Archive for the ‘Montgomery County Literary Arts Council’ Tag

The Great Horned Owl   3 comments

Great Horned Owl — Image by kenne


Wait; the great horned owls
Calling from the wood’s edge; listen.
           There: the dark male, low
And booming, tremoring the whole valley.
           There: the female, resolving, answering
High and clear, restoring silence.
           The chilly woods draw in
Their breath, slow, waiting, and now both
           Sound out together, close to harmony.

           These are the year’s worst nights.
Ice glazed on the top boughs,
           Old snow deep on the ground,
Snow in the red-tailed hawks’
           Nests they take for their own.
Nothing crosses the crusted ground.
           No squirrels, no rabbits, the mice gone,
No crow has young yet they can steal.
           These nights the iron air clangs
Like the gates of a cell block, blank
           And black as the inside of your chest.

           Now, the great owls take
The air, the male’s calls take
           Depth on and resonance, they take
A rough nest, take their mate
           And, opening out long wings, take
Flight, unguided and apart, to caliper
           The blind synapse their voices cross
Over the dead white fields,
           The dead black woods, where they take
Soundings on nothing fast, take
           Soundings on each other, each alone.

— W.D. Snodgrass

Kenne and W.D. Snodgrass (1999) — Montgomery College Writers In Performance Series

Paul D. Ruffin (May 14, 1941 – April 13, 2016)   2 comments

.Paul Ruffin (1 of 1)_blogFormer Texas Poet Laureate, Paul D. Ruffin — May 31, 2007 Image by kenne

Writer, educator and editor, Paul D. Ruffin was born May 14, 1941, in Millport, AL. It is with sadness that I learned that Paul past away at 2:00 am yesterday (April 13, 2016) only hours after attending a gathering of poets in east Texas. 

“I’m a Renaissance man,” Paul Ruffin told Jeannie Kever, the Chronicle reporter whose article, “Well-Versed in Creativity,” on Ruffin appeared June 6, 2009. His impact on the Texas literary world will forever be lasting. 

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.



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


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.

Body and Soul — A Poem By Rich Levy, Revisited   6 comments

Rich LevyLone Star College – Montgomery Library, Writers In Performance Series. — Images and video by kenne

Rich LevySeptember 17, 2009, poet Rich Levy was the presenter at the first fall 2009 Writers In Performance at Lone Star College – Montgomery. As I had done for about a year, I recorded his reading, which took place in the college library. Levy earned his MFA at the Iowa Writers Workshop and has been the executive director of Inprint, a nonprofit literary arts organization in Houston, Texas, since 1995.

Several of the poem he read were from his 2009 book of poems, “Why Me?” One of the poems that impressed me was titled, “Body and Soul” after Coleman Hawkins’ recording — “. . . the hurling way in which their talk moves, the way his nostrils flare as he tries with an occasional false shyness to avert his glance makes me think of Coleman Hawkins’ 1939 recording of Body and Soul, the one that took the world’s breath away, . . .  “

This is poetry that possesses the feelings that makes Blues and Jazz the most human of all music, therefore existential.


(I first posted the video September 19, 2009.)

The Capture Of Mr. Moon   2 comments

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.

— from W.D.’s Midnight Carnival by W.D. Snodgrass

Snodgrass 1999-5 w - kenne blog

“. . . for kenne turner with assorted extravagances”
W.D. Snodgrass (1993)

Conversations  Lost

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

— kenne 

MCLAC — Last Gathering for the Summer   1 comment

Kenne, Cliff, Dianne, Dick and George — image by Joy

Dianne and Kuyk Logan hosted a gathering of Montgomery Country Literary Arts Council members before everyone hits the road for summer — Cliff off to Japan; George off to Jackson Hole; Paula off to the ; Dianne off to San Fransisco; Kenne off to Tucson; and others, places unknown. It was an enjoyable gathering in Dianne and Kuyk’s beautiful new home. HAVE A GREAT SUMMER!


(photo set)

Wendy Barker – “Nothing Between Us”   3 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, about 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 why 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 almost 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

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