KUSP's Poetry Show

Tom Crawford and a new Catamaran


Tom-Cath compositeHost Dennis Morton welcomed two guests to the Poetry Show on October 4, 2015. One was poet Tom Crawford, who came to read from and discuss his new book, titled Caging the Robin. The other guest was Catherine Segurson, creator and editor of a true Santa Cruz treasure –  Catamaran Literary Reader.

04 - Caging the Robin cover



As you might guess from the book title, Tom Crawford has a special interest in birds, the subject of many of his poems. One of Tom’s poems can be found in the newest issue of Catamaran (the third time for Tom), which provided the connecting link for Tom and Catherine’s joint visit to the show.


04 - CAT11 cover



The Fall 2015 issue of Catamaran Literary Reader contains, in addition to Tom’s poem Care Dog, a wealth of art and literature that has to be seen to be appreciated. Every time a new quarterly issue appears, we endeavor to get Catherine Segurson on the show to tell us about it. This is now the eleventh issue, and we hope to keep seeing them for years to come. Get out to your favorite local independent bookstore and pick up a copy.

From Tom’s website, here’s one of the poems he read on the Poetry Show (which also appeared in a past issue of Catamaran):


My heart I had to approach
with wheelbarrow and pick,
and the impossible task
of believing in what I could not see.
So, when the Yellow-bellied Chat
showed up in a line,
up-side-down, hanging
on the grape arbor
for the fat, black grapes
in my backyard I knew
my old hands out ahead of me
were on to something more
than hope, that every poem,
if you kept at it, could be a bird
coming into view, but also
waves or, if you like,
particles, thanks to those waffling
physicists who can’t agree
on what’s real. But I already knew,
young, I could choose, if unhappy
(because we do need solace),
my very own god.

Marc Zegans, guest poet – part 3


20 - Marc Zegans cropPoet, spoken-word artist and creative development advisor Marc Zegans joined host Dennis Morton for the third time this year. Marc’s first visit was on June 28, and featured a discussion of spoken-word poetry and a book-with-CD anthology titled Spoken Word Revolution: Slam, Hip Hop & the Poetry of a New Generation. The main subject of visit number two, on July 26, was the second volume of that collection, titled Spoken Word Revolution Redux.


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To borrow an old movie promo tagline: this time it’s personal. Publication is imminent for a collection of Marc’s own poetry, to be titled The Underwater Typewriter. Marc and Dennis read and discussed a number of poems from the new book, along with a number of other topics.

With Marc’s kind permission, here’s another poem from The Underwater Typewriter :


Will you bring me the gift of luck
tonight, my love? Or press in my hand
a wrinkled cardboard icon, corners
frayed, el paraguas, for the rain

or perhaps the sun,  if luck
should shine from your heart
mi corazon, the luck I miss
between strands of your golden hair?

Will you give me the gift of luck
tonight, my love, la botella
pouring Chilean Malbec
into your hand-heated glass

la estrella bearing your name
close by the belt of Orion
as you sit upon my denim couch
in my cottage in Santa Cruz?

Will you give me the gift of love
tonight, my luck, sure in your smile?
Or will you hand me la pera
on a note riddled with despair

because you have waited too long
in the hand of a criminal
la mano, who bleeds your passion
leaving your face pale and wounded?

Will I give you la luna
the gift of lovers, blood orange
rising over the eastern bay
on this sandy cloud burned night

lightly covering your eyes
with la corona, the hat of kings
as you drift quiet into dreams
or will I simply watch you sleep

at a distance, through eye of mind
as I walk the beach reading poems
of love to your sleeping heart?
You, la rosa,  I want you, come.

Then we will make our lottery
you and me, luck of our casting
cards of our making, unfolding
our joyous riddles with delight.

Tilly Shaw – Tribute, Part 2


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This week’s Poetry Show was the second of two hours devoted to the memory of Santa Cruz educator, scholar and poet Tilly Washburn Shaw, who recently passed on at age eighty-four. Tillie was a long-time UCSC faculty member, and a board member of Poetry Santa Cruz.

Last week, in part one of the tribute, host Dennis Morton was joined in-studio by a distinguished group of Tilly’s local friends and fellow poets, including: Rosie King, Joan Zimmerman, Ken Weisner, Barbara Bloom,  Len Anderson, David Sullivan and Audrey Stanley. The seven took turns reading and discussing poems from Tillie’s collection titled Swimming Closer to Shore (2002).

Host this time was Joan Maro, in her first appearance as solo host, and a fellow Poetry Santa Cruz board member with Tilly and Dennis. Joanie was joined in-studio by five more of Tilly’s friends and fellow poets: Chuck Atkinson, Robert Sward, David Swanger, Farnaz Fatemi and Lisa Ortiz.

This week’s show featured readings from Tilly Shaw’s new, second poetry collection, soon to be published posthumously by Hummingbird Press and titled Hanging Out in the Ordinary. We’ll keep Poetry Show listeners posted as publication events are scheduled.

Tilly Shaw tribute, part 1


06 - tilly-shawThis week’s Poetry Show was a retrospective tribute to Santa Cruz educator and poet Tilly Washburn Shaw, who recently passed on at age eighty-four. Tillie was a long-time UCSC faculty member, and a board member of Poetry Santa Cruz.


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To help with this special hour, host Dennis Morton was joined in studio by a distinguished group of Tilly’s local friends and fellow poets, including: Rosie King, Joan Zimmerman, Ken Weisner, Barbara Bloom,  Len Anderson, David Sullivan and Audrey Stanley. These seven took turns reading and discussing poems from Tillie’s collection titled Swimming Closer to Shore (2002).

The Tilly Shaw tribute will continue on next week’s Poetry Show with a preview of Tilly’s second book of collected poems, which will be published posthumously.

Len Anderson, guest poet


30 - Len_NWU2006Local poet, Poetry Santa Cruz board member and physicist Len Anderson joined host Dennis Morton  on August 30, 2015 to read from and discuss the latest issue of Rattle magazine (#49), one of our favorite poetry periodicals. Len has extra incentive to celebrate this latest issue: the inclusion of one of his own poems in a special section devoted to poetry written by scientists.

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In addition to Len’s composition, titled The Basic Question, Len and Dennis share other poems – both from the “scientists” section and from other parts of issue #49, including works by:

Selected Readings: The New Yorker, Hitchcock, Piercy




Guest reader Joan Maro again joined host Dennis Morton on August 23, 2015 for an hour of back-and-forth poetry reading and discussion. This is Joan’s third guest spot on the Poetry Show, and listeners can look forward to more visits in the future.

Joan read a number of poems from among those published this year in The New Yorker magazine, and also one by Ted Kooser.  New Yorker authors included:



23 - Wounded Alphabet coverDennis’ readings were drawn from a number of books, including:

Selected Readings: Levertov, Carruth, Carver, Piercy, Lendennie, Kumin, more


On this week’s Poetry Show, host Dennis Morton shared readings from a variety of poets. Check back in about a week for updates to this post.

Troy Jollimore, guest poet


Last night09 - cover, poet Troy Jollimore returned for his quadrennial visit to the Poetry Show. He sat down with host Dennis Morton to read from and discuss Troy’s newest poetry collection, titled Syllabus of Errors, which will be published on September 29. The title is perhaps partly a reference to a Vatican document by that name (1864), which comprised an extensive list of “errors” on a wide range of “modern” subjects.

The poems in this book have a lot to say about truth, lies, falsehoods, and authority – and the often problematic relationships among them. We should expect no less from a philosopher – Troy teaches that subject at Cal State Chico. At another point in the interview, Troy noted that his students sometimes complain that he answers questions with questions. These poems employ some of that same Socratic approach.

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This is Troy Jollimore’s third visit to the Poetry Show. The first was was back in May, 2007, to talk about his first published book, Tom Thomson in Purgatory. Apropos of nothing, the timing of that visit made him the second earliest guest poet in our podcast library. Although the KUSP Poetry Show stretches back into the mists of the early 1970s, we only have podcasts from May, 2007. A second visit, in August 2011, coincided with publication of a second book, At Lake Scugog

For our most up-to-the-minute blog readers, be advised that Troy Jollimore will be reading at Bookshop Santa Cruz on Tuesday evening, August 11. This is the regular monthly “second Tuesday” poetry reading, sponsored as always by Poetry Santa Cruz. Joining Troy will be Maggie Paul – also a past Poetry Show guest.

C. J. Sage, guest poet



Local poet and animal-rights advocate C. J. Sage visited the Poetry Show on August 2, 2015. She and host Dennis Morton read and discussed poetry primarily about animals. Ms. Sage edits The National Poetry Review, and has five published books:




In addition to poetry, Dennis and C.J. discussed a rescue and sanctuary center for dogs, focused especially on a group of hunting dog breeds known as “sighthounds”.  The center is run by a 501(c)3 nonprofit called Hound Sanctuary Inc. Learn more at houndsanctuary.org.

Marc Zegans, guest poet – part 2, Tilly Shaw


On the KUSP Poetry Show broadcast for July 26, 2015,  host Dennis Morton was joined once again by poet, spoken-word artist and creative development advisor Marc Zegans.

26 - SwimmingBut before continuing the discussion of spoken-word poetry with Marc, we paused briefly to pay respects to Tilly Shaw, longtime local poet and educator who passed away a few days ago. Dennis read three poems from Tilly’s book, Swimming Closer to Shore (2002, Hummingbird Press). A future show will revisit Tilly’s poetry in more depth. The poems:

  • Vroom
  • My Mother’s Death
  • Quitting Computer Solitaire After Playing 17, 309 Times


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Marc Zegans’ first Poetry Show appearance a few weeks ago included readings/tracks from a book-with-CD anthology titled Spoken Word Revolution: Slam, Hip Hop & the Poetry of a New Generation. This time, we hear cuts from the second volume of that collection, titled Spoken Word Revolution Redux, again edited by Mark Eleveld and narrated by Mark Smith. Redux expands the scope of the first volume along with the commonly-understood definition of spoken-word. The Redux collection includes older-style poetry readings alongside more recent forms like slam, hip-hop, etc.

We also got a sneak preview of Marc’s soon-to-be-published poetry collection, titled The Underwater Typewriter (Pelekinesis Press). Marc will be back soon for a show dedicated to the new book.