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Archive for the ‘What’s at Stake’ Category

PETER MATTHIESSEN (May 22, 1927 – April 5, 2014) | in memoriam

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014


Top Books by Peter Matthiessen at
WorldNews logo

Matthiessen by Krementz © Jill Krementz


We met when he visited UC Santa Cruz, where I was teaching in the 1980s. Community Studies — an exciting, interdisciplinary work-study program, now defunct — had brought me there to fill in for novelist Carter, who was on sabbatical.  I loved Peter Matthiessen‘s At Play in the Fields of the Lord, Far Tortuga, novels, and Sal Si Puedes: César Chávez and the New American Revolution. Thomas McGuane, when we were late-1960s Stegner Fellows at Stanford, had drawn my attention to Matthiessen’s exquisite writing. I thought of him as a sensitive East Coast mandarin, patrician in upbringing, holistically aware, and hip to how the tiny-minded practices and techniques of Big-Bucks Business were trashing the earth along with hearts and minds. I knew he had co-founded with George Plimpton, among others, the Paris Review, from whose invaluable Writers at Work interview series, I’ve gathered much of the guidance and insight I needed to keep teaching myself to write. Even though I’d grown up in full darkness of the McCarthy Era, I didn’t then know Matthiessen dreamed up the Paris Review as a cover for his CIA spy mission. I did know, though, about Stephen Spender and the CIA money that Encounter, the influential literary journal he edited, accepted CIA funding. The so-called Cold War tarred and tainted artists in every direction. France-based Richard Wright and James Baldwin, it turns out, were no exception. Tall, smooth and cordial, Peter Matthiessen shook my hand and asked: “Are you a friend of Ralph‘s?”
– Al Young


‘Peter Matthiessen, Lyrical Writer and Naturalist, Is Dead at 86′ | Christopher Lehman-Haupt, NY Times |


‘Peter Matthiessen, Founder of Paris Review, Dies at 86′ | Tom Vitale, NPR | April 7, 2014


‘Remembering Peter Matthiessen, Visionary Naturalist and Literary Mentor’ | Alex Shoumatoff | Beacon Broadside,
April 6, 2014


CANARY: A Literary Journal of the Environmental Crisis (Issue #24, Spring 2014)

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014


A Literary Journal of the Environmental Crisis

Canary slice


Editor, Gail Entrekin

Published by Hip Pocket Press
Managing Editor, Charles Entrekin
All work reprinted by permission of authors

“Our Society is like an heir to a fortune who is also an alcoholic. He drinks his way through each day, but he can’t go on forever. There are only three possible outcomes: he’ll drink himself to death, he’ll run out of money, or he’ll sober up.”
– John Elder (from The Sun, June 2013)

Issue Number 24, Spring 2014

Archives: by Issue | by Author Name

© Hip Pocket Press


Poet Luis J. Rodriguez for GOVERNOR OF CALIFORNIA 2014

Thursday, March 6th, 2014


Interview with poet Luis J. Rodríguez

Luis J Rodriguez 2014 Governor

Los Angeles author and activist vies for Governor’s office as Green Party candidate

LOS ANGELES, CA – Nationally renowned author Luis J. Rodriguez has announced his intention in running for California Governor under the Green Party in 2014. The Green Party of California will nominate its June 2014 Gubernatorial candidate this November at its bi-annual statewide General Assembly. As a newly registered Green Party member of California and the 2012 Vice-Presidential Nominee for the Justice Party alongside running-mate and former mayor of Salt Lake City Rocky Anderson, Luis’s plan is for a campaign aimed at the wellbeing of all Californians – for meaningful and livable jobs; education/training into the new digitally driven technology; green, clean and healthy neighborhoods for everyone; and peace and safety through restorative, transformative and healing urban peace models.

“I’m for a vision of a new California – one that takes care of all its hard working residents, including those that now find themselves without work and even homes, and that strives for the long-range sustainability that is possible in the wealthiest and most resourceful state in the country,” says Mr. Rodriguez. “I am inviting all progressives, labor leaders, community organizers, and, of course, regular folk – across the political spectrum – to unite around a broad movement for a California worthy of each of us. We need to make sure everyone is included in the immense possibilities inherent in people’s imaginations, in their labor, in the technology, and with respectful relationship to our bountiful earth.”

Luis J. Rodriguez is author of 15 books in poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and children’s literature. His most well known work, “Always Running, La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A.,” has been called one of the most checked out books in libraries and schools – and perhaps the most stolen. The book has also been named one of the 100 most censored books in the U.S. and was the center of controversy in some California school districts. Yet Luis has received hundreds of letters from youth over the past twenty years addressing how the book inspires and changes young peoples’ lives.

For more than forty years Luis has also worked in gang peace, neighborhood arts, youth development, a labor organizer, a journalist, and in social justice. He has spent 33 years visiting prisons – including Chino, Lancaster, San Quentin, Soledad, and Folsom – and juvenile facilities throughout the state and across the U.S. He has also talked in public and private schools, colleges, universities, libraries, conferences, and urban and rural poor communities. He has 20 years as a Native Mexican/Native American healer working mostly with troubled youth, addicts, formerly incarcerated, battered women, and others.

Along with his wife Trini and others, Luis helped create the nonprofit Tia Chucha’s Centro Cultural & Bookstore in the Northeast San Fernando Valley. This unique space includes workshops and performances in the visual arts, music, dance, theater, writing, indigenous cosmology, Open Mics, author readings, film nights, community dialogues, a youth empowerment project, a mural collective, and more – as well as the only annual outdoor literacy festival in the San Fernando Valley: “Celebrating Words: Written, Performed & Sung.” And he’s founder/editor of the award-winning small press, Tia Chucha Press, which in 25 years has published more than 50 books of poetry, chapbooks, an art book, and a CD.

Contact: Luis J. Rodriguez 818-898-0013

Luis J Rodriguez for CA Gov 2014



Monday, March 3rd, 2014

Spike Lee’s Amazing Rant Against Gentrification: ‘We Been Here!’

Joe Coscarelli
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
© New York Magazine

Speaking Tuesday night in Brooklyn, blocks away from his company headquarters and his father’s apartment, Spike Lee went off on how the neighborhood has changed. The filmmaker, wearing a Knicks beanie, orange socks, blue Nikes, and “Defend Brooklyn” hoodie, was at Pratt Institute for a lecture in honor of African American History Month, surrounded by locals, when he was nearly asked a question about “the other side” of the gentrification debate. “Let me just kill you right now,” Lee interrupted, “because there was some bullshit article in the New York Times saying ‘the good of gentrification.’” (See: “Argument Over a Brownstone Neighborhood [1]” and New York’s “Is Gentrification All Bad? [2]”)

“I don’t believe that,” said Lee. And for the next seven minutes he explained, with passion, humor, and a fair amount of f-words.

arrowTo read the rest of Spike Lee’s rant, go to
the New York Magazine original

“Spike Lee, gentrification and the crisis of affordable housing”
Clara Huffy | World Socialist Web Site,
March 11, 2014

38px-Speaker_Icon.svgHear the full audio [3], including a gentrifier’s response and Lee’s rebuttal.


Amiri Baraka Memorial, Thursday, 20 February, 6:30pm, UC Berkeley Campus

Thursday, February 20th, 2014


Amiri Baraka Memorial, Thursday, 20 February, 6:30pm

UC Berkeley Campus | Maude Fife Room of Wheeler Hall (Wheeler 315)



A celebration of the life work of Amiri Baraka will take place on Thursday, 20 February, at 6:30 in the Maude Fife Room of Wheeler Hall (Wheeler 315) on the U.C. Berkeley campus.

The evening will include music, readings of Amiri Baraka’s work, and brief statements by a variety of writers from the U.C. Berkeley community, the Bay Area, and elsewhere. 

Featured will be Nilofar Gardezi, giovanni singleton, Jane Gregory, Positive Knowledge (Oluyemi Thomas and Ijeoma Thomas), Al Young, Bill Berkson, Steven Lee, Darieck Scott, Rosa Martinez, Robert Hass, Duncan McNaughton, Michael Warr, Geoffrey G. O’Brien, Kit Robinson, devorah major, D. Scot Miller, C. S. Giscombe, Lyn Hejinian, Seulghee Lee, Ronaldo Wilson, and William J. Harris.

The event, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the Holloway Poetry Series and the Distinguished Professor in Poetry and Poetics. A reception will follow.