KUSP's Poetry Show

David Sullivan, guest poet

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SullivanLocal poet and educator David Sullivan has just returned from a one-year Fullbright teaching professorship in China, and joined host Dennis Morton on the KUSP Poetry Show for August 3, 2014. While in China, David began a collaborative project to collect, translate and publish a new anthology of contemporary Chinese poetry. In the second half of the show, he read and discussed a number of poems selected for the upcoming anthology.

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In the first half of this week’s Poetry Show, David shared another poetry-translation-anthology project – his latest, which is similar yet very different from the upcoming Chinese collection. Titled Bombs Have Not Breakfasted Yet, it is a collection of works by ex-patriot Iraqi poet Adnan al-Sayegh. Starting with word-for-word Arabic-English translations, David was asked to help render the poems into “poetic English”. The resulting book format juxtaposes each poem in the original Arabic text with its English translation on the facing page. The book was published by the Iraqi Cultural Center in London.

 

David Sullivan is himself a published poet, and was last a Poetry Show guest on July 9, 2012. At that time he shared a book of poetry by himself and others, titled Every Seed of the Pomegranate. That collection of poems about the Iraq War led to the Adnan al-Sayegh project. After an eventful year in China, David now returns to his duties as an instructor at Cabrillo College and editor of the Porter Gulch Review.

Beverly Burch, guest poet

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27 - HowAMirageWorks-coverBay area poet Beverly Burch was a special guest on the KUSP Poetry Show for July 27, 2014. Ms. Burch and host Catherine Segurson read from and discussed the new poetry collection titled How a Mirage Works, published by 16 Rivers Press. It’s the second published collection by Beverly Burch, following Sweet to Burn (2004). She is a member of a “san francisco bay area poets’ workshop” called 13 Ways.

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Regarding How a Mirage Works, one reviewer says:

“a powerful collection of poems…. and the poems stay alive long after they have been read. A poet’s voice as richly nuanced as hers is a rare and always welcome thing.” - Thomas Ogden, author of The Parts Left Out: A Novel

A significant event this week on the Poetry Show is the first solo hosting appearance by Catherine Segurson, founding editor of Catamaran Literary Reader. Catherine has been a guest on a number of previous shows, most recently on June 30, 2014, and we look forward to many more appearances as host. In its short lifetime, Catamaran has already become an important local publisher of poetry, along with other literary and visual art forms. A poem by Beverly Burch, titled First, the Breaking, appeared in the Winter 2014 issue.

Selected Readings: Santa Cruz in poetry, more from “Deep Like the River” CD

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Just before sunset on West Cliff Drive

The Poetry Show of July 20, 2014 paid tribute to its home town of Santa Cruz, California, as host Dennis Morton read a selection of poems about or inspired by Santa Cruz and the Monterey Bay. Not coincidentally, most of the poets are or have been Santa Cruz residents, including:

20 - Our Souls CDThe show’s second half featured selections from a 2-CD set titled Our Souls Have Grown Deep Like the River: Black Poets Read Their Work. The producer and editor of this collection is recent Poetry Show guest Rebeka Presson Mosby.From disk 2, we heard these six tracks:

  • 1. Muhammad Ali At The Ringside, 1985 – Wole Soyinka
  • 3. The Idea Of Ancestry – Etheridge Knight
  • 4. Bang, Bang Outishly – Amiri Baraka
  • 5. Rhythim Blues – Amiri Baraka
  • 6. Shazam Doowah – Amiri Baraka
  • 7. The End Of Civilization As We Know It – Colleen J. McElroy

Dane Cervine and Gabe Kittle, father-son guest poets

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Dane Cervine-150wiLocal poet and past Poetry Show guest Dane Cervine returned for the July 13, 2014 show, joined this time by his son and fellow poet Gabe Kittle. The father-son guest pairing was a first for the Poetry Show. The interview with Dane and Gabe also revealed a surprising number of connections (or maybe not so surprising – this is Santa Cruz) with past Poetry Show guests.

Gabe just finished his freshman year at Emerson College in Boston, and is back in Santa Cruz for the summer. One of his activities in Boston has been “poetry busking” – a style of extemporaneous poetry-on-request composition performed in public places on an old black Royal typewriter. Gabe was inspired by meeting poet Kevin Devaney in Santa Cruz. Kevin is another past Poetry Show guest who can often be found on Pacific Avenue with his typewriter. While in Santa Cruz, Gabe is working at the Art Bar & Cafe, Kevin Devaney’s “philanthro-pub” at the Tannery Arts Center.

13_-_Gabe_KittleGabe has a video presence on the web, including a poetry video titled I Write Because I Must on YouTube. In yet another Poetry Show connection, past guest and Los Gatos poet laureate Erica Goss interviewed Gabe for her Connotation Press column.

Gabe has also self-published two poetry chapbooks, and shared some poems with the Poetry Show audience. He can be heard frequently at the weekly Monday poetry open mic at the Art Bar. Gabe and Dane shared a few poems from a recent Monday Art Bar joint-reading, among others.

For those willing to brave the Poetry Show blog archives, Dane Cervine was last a Poetry Show guest on April 7, 2013.

 

Tess Taylor, guest poet

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TessMulti-talented Tess Taylor joined host Dennis Morton on the KUSP Poetry Show for July 6, 2014. Tess has a new book out titled The Forage House, from Red Hen Press, and will be back in Santa Cruz on Tuesday for a reading at Bookshop Santa Cruz.  She read and discussed a few poems from the new book, and shared thoughts on a wide range of subjects.

Forage House coverFrom the publisher’s website:

“Attic boxes full of shards. Family stories full of secrets. A grandchild wondering what to save and what to throw away seeks to make sense of what it means to inherit anything at all. In The Forage House, Tess Taylor’s anticipated lyric debut, the speaker unravels a rich and troubling history. Shuttling between legend and story, history and family tale, these poems visit cluttered attics, torn wills, and marked and unmarked graves.”

These are busy times for Tess Taylor. In addition to the recently-completed book tour, she and her husband are raising a nearly-three-year-old son. She’s also been doing poetry book reviews for NPR’s All Things Considered – most recently a look at Hustle, by David Tomas Martinez. In the fall, Tess begins a new teaching position in the English department at Whittier College.

Catherine Segurson and Zack Rogow, special guests

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29 - zackCatherine Segurson and Zack Rogow (rhymes with pogo) of Catamaran Literary Reader joined host Dennis Morton on the KUSP Poetry Show for June 29, 2014. Catherine has been on the show a number of times, and this time brought along Catamaran Poetry Editor Zack Rogow to be a first-time guest.  Zack read and discussed some of his own poetry – much discussion followed his first read poem, which employs the repeated line starter “What do you think of people who…?”

29 - obsidian-coverZack’s poetry explores human and social issues in pointed but gentle and often humorous ways, employing references to popular mass media and the connections between poetry and music. Poems move from “Why do fools fall in love” to “Casablanca” to “ghazal” – a musical poetry form native to many Middle Eastern and South Asian cultures.

From a forthcoming chapbook titled Voices Carved From Obsidian, Zack shared poems paying homage to Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald. That led to a discussion of jazz and poetry, with some authoritative poet-name-dropping.

 

29 -  Catherine photoA bit of Poetry Show news: Catherine Segurson will be transitioning from guest to host on The Poetry Show. The current plan is for her to take a show each month, introducing us to more of the fine poets whose work can be found in Catamaran Literary Reader. The outstanding quality of the quarterly publication, now in its second year, proves that print is not dead, and adds to Santa Cruz’ reputation as a center of the visual and literary arts. Catherine has done an amazing job of pulling it all together, and poetry fans should be excited to have Zack Rogow on board as Poetry Editor.

Rattle 43, 44, Carruth on CD

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22 - ccR43Host Dennis Morton read from the two most recent issues of Rattle magazine on the KUSP Poetry Show for June 22, 2014. The first half readings were from Rattle #43 (spring), subtitled Love Poems. Those purchasing #43 will find that it also includes a conversation with past Poetry Show guest Troy Jollimore.

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In the show’s second half-hour, Rattle #44 (summer) was featured, subtitled Open Poetry. The featured conversation in #44 is with another recent Poetry Show guest, California poet laureate Juan Felipe Herrera.

 

22 - carruth cdThe last ten minutes of the first half featured selections from a CD of Hayden Carruth readings his own poetry. The CD is titled Hayden Carruth: A Listener’s Guide (Copper Canyon Listener’s Guides).

Susan Allison, guest poet

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15 - susanallisonLocal therapist and writer Susan Allison joined host Dennis Morton on the KUSP Poetry Show for June 15, 2014. Susan will be reading at Bookshop Santa Cruz on June 22.

15 - ourspiritsSusan’s newest book of poetry is titled Our Spirits Dance: Poetry of Soul Mates. The book of love poems is a collaboration with her late husband Thomas Hickenbottom. Thomas, who died in 2013, was well-known as a local surfer, writer and educator. The layout of Our Spirits Dance juxtaposes paired poems by Susan and Thomas.

Holder of a PhD in Transpersonal Psychology, Susan Allison has maintained a private therapy practice for 20 years and has written two books in that area. At the same time, she has always been a poet, and has published one previous book of her poetry, titled Breathing Room.

Rodger Kamenetz, Guest Poet

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08 - rodger-headshot-webPoet and dream worker Rodger Kamenetz joined host Dennis Morton for the Poetry Show on June 8, 2014. Kamenetz was in the middle of a busy few days in Santa Cruz. On Saturday and again earlier on Sunday, he led workshops on Dreams and Poetry. On Tuesday, he’s the featured reader at the regular second-Tuesday event at Bookshop Santa Cruz, sponsored by Poetry Santa Cruz. Well-known local poet Stephen Kessler completes the bill for that event.

 

This was Rodger Kamenetz’s first visit to the poetry show, but he is nationally well-known for his writing, both poetry and non-fiction. His biography informs us that:

Rodger Kamenetz is an award-winning poet, author and teacher. Of his eleven books, his best known is The Jew in the Lotus, the story of rabbis making a holy pilgrimage through India to meet with the Dalai Lama. His account of their historic dialogue became an international bestseller, prompting a reevaluation of Judaism in the light of Buddhist thought. Now in its twentieth year of publication and its 35th printing overall, The Jew in the Lotus is a staple of college religion courses. A PBS documentary followed, and a sequel, Stalking Elijah, won him the National Jewish Book Award for Jewish Thought.

08 - covertdnty3Kamenetz’s six books of poetry include To Die Next To You and The Lowercase Jew. During this visit to the Poetry Show, he read from and expounded upon a number of poems from these two, including the intriguingly-titled “Allen Ginsburg Forgives Ezra Pound on Behalf of the Jews”.

To Die Next To You is a visually-striking book. The cover and each of the poems inside feature images by painter Michael Hafftka.

 

 

Catherine Segurson, special guest

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Catherine Segurson, creator and editor of Catamaran Literary Reader, paid a return visit to the Poetry Show on June 1, 2014. Her last appearance on the show was October 13, 2013.

 

Issue 6, Spring 2014 of this outstanding local quarterly arts magazine is out now, and Catherine talks about it with host Dennis Morton. Each issue of Catamaran includes a variety of visual and literary arts, including poetry. The words beneath the logo at the Catamaran website succinctly describe the magazine’s scope:

“West Coast Themes. Writers and Artists from Everywhere.”

 

01 - Catamaran Front CoverCatherine shared a few poems from the Spring 2014 Catamaran, including:

  • Catamaran – Paul Muldoon
  • Ritual – Elizabeth Bradfield
  • Stage Ride to Tassajara – Kari Wergeland
  • Sam – Christopher Buckley
  • Memory and the Life of It - Aleida Rodriguez
  • Almost Beautiful (from Gravity) – Elizabeth Rosner
  • Don’t Go Down There – Pedro Xavier Solis