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Archive for July, 2010


Monday, July 12th, 2010


FIRST-EVER Poetry Contest at Beyond Baroque!

ContestIllustration_2 © Emily Winters

The cherished heart of L.A.’s poetry community is conducting its first-ever poetry contest. All poets of our region [California poets only] will benefit from boosting Beyond Baroque at a time of urgent financial need. Winners will further benefit from cash prizes and the reading/reception held in their honor. There can be no losers.

Prizes: $500, $250, $100

Final Judge: Tony Barnstone (Professor at Whittier College, NEA Fellow, Pushcart Prize winner)


1. Submit up to three unpublished poems, 40-line limit.

2. All themes and styles welcome.

3. Deadline September 1, 2010 (postmarked)

4. No ID on poems. Cover sheet must include poet’s name, address, phone, e-mail address and poem titles.

5. Send entries, including $15 reading fee, to:

Beyond Baroque Contest
681 Venice Blvd.
Venice, CA 90291

Checks payable to Beyond Baroque 7. No SASE [stamped, self-addressed envelopes]. Poems will not be returned.

Note: A reading/reception will be held for the three cash winners and five top finalists at Beyond Baroque on Sunday, October 17, 2010.


Mary Armstrong
Marjorie Becker
Nels Christenson
Conflux Press
Bill Hickok & Gloria Vando
Sherman Pearl
Ellen & Herb Reich
Carol Stagers
Lynne Thompson


P1100964-for website INDEX

Beyond Baroque is one of the United States’ leading independent Literary/Arts Centers and public spaces dedicated to literary and cultural production, contact, interaction, and community building. Founded in 1968, it is based in the Old Town Hall in Venice, California, near the Pacific Ocean. It offers a program of readings, free workshops, publishing, bookstore, archiving, and education.

The Center launched its own imprint, Beyond Baroque Books, in 1998, dedicated to emerging, overlooked, out of print, and experimental writing, as well as the history and legacy of experimental and alternative writing, poetry, and the arts in Los Angeles.

Call 310.822.3006 for more information.



Thursday, July 8th, 2010


Button-Play-32x32 View live courtroom reaction to the verdict

bart shoot ish on bart
Button-Play-32x32Ishmael Reed in 2009 on the fatal BART shooting

Officer Found Guilty in Deadly BART Shooting

4:58 PM PDT, July 8, 2010

LOS ANGELES — A former transit officers has been convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the shooting death of an unarmed black man on an Oakland train platform.Johannes Mehserle was found guilty on Thursday in the New Year’s Day 2009 killing of 22-year-old Oscar Grant.

Involuntary manslaughter carries a sentence of two to four years.

To read the rest of this dispatch, go to the KTLA original

Thursday, July 2, 2010
© 2010 Bay City News

Closing Arguments Conclude in Oscar Grant Murder Trial, Jurors Might Begin Deliberations This Afternoon


Prosecutor David Stein and defense attorney Michael Rains completed their closing arguments today in the trial of former BART police Officer Johannes Mehserle on a murder charge for the fatal shooting of unarmed passenger Oscar Grant III.

A Los Angeles County Superior Court spokeswoman said Judge Robert Perry began giving jurors legal instructions before their lunch break and will continue giving instructions when they come back to court.The spokeswoman said deliberations in the closely-watched trial could begin later today, depending on how long it takes Perry to complete presenting the instructions. Jurors are scheduled to leave at 4 p.m. today and come back to court at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday.

>>> Read the whole story at >>>

oscar grant-thumb-150x225 Photo via Flickr | Thomas Hawk

The Shooting Death of Oscar Grant: What You Need to Know

By Tom Head | Guide


Photo courtesy of KTVU


Oscar Grant III and daughter


220px-Mehserle-mugshot Police mugshot

Johannes Mehserle, the ex-BART police officer who shot and killed Oscar Grant III on New Year’s Day 2009

Button-Play-32x32 010609-bart-shooting_448x336 KNTV Videos

Lori Preuitt: The Wait Is Over, Mehserle Trial Begins This Week

© 2010
June 7, 2010

Go to the original

The highly anticipated and long awaited trial of a former BART police officer accused of killing an unarmed passenger on New Year’s Eve night a year and a half ago is scheduled to begin late this week in Los Angeles.

Last week, hundreds of potential jurors reported to court for hours and hours of screening to see if they would make the cut and sit on the jury.

The timing appears to be on track for opening statements to begin this Thursday.

>>> MORE >>>

Julianne Hing: Oscar Grant Murder Trial Kicks Off in L.A.

© 2010 Racewire ~ The Colorlines Blog
June 1, 2010
Go to the original

It’s been exactly a year and a half since Oscar Grant was shot in the back while he lay face down on a train platform by former BART cop Johannes Mehserle. Today, Mehserle faces his last pre-trial hearing before his trial gets underway with jury selection this week.Mehserle’s been charged with second-degree murder and has pleaded not guilty. Michael Rains, Mehserle’s attorney, is expected to make the claim that Mehserle mistakenly pulled out his gun when he meant to reach for his Taser when he shot Grant on New Year’s Day 2009.

>>> MORE >>>


Button-Play-32x32 grantbartvideo

The full Karina Vargas video & interview


Karina Vargas Youth Radio© Youth Radio

Karina Vargas on Oscar Grant coverage of the Oscar Grant III murder



Thursday, July 8th, 2010



(top) Still from the USSR film Solaris (1972); directed by Andrei Tarkovsky
(bottom) Don Quijote y Sancho Panza image courtesy el blog de LeeTamargo


“Science — nonsense! We don’t want to conquer space at all; we want to expand earth endlessly. We don’t want other worlds; we want a mirror.”
— Dialogue spoken by Snouth in the Soviet film, Solaris (based on the novel by Stanislaw Lem)

Explore earth evidently, rock by rock, root by root,
inch by inch, hair by hair, pixel by pixel, tock by tock.
There was a way once to get back; not to get even,
but to reach home without leaving the body.
Imagine the unsounded but fully heard voice
that clumps up within you, that fluffs into a hunch,
silver every time. If intimacy lit up like this,
all holiness could be speared and stuffed and mounted.
Thank God for invisibility, for the untraceable
trails we sink in, marking our journeys in electrical ink
upon mental score paper that reads us perfectly.
That thoughts are things is all the faith we need.
To think pure beauty, have it turn up in your arms
or at your feet or on your bourgeois walls means
business. To slow time down until the space between
moments stretches beyond the hours means eternity.
Unworldly gospel people who lean into the clouds
look for that uncloudy day. To others, matter matters,
nothing else, and business is business. Explore?

— Al Young

from The Sound of Dreams Remembered
© 2001 and 2006 by Al Young


THE PLACE THAT INHABITS US: Poems of the San Francisco Bay Watershed

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010


flashdiesel dieselneon

SUNDAY, JULY 11, 3:00
Poetry Flash
at DIESEL, A Bookstore

the place that inhabits us cvr
© Tom Killion
| The Golden Gate from Grizzly Peak

Contributors reading for
The Place That Inhabits Us:
Poems of the San Francisco Bay Watershed



DIESEL, A BOOKSTORE, 5433 College Avenue, Oakland, near Rockridge BART | 510.653.9965


geovideo_icon Button-Play-32x32 Diesel’s cool literary video

The Place That Inhabits Us: Poems of the San Francisco Bay Watershed is an anthology put together by Sixteen Rivers Press relating to our wide watershed, the poets gathered together in a wide-cast net, poets living and dead, famous and much less so, some living here, some from other countries. The poems came half and half from a national call for submissions and from a pool of poems nominated by members of the Sixteen Rivers collective.

In his generous foreword Robert Hass says: “At a certain moment, a group of early-twenty-first-century poets made a selection of poems about the place that mattered to them, so that this book is about the experience of place—and about being given the remembered expression of the experience of place by others who have lived here. And that begins to be a culture.”

This beautifully designed and edited anthology celebrates and represents the life of poetry in northern California.

Pamela Biery: “Poems About Home” ~ Sacramento News review of The Place That Inhabits Us

°Poetry Flash°

°Diesel Bookstore°

°Sixteen Rivers Press°






Saturday, July 3rd, 2010
© Brett Hall                      © Al Young

Late Summer Night Dreams

Photos: Al Young |
Squaw Valley, Berkeley, Palo Alto, California


© Brett Hall

Al Young and Amy Tan at the annual Community of Writers at Squaw Valley mid-week picnic.

Photos courtesy Peet’s Midtown CafĂ©, Palo Alto, CA

above | Al Young and poet-translator Darlene Reddaway of Stanford’s Slavic Studies meet to go over Russian versions of Al’s poems that Moscow poet Vadim Mesyats is translating for a three-city conference. Invited by the Moscow Academy of Sciences to tour Helsinki, St. Petersburg and Moscow in mid-September with Russian and other American poets (Michael Palmer among them), Al has opted to video-confer from California. below | Darlene patiently teaches Al the WebEx moves.

Click to enlarge

Official invitation/travel visa issued to Al Young after the Moscow Academy of Sciences invited him to attend a September 2010 poetry and literature conference in the Russian Federation.


CĂ©sar Chavezgrapeslettuce-garden

“The fight is never about grapes or lettuce. It is always about people.”
César Chávez (1927-1993)


joe gouldlil joe gould

left | Screen actor Ian Holm as Greenwich Village poet-bohemian Joe Gould in Stanley Tucci’s Joe Gould’s Secret (2000); right | Joe Gould himself

“In winter I’m a Buddhist;
In summer I’m a nudist.”

— Little Joe Gould (1891-1957)



P1020157 © Al Young

Aloe California [hybrid], 2010

P1020146 © Al Young

Sweet Basil and beyond

P1020135© Al Young

Gini’s flower



© Al Young

Summerless young tomatoes


© Al Young

Ed and Helen’s “orchid time”


P1020126 © Maria Syndicus

Michael Young and Dad | Palo Alto, July 2010


P1020228 Lake Merritt by Al Young


above | Poet Joseph Lease photographed by Al Young
below | Al Young and Joseph Lease — who both teach at California College of the Arts’ MFA Writing Program, San Francisco — meet over coffee at Farley’s East near Lake Merritt, Oakland, August 2010
photographed by Solomon Pope


P1020192 © Al Young

Legendary Sons of Champlin guitarist Terry Haggerty and vocalist Danielle Thys perform “Ten Cents a Dance” with the Randy Craig Trio + One at Caffè Trieste, Berkeley, CA

P1020210 © Robin Haight

Facebook pals Danielle Thys and Al meet face to face in real-time for the first time at Caffè Trieste.


37711_1499837783291_1454556099_1352315_3927460_n © Safi wa Nairobi

Writers Marvin X, Tennessee Reed, Conyus, and Al Young | Koret Auditorium, San Francisco, July 2010


P1020165 Al Young

Following an onstage conversation with producer Justin Desmangles at the San Francisco Library’s Koret Auditorium, the tireless Ishmael Reed signs copies of Barack Obama and the Jim Crow Media; just published in MontrĂ©al, QuĂ©bec by Baraka Books.

37711_1499837863293_1454556099_1352317_6940253_n © Tennessee Reed


(L-R) Painters Dewey Crumpler and Arthur Monroe; writers Ishmael Reed, Conyus, Marvin X, Al Young

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Al Young

Poet Conyus and broadcast journalist, producer and visual artist Safi wa Nairobi

P1020184 Al Young

Safi wa Nairobi and master painter Arthur Monroe at El ZĂłcalo, Mission District, San Francisco


P1020158 Al Young
P1020214 Photo courtesy La Note Restaurant

For their annual get-together, Al poses again with two luminous former students he taught at UC Santa Cruz and San José State University respectively: Persis Karim (left) and Kate Evans (right), the both of them now prolific writers and treasured professors at San José State.


dieselneonthe-place-that-inhabits-us-cvr Clickable

AY at Diesel by Ehret Photo: Terry Ehret

Al Young delivers Kenneth Rexroth’s “Time Spirals” and his own “For Kenneth and Miriam Patchen” at Diesel Books, Oakland, to celebrate publication of The Place That Inhabits Us: Poems of the San Francisco Bay Watershed (Sixteen Rivers Press) | July 2010

P1020114Photo: Sharon Coleman

Writers Ellen Weiss and Jackie Huss Hallerberg suspend their bookstore conversation with Al to huddle for a shot.

P1020115 © Al Young

Host Richard Silberg of Poetry Flash and editor-writing teacher Sharon Coleman stare into Al’s friendly lens while poet Jackie Huss Hallerberg politely steps aside.

Richard Silberg reads his poem “Sunset” at Diesel Books, 11 July 2010


Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute 2010

sunrise quartz mt © Al Young

Sun rising over Lake Altus-Lugert at Quartz Mountain, Oklahoma


OSAI Wkshp B&Wjpg Photo © Jill Enfield

OSAI [Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute] Creative Writing Class 2010

Front row, L-R ~ Alison Liu, Kathy Zhou, Katie Duncan, Brooke Bolding, Erin Miller

Second row ~

Mary Alexa Woodard (bending), Renae Perry, Hannah Erb, Kailee Bird West

Back row ~

Al Young, Arthur Dixon, Elizabeth Sholar, Olivia Leigh Branscum, Claire Winfrey, Ross Haley, Margaux Griffith

Oklahoma Workdshop in Action 2010

The 2010 OSAI writing workshop in action at Beverly Badger Memorial Library, where poems and prose-poems were composed on the spot. Student laptops were rigged to block internet access.

Workshop photos © Brooke Bolding

OSAI summer workshop student Elizabeth Sholar test-reads one poem out loud.

Al's Oklahoma Summer Arts Poetry WkshpConnor Choate201006262579

Photos: Connor Choates

Two versions of how to look preternaturally cool (or altogether vanish) in 100°F heat on a typical June afternoon at Oklahoma’s Quartz Mountain.


Front row, L-R ~ Alison Liu, Erin Miller, Kathy Zhou, Katie Duncan, Renae Perry

Second row ~ Kailee Bird West, Hannah Erb (leaning), Al Young, Olivia Branscum

Far back row ~ Ross Haley, Claire Winfrey, Mary Alexa Woodard, Elizabeth Sholar, Arthur Dixon

P1020041 © Mary Woodard

Al & Margaux at Mangnum

Photo: PC Mack

During a much-needed workshop excursion by bus to nearby Mangum, Oklahoma, Al Young and Creative Writing liaison Margaux Griffith relax outside the Old Greer County Museum & Hall of Fame.

HallofFame1 Courtesy Old Greer County Museum & Hall of Fame


The Gospel Station

Franklin Hotel ext

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Coming across a stash of American flags as the class explores Mangum’s long abandoned Franklin Hotel, Hannah Erb, Kailee Bird West and Margaux Griffith note Oklahoma’s devoted patriotism.


Kathy Zhou and Katie Duncan (below) are off to look at Mangum while Hannah Erb, Olivia Branscum, and the rest of us look around the ruined hotel.


Photos: Al Young




(top) Trombone instructor Wesley Broadnax, PR assistant Joy Kotey, Al
(bottom) Acting instructor Vincent Dowling, Ballet instructor Giana Jigarhan, Al

P1020093 Photo: O.O. Gabugah

Al Young in after-hours party mode

P1020108 Al Young

Violin instructor Misha Galagnov, French horn instructor Charles Gavin, trombonist Wesley Broadnax, Orchestra instructor Chrisian Knapp, Choral liaison Christine Hrubik, Modern Dance liaison Kristie Schaffner, Creative Writing liaison Margaux Griffith — snapped at the close of a morning staff meeting at Sunset CafĂ©.


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