The days that lack that flash:
heat on the horizon,
thunderheads painted bright
with the promise of rain

to wash the desert dust
from needle and flower,
yielding up red and yellow
explosions on each cactus’ tower.

The days that lack that flash
bring me careening back
to your eyes that I cannot
tell from lightning.

— Bryce Milligan

Capturing the Word — A New Series   6 comments

Shadows Before the Sky Darkens– Image by kenne

Visitors to this blog know I share images in the series, “Capturing the Moment.” With this posting, I’m beginning a similar series sharing poetry, specifically from my own writings and from the poets that have appeared in the “Writers in Performance” (WIP) Series conducted by the Montgomery County Literary Arts Council since 1993. It wasn’t till our recent move to Tucson that I realize the number of poetry books I have, a collection for which I’m very proud. So, with this posting I will use my blog to occasionally share the WIP writers’ poetry. Not to show any preference, I just reached to the shelves and pulled down a book. The book selected was Different Hours by Stephen Dunn. Stephen presented at WIP November 1, 2000. Here’s the poem I selected from this book of poetry:

Before The Sky Darkens

Sunsets, incipient storms, the tableaus
of melancholy — maybe these are
the Saturday night-events
to take your best girl to. At least then
there might be moments of vanishing beauty
before the sky darkens,
and the expectation of happiness
would hardly exist
and therefore might be possible.

More and more you learn to live
with the unacceptable.
You sense the ever-hidden God
retreating even farther,
terrified or embarrassed.
You might as well be a clown,
big silly cloths, not evidence of desire.

That’s how you feel, say, on a Tuesday.
Then out of the daily wreckage
comes an invitation
with your name on it. Or more likely,
that best girl of yours offers you,
once again, a small local kindness.

You open your windows to good air
blowing in from who knows where,
which you gulp and deeply inhale
as if you have a death sentence. You have.
All your life, it seems, you’ve been appealing it.
Night sweats and useless stratagem. Reprieves.

— Stephen Dunn

My last Cave meeting, for awhile. . .   4 comments

Cave Meeting, October 9, 2005 at Bernhardt Winery – Image by kenne

When I think back over the 27 years I have lived in The Woodlands, high among my memories will be the heated discussions that took place at the Society of the 5th Cave book club meeting. Today we had, what will probably be my last meeting, at least till a meeting is scheduled for Tucson. Even though we are moving in a couple of weeks to Tucson, once a Cave brother, always a Cave brother unless you choose not to belong — my choice is for life.

Last December I made a video of one of our meetings, which now turns out to be timely since I forgot to take my cameras today. As a result, I share again the video of the December 22, 2009 meeting.

Too all my Cave brothers, I salute you — till we meet again.


Posted June 6, 2010 by kenneturner in Books, Friends, Life, Photography, video

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To Our Friends & Comrades in Bolton, Lancashire, England   3 comments

Michael Robertson – image by kenne

Like good wine, good poets get better with age — therefore, so too does the Montgomery County Literary Arts Council (MALAC) annual birthday celebration of America’s greatest poet, Walt Whitman. However, our event in Conroe, Texas, is but a baby when compared to the annual birthday celebration the people of Bolton, Lancashire, England have conducted since the 1870’s. Dare I say, Whitman may also be England’s greatest poet. If not, the people of Bolton are the true disciples of Walt.

As already noted in a previous posting, titled Worshipping Walt Whitman, our guest lecturer for the afternoon session on the campus of Lone Star College – Montgomery, was previous guest, Michael Robertson, author of the recent publication, Worshipping Walt – The Whitman Disciples. As part of his presentation, Michael set the stage for the Conroe event to give homage to our friends and comrades in Bolton. “The Lancashire Whitman celebration is unique, a product of the English fondness for the outdoors, intense interest in local traditions, the continuity of a democratic socialist tradition, and an openness to Whitman’s prophetic dimensions,” writes Robertson.

Worshipping Whitman brings to mind Emile Durkheim’s dichotomy between the sacred and the profane, which captures the universality of Whitman’s very being. No wonder he is revered by so many. But as Robertson writes, “More than any other poet, I think, Whitman evokes not just admiration but love. The disciples felt that love in the Leaves, they sought it from the man, and although things did not always turn out as they expected, none of them was entirely disappointed.”


Worshipping Walt Whitman   1 comment

Michael Robertson Image by kenne

“Conroe, Texas, does not seem, at first glance. A promising spot for poetry,” writes Michael Robertson in his 2008 book, “Worshipping Walt – The Whitman Disciples.” Robertson first experienced our annual celebration of Walt Whitman’s birthday in May of 2005.

“ Parsons [Dave] kicked off the 2005 Whitman birthday celebration by inviting members from the audience to come up and read Whitman poems that matter to them,” Robertson continues on. “They had come to otherwise deserted downtown Conroe on a weeknight not foe aesthetic pleasure – or not only for that – but for the chance to testify to this poetry’s meaning in their lives.”

Robertson returned again for the celebration in 2007, and will be making his third appearance May 20th, 3:00 p.m., in the Lone Star College – Montgomery library. Later in the evening (7:00 p.m.) he will participate in the “Gathering of Poets” reading Whitman poetry at the Corner Pub in downtown Conroe. For those of us who have been a part of the “Writers in Performance Series” and the annual Whitman celebration, and as the Montgomery County disciples of Whitman, it is an honor to be recognized by noted Whitman expert, Michael Robertson.

We encourage all to come worship with us May 20th. You will find that nobody will talk about Whitman as a spiritual leader, but as Robertson wrote, “ . . . that all expressed a deep personal connection to his poetry.”


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A Book Review Gets My Attention   2 comments

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