KUSP's Poetry Show

Kate Gale, guest poet


26 - Kate GaleOne of America’s busiest poets, Kate Gale, made time last week for the Poetry Show. Host Dennis Morton interviewed Ms. Gale last Thursday and that recorded interview was broadcast on the KUSP Poetry Show for October 26, 2014.  Kate was in Santa Cruz for a reading in the Living Writers Reading series at UCSC in her capacity as managing editor of Red Hen Press, sharing the stage with editee (if there is such a word) Andrew Lam.

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In addition what seems to ordinary humans a hectic schedule of  editing and promoting poetry all over the world, Kate Gale writes opera librettos, teaches college writing classes, serves on the board of several writing-related non-profits, and still finds time for the inner life. Her latest book of poetry is titled The Goldilocks Zone, and she shared and discussed a number of poems from the new book.


To get an idea of the incredible whirl that is normal life for Kate Gale, check out her blog. Also, there’s a link to a podcast of Kate’s 2007 Poetry Show appearance on our guest poets page.

Patrice Vecchione, guest poet


12 - PatriceV250Local poet and Poetry Show veteran Patrice Vecchione was the guest of host Dennis Morton on October 12, 2014. This latest Poetry Show visit served a dual purpose. The first was to promote the upcoming 6th annual Maud Meehan Memorial Poetry Reading, Tuesday October 14 at Cabrillo College.  Patrice shared some personal recollections of Maud Meehan and read several of her poems.

12 - GabriellaGyMPatrice Vecchione will be one of two featured readers at the event. The other is Gabriella Gutiérrez y Muhs.



From Poetry Santa Cruz:

Gabriella Gutiérrez y Muhs is a full professor at Seattle University and teaches in the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures as well as the Women and Gender Studies Department, and is co-director of the Patricia Wismer Center for Gender, Justice, and Diversity.

A second upcoming event for Patrice was to preview her non-fiction work-in-progress, a book titled Step Into Nature: Nurturing Imagination and Spirit in Everyday Life. Listeners were treated to a preview reading of several selected passages from the new book, scheduled to be published next spring.

Travis Mossotti, guest poet


FieldStudy_cover_080814.tmPoet Travis Mossotti joined host Dennis Morton on the Poetry Show for October 5, 2014 to read from and discuss his new book. Titled Field Study, the collection is dedicated to his wife, a field biologist. The poems were inspired by experiences gained in the field accompanying his wife in her work in wildlife conservation. From the publisher:

Written in the tradition of American naturalists, FIELD STUDY chronicles a courtship and marriage through the vehicle of carnivore conservation efforts. The poems in Travis Mossotti’s second collection invite the reader to join in the observation of field work, and to glimpse the devotion required to sustain what is human and what is animal. In these pages, the ethics of nature and relationships are elegantly rendered, revealing who we are by what we see.

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Travis, his wife and their two daughters now live in the St. Louis area. In the past, both spent time on the faculty of UCSC, and lived in Santa Cruz County for a time.

It was also Fall Pledge Week at KUSP, and the show was punctuated by the sound of (not enough) telephones ringing. Local poet and fellow Poetry Santa Cruz board member Len Anderson joined Dennis in the studio for this effort. We invite our blog readers to become part of the public support network that keeps KUSP and the Poetry Show on the air. Click here to make an online donation.

Eleni Sikelianos, guest poet


28 - You-Animal-Machine-355x535Writer Eleni Sikelianos joined host Dennis Morton on the September 28, 2014 Poetry Show to read from and discuss her latest book, You Animal Machine (The Golden Greek). Just published in June by Coffee House Press, the book combines prose and poetry; family history and memoir; text and images. The central character is Eleni’s maternal grandmother, following a family history literary path begun in The Book of Jon (2004), written following the death of her father.

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Born and raised in California, Eleni Sikelianos currently teaches creative writing at the University of Denver. Her husband, novelist Laird Hunt, is also on the writing faculty there. Eleni has been a Poetry Show guest once before, on August 28, 2011.

Dale Pendell, guest poet


14 -Dale-PendellCalifornia essayist, editor and poet Dale Pendell joined host Catherine Segurson on the Poetry Show for September 14, 2014. Dale’s recently published poetry collection, titled Salting the Boundaries, is published by New Native Press and available from SPD. Dale and Catherine read from and discussed poems from the new book, and also from another recent poetry collection, Equations of Power.



From the publisher:

Dale Pendell lives in the Sierra foothills of Northern California. He is founder and editor of Kuksu: A Journal of Backcountry Writing. His books include Pharmako/ Gnosis: Plant Teachers and the Poison PathThe Great Bay: Chronicles of the Collapse, WALKING WITH NOBBY: CONVERSATIONS WITH NORMAN O. BROWN (Mercury HousE, 2007), and SALTING THE BOUNDARIES (New Native Press, 2014). His poems have appeared in Rattling Wall, the West Marin Review, Catamaran Literary Reader, House Organ, Northwind Poets Anthology, the Journal of Interdimensional Poetry, Erowid Extracts, Open to All (What the Library Means to Me), Der Sanitäter, and It Calls from the Creek, an Art-OnSite installation.

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Catherine Segurson, founding editor of Catamaran Literary Reader, became acquainted with Dale Pendell when his memoir Solitary was chosen for inclusion in the magazine’s very first issue, in Fall 2012. Dale’s appeared again with a non-fiction essay in the Winter 2014 issue, titled Broken Symmetry.

99 Poems for the 99 Percent


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The Poetry Show for September 7, 2014, featured readings from a new anthology titled 99 poems for the 99 Percent, edited by Dean Rader. Host Dennis Morton focused on poets who have been past Poetry Show guests, including Ellen Bass and Troy Jollimore, plus one not-yet-guest – Lee Sharkey.

In the show’s second half, we heard more from a collection of vintage recordings of American poets reading their own work. Titled An Album of Modern Poetry: An Anthology Read by the Poets, the collection features many of the best-known American poets of the 20th-century. We heard most of side B of LP 1, including Edwin Muir, William Carlos Williams, Robinson Jeffers, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Robert Graves, Conrad Aiken and Archibald MacLeish. On the August 17, 2014 Poetry Show, we heard side A of LP one of this collection.

This week’s Poetry Show wrapped up with Dennis reading a poem titled August, by George Bilgere.

David Sullivan, guest poet


SullivanLocal poet and educator David Sullivan has had a busy year. He recently returned from a one-year Fullbright teaching scholarship at Xi’an International Studies University in China. On the KUSP Poetry Show for August 31, 2014, David joined host Dennis Morton to read and share some as-yet-unpublished poetry inspired by his experiences there.



31 - terracotta warrior figures in Xi'an

David and his family had the opportunity to travel to some highly diverse regions of China, and many of the new poems attempt to capture personal impressions of those places. Xi’an itself is an ancient capital city in north-central China, home to the famous 2200+ year-old terracotta army found in the tomb of a Qin-dynasty emperor.

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Outside of Xi’an, visits included the tropical rainforest of Hainan Island in the far south, the high plateau of Tibet with its three forms of burial (including the stupas in the photo to the right) and the far-western Xinjiang region, home to the Muslim Uygher people.



31 - baking yamsOther poems were inspired by Chinese sights and events unfamiliar to the typical American visitor. One recounts a list of “Things I’ve Seen Aboard a Bike in China”. Another goes inside the mind of a skillful “cutpurse”, while a third is a meditation on a simple baked yam served on a stick by a street vendor. Finally, there was a poem describing the feeling of disconnection upon returning to California after a year in China, truly another world.


Lisa Allen Ortiz, guest poet


24 - Ortiz_Lisa_Allen_HeadshotLocal poet Lisa Allen Ortiz joined host Catherine Segurson on the Poetry Show for August 24, 2014. Lisa has recently returned from a year in Peru, to share and discuss a new poetry chapbook published in her absence. Lisa’s poem The Beginner’s Guide to Birding appeared in the Winter 2014 issue of Catamaran Literary Reader, of which Catherine Segurson is founding editor.

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The new chapbook is titled Self Portrait as a Clock, and is published by Finishing Line Press. The self-imposed fourteen-line sonnet-style limit on the length of each poem imparts a sense of condensed and compressed meaning, and at the same time gives each short poem an equal place in the larger whole of the collection.


In addition to poems from the new chapbook, Lisa ended the show by sharing a new unpublished poem and a couple of favorite poems from other poets.

Vintage recordings of Frost, Stevens, Ransom, Moore, Eliot

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Robert Frost

Poetry Show host Dennis Morton recently rediscovered a collection of vintage recordings of American poets reading their own work. Titled An Album of Modern Poetry: An Anthology Read by the Poets, the collection includes many of the best-known American poets of the 20th-century. On the August 17, 2014 Poetry Show, on side one of LP one, we heard the voices of Robert Frost, Wallace Stevens, John Crowe Ransom, Marianne Moore and T. S. Eliot.

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Wallace Stevens





The 2-LP set was produced by the Library of Congress in 1959 ($26.85 on 2 cassettes or 2 LP’s). Anthologist Oscar Williams recorded introductions to each of the poets on the LP, and the LP packaging includes a booklet with introductory material and printed versions of the poems.


From the LOC website:

Edited by Oscar Williams. An Anthology of Modern Poetry brings together 46 poets reading a total of 78 poems. The poets represented are:

Robert Frost
Wallace Stevens
John Crowe Ransom
Marianne Moore
T.S. Eliot
Ediwn Muir
William Carlos Williams
Robinson Jeffers
Edna St. Vincent Millary
Robert Graves
Conrad Aiken
Archibaled MacLeish
Henry Reed
Muriel Rukeyster
Allen Tate
Oscar Williams
W.H. Auden
Theodore Spencer
Richard Eberthart
Stephen Spender
Ogden Nash
Merill Moore
William Empson
Gene Derwood
George Barker
Vernon Watkins
Roy Fuller
Edgar Lee Masters
Louise Bogan
Stanley Kunitz
Lonie Adams
Robert Lowell
Theodore Roethke
Delmore Schwartz
Jean Garrigue
Richard Wilbur
e.e. cummings
W.R. Rodgers
Edwin Denby
Edwin Honig
Howard Nemerov
Ruth Herschberger
Joseph Bennett
Ted Hughes
John Thompson, Jr.
W.S. Merwin

Favorite Poem Project 2014



This year’s Favorite Poem Project reading is on Tuesday, 7:30 PM August 12 at Bookshop Santa Cruz – sponsored by Poetry Santa Cruz. The August 10 episode of the KUSP Poetry Show was a lead-in to that event. Host Dennis Morton was joined in-studio by David Kaun and Carey Casey. All three shared favorite poems and stories explaining why those particular poems are favorites.