KUSP's Poetry Show

Readings: Foust, Edson, Koozer, Parker…


16 - momscanoeThe Poetry Show for November 16, 2014 featured readings live and recorded. In the first half of the hour, host Dennis Morton read selections from a variety of published poetry, including:

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Russell Edson (1935-2014)



The second half-hour was given to recorded poetry available on CD, with readings by the authors. Selections heard were from:

Gary Young, guest poet


9_-_Gary_YoungJoining host Dennis Morton in the studio for the Poetry Show broadcast of November 9, 2014 was local poet and printer Gary Young. In the past, Gary has been a guest to share his own poetry, or to be introduced as poet laureate of Santa Cruz County. Yet another purpose is served this time: a preview of the upcoming 5th Annual Morton Marcus Memorial Poetry Reading. Gary will host this year’s reading.




Everwine,_HanzlicekFeatured readers at this year’s Morton Marcus reading are two of Gary Young’s old friends  - Charles Hanzlicek and Peter Everwine. Poetry Show podcast listeners will hear Gary read poems by Hanzlicek and Everwine. To further induct listeners into the spirit of the event, Dennis reads several poems by Morton Marcus.


Readings: Kinnell, Barber, Spencer, Dawkins, Carruth, Keyes


2 - KinnellHost Dennis Morton shared an eclectic variety of poems and poets on the KUSP Poetry Show broadcast of November 2, 2014. First up was a brief tribute to Pulitzer Prize winner Galway Kinnell, who passed a few days ago at age 87. Included were two early poems about fellow poet Robert Frost, several anti-Vietnam-War poems, and After Making Love We Hear Footsteps – probably Kinnel’s best-known poem.

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After Kinnell, we heard:

  • You’ve Gotta Go Home and If I Were Blue, by Patricia Barber, from her CD Verse
  • Castle Beach and Moment of Inertia, by Debra Spencer, from her book Pomegranate
  • What I Know About Women So Far and The Lilac Thief, by Young Dawkins, from the CD and book The Lilac Thief
  • The Oldest Killed Lake in North America and Onondaga, Early December, by Hayden Carruth 
  • Daybreak Blues, by Weldon Keyes

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.



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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.