Archive for the ‘MCLAC’ Tag

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.

Edward Hirsch — “Green Couch”   1 comment

Ed Hirsch & Yard Photos  9008-collage blogEdward Hirsch Reading at Lone Star College – Montgomery, Writers In Performance Series (April, 2010) — Images and Video by kenne


GREEN COUCH

by Edward Hirsch

That was the year I left behind my marriage
of twenty-eight years, my faded philosophy books, and
the green couch I had inherited from my grandmother.

After she died, I drove it across the country
and carried it up three flights of crooked stairs
to a tiny apartment in west Philadelphia,

Ed Hirsch & Yard Photos  9007 sq blogand stored it in my in-laws’ basement in Bethesda,
and left it to molder in our garage in Detroit
(my friend Dennis rescued it for his living room),

and moved it to a second-floor study in Houston
and a fifth-floor apartment on the Upper West Side
where it will now be carted away to the dump.

All my difficult reading took place on that couch,
which was turning back into the color of nature
while I grappled with ethics and the law,

the reasons for Reason, Being and Nothingness,
existential dread and the death of God
(I’m still angry at Him for no longer existing).

That was the year that I finally mourned
for my two dead fathers, my sole marriage,
and the electric green couch of my past.

Darlings, I remember everything.
But now I try to speak the language of
the unconscious and study earth for secrets.

I go back and forth to work.
I walk in the botanical gardens on weekends
and take a narrow green path to the clearing.

The Capture Of Mr. Moon   Leave a comment

The Capture Of Mr Moon blog

The Capture of Mr. Moon — Image by Deloss McGraw

The Capture of Mr. Moon

Rocked back on his backside, not yet risen.
It’s Mr. Moon – like a thin nail paring
Or sweet slice of some pale, blue melon —
Hauled in the tumbril, his four-wheeled prison.

We jostle the curbsides as if we were starting
At a president or some famous felon.

Like moonvines outreaching your porch’s trellis
Or tall man in a child’s brass bed, he lies
With his tip and toes poked through the bars.
Not, though the snatch at us, not to repel us.
His thoughts have turned. His eyes
Glozed to mirror the farthest stars.

Reflect on himself: blue shut-in
Cool to all suns utter his drowsy ban
This cage that couldn’t even begin
To hold, shuts us outside,
Excluded from the Moon in Man.

W.D. Snodgrass, from W.D.’s Midnight Carnival — W.D. Snodgrass/DeLoss McGraw

Snodgrass 1999-5 w - kenne blog

“. . . for

kenne turner with assorted extravagances”

W.D. Snodgrass (1993)

Conversations  Lost

Conversations
from the past
lost
in the images
of memories
amassed
only to return
on the backs
of death
resurrected
by poets
serving only
to introduce
images
of what was
like water
returning
from a fountain’s
reservoir
only
to be reborn
again
and again
and again

kenne (first written in the following related article)

Capturing the Moment — Cheers to Dave Parsons   4 comments

Image by kenne

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

“Why I Hate Telling People I Teach English”   2 comments

Wendy Barker & Emily BirthdayWendy Barker — Image and Video by kenne

“Why I Hate Telling People I Teach English,” is a new poem by Wendy Barker. I love this poem! But I feel obliged to point out that the nice thing about being able to answer the question, “What do you do for a living?” with “I teach English,” is not having to explain what it is you do after answering the question. I’ve had jobs that would generate a follow-up question, “So, what’s that?”, which directs the conversation into my answering a question that was not asked with the intention of getting an answer – it’s just “small talk.” It’s the small talk that gets to us, which is why most people should find Wendy’s poem entertaining as well as being very good prose poetry.

kenne

Posted December 13, 2009 by kenneturner in MCLAC, Poetry, video

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Wendy Barker – “Nothing Between Us”   2 comments

Wendy Barker , Writers In Performance Series Appearances -by kenne

“We missed you,” I said as we began the drive from the airport.

“It was like missing a major family reunion,” she replied, in reference to her not attending last year’s annual celebration of Emily Dickinson’s birthday. Not having Wendy at our annual party was like not having a birthday cake.

As we talked, we tried to remember how many years she has been a part of the Emily Dickinson panel discussion and the poetry reading at the Corner Pub – most of this decade, we agreed. The conversation continued at a pace driven by so much to share in so little time, as if we could make up for time lost.

One might conclude that making up for time lost was the reason Wendy was arriving the day before the annual Emily Dickinson birthday celebration. to read her own poetry that evening. Even though she had become synonymous with the Writers In Performance Series, Wendy had never read strictly from her own poetry, which was about to change that evening. Now it was going to be Wendy’s turn to do Wendy and not Emily.

On the evening of her solo series performance, Wendy read primarily from her most recent work, Nothing Between Us – The Berkeley Years, a  novel in prose poetry published by Del Sol Press. The book focuses on the late sixties, a period of time that was both explosive and exciting in our culture’s history. Before reading from the book, Wendy provided a synopsis of the times, which set the stage for her beautifully penetrating prose poems.

So impressed with her outline of the sixties, the video I have prepared contains a précis of her preface to the reading, and the prose poem, “Teaching Uncle Tom’s Children.”

One of my joys over the years of being involved in the Writers In Performance Series has been photographing most all the series, which includes numerous Wendy images. With each, I have tried to capture the essence of this talented writer – not an easy task since so much of her work is made more elegant with the combination of skill, ease and grace of her spoken word. Hopefully this video will allow you to experience the essence of her elegance.

kenne

Texas Poetry Shoot-Out   1 comment

Texas Poetry Shoot-out Framed blog

When one thinks of a “shoot-out”, one may assume a gunfight between armed groups; or a “High Noon” gunfight between the good guy and the bad guy – a duel.  What if the dual doesn’t involve guns, but rather a clash of skills like in, Dueling Banjos or a debate – a duel of words? You would think a “poetry shoot-out” would be a duel of words, which it could be, like in “The Dueling Poets” on the web. Although the concept might be one Good Books In The Woods may want to showcase in the future, this shoot-out was more to showcase the poetry of two friends (Paul Ruffin and Dave Parsons), each a poet laureate, each from Montgomery County.

Regardless of the format, when Dave and Paul read together, it can be a memorable evening, and this evening was not exception. (See photo set.)

kenne

(The viewer may want to chick on the YouTube logo to watch it on the YouTube site.)

Emily Dickinson Birthday Celebration   1 comment

emily-mirror-ii-web1

HEAR! HEAR! IT’S THAT TIME OF YEAR!

Enigma, mystery, paradox are just a few of the frequently used words in describing Emily Dickinson.  In the 122 years since her death, scholars, students and fans continue to analyze both the person and her poetry.  To help in this endeavor, the Montgomery County Literary Arts Council continues its annual panel discussion and birthday party.  This year’s dual event will be December 4th.  Click here to learn more.

kenne

Posted November 29, 2008 by kenneturner in Information, Poetry

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