Tuesday, August 24, 2010

California Poets in the Schools Science & Spirit Symposium, August 27-29, 2010

NOTE BENE: I've posted several of our CPITS symposiums on this page because traffic seems to direct to this page. The most current event is at the top of the page. Hopefully it isn't too confusing this way.



Write, Sing, and Move the Future 2013 at La Casa de Maria, Santa Barbara, August 23-25. Juan Felipe Hererra is poet-honoree.


California Poets in the Schools 2012
Passing the Gift Forward (click here to redirect to latest post)

The 2012 California Poets in the Schools 49th symposium: Passing the Gift Forward will be at IONS in Petaluma, CA, the weekend of September 14-16. Save your pennies and join us for poetry under the stars. (And in the woods. The oaks, oh the oaks.) 

Camille Dungy will be the featured poet and Writing Intensive workshop.
Check out CPITS.org  to download the September 2012 event brochure. If you;'e on Facebook, here's an evite to the Symposium.


California Poets in the Schools 2011
Writing Ourselves True


Check out my blog entry for the September 2011 California Poets in the Schools Symposium in Santa Barbara. Are you free? Come join us. 

CPITS' 47th annual poetry workshop & symposium is one of the most sublime and inexpensive writers' conferences in the nation. Poets, artists and teachers are welcome. Sign up for our heavenly action-packed weekend, "Writing Ourselves True," on 9/9-11, 2011 at the idyllic La Casa de Maria retreat, a former convent in the foothills of Santa Barbara (you can see Oprah's crib from the orchard). Oh, and the food's divine too. Visit http://www.cpits.org/events/ev​ents.htm or email TIna@CPITS.org to sign up.


California Poets in the Schools 2010
Science & Spirit Symposium
August 27-29, 2010


Here's the website of the retreat.

http://www.noetic.org/earthrise

Google maps didn't work with attached IONS link

Use this one

http://www.noetic.org/earthrise/plan/maps/

Drive up 101 past Novato, past Olompali, the  the dump, a ranch, as
you reach the gentle crest of the hill make a LEFT across
highway—that's San Antonio Road. Don't go down the grade on 101—that's
too far. First fire road on your left is Burdell Drive. Wind your way
up the hill.

If you miss the first San Antionio Rd turnoff, there's a 2nd loop at
bottom of hill on 101, near the airstrip—wind your way back veering
left.

A few drop-in spaces are still available for an affordable fabulous getaway writing weekend replete with all meals and all the poetry you can absorb—on an incredible ranch retreat nestled in the golden rolling hills between Novato and Petaluma in Northern California— Aug 27-29. Did I mention fabulous meals too? 


The special Friday writing intensive with Ellery Akers  had 3 cancellations—CALL ASAP if you want to attend. First come, first serve. She is one of california's best unsung poets. There are also 25 other workshops to choose from. 

IN addition to 3 Ellery Akers slots open (due to cancellations), one weekend slot is open, and one Saturday Pass are still available if you can't come for the entire weekend. For registration please contact CPITS at (415) 221-4201 or Tina@cpits.org


Meet CPITS teaching poets from Eureka to San Diego—many who also coached Poetry Out Loud students to the National finals. 

Teachers can also get Continuing Education Units from CSU San Marcos. Saturday Day pass available too if you can't commit to the entire weekend.

Tina is waiting to hear from you! Call her ASAP to reserve a spot if you'd like to attend so she can plan # of meals and beds, etc. Register for the Symposium weekend or just for Saturday. If you're undecided about coming, need a ride, etc; call her anyway. For registration please contact CPITS at (415)221-4201 or email CPITS at Tina@cpits.org.

California Poets in the Schools 
August 27-29, 2010
Writing Intensive Workshop & Featured Reading:
Writing Intensive Teacher and Featured Reader
Ellery Akers is a writer, artist and naturalist living in Pt. Reyes, CA. She received her BA from Harvard and MA from SF State University. She is the author of Knocking on the Earth (Wesleyan), which was named a Best Book of the Year by the San Jose Mercury News. She has won five national poetry awards, including the John Masefield Award from the Poetry Society of America. Her poetry has been featured on NPR and her fellowships include Blue Mountain Center, the MacDowell Colony, and the Headlands Center for the Arts. 
Duane BigEagle
Featured Reader & Honoree
Duane BigEagle is of American Indian (Osage Tribe) descent. He received a BA from University of California at Berkeley. A teacher with the CPITS Program since 1976, he has also served as past CPITS Board President. Duane has received three CAC Artist in Residence grants and serveral awards for his poetry including the W.A. Gerbode Poetry Award in 1993. He is a college techer and a lecturer in Native American Studies at College of Marin. He is also a traditional American Indian singer and Osage Southern Straight Dancer.
California Poets in the Schools Science into Spirit Workshops: (click on poets' names for more info(in purple)—I've tried to provide relevant links to their work whenever possible.)

Duane BigEagle—Native American Cultures: An Insider’s View: Duane will present basic characteristics of Native American cultures that are different from the Western paradigm. This workshop will offer a closer look at Native cultures developed by an analysis by Native American educators—with tips on how to teach Native children (and all children!) Duane is an Osage Indian and a teacher with CPITS since 1976.

Karen BenkeShape-Shifting through Juxtaposition: In this workshop, participants will come away with a poem you will be eager to share out loud, and lesson plans that will engage any age poet—from shy first graders to too cool for school seniors—all while watching your metaphors morph and your similes slither. Karen Benke, a poet teacher since 1993, is the author of Rip the Page! Adventures in Creative Writing (Shambala, 2010).

Shelley Savren and Blake MoreDemystifying the CPITS Program: This workshop will provide new poet teachers with information they need to become a field poet. It will include training, selling the program, filling out paperwork, information on Poetry Out Loud and an overview of the organization. Each poet will receive some sample lesson plans for different grade levels. Shelley Savren has taught with CPITS over 30 years. She is a full-time English Professor at Oxnard College. Her book Common Fire was published in 2004 by Red Hen Press. Blake More serves as Area Coordinator of Mendocino County and has been a CPITS poet teacher since 2000. Her creativity spans poetry, fiction, and performance pieces.

Shadab Zeest HashmiSpirit & The Olfactory Sense: This workshop is based on scientific reflections on how the olfactory sense is linked to the emotive memory/association which inspires poetry. We’ll delve into the anatomy of smell as well as the history of how humans have used this sense in various creative ways—from the ancient use of scents for remedies to the modern day food aroma sprays or the “smell” sensors on unmanned drones! Writing exercises are designed with the olfactory trigger in mind. Shadab Zeest Hashmi has an MFA from Warren Wilson College. Originally from Pakistan, she lives in San Diego. Her book of poems Baker of Tarifa (Poetic Matrix Press) is due out in 2010.

Dana Lomax—The Science of Everyday: Albert Einstein claimed that “the whole of science is nothing more than a refinement of everyday thinking.” In this workshop, we will use experimental exercises (from Gertrude Stein, Pablo Picasso, Martha Graham to John Cage) in order to rediscover those things and ideas closest to us. Dana Lomax is the author of 3 books of poetry. She is currently writing Shhh! Lullabies for a Tired Nation and editing the Kindergarde: Avant-garde Poems, Plays, Stories & Songs for Children, an illustrated anthology. She has taught with CPITS since 1994.

Jill Moses—Embodied Poetics: We will explore the body as metaphor and a vessel for the spirit and the soul. Sometimes we glorify the body and sometimes we detest, or accept parts of it. Sometimes our bodies move gracefully in a dance and sometimes our bodies betray us. We will read and write poems that explore our own soul/body connections. Jill Moses earned her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Oregon, where she received a graduate award in poetry and served as assistant editor of the Northwest Review. She is Area Coordinator of San Diego and currently serves on the CPITS board.

Grace Grafton and Susie Terance—River of Words: River of Words is a children’s environmental poetry curriculum and annual international contest for both poetry and art. Come listen to veteran poet teachers present ROW writing activities for both elementary and high school students. River of Words teaching materials will be available. Grace Marie Grafton’s new book of prose poems, OTHER CLUES, is available from Latitude Press. She was honored with a Teacher of the Year award by ROW in 1998 and has taught in CPITS for thirty years. Susie Terence has an MA in Inter-Disciplinary Arts, and a MFA in Creative Writing; she has taught with CPITS for 20 years. Her students’ poems often capture top prizes in local and national contests.

Elijah ImlayEarth, Water, Fire and Air: Meditation and Writing: This workshop will introduce Sufi meditation practices from Persia and India corresponding to the four elements of earth, water, fire and air and their scientific parallels. There are four directions: for example, fire rises and transforms into light. Participants will write poems from the imagery evoked by contemplation and movement. Elijah Imlay, meditation mentor/teacher with the Institute for Applied Meditation, has a book, Monsoon Blues, (Tebot Bach, forthcoming fall, 2010).

Ruth GendlerDrawing Closer to Nature: Art, poetry and science thrive on observation. This workshop provides an overview to drawing as a practice of seeing and paying attention. Combining words and pictures helps those who have trouble writing, to start poems and those who write quickly, to deepen their process. Ruth Gendler‘s art includes drawing, painting and printmaking. Her most recent book is Notes on the Need for Beauty.

Meg HamillThe New Era of Nature Poetry: In this workshop we will explore how writing can be a powerful tool to help deepen our relationship with the natural world. With the help of guided activities, readings and time to write, we will open our hearts to the urgency of the environmental crisis while working towards a “new era of nature poetry” where the writing is brutally honest and moves us toward a deep participation in life. Meg Hamill has published two collections of political/environmental poetry and has been teaching with CPITS since 2006. She also works as a guide and conservationist for LandPaths, an environmental nonprofit organizationin Santa Rosa.

Georgia JonesPoetry for All Your Senses: Poetry is often described as either an interior experience that reflects the emotional state of the poet or an exterior one, an experience itself. We all experience these worlds, but only some reach out with our senses and express them as poetry. We will explore poetry as kind of reverse meditation. Georgia Jones is an author of Write What You Know, based on workshops she has led since 1995. Georgia has been a CPITS poet since 2008.

Claire Blotter—Performance Poetry: Rhythm and Transformation: Come experiment with ways to make your poetry sing! We’ll use simple body rhythms, visualizations and theater techniques to vocally improvise and then write sound poetry, dramatic monologues and double voice texts that examine and break through personal obstacles. Claire Blotter is a performance poet who uses intonation, movement and rhythm in her poetry to connect with wider audiences. She has been a CPITS poet and Poetry Out Loud teacher since 2008.

Blake More—Writing with the Body: A Sunday morning yoga class that warms up and cools down with pen to paper. Wear comfortable clothes, and bring your writing pad and be prepared to stretch mind and limbs. Blake More is a yoga star and author of godmeat, a collection of poetry and prose. 

Arthur DawsonA Song of Place: This workshop highlights the lessons developed and insights gained during “A Song of Place” project that inspired hundreds of students to become “poetic pioneers” and explore their local cultural and natural history. This project resulted in the publication of Where Oaks Play Catch with the Sun and has been successfully emulated in at least one other community. Arthur has been a CPITS poet-teacher in Sonoma County for almost 20 years. He keeps a foot in both worlds of science and spirit—working a day job as an historical ecologist. 

Pamela Singer Yezbick—Rhythm and Native American Poetry: In this workshop poet teachers will learn how to use Native American poems as a way to teach students to create rhythm in their poems and to write in verse. Pamela will speak about the importance of the natural world to indigenous people, then have participants write about a special place in nature including the animals they see there, using the rhythmical techniques found in the poems they study. Pamela Yezbick has been a poet teacher with CPITS for 30 years. She was the Humane Educator for the Humane Society of Sonoma County and is author of Teaching Compassion.

Jackleen HoltonPlanetary Poems: Exploring Language and Symbolism of Astrology: Astrology, the world’s oldest science, contains a wealth of visual symbolism as well as its own unique and beautiful language. An individual’s natal chart is a snapshot of the sky at their own birth. In this workshop we will craft poems based on astrological key words, aspects, traits and symbols. Participants may also bring their own birth charts or email birth date, place and time of birth to jackleenholton@aol.com. Jackleen Holton writes, counsels and teaches in San Diego. Her chapbook, Devil Music, was published by Caernarvon Press, 2005.

August 27-29, 2010

Friday, August 27 (pre-symposium)
Writing Intensive with Ellery Akers. Includes lunch at IONS, 12:30PM, followed by the writing intensive from 1:30-5-5:30PM.

Friday–Sunday, August 27-29
Check in time at the IONS Retreat Center can begin at 4PM on Friday. The symposium begins with 6PM dinner on Friday, followed by an 8PM  reading by Ellery Akers and Duane Big Eagle. Saturday begins at 9AM with a keynote address by Mary Korte, one of the founding members of CPITS, followed by workshops that will run from 10AM to 5PM. An Area Coordinator meeting will be held on Saturday from 11:30AM-12:30PM. Saturday evening will be an open poet teacher reading and celebration from 7:30-10PM. Sunday workshops will begin at 9:30AM and the symposium will end by noon.

Schedule:

Friday August 27th, 2010
12:30-1:30PM Lunch
1:30-5:30PM Writing Intensive with nationally acclaimed poet Ellery Akers
6-7PM  Dinner
8-10PM Reading with Ellery Akers and Duane BigEagle

Saturday, August 28th
8-9AM Breakfast
9-9:50AM keynote address with Mary Norbert Korte

10-11:25AM Workshops I (choose one):
Native American Culture: an Insider's View: Duane BigEagle
New Poet Orientation: Blake More & Shelley Savarin
Spirit & The Olfactory Sense: Shadab Zeest Hashmi

11:30-12:25PM Workshops II:
Area Coordinator Meeting: Terri Glass & Staff
Shape-Shifting Through Juxtaposition: Karen Benke
CE Credits Course

12:30-1:30PM Lunch

1:30-2:55PM Workshops III:
River of Words: Grace Wade Grafton & Susie Terence
Embodied Poetics: Jill Moses
Rhythm and Native American Poetry: Pamela Singer Yezbick

3:00-4:25PM Workshops IV:
Planetary Poems: Exploring Language and Symbolism of Astrology
Poetry for all Your Senses: Georgia Jones
The Science of Everyday; Dana Teen Lomax

4:30-6PM Workshops V:
The New Era of Nature Poetry: Meg Hamill
Performance Poetry: Rhythm and Transformation: Claire Blotter
Drawing Closer to Nature: Ruth Gendler

6-7PM Dinner

8-10PM Open Poet Teacher Reading and Celebration

Sunday, August 29, 2010

8-9 Breakfast

9:30-12PM Workshops VI:
Writing with the Body: Blake More
A Song of Place: Arthur Dawson
Earth, Water, Fire and Air: Meditation & Writing: Elijah Imlay

Optional College Credit
Teachers get continuing education credits. Optional Credit one (1) semester unit of Cal State San Marcos is available for an additional fee of $80 per unit and $12 for transcript fee. Extension credits appear on official transcripts and assist in teachers satisfying professional growth requirements. Registration and payment is separate from symposium fees and will be available at the symposium.

We also have a special "just" Saturday offer -attend all the Saturday workshops and get lunch for just $150.00. Great for non CPITS members who don't want to spend the night.

For registration questions or concerns please contact CPITS at (415) 221-4201 or Tina@cpits.org
Deadline to register is August 13, 2010.

Name
Address

Phone
Email

COST
Includes Friday dinner and reading; Saturday breakfast, lunch, dinner, workshops, and reading; Sunday breakfast, workshops, and closing.
Single room                        $375.    
Double room* (per person)   $270.   
Couple room* (per couple)     $475.   
No room (Saturday only 
& includes lunch)                   $150.  
No room (entire symposium) $200. 
Writing Intensive with
Ellery Akers (includes lunch)  $75.

CREDITS & CHARGES
Please circle & add or subtract to above costs.
Area Coordinator                – $75. 
Presenter                            – $75. 
New Poet Work Scholarship
(limited: call office to apply)  – $50. 
CPITS Membership
(if not current)                     +$45.  
Non-member fee **              +$30.
(**this payment is required for all non-members to attend, but allows a one-time discounted membership for 1 year)


Institute of Noetic Sciences, Petaluma is 30 minutes north of the Golden Gate Bridge off of Highway 101. IONS hosts education activities and workshops that focus on health, personal growth, and transformation.  The IONS Retreat Center is on 200 acres of beautiful rolling hills. It offers such gifts as pristine live oak woodlands, meandering hiking trails, and endless panoramic vistas of the California landscapre. Also on the grounds are a teepee, a stone labyrinth, and an organic garden. IONS is located at 101 San Antonio Road, Petaluma, CA. Visit www.ions.org

    mail registration to:
California Poets in the Schools
1333 Balboa Street Ste. 3
San Francisco, CA 94118
415-221-4201

California Poets in the Schools
Follow CPITS on Twitter @Calpoets
Or on Facebook.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Very Odd Thought


Very Odd Thought:
I'm not as interested in history that occurs within 25 generations of living memory.
That makes me a… medievalist? An ostrich?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The New Zamizdat

OK, I must admit that I'm mesmerized by the new Blogger stats tool—in a shiny packratty sort of way. I am endlessly fascinated that I can now view what pieces are being read—how many readers, and what countries. Positively mind-blowing.

First, writing is a lonely business. Audience is a whole other hemisphere. Then there's the old saw: Who do you write for? Who are your readers? The publish or perish paradigm took off its kid cloves and flexed its knuckles and whistled, "hey kid 'comere!" when blogging was invented. Shades of Marshall McLuhan's Global Village.

I come from the American school of Samizdat or, rather, Tamizdat tradition. No, tamizdat is not a typo—as one well-intending publisher tried to correct one of my posts.
Russian samizdat, from samo- (self) + izdatelstvo (publishing house), from izdat (to publish). Coined facetiously on the model of Gosizdat (State Publishing House). (from AWAD)
Soviet samizdat was a form of illegal self-publishing in a seriously limited edition format, using ten layers of carbon paper plus ten sheets of clean paper—and an upright manual typewriter replete with a print ribbon you had to re-ink by hand. Typing through that many layers of paper was a real bitch. Weak ring finger strength equaled blurred "e"s in final copies. And pity the poor sot who was gifted copy #10—it was a bitch to the tenth power to read.

This is the underground tradition in which Soviet poetry (and secret texts including copies of Bibles) were painstakenly reproduced—and distributed, underground. I met one of Osip Mandelstahm's samizdat publishers in Leningrad, held a fragile copy in my hands—knowing that people risked their lives preserving his poetry. Mandelstahm & Blok's chapbooks still reeked of rancid printer's ink decades later.

Then there was the Leningrad Rock Opera singer Valera (aka Valery / Valeriy) Stupachenko - Валерий Ступаченко (who I did not marry because he loved his dead wife and God more than me—who could compete with that?) Valera treasured his dog-eared carbon-paper Bible. Cherished possessions from a time when religious worship too was illegal.

(Valera of Singing Guitars - Поющие гитары, in 1969 made famous a Russian version of Neil Sedaka's 1959 B-side hit, One Way Ticket (to the Blues) Синий иней —one of the few English phrases Valera could say to me. Which was alarming in all its permutations. If you really want to digress, here's a list of vintage Russian rock music videos.)

Valeriy Stupachenko, Singing Guitars

Tamizdat is merely samizdat in technological clothing—with the addition of a duplicator, or mimeograph machine (pre-Xerox). Tamizdat editions were often destined to be smuggled out of the country of origin for possible publication abroad. The term later included desktop publishing and copy machines.

I was in the USSR during the time copy machines were introduced to the public. Kinko's in Moscow—no matter that the price was prohibitive for Americans (valuta, or hard currency was needed—and it was still illegal for Soviets to have/spend hard currency).

My Soviet friend, artist & writer, Oleg Atbashian, with whom I co-translated Soviet poetry into English, marveled at the publishing possibilities. He touched the copy machine lovingly, ran a tremulous finger along its sleek flank.

Little did Oleg know that within a year (1990), he'd be in San Francisco, frantically working with me round the clock in an old military complex-cum-art center, Fort Mason, pasting up a newspaper-style tamizdat journal, "Soviet Poetry Since Glasnost," (Mother Earth), in time for Herman Berlandt's annual National Poetry Week. From 1989 to 1991, we published many new Soviet poets including Yan Martsinkevitch, and Viktor Kulle.



Soviet Poetry Since Glasnost

(BTW, those photos of Oleg & Lawrence Ferlinghetti SPSG are my work—uncredited, naturally. How typical. And I was the first person to bring Ferlinghetti and Ginsberg's books to the Ukraine—I gave their books away at a poetry reading in Cherkassy—not knowing the Beat Poets were FORBIDDEN! But I digress…).

Desktop publishing was invented in San Francisco, or rather in Silicon Valley—with the advent of Apple's Macintosh computer in 1984. Small presses abounded in California—when the rest of the world ignored California writers, they took to the s/tamizdat concept and self-published literary newsletters and chapbooks on carbon paper, mimeograph and rizograph machines, hand-letter presses, linotype—you name it.

When the Mac came along, it revolutionized the small press publishing industry. No more carbon-paper filled in 'e's or weak-fingered typing style clues for Sam Spade to decode and pin the ransom note on the unlikely suspect in the secretarial pool. Typography took on a bold new style and publishing has never been the same since. But I'm getting a few decades ahead of myself.

I'd like to pay homage to California's revolutionary—in all senses of the word— small press tradition. Granary Books blog by Steve Clay & Rodney Phillips (1998) on the origins of small (but subversive) American tamizdat tradition that featured the disregarded poets from the NY school, Black Mountain, The Beats and the San Francisco Renaissance which spawned the new American poetry scene—is a must read.

The poets Clay and Phillips cite were my literary parents—in some cases, they were literally my babysitters—my mom got around. I've met/heard most of them read—with the exception of Spicer and Kerouac.

According to Granary Books, in "A Little History of the Mimeograph Revolution," the earliest mimeographed literary item was Yvor Winters's Gyroscope (a newsletter published for his classes at Stanford, 1929-30).

But the west coast American tamizdat literary tradition really took off with William Everson, while he was incarcerated in a CO camp in Oregon, who published poems in a newsletter, The Untide, which led to chapbooks including his X War Elegies, and Kenneth Patchen's An Astonished Eye Looks Out Of the Air —before moving his press to Berkeley.
William Everson ca 1992

In 1947, another mimeo rag, The Ark was published in San Francisco, featuring Everson, Kenneth Rexroth, Robert Duncan—which begat Duncan's Berkeley Miscelleny with Jack Spicer and Robin Blazer. Which led to the Gallery Six reading. And so on.

One could say that Lawrence Ferlinghetti's City Lights Publishers (founded in 1952, the year I was born) came out of California's version of the tamizdat tradition. City Lights published Philip Lamantia, Jack Spicer, Robert Duncan, Pauline Kael—and Larry—who, BTW, went by the name of Ferling in those days. City Lights was launched into the literary limelight in 1956 when Lawrence published Allen Ginsberg's controversial Howl and Other Poems. But again, I digress.

While I was at Sonoma State University in the late 1970s, we produced several tamizdat books and poetry readings. I silk-screened cover stencils and cranked out books and broadsides mimeograph machines….

Apparently digression is my middle name today. Guilt by associative memory and having access to Google at my fingertips. But first, let me wrestle my wayward thoughts back to those Blogger stats.

(Here's the apologia:) Because I no longer host myriad poetry readings, rarely read in public, nor profusely publish tamizdat editions—I feel cut off from the writing community. I continue to write, and teach poetry to kids under the auspices of California Poets in the Schools—but my relentless pursuit of the printed word has diminished. And so has my sense of audience.

And so I turned to blogging, I published new work, old work—work in many genres—so much so, that a reader complained of navigating the disorganized aspect of my blog. Which I can't help as the only organization I can claim is a random chronology.

Suffice to day, work from 2007-2008 is mostly old work—mostly previously published. Articles, poems—interspliced with new work in the form of memoir. I really only began this blog in August of 2008, so this is a two-year anniversary of sorts.

Lest you think I've reached the ultimate vanity of blogging on my blogger stats, let me say that because I only have 14 followers posted on my blog page—and I had to twists some arms to get that many followers, I find it endlessly fascinating to see that I do indeed have real readers—though few people actually leave comments.

Another blogger boggler is that my readership includes the former Soviet Union—the Russias including Ukraine. My revised 1992 article on artist, Igor Tischler, seems to be getting a fair bit of play at present—should I assume that the Russians are reading it?

As I write these words, six readers in the former USSR are reading my blog. It's not surprising to have a following in English-speaking countries: but when I refresh the Now button, Uzbekistan, Moldova, Latvia, Czech Republic,  South Korea, Vietnam, China, Iraq, Colombia, Brazil, and India appear. Where the hell is Burundi? Near Rwanda, it's vying for the dead bottomth position of the ten poorest countries in the world. Where's Bono? I have Tutsi & Hutu readers? How utterly exotic.

OK, so in India, English is a second language. But I've turned on the Hindi translator—just in case. All the rest, no can do. Here's hoping Google Translator won't make a dog's breakfast of Tutsi or Swahili.

I've learned that I have two dozen readers in Ireland—since they all seem to be uploading a photo of my great-grandparents, I'll assume they're my newfound Walsh cousins from Bantry. Valerie in UK and Kat in Canada are boosting my stats, I'm sure.

For some reason, Black Bart, the gentleman Po8 is on the radar. He was California's own Robin Hood of a poetic persuasion. I can understand why Hiking up Big Rock Ridge is garnering attention—California's assinine SB 624—to abolish California's state rock, serpentine—because it harbors asbestos (not)—is a hot news item.

For the life of me, I can't figure out why the post, Cat's Up is garnering any attention. It's so non-sational. One of the odd upshots of knowing one's readership—is what they're reading—which, in turn, has me madly revising old writing I would've never otherwise revisited Case in point with Cat's Up. What is it, is it the name that attracts? I tried Googling it—to no avail. What's the link?

What's most astounding figure to come out of the Blogger stats is that in the month it's been in operation, I've had an amazing amount of traffic to one blog entry in particular, The Irish Redhead Gene Myth. Which really should read as: The Viking Redhead Gene Myth because that's the really myth I'm debunking. If I change the name, will I lose those readers? Sigh.

Then the penny dropped—as I tabbed between Stats Overview, Posts, Traffic Sources, and Audience—I realized I have had more readers on my redheaded rant in one month than I probably ever had from all my poems in print.

Think I'll coin a new phrase. Google's Blogger is the New Zamizdat!