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Archive for July, 2012

‘Detroit Art City’ in the news on the PBS NewsHour (July 25, 2012)

Thursday, July 26th, 2012


“I’m from the city of Detroit. This is an island on its own,” says artist Antonio “Shades” Agee. “We don’t have distractions here.” Growing up first on the city’s east side, then on the west, it was up to Agee to find his own diversions. He knew he wanted to paint, fascinated early on by oils and canvas but frustrated by its “tedious” pace. A classmate showed up one day with a can of spray paint, and he was hooked. “You could create the Mona Lisa in four hours,” he says … More


Philip Levine at Zócalo Public Square in Fresno

Thursday, July 26th, 2012


Zócalo in Fresno
Is Social Isolation a Threat to Democracy?

Photos courtesy Zócalo Public Square

U.S. Poet Laureate Philip Levine talks about social isolation, democracy, and beer drinking on Lake Erie
  © Dalton Runberg


Philip Levine is the outgoing United States poet laureate. Before a conversation in Fresno—where he’s lived and taught for decades—about democracy in America today, he talked about his ugly artificial foot, why he won’t eat sushi, and the pranks he pulled growing up with an identical twin.

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U.S. Poet Laureate Philip Levine thinks that democracy in America today is “unhealthy” and “a wreck.” Yet in a wide-ranging, often raucous conversation with Sacramento Bee editorial page editor Stuart Leavenworth, he also proclaimed himself “sanguine” about America, and in particular about the level of engagement and community in the cities he calls home: Fresno and New York. The question Leavenworth tasked Levine with for the evening—as part of the Zócalo/Cal Humanities “Searching for Democracy Series,” at Frank’s Place in Fresno—was whether the country’s increasing social isolation is a threat to democracy. Yes and no, Levine answered.

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To watch the whole Philip Levine-Stuart Leavenworth conversation, click here

Eye all the Flickr photos right here

Philip Levine reads “Mingus At the Half Note”


CALIBAN ONLINE | Edited by Lawrence R. Smith

Friday, July 20th, 2012


“You taught me language: and my profit on’t
Is, I know how to curse: the red plague rid you,
For learning me your language!”
— Caliban to Prospero
in William Shakespeare’s The Tempest

Check out Al Young’s “Haiti, Haiti, Tortured Lady” and “Signal to Noise” in Calibanonline #8



Friday, July 6th, 2012


  Listen ||| Download MP3 audio
Al Young reads “July Never Lies” at KQED’s
‘The California Report’


“Like a summer with a thousand Julys,
You intoxicate my soul with your eyes”
— Haven Gillespie & J. Fred Coots (“You Go to My Head”)

July will make you lazy,
July will get you high.
Blue-hot with time and endlessness,
July may make you cry.

As cricket-chirps can silence
whole Lodi nights in heat,
the breathy swish-and-hush of tides
cool Point Arena’s beat.

July can grow so dizzying,
you’ll long to get away,
be anyplace but where you are.
A month, a week, today?

The howls of owls at Mono Lake,
remembered in a dream,
leave July’s softest soundprint mute,
untouchable, unseen.

July says: “Hi, I’m only just
one slice of year to yearn.”
The price and cost of outdoor heat
add up, December learns.

July will make you crazy.
How does a year ooze by?
Big hot-sky blues tell Santa Cruz:
July will never lie.

© 2012 Al Young


Mary-Marcia Casoly: A VIS/PO (Visual Poem) FOR AL YOUNG

Monday, July 2nd, 2012


   Mary-Marcia Casoly

Six poems by Mary-Marcia Casoly

  Listen to Blossom Dearie sing her own lovely “Little Jazz Bird”

Blossom Dearie (1926-2009)