Archive for the ‘Poetry Center’ Tag

“Lay down these words . . .”   1 comment

7 Falls (1 of 1)-23 blogBear Canyon Creek, Santa Catalina Mountains — Images by kenne

RIPRAP

Lay down these words 
Before your mind like rocks. 
                     place solid, by hands
In choice of place, set
Before the body of the mind
                     in space and time:
Solidity of bark, leaf, or wall
                     riprap of things:
Cobble of milky way,
                    straying planets
These poems, people,
                     lost ponies with
Dragging saddles
                    and rocky sure-foot trails.
The worlds like endless
                   four-dimensional
Game of Go.
                   ants and pebbles
in the thin loam, each rock a word
                   a creek-washed stone
Granite: ingrained
                     with torment of fire and weight
Crystal and sediment linked hot 
                     all change, in thoughts,
As well as things.

— Gary Snyder

Snyder, Tucson Festival, Garage Gallery

Gary Snyder at the University of Arizona Poetry Center, 2010

“HealthCare” — ” But, No On Cares” from Carmen Tafolla’s Poem, “HeathCare, The Sign Says”   1 comment

Carmen Tafolla Collage blogCarmen Tafolla — Images by kenne

It was a little over six years ago that I first met Carmen Tafolla. She was the March 2007, guest reader at Montgomery College’s (now Lone Star College – Montgomery) “Writer’s In Performance” series. I was impressed!

Carmen, a native of the West-Side barrios of San Antonio, Texas is an excellent writer, but first and foremost a storyteller. Often her readings include taking on the persona of the person in the poem, as shown in two of the photos in the above collage (older women and a child). Carmen is very inspirational — she touches your heart.

As a storyteller, Carmen follows the instruction from a historian, which she writes about in the poem, “The Storykeeper:”

Ask the whispers, she whispers,
breathed out in unguarded moments,
when the soul is too worn down to hurt more,
in the numbness of the night,
when the father wrestles with the unwritten history,
pleading to save it, speak it, bury it,
staring at the pluma across the room,
avoiding the paper.

from the poem “The Storykeeper” in the book of poems, Sonnets and Salsa

Even though I like to think I’m relatively up to date with the southwest literary world, I was surprised to learn yesterday that last March 2012, San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro appointed Carmen Tafolla as the inaugural poet laureate — an honor well deserved.

The University of Arizona houses one of the best-known centers of poetry, “Poetry Center,” in the country; yet after doing a site search, I learned that Carmen Tafolla has never read there, which I difficult hard to believe — wondering out loud (in print), WHY! The Poetry Center should invite this unique Southwestern voice to read in Tucson.

We do know that many in Tucson are aware of Carmen Tafolla, since one of her books, “Curandera” was banned  Tucson Unified School District’s unprecedented censorship and massive removal of Latino and Mexican American literature and texts from its classroom. As a result, and in honor of the book’s 30th anniversary, Wings Press reissued a special “Banned in Arizona!” edition, of “Curandera.”

kenne

(The title of this posting, “HealthCare” — ” But, No One Cares” is a line from Carmen Tafolla’s poem, “HealthCare” the sign says.)

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

kenne


Capturing the Word — Gary Snyder   2 comments

Image by kenne

Hawks Circle

People want to know,
Why Tucson?

With so many roots tied
to the star,
deep and connected,
why turn a back
To comfort?
To convince?
To culture?
Reasons abound
answers diverse,
yet similar.
Some old,
some recently learned.
More often than not
my answer is earthy,
yet ethereal.
Of another world,
yet of one world.
Answers giving birth
as hawks circle
riding the currents
above the foothills
gawking the ground
providing a Gary Snyder image
clear of mind
having no meaning, “but that
which sees is truly seen.”

— kenne

One of my favorite poets, Gary Snyder will be reading at the University of Arizona Poetry Center, October 7th. Lawrence Ferlinghetti has called Snyder, “the Thoreau of the Beat Generation.” He  is a political, cultural, and environmental activist with superb writing skills, which allow him to effectively connect with the reader and listener in a very basic way. Here’s an example:

After Work

The shack and a few trees
float in the blowing fog

I pull out your blouse,
warm my cold hands
on your breasts.
you laugh and shudder
peeling garlic by the
hot iron stove.
bring in the axe, the rake,
the wood

we’ll lean on the wall
against each other
stew simmering on the fire
as it grows dark
drinking wine.

— Gary Snyder

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