Al Young title

APRIL IN PARIS

April 1st, 2015


“April in Paris” — Sarah Vaughan (singer), Clifford Brown (trumpet), Herbie Mann (flute), Paul Quinichette (tenor saxophone), Jimmy Jones (piano), Joe Benjamin (bass), Roy Haynes (drums) | 1954

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april-in-paris-lg


paris_logo41508.jpg click on the eiffel tower

JJWebb/Cruzio Blues Café

To animate the avatar of Al Young reading and singing with the Dartanyan Brown Trio, click here.
Dartanyan Brown, bass | Jorge Molina, piano | Sly Randolph, drums

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APRIL IN PARIS

after Yip Harburg & Vernon Duke

It was here in that one-time, one-step, lighted blue
of Paris at ease, close to the Cluny, in splendid,
straight-up noontime shadow that your slow and
measuring eyes met more than their burning match.

The smooth warmth of your whisper along my neck,
the nappy back of it, where you’d peeled back
its soft, excited collar to tell me everything you’d learned
or discerned in a city where love and prices flirt.

A product of standstill winters, sudden summers, sultry
prejudice, and heartland steak-and-whiskey afternoons,
you’d blown in from the States, an orphan of the arts —
Mary Cassatt
, Josephine Baker, Mary Lou Williams,

Jean Seberg. What breathlessness overtakes me here?
Brushing and combing out memories of your touch,
in a season as uncertain as coastal fog moving inland
from the loveless edges of that country we’d both fled,

I shiver. Whom could we run to if not one another?
Back home we knew what it was like to be the other —
displaced, despised, imprisonable. We watched and fought.
The colors of loss deepened. Yearning to break free,

unconsciously American, we counted our chickens, certain
that the ships we’d always banked on would sail in.
In Paris, our adopted country of each other’s arms,
whose borders blurred all time, all common market sense,

we saved the slow but steady squeeze of night, of time,
the way it smothered darkness, the way it mothered light.
The April of your frightened French was like that, too;
you had no words for holiday tables, for chestnuts in bloom.

Parisian light, like light at home — Detroit, Des Moines —
lit up your waifish eyes. I said, “Think twice before you speak.”
Over here you mostly knew the blues; rue rhymed with blue.
There couldn’t be too much light, too much touch.

Al Young
© 2001, 2006, 2008 by Al Young

Meet the Poet-Animator

Animation and design
© 2008 by J.J. Webb a.k.a. Beau Blue

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clickable

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SAN FRANCISCO PEACE AND HOPE debuts its print edition

February 24th, 2015

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SAN FRANCISCO PEACE AND HOPE
A journal devoted to poetry and art

Edited by Elizabeth Hack
Foreword by Al Young

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EH03-01-Summer_Drops_Two_12x36-on-panel
Elizabeth Hack: ‘Summer Drops Two’ (12 X 32 on panel)
SFPeace&Hope cvr 4
Cover: Jeannie Motherwell,
Tide No. 2′  (2012)
Respective images copyright © by Elizabeth Hack, Jeannie Motherwell, and San Francisco Peace and Hope

Link here

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A 2015 Overhaul for AlYoung.Org

January 4th, 2015

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 © POINT CREATIVE
© Cummins.com

Al @ Carole Harris Studio Detroit 2014

Photo; Melba Boyd

Gradually, here in 2015, you’ll watch an updated version of AlYoung.Org unfold at this very link.

It’s about time, don’t you think? 

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Renowned poet Gerald Stern reads at Saint Alban’s Episcopal Church (Albany, CA), Friday, November 14, 2014, 7:30pm

November 13th, 2014

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Albany Library 22 magnifying_glass_icon
Poetry at the Albany Library
&
Poetry Flash logo
 present

GERALD STERN

2014 Robert Frost Gold Medal Winner for Lifetime Achievement in Poetry

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Introduced by former U.S. Poet Laureate
ROBERT HASS

Reading at 7:30pm,
Friday, November 14, 2014,
with book-signing & reception to follow

Saint Alban’s Episcopal Church
1501 Washington Ave (at Curtis)
Albany, CA 94706

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 996689-243

GERALD STERN grew up in a home with no books, except for a Hebrew Bible. Born in 1925 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to Eastern European immigrants, Stern once described himself as also the child of his public library. His hours of reading in the library stacks led him to an education at Columbia University and a celebrated life of letters.

Stern’s writing frequently references his working class roots and the disconnect between his upbringing in America and the suffering endured by relatives and fellow Jews during the Holocaust.

In a rare West Coast appearance, Stern will debut his just-released collection, Divine Nothingness, and will read from his 2012 In Beauty Bright (both from Norton).

Stern is the recipient of a National Book Award and the Library of Congress 2005 Wallace Stevens Award and 2012 Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize. As this year’s Robert Frost Gold Medalist for Lifetime Achievement in Poetry from the Poetry Society of America, Stern is one of the country’s most honored poets. He has been writing for over seventy years. With seventeen books of verse and two memoirs, Stern is also one of the country’s most prolific poets.

This program is free and is sponsored by
Friends of the Albany Library.
Books provided by Pegasus.

Saint Alban’s is wheelchair accessible.
An ASL interpreter will be provided if requested 7 days in advance. Voice 510-745-1400 or TDD (888) 663-0660.
www.aclibrary.org

Produced by Catherine Taylor & Joyce Jenkins

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2014 WATERSHED ENVIRONMENTAL POETRY FESTIVAL | Saturday, September 27, Noon to 4:30pm, Berkeley

September 26th, 2014

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JOIN US! STAND UP FOR THE EARTH WITH

100 THOUSAND POETS FOR CHANGE.

WATERSHED

Eco-Poetry Festival

DEDICATED TO DENISE LEVERTOV

Denise Levertov

Denise Levertov
(1923-1997)

SEPTEMBER 27, 2014 • NOON TO 4:30 PM

BERKELEY • CIVIC CENTER PARK • FREE
MLK JR. WAY AT CENTER ST. • ONE BLOCK WEST DOWNTOWN BERKELEY BART

STRAWBERRY CREEK WALK • 10 AM AT OXFORD & CENTER

KAY RYAN • ANNE WALDMAN • DEAN RADER • AL YOUNG • RANDALL POTTS CHRIS OLANDER • LUCILLE LANG DAY • DICK BAKKEN • PHAVIA KUJICHAGULIA WITH RON WILLIAMS–GUITAR, VAL SERRANT & SOSU AYANSOLO–PERCUSSION SHARON COLEMAN • DOREEN DOMB • TRACI GOURDINE • TIFFANY HIGGINS • ELIOT SCHAIN YOUTH POETS FROM POETRY INSIDE OUT & CALIFORNIA POETS IN THE SCHOOLS WITH JOHN OLIVER SIMON • MAUREEN HURLEY • J. RUTH GENDLER TRIBUTE TO LEVERTOV BY DAVID SHADDOCK • HOSTS: RICHARD SILBERG & KIRK LUMPKIN WE ARE NATURE OPEN READING • JAZZ BY THE BARRY FINNERTY TRIO ECOLOGY CENTER PRESENTS B. LYNN INGRAM CO-AUTHOR OF “The West without Water: What Past Floods, Droughts, and Other Climatic Clues Tell Us about Tomorrow” TIM PINE – UCB CREEK RESTORATION • PATRICIA BULITT – CREEK WALK DANCE RIVER VILLAGE WITH EXHIBITS & LITERARY MAGS WITH POETREE GROVE INTERACTIVE WRITING WITH MILVIA  STREET • ?AIGHT ASHBURY JOURNAL ‚  SIXTEEN RIVERS PRESS • BUFFALOON FROM THE BUFFALO FIELD CAMPAIGN BOOKS & BOOK SIGNING AT PEGASUS BOOK TENT ‚ SHADED ‚ EATING & EXHIBIT ‚ SPACE UNDER THE DAZZLING WATERCHUTES

FOR INFORMATION: poetryflash.org

WATERSHED Collaborators & Community Partners: Robert Hass, US Poet Laureate 1995-97 • Poetry Flash • Pegasus Books Ecology Center/Berkeley Farmers’ Market • Moe’s Books

Wheelchair Accessible • Sign Language Interpreted ASL INTERPRETERS FOR THE DEAF AND HEARING IMPAIRED CAN BE PROVIDE EMAIL: MBB@POETRYFLASH.ORG
BY SEPTEMBER 19, 2014

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