Sunday, July 16, 2017

Herman Berlandt Memorial, Bolinas

Ilka meant July 16.
I am not ready to write about Herman. I spent years working with him and even lived in Bolinas for a while I've included some links below. This is a placeholder.

Meanwhile, check out my blog posts on Soviet poetry since Glasnost, the periodical we made for National Poetry week that launched Mother Earth News.

Andrei Vosnesensky, National Poetry WeekLetter from Oleg Atbashian 

Herman Berlandt - My Life, My Story Vimeo
Herman Berlandt. Do you know this man? He reshaped the face of poetry in the United States ...

Herman Berlandt, a poet and Bolinas fixture Point Reyes LightHerman Berlandt, who emigrated to the United States with his family from Chelm, Poland in the late 1920s, wrote a poem every day. Known by many in Bolinas, where he lived for almost 50 years, for his fierce love of poetry and music and his proclivity to break into dance, Mr. Berlandt died of old age on May 15, surrounded by family and friends. He was thought to be about 95 years old. “He was a fixture of the community of Bolinas,” photographer Ilka Hartmann, who helped take care of Mr. Berlandt in the last two years of his life, said. In 1975, he founded the National Poetry Association, which convened two-week celebrations of poetry in San Francisco for more than two decades. He also edited and published numerous collections, including an anthology titled “Peace of Parish,” which featured a foreword by poet and co-founder of City Lights, Lawrence Ferlinghetti.Mr. Berlandt self-published dozens of collections of his work and helped promote the work of other poets worldwide. For many years, he published Mother Earth News, a quarterly journal that featured the work of poets from different regions across the globe. "
I was staff photographer for National Poetry Week and we co-produced Mother Earth News until 1997.

Rhymes are his reason - Marin Independent Journal
Nov 15, 2005 ... Shoved into a space above the SOMAR gallery in the shadow of Interstate 80, Herman Berlandt surrounds himself in the paperwork of a dream.

Poet wants the muse in a museum / Bolinas author stumps for S.F. repository

Mar 15, 2002 ... There have been many loves in his life, but Bolinas poet Herman Berlandtsays the main romance of his nearly eight decades on the planet has .
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1923, Berlandt said he left home at 16 to get away from a strict upbringing. His first job was delivering box lunches to secretaries on Wall Street. Unable to afford an apartment on his own, Berlandt moved to a commune where the late New York poet, Maxwell Bodenheim, gave lessons about poetry.

"At that time, in the 1940s, Bodenheim in New York was like Ferlinghetti in San Francisco," Berlandt said.

Still struggling to make a living, and not wanting to move home again, Berlandt said he committed himself to Rockland Psychiatric Hospital in upstate New York, where he was fortunate enough to be assigned to the gardening crew. The commitment meant free room and board for him -- and not having to be under the watchful eye of his parents.

As with many of Berlandt's tales -- the story provides the ever-present poetry hook.

"This was the same place where Carl Solomon came. Allen Ginsburg was there - - it's where Ginsburg wrote his 'Howl' poem," Berlandt said.

Berlandt relocated to the West Coast in his 20s, securing a job with Bethlehem Steel during World War II at the Marin Shipyards in what is today Marin City. In the 1950s, he enrolled at the University of California at Berkeley, pursuing a degree first in premed, then in history. Before he could finish the degree, Berlandt met and married his first wife, Elisa, with whom he had a daughter, Nicola, now 53. It was during this time, he said, that he discovered and fell in love with Berkeley's underground poetry movement.

Herman practically reinvented the poetry film movement. I was a poetry judge, and I also did voiceover narratives on poetry films.

Poetry film - Wikipedia
Poetry film is a subgenre of film that fuses the use of spoken word poetry, visual images, and ... 1970s this genre was further explored by the Beat Generation poets Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Allen Ginsberg, and Herman Berlandt,

Herman's sidekick at the National Poetry Association, Jack Mueller also died in May.

May 4, 2017 | 
Cristina Mueller called her father "a deeply original man who made art and poetry wherever he went," drawing and composing poems on bar napkins, index cards and the like. ... He also served, for 15 years as .

I'm so glad someone managed to catch Herman on film.

And What Shall I KnowHerman Berlandt - YouTube

Herman was a prolific writer, often writing a poem a day... One of his first books was

BerlandtHerman. Berkeley, Calif., 1970. 1970 oblong pamphlet bound with staples, with some toning. Full-page black and white photos

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