Poetry at the Albany Library
March 11, 2014 7:00 – 9:00 pm
2nd Tuesdays featured poets & open mic
Adam David Miller & Al Young
ADAM DAVID MILLER will read new and selected writings, from his latest collection of poetry, The Sky is a Page: New and Selected Poems (2010), and his memoir Ticket to Exile (Heyday, 2007) and its sequel.
Ticket to Exile, about life in the Jim Crow South and Millerâ€™s forced flight North at age 19, is in part a tribute to his mother and community left behind. It was a finalist for the Northern California Book Award and 2008 William Saroyan International Prize for Writing. The Sky Is A Page reflects Millerâ€™s NEH Fellowship in West Africa and other travels. Its â€śWest African Woman Casts Her Shadowâ€ť won the Artistsâ€™ Embassy International Dancing Poetry Contest.
Forever Afternoon won the Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award. Miller also edited Dices, or Black Bones (Houghton-Mifflin, 1970), collected works by then-emerging poets like Al Young, Ishmael Reed, and Lucille Clifton, won the California Teachers Association Award for Best Anthology.
Since 1948 Miller has served the Bay Area as writer, teacher, editor, publisher, and radio, television, theater producer. As part of the Berkeley Arts Commision, he coordinated the Addison Street â€śPoetry Walk.â€ť He has read and lectured throughout the country and abroad. In 2011 he returned to the state of his birth and exile to speak at the University of South Carolinaâ€™s Black History Month program.
Miller has received the Berkeley Poetry Festival Lifetime Achievement Award and the PEN-Oakland Lifetime Achievement Award. Adam David Miller, whose circumstances and talents have already destined him to live several lifetimes in one, is now a nonagenarian with even more of life to share.
“Adam David Miller snugly pushes feeling to thought the way song combines music and words … The Sky Is a Page to be turned again and again with wonder and joy.
— Al Young
â€śFrom Point Reyes to Jamaica to Africa … with stops along the physical and mental timelines, The Sky is a Page unfolds with the patience of cartography mapping the realm of human emotion and thought.â€ť
— Indigo Moor
from‘West African Woman Casts Her Shadow’
Your rhythm feeds us, makes the cycle of our days
In the many tongues, pimpim-pimpim
Pimpim-pimpim, lift and smash
Stride your way into the sun
Walk a fine, my Mother, walkafine
AL YOUNGâ€™s many books reflect most all genres and styles: poetry, fiction, essay, screenplay, musical memoir. He has received American Book Awards for the poetry collection The Sound of Dreams Remembered and for Bodies and Soul: Musical Memoirs. His poetry and prose have been translated into over a dozen languages.
From 2005 through 2008 Young served as Californiaâ€™s Poet Laureate. On his appointment, he told the L. A. Times, My philosophy many years ago changed from getting to giving, and that shift has brought about just a lot of wonderful things. It feels good bringing poetry into peopleâ€™s lives.â€ť
Other honors include NEA, Fulbright, and Guggenheim Fellowships, the Richard Wright Award for Literary Excellence, and the 2011 Thomas Wolfe Award. In 2012, on the first Friday of each month, Young broadcasted an original poem for KQED Public Radioâ€™s The California Report.
As current Visiting Scholar at California College of the Arts, San Francisco, Young teaches imaginative writing and creativity. His latest book of poetry, Offline Love, is almost ready for the presses.
from ‘Living in the Deep West’
In memory of Wanda Coleman (1946-2013)
SoCal and what you called the Deep West keel
over without you and your defiant signifying.
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxAnything but quiet or quaint,
your pictures in wall-painted language (sliced
between canyons and summits and ridges) stick
to the ribs and to the heart half-free or caged.
Concrete streets and freeways couldnâ€™t always go
the distance or reach the intimacy you loved.
What was a Watts-born woman to do but learn
to boogaloo? Or sail the desert? Or walk the sea?
Albany Library 1247 Marin Avenue, Albany, CA 94706
For additional information, call 510-526-3720
Sponsored by Friends of the Albany Library. Wheelchair accessible.
ASL interpreter provided with 7 working days notice (510-526-3720 or TTY 510-663-0660).
Produced by Catherine Taylor
for the Alameda County Library, Albany