Archive for the ‘MCLAC’ Category

Walt Whitman’s Birthday Party, May 1, 2008 — Revisited   2 comments

 

Last night the Montgomery County Literary Arts Council held its annual Walt Whitman Birthday Party Celebration. Having been part of the first Writers in Performance series Whitman Celebration, to say I miss not being there would be an understatement. So, I’ve gone back to my archives to share the celebration from ten years ago.

— kenne

Whitman’s Birthday Party Comes Early This Year (May 1, 2008)

What started with only a hand-full of people gathering at Barnes & Nobel bookstore each May 30th to read their favorite Walt Whitman poems and share a birthday cake, has now evolved into notably “the” Whitman birthday party. Yet many in our community who love Whitman’s poetry would not expect the Montgomery campus of Lone Star College and a small group of Parsons disciples, (the Montgomery County Literary Arts Council) to attract a notable list of Whitman experts and Houston area poets to present a symposium/birthday party on Whitman’s work and the man. Therefore, I was not surprised when after receiving information (Walt Whitman, 2008 Panel) sent to a friend on the May 1st event would reply, “. . . I’m impressed! You have people who were

Walt Whitman
Dave Parsons

part of the April 14th PBS American Experience on Walt Whitman — right here in

 Montgomery County, Texas? But then, if you know Dave Parsons, “Why not?”

Dave’s passion for Whitman, and poetry, in general, continue to be the driving force behind this annual event. So, no wonder this year’s party was unquestionably the best. As has been the practice the last few years, the event begins in the afternoon on the Lone Star College campus with a panel presentation and discussion, followed in the evening with the birthday party celebrating his poetry. This year the party took place at Cornelli’s Villa Italia restaurant on the square in Conroe. Continuing the tradition, over twenty published poets, creative writing professors and community literary leaders read their favorite Walt Whitman poems. Additionally, this year Dave arranged for the performance of Whitman’s favorite Opera selections. 

For the first time, to coordinate the event timing with the spring schedule, presenters, and the party location, the party event was moved ahead by almost a month. Although some may question moving the party to Cornelli’s Villa Italia from the Corner Pub, just down the street, all would agree, Walt would be at home at either location.

kenne

(Courier Article — whitmanpartyarticle)

See more photos here.

Capturing The Moment — First Saguaro Blossom This Spring   Leave a comment

Saguaro Blossom (1 of 1)-2 blogSaguaro Blossom, Spotted on the Seven Falls hike today — Image by kenne

Like so many plants this year, this saguaro is blooming very early. Generally, saguaros bloom in late may and June.

kenne

Above The Sabino Creek Dam   2 comments

Panning (1 of 1)-6 blog framedView Above the Sabino Creek Dam — Image by kenne

Not so the evening primroses . . .   2 comments

Kickback Rock 07-30-12Cutleaf Evening Primrose — Image by kenne

Full
by Wendy Barker

Light splotches on the bed,
mesmerizing the morning.
Why rise from this dazzle?

But outside the kitchen door,
the first time in years, flickering
in the pittosporum’s froth, a dozen

dozen Monarch butterflies ignite
the green, their white freckled patches
shifting, rapid as a blink, and gone.

Not so the evening primroses
that open as the light is leaving
and remains even as the moon lifts

from the trees, even as you sit
steady above your book, until
you rise, and bring me your hands.

(Windy Barker is a poet and critic, and teaches literature at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Windy has been involved in several “Writer’s In Performance” events over the years.)

Decorating Creosote Bushes At Christmas   5 comments

Christmas 2012

Images by kenne

Driving old Route 66 in the foothills of the Black Mountains near Oatman, Arizona, we noticed one of the ever-present Creosote bushes along the edge of the highway was decorated. Figuring this had to be a photo opt, I stopped to capture the moment.

Continuing our drive to Oatman, we saw another decorated Creosote bush: then another and another. I have since learn that this is a Christmas tradition — children decorating the bushes along Route 66 outside of Oatman.

kenne

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We Received A Holiday Card Today, The Old Fashion Way   1 comment


We received this card today from our dear friends, Kuyk and Dianne Logan in The Woodlands, Texas — the old fashion way! Not only did it come through the postal service, but the card was printed on Kuyk’s 1902 Chandler & Price letterpress printer. Some people collect stamps, he collects printing supplies. Kuyk, retired Houston Post managing editor, loves spending time in his workshop, which he calls “Prints Charming Ink.”

Tucked in this year’s card was a bookmark, Letterpress Bookmark* — the asterisk notes: “Not compatible with e-reader formats.”

The Dickenson reference on the card is to the annual Emily Dickenson birthday celebration organized by the Montgomery County Literary Arts Council (MCLAC), which Joy and I have missed the last couple of years since we moved to Tucson. We hope to get together with Kuyk and Dianne the next time we are in the Houston area. We miss all out MCLAC friends.

kenne

Yesterday Was Emily’s Birthday   4 comments

Emily’s Wall at The Corner Pub — Image by kenne

Last week the Montgomery Country Literary Arts Council had another one of their annual Emily Dickinson Birthday Celebrations and for two years I have missed this celebrated annual event. So, I have selected a few photos from past celebrations to share in my online celebration of Emily’s birthday. Long live the celebration!

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Images by kenne

Posted December 11, 2011 by kenneturner in Art, Education, Friends, Information, MCLAC, Photography, Poetry

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“Beat Poets, not beat poets”   1 comment

Visitors to this blog site know that I often use the title-lead, “Capturing the Moment.” I also use the title-lead, “Capturing the Word,” but have been neglectful in using this lead-in of late. Last July 9th, I posted, “Capturing the Word — Robert Hass.” For the most part, the “Capture the Word” series was my way of featuring writers that had presented at the “Writers In Performance” series, at Lone Star College – Montgomery, over the years. The series, started by my friend Dave Parsons (Texas State Poet Laureate, 2011) and under the guidance of the Montgomery County Literary Arts Council (MCLAC), has attracted many outstanding writers, including Poet Laureate of the United States, Robert Hass and his wife, Brenda Hillman. They appeared in the early day’s of the series, March 10, 1996, which was only three years after the series began. (The series is still going strong, with the next event being the 19th Annual Emily Dickinson Birthday Celebration with Nationally acclaimed Dickinson scholar, author and educator, Brenda Wineapple, who will discuss her book, White Heat: The Friendship of Emily Dickinson and Thomas Wentworth Higginson — and as always the “Gathering of Poets” at Conroe’s Corner Pub.)

Robert Hass is one of contemporary poetry’s most celebrated and widely read voices, so I was surprised to read of his being clubbed recently during an Occupy Wall Street protest in Berkley, California. Hass and his wife had gone on campus to see what was happening and how the police and students were behaving. “If there was trouble, we wanted to do what we could to protect the students,” Hass wrote in today’s New York Times — “Poet-Bashing Police.” Trying to protect Brenda, after a cop shoved her to the ground, Hass was clubbed. Click here to read the opinion piece.

“There are moments when the body is as numinous
as words, days that are the good flesh continuing.
Such tenderness, those afternoons and evenings,
saying blackberry, blackberry, blackberry.”

— from MEDITATIONS AT LAGUNITAS by Robert Hass

kenne

Montgomery County Literary Arts Council (MCLAC), 1996 post-card flyer — Scanned Image

Capturing the Word — Christmas Eve Alone   1 comment

Image by kenne

The original photo was taken at the Corner Pub in Conroe, Texas during the Christmas season. It was a merry time, but this image of one of the band members out of Austin, on his cell phone gave a different image.

Christmas Eve Alone

In the shadows of street lights
Outside the courthouse walls
Mused as they access the night

Leaning against the door’s edge
Not sure if I should go in
Or stay out and take the pledge

Gazing into the dark pub
Not penetrating the door
Peppered with eyes in the club

My shadow touching each eye
Knowing only my dark image
Masked in a fear of reply

So, lonely are the shadows
Confined by all nearby objects
Blurring in with all that glows

kenne

Ruffin & Parsons Texas Poetry Shoot-Out — Revisited   Leave a comment

Now that Montgomery County has two Texas poet laureates (Paul Ruffin, 2009 & Dave Parsons, 2011), I share again a video I produced and posted on this blog, August 7, 2009,  of the Texas Poetry Shoot-Out at “Good Books In The Woods,” Spring, Texas.

The event, a poetic shoot-out , paired two Montgomery County poets, good friends and mutual supporters, which carries even more significance now that Parsons has become the most recent poet laureate of Texas. Southeast Texas is the new hub of poetry in Texas.

And on that note. . .

the event Dave Parsons began eighteen years ago, The Annual Walt Whitman Birthday Celebration will be at Lone Star College – Montgomery, is Thursday, May 12th, featuring Pulitzer winner and iconic American author, C. K. Williams. As always, the afternoon campus event will be followed by “The Gathering of Poets,” 7:00 p.m. at the Corner Pub in Conroe.

kenne

Images & video by kenne

Capturing the Moment — Cheers to Dave Parsons   4 comments

Image by kenne

Dave Parsons — Texas Poet Laureate, 2011   Leave a comment

Dave Parsons — Photo-Artistry by kenne

In the June 6, 2009, posting on Paul Ruffin being selected as the Texas poet laureate, I wrote: “As a member of the Montgomery County Literary Arts Council (MCLAC) and close friend of founder, Dave Parsons, it was with mixed emotions that we received the news Paul’s being named the new Texas poet laureate, an honor for which both were finalists.” Although the irony of Dave having nominated Paul can’t go unnoticed, Dave would have it no other way. We are blessed to have both these great writers living in Montgomery County, fast becoming a literary hub.” NOW MONTGOMERY COUNTY HAS TWO TEXAS POET LAUREATES! Yes, I just learned from a Facebook entry posted by Nancy Parsons, Dave’s wife, about this great news. This is indeed a most deserving honor for my dear friend, Dave. CONGRATULATIONS! 

kenne

Susan Bright, R.I.P.   Leave a comment

On the same day the Blues world lost one of its own (Mean Gene Kelton) , I received word that one of the past Writers In Performance Emily Dickinson  panelist, Susan Bright, long time poet / publisher (Plainview Press) succumbed to liver cancer. Susan was author of 19 books of poetry, three of which have been recipients of Austin Book Awards. As editor/publisher of Plain View Press since 1975, she had published 100 books. Her work as a poet, publisher, activist and educator has taken her all over the United States. Montgomery County Literary Arts Council founder, Dave Parsons shared in an email how Susan adored swimming at Barton Springs, “. . . which of course, made her my blood-sister…she was a real force for poets in Texas…here is a poem she wrote which has been published on Facebook as a fitting tribute:”

Mother Fish

The Swimmers,
the real ones
are clear
and emerald
like the water
that pulses
up from the center
of the planet
spinning
and cold.

They
blend with the water
so fast
you don’t see them
except when
they get in
or out–
they are invisible
once they’re
moving.

They dry off
quickly
and go
but the essence
stays with
them,
a glow
just below the surface
of the skin–
emerald light.

~Susan Bright – from “House of the Mother”, Austin Book Award, 1994

kenne

(Click here to view the Susan Bright Memorial Page.)

Image source: earthfamilyalpha.blogspot.com

Emily Dickinson’s Birthday Celebration, 2010   1 comment

Emily Dickinson’s Birthday Celebration at the Corner Pub in Downtown Conroe, TX — Image by kenne

Again this year, poets and commoners will be gathering to share their love for the poetry of Emily Dickinson. There will be two events tomorrow, December 16, 2010 — 3:00 p.m. at Lone Star College-Montgomery Library Dickinson Scholar Brenda Wineapple will discuss her book White Heat:  The Friendship of Emily Dickinson and Thomas Wentworth Higginson, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle and a New York Times “Notable Book.”

7:00 p.m. at The Corner Pub on the Square, 302 North Main in Conroe Gathering of Poets celebration readings, book sales and signings, cake cutting and frivolities featuring some of Texas’s finest published poets including:

Paul Christensen, Sarah Cortez, Sybil Estess, DeDe Fox, Carolyn Florek, John Gorman, Lyman Grant, Grady Hillman, Ken Jones, Rich Levy, Jerome Loving, Janet Lowery, Ange Mlinko, Janet McCann, Hallie Moore, Katherine Durham Oldmixon, Dave Parsons, Deseree Probasco, David Rossi, Paul Ruffin, Melissa Studdard, Chuck Taylor, James Ulmer, Randall Watson, Mick Lowell White

I will miss not being able to attend this annual event, which has become a highly respected Lone Star College – Montgomery and Conroe Commission on Arts.

kenne


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.

kenne

Beth Ann Fennelly photo source – Google Images

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