Thursday, September 26, 2019

COYOTE MOON


The chickens were clucking up a storm at sunset
when the coyotes began plotting
under a waning hunter’s moon—
the chickens fell strangely silent.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Artist bio for CAC


I’ve taught artist-in-school residencies in rural & urban schools in California since 1979. I’ve received 7 individual CAC AIR grants in Sonoma & Napa counties; & the Montana Arts Council. I’ve participated in CAC multi-artist residencies, received a PBS/KQED AIR grant, & two Oakland Cultural Arts Council grants. I’ve led arts workshops in the Western US & Florida, as well as in the Bahamas, Netherlands, & the former USSR. I’ve won fellowships and awards for my writing, art, and teaching residencies. I worked for alternative newspapers, writing news, & arts feature stories. I’ve trained artists and teachers through arts organizations, including California Poets in the Schools, Artists in the Schools of Sonoma County, Rural Arts Services, 

I’ve taught in a diverse range of communities throughout California. My ongoing work brings me in contact with a wide and diverse range of artists. I’ve photo-documented artists—especially poets—since 1979. I volunteer at the San Geronimo Valley Community Center, working with elders, and I have had art displayed at several of the the art exhibits at the art center. I was a featured poet at the latest Petaluma Poetry Walk, & am a coordinator & emcee for the Watershed Environmental Poetry Festival.

I have worked 20 years in Bay Area schools, teaching poetry and art to historically underserved schools including Oakland, and Hunters’s Point, in San Francisco, developing culturally relevant arts programming to meet their specific needs. Before that, I coordinated arts programming for 20 years in rural Sonoma County. I have worked with all ages, and demographics, including inmates at Napa Stare Hospital, and elders as well. How needs were determined was by meeting with the host client before the residency and creating an arts program to meet their specific needs.

I got the CAC grant!

Friday, September 20, 2019

Spirit Rock (pastel and paintings), White’s Hill for a show, Where We Call Home



Today’s experiment for a show, Where We Call Home, chalkboard paint on canvas board, stabilo pencils, and Nupastel, wet pastel drawing. I quit working on it when I got too cold to work. My nose was running like a sieve. I wanted another piece for the upcoming art show. Maybe this one will work. I used chalkboard paint for gesso.

Because everything is so compromised, I’m amazed I can function at all. A tooth whitener applicator brush was my paintbrush. Working on canvas board was more successful than working on canvas. But I still can’t rework areas very much. So, it’s all or nothing. And detachment. A lot of detachment.

Just past White’s Hill, Flanders’ Ranch, Loma Alta Ridge. Wet pastel. It took me three days of angst, to get started, and 45 minutes to draw....nothing like a looming deadline. I used wet prismacolor pastel, mostly conte crayons, some carb-othello pastel pencils and wet construction paper. Looks painterly, huh. The secret is water, the pastel becomes buttery. You get the best of both worlds: painterly, and a drawing.



They took all three pieces, the two versions of White’s Hill (acrylic, wet pastel), and this one (wet pastel & stabile pencil). They may hang all three, if there’s room, tho two pieces are the limit. SGV art center, Where we call Home. Benefit for the Center. Opening Oct 5.

So if two pieces sell, then I can buy either the big bolshoi Nupastel set (96 colors), or the Carb-Othello stabile pencils in the wooden box. Decisions, decisions. I’ve made a deal with myself, to enter every show I am offered, and to try to sell enough art to cover my basic materials. So far, I have been in 4 art shows at the San Geronimo Valley Community Art Center. This is after decades of not showing any art at all.

A couple of failed pieces



Sunday, September 15, 2019

Asbestos angel, assemblage


I made many pieces for the upcoming Where We Call Home, this assemblage exists only in a photo as the particleboard I used turned out to be asbestos. It was the living room wall that was destroyed when the meth head crashed into it on the 4th of July.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Petaluma Poetry Walk schedule

13 cool things about the Petaluma Poetry Walk
September 12, 2019 | Argus-Courier (Petaluma, CA)
Author: David Templeton | Section: Entertainment 

PETALUMA POETRY WALK
Sunday, Sept. 15, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.

One of Petaluma's most distinctive and unique annual event, the Poetry Walk steps out for its 24th consecutive year. Here's what's going to happen.

11 a.m. - Hotel Petaluma, 205 Kentucky St. - Sonoma County Poet Laureate Maya Khosla, plus local poets Barbara Swift Brauer and Camille Norton, Hosted by Terry Ehret.

12 p.m. - The Bank, 199 N. Petaluma Blvd. - Poets Terri Glass, Martin Hickel and Erin Rodoni. Hosted by Kevin Pryne.

1 p.m. - the River Front Café, 224 B St. - Readings by Diane Frank, William Greenwood and Jeanne Powell. Hosted by David Magdalene.

2 p.m. - North Bay Café, 25 N. Petaluma Blvd. Poetry readings by Arnoldo Garcia and Nina Serrano. Hosted by Daniel McKenzie.

3 p.m. – Copperfield's Books, 140 Kentucky St. - Forrest Gander and Maxine Chernoff. Hosted by Gwenn O'Gara.

4 p.m. - The Phoenix Theater, 201 Washington St. Lucille Lang Day, Ruth Nolan, Susan Cohen, Barbara Quick and Jack Foley will read from "Fire and Rain: Ecopoetry of California." Iris Dunkle hosts.

5 p.m. - Petaluma Historical Museum and Library, 20 Fourth St. - Phyllis Meshulam and student poets from Cal Poets and Poetry Out Loud. Hosted by John Johnson.

6 p.m. - Aqus Café, 189 H St. - Poets Raphael Block, Albert Flynn DeSIlver, Maureen Hurley, Michael Koch and Gail Mitchell. David Magdalene hosts.

For more information on this event and these poets, visit PetalumaPoetryWalk.org.

Let's face it.

Whether or not you have ever personally attended Petaluma's legendary Poet Walk event, which has taken place annually for nearly a quarter of a century, you have to admit, it is a pretty remarkable thing. Dozens of poets from student to professionals, some pretty famous, all reading their poems out loud in eight different locations (cafés, bookstores, theaters, museums and banks) for a total audience of up to 1000 poetry-loving pedestrians over the course of eight glorious hours on a sunny Sunday afternoon in downtown Petaluma.

Folks come from all over to experience this entertainingly literary movable feast, some just dropping in for a reading or two, other's following along to catch every single syllable. This year's event will begin at Hotel Petaluma, and conclude with a two-hour poetry party at Aqus Café.

And of course, it being a poetry WALK, there will be brief moments of ambulatory conversation and curbside camaraderie as the group moves from one location to another. It's basically a great big blast, and though no one's giving out scores or anything, the folks who actually know something about some of the featured poets, and the history of the walk itself, do find that knowing a few extra tidbits can prove useful, especially when first-timers have joined the fun.

Here then, to give you some assistance, are 13 cool things to know (so you can share them, when appropriate) about the 24th Annual Petaluma Poetry Walk and some of the poets who will be participating.

1. The Poetry Walk was founded by Petaluma poet and artist Geri DiGiorno in 1996. Sonoma County's fourth official Poet Laureate, DiGiorno has been a tireless supporter of poetry throughout the Bay area. She once conducted an experiment in Petaluma's Putnam Plaza, where for one hour she approached passersby to offer them their choice between a crisp dollar bill and a book of poetry. After one hour, she'd given away twice as many books as she'd handed out bucks.

2. This year's opening acts of poetry, kicking off at the Hotel Petaluma at 11 a.m., will feature readings by Barbara Swift Brauer ("Rain, Like a Thief"), Camille Norton ("A Folio for the Dark") and Maya Khosla ("All the Fires of Wind and Light"). Khosla is the current Sonoma County Poet Laureate, serving though 2020.

3. The first Sonoma County Poet Laureate was named in the year 2000. Many of the past Sonoma County Poet Laureates have participated in the Poetry Walk. Just in case you have the opportunity to weigh in, the County's past PLs are as follows - Don Emblen (2000-2001), David Bromige (2002-2003), Terry Ehret (2004-2006), Geri Digiorno (2006-2007), Mike Tuggle (2008-2009), Gwynn O'Gara (2010-2011), Bill Vartnaw (2012-2013), Katherine Hastings (2014-2015), Iris Jamahl Dunkle (2016-2017).

4. Martin Hickel, who will be reading at noon at the day's second venue, The Bank (corner of Washington and Petaluma BLvd.) - along with Terri Glass "The Song of Yes") and Erin Rodoni ("Body, In Good Light") - assists Poetry Walk founder Geri DiGiorno with the organization of the event. He has served as organizer of the Marin Poetry Festival and Sunset By the Bay Reading Series. He is a member of the Revolutionary Poets Brigade in San Francisco.

PETALUMA POETRY WALK

Sunday, Sept. 15, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.

One of Petaluma's most distinctive and unique annual event, the Poetry Walk steps out for its 24th consecutive year. Here's what's going to happen.

11 a.m. - Hotel Petaluma, 205 Kentucky St. - Sonoma County Poet Laureate Maya Khosla, plus local poets Barbara Swift Brauer and Camille Norton, Hosted by Terry Ehret.

12 p.m. - The Bank, 199 N. Petaluma Blvd. - Poets Terri Glass, Martin Hickel and Erin Rodoni. Hosted by Kevin Pryne.

1 p.m. - the River Front Café, 224 B St. - Readings by Diane Frank, William Greenwood and Jeanne Powell. Hosted by David Magdalene.

2 p.m. - North Bay Café, 25 N. Petaluma Blvd. Poetry readings by Arnoldo Garcia and Nina Serrano. Hosted by Daniel McKenzie.

3 p.m. – Copperfield's Books, 140 Kentucky St. - Forrest Gander and Maxine Chernoff. Hosted by Gwenn O'Gara.

4 p.m. - The Phoenix Theater, 201 Washington St. Lucille Lang Day, Ruth Nolan, Susan Cohen, Barbara Quick and Jack Foley will read from "Fire and Rain: Ecopoetry of California." Iris Dunkle hosts.

5 p.m. - Petaluma Historical Museum and Library, 20 Fourth St. - Phyllis Meshulam and student poets from Cal Poets and Poetry Out Loud. Hosted by John Johnson.

6 p.m. - Aqus Café, 189 H St. - Poets Raphael Block, Albert Flynn DeSIlver, Maureen Hurley, Michael Koch and Gail Mitchell. David Magdalene hosts.

For more information on this event and these poets, visit PetalumaPoetryWalk.org.

5. One of the earliest Poetry Walks, in 1999, featured a performance by actor-poet Roberts Blossom, best known for playing Old Man Marley, the spooky, snow-shovel-wielding next-door neighbor of Macauley Culkin in "Home Alone." The late Blossom (he died in 2011), then a resident of Berkeley, read his poems from the second-floor balcony in the former Reade Moore Books.

6. Among the readers at the 1 p.m. event, at the River Front Café, is poet Diane Frank ("Letters From a Sacred Mountain Place"), who is also professional cellist, performing with the Golden Gate Symphony in San Francisco. Also reading at the River Front are William Greenwood and Jeane Powell.

7. Arnoldo Garcia, one of two poets performing at North Bay Café at 2 p.m., is the founder of Poets Against War & Racism, using poetry and performance to counter the normalization of war and racism. Performing alongside Garcia will be 84-year-old Nina Serano, of KPCA and OZCAT.

8. The Poetry Walk is free to attend, but is not free to produce. Currently, there is a GoFundMe campaign in operation, hoping to raise $2,000 to cover the bare bones of expenses. Additional money raised will go to supporting next year's 25th annual Poetry Walk. You can contribute at GoFundMe.com/f/petaluma-poetry-walk-2019.

9. The 3 p.m. session, at Copperfield's Books, will feature two major award-winning writers. Maxine Chernoff is a 2013 National Endowment of the Arts Fellow and a professor of creative writing at San Francisco State University, and the author of more than 20 books of poetry and fiction. Forrest Gander, of Petaluma, in the 2019 Pulitzer Prize Winner for Poetry, for his book "Be With." The reading will be hosted by Gwen O'Gara.

10. At the Phoenix Theater, the 4 p.m. reading will include five poets – Lucille Lang Day, Ruth Nolan, Susan Cohen, Jack Foley and Barbara Quick - whose work appears in the collection "Fire and Rain: Ecopoetry of California." This even will be hosted by Iris Dunkle.

11. Student poets from the Cal Poets and Poetry Out Loud programs will be presenting their works, along with poet Phyllis Meshulam. The bilingual programs encourage personal expression and appreciation of the arts. Poetry Out Loud, a program of competitive poetry recitation, was created in 2006 by the National Endowment for the Arts, under Sonoma County's own Dan Gioia.

12. Albert Flynn DeSilver, one of the five poets reading at the day-ending party at Aqus Café, was Marin County's very first Poet Laureate, serving from 2008-2010. The other poets will be Raphael Block, Maureen Hurley, Gail Mitchell and Michael Koch.

13. Each of the eight events at this year's Poetry Walks will include a "host." Three of them – Terry Ehret at 11 a.m., Gwenn O'Gara at 3 p.m., and Iris Dunkle at 4 p.m., are former Poets Laureate of Sonoma County.


Autumn Roundup: Fall, the 'mellower season' officially begins
August 26 - September 12, 2019 | Argus-Courier (Petaluma, CA) PETALUMA POETRY WALK (Sunday, Sept. 15, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.) – One of Petaluma's most distinctive and unique annual event, the Poetry Walk steps up for its 24th consecutive year. Here's what's going to happen. Beginning at 11 a.m. in the ballroom of Hotel Petaluma (205 Kentucky St.), where host Terry Ehret will introduce readings by three local poets (Barbara Swift Brauer, Camille Norton, and Sonoma County Poet Laureate Maya Khosla), the movable feast will then move to The Bank, 199 N. Petaluma Blvd. There, at noon, you can hear readings by Terri Glass, Martin Hickel and Erin Rodoni, hosted by Kevin Pryne. At 1 p.m., at the River Front Café (224 B St.), hosted by David Magdalene, there will be readings by Diane Frank, William Greenwood and Jeanne Powell. At 2 p.m., at North Bay Café (25 N. Petaluma Blvd.), host Daniel McKenzie (that's technically still tentative) will introduce attendees to poets Arnoldo Garcia and Nina Serrano. Copperfield's Books is the location of the 3 p.m. session, hosted by Gwenn O'Gara, and featuring poets Maxine Chernoff and Petaluma's own 2019 Pulitzer winner Forrest Gander. Iris Dunkle hosts the 4 p.m. session at The Phoenix Theater (201 Washington St.), where poets Lucille Lang Day, Ruth Nolan, Susan Cohen, Barbara Quick and Jack Foley will read poems from the recent collection "Fire and Rain: Ecopoetry of California." At 5 p.m., the whole shebang moves to the Petaluma Historical Museum and Library (20 Fourth St.), where host John Johnson will introduce Phyllis Meshulam and student poets from Cal Poets and Poetry Out Loud. And it all comes to a close with a two-hour block of poetry at Aqus Café (189 H St.), hosted by David Magdalene and featuring Raphael Block, Albert Flynn DeSIlver, Maureen Hurley, Michael Koch and Gail Mitchell. You can follow along all day, or pick-and-choose, but do enjoy some live poetry in this unique literary celebration. PetalumaPoetryWalk.org.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Kiger mustangs carry rare Iberian Sorraia mtDNA


A chalk drawing on a broken school desk I made for an art show.

Someone posted a photo of dun-colored Kiger mustangs, a horse that carries a rare mtDNA recessive dun-color gene from Iberia, and I fell down the Google rabbithole. I noted the phenotype was similar to the endangered Iberian horses related to the Gallego, and Sorraia breeds. The Southeastern Oregon Kiger mustangs were originally flagged as being unusual because of their dun coloring. Instead of shooting the mustangs for dogfood, someone thought to sequence their DNA. So, being a horse of a different color literally saved a rare genetic pool from extinction.

BLM photo of dun Kiger mustangs in southeastern Oregon

The BLM photos of the Kiger mustangs made me think of the autochthonous, or Neolithic CeltIberian Sorraia (closely related to the Marismeño) horse, also with rare mtDNA markers. Coat coloration was the clue. Horses that are dun colored (a bay, or chestnut dilution gene), or grey-dun grullo (an even rarer black dilution gene—neither roan, nor grey) not only carry a primitive recessive coloration gene, they often have dark faces and points with pangaré markings, body mottling, zebra-striped leg, and dorsal stripes—a primitive dun horse trait similar to those tarpan-like horses represented in paleolithic cave paintings. Their manes and tails are often bi-colored white and black like that of the feral Polish Konik horse, and the wild Przewalski's horse.
Many equines appearing in prehistoric cave paintings such as in Chauvet cave are dun, and several closely related species in the genus Equus show dun characteristics. These include the Przewalski's horse...and an extinct subspecies of horse, the tarpan. —Wiki

Chauvet, Ardèche, France, 31 000 BP —Wiki

Contrary to popular belief, Spanish didn't send their prize Baroque Andalusian horses to the New World. They sent primitive native horses on long ocean voyages that lasted two months or more. Hardy and resistant, unlike the valuable blooded horses preferred by the nobility, those diminutive horses captured from the fens and marshes of Portugal, could survive the harshest of conditions, and subsist on little food or water.

Paleolithic artwork in Lascaux II, note the horse is pacing, not trotting—Wiki
Because the native ponies weren't valued as blood animals, they also nearly became extinct in both the New and Old Worlds via neglect and distain. The Sorraia was once hunted for food, and the Exmoor pony was used for target practice during WWII, they were a source of illegal meat in the cities. During the 1970s, the BLM was infamous for slaughtering entire herds of mustangs for dogfood. And their nearest ancestor, the native American wild horse was probably hunted to extinction during the Ice Age.

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Scanning old negatives of the Napa Poetry Conferences 1981-1986 (photos)


I've added more photos under the Comments section on Facebook. Check it out.
While scanning old negatives of the Napa Poetry Conferences (1981-1986), I didn't realize how profound a sense of community there was with the Napa Poetry Conferences (NPC), a tribe of poets, similar to California Poets in the Schools, that met once a year, and included poets from the Americas, and beyond.

Founder Dave Evans began the NPC with a group of Berkeley poets in 1981, the original series, where no one was ever turned away for lack of money, and the series ran until his death, in 1987, The late John Leggett, who retired from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, developed the Napa Valley Writers’ Conference (NVWC) fiction portion of the workshops in 1986, and the NPC took on its present form. Not the same. That's my uncredited photo on their web page (albeit a terrible copy). I hope to rectify that soon.

I'm still friends with many of the original NPC poets, among them, I treasure my long-term friendships with Donna Hilbert, Florence Weinberger, Kathleen Lynch, Sharon Doubiago, Sandra McPherson, Carolyn Forché, Bob Hass, Robert Pinsky, and others. I just found Joan Maiers on Facebook and I'm thrilled to connect with her after all these years.

I found in my Napa Poetry Conference negatives from 1983, a photo of Susan Herron Sibbet! I didn't realize that I knew her way back then. So many poets are gone, founder Dave Evans, Susan Sibbit, Maggie Meyers, Mary Rudge, Carolyn Kizer, Galway Kinnell. So many writers whose names I've forgotten. Let this scanfest be the beginning of an homage to our extended writing community, to both the living and the dead. In some small way, what I can give back to those who have nurtured me, are these old memories, photos chronicling the past. 

So many people I wish I had kept in touch with: Tess Gallagher, Diane Glancy, Laurie Deusing, Jess River, Cindy Frank, and more.

This is a sneak preview. I’ve scanned all of the 1983 negatives, and am about 2/3 through 1984. Need to clean them up before I post (mostly artifacts, or dust embedded in the negatives). Still to do, 1985....and I’ve only found a few 1982 negatives. Hope they turn up.

If you can figure out a way for me to get funded for doing this work, a grant, a scholarship, a residency, please let me know. Also, I am daunted by how I can present these photos, so many of them. I made a Facebook prototype where I used one photo as a main subject and the comments section to post related photos.

Here is a link to the NPC Bahamas poetry conference on Facebook, it's open to the public. A gathering of poets, Orange Hill, Nassau Island, The Bahamas, 1985. There are many more photos posted as comments below each main photo, which you may not see on a smartphone or tablet unless you click on the comments. You might notice the photo has three comments, that’s three more hidden photos.

— with Dave Evans, Robert Hass, Marcella Taylor, Glenna Luschei, Nathaniel Mackey, Carolyn Forché, Gary Sange, Kris Lauritsen, Sharon Doubiago

See A gathering of poets, Orange Hill, Nassau Island

More poet scans from National Poetry Week: Poetry Flash marathon reading, 1983, Fort Mason. With Gene Ruggles, Herman Berlandt, Mary Rudge. QR Hand, AD Winans, Max Schwartz, Darrell Gauff, Diana Sainz.

Mystery poets, 1980s, early 90s? National Poetry Week. Fort Mason. Herman Berlandt is the only poet I could identify.

A gathering of poets, Orange Hill, Nassau Island, The Bahamas, 1985. )photos)


The Bahamas, 1985 more photos posted as comments below each Facebook photo

A gathering of poets, Orange Hill, Nassau Island, The Bahamas, 1985. There are many more photos posted as comments below each main photo on Facebook (the link is public), which you may not see on a smartphone or tablet unless you actually click on comments. You might notice that a photo has three comments, that’s three more photos embedded in the comments.
I arrived in the archipelago of some 700 atolls and islands spread across 550 miles, a week early to help set up the conference. Dave Evans, founder of the Napa Valley Poetry Conference, was the brainchild and midwife of an exotic adventure into poetry. The cast of poets is pretty extraordinary too. With the underwriting of a famous novelist's wife, we managed to relocate the entire conference from the Napa wine country to the Bahamas. We drove to the tiny airport to welcome the poets. Nearly all the poets were from California, and a few from New York, to attend this first international Bahamas writers' conference.... —from Monster from the Deep

Sharon Doubiago, ? Kristine Lauritsen, ? Nathaniel Mackey, ? Robert Hass, Carolyn Forché, ? Marcella Taylor; Dave Evans,??? me.

I’m so tickled I was able to finally get a clean copy of the group shot. This is where going digital really pays off. I scan the negatives in color @ 3200ppi, to get wider range of greyscale, then reduce the saturation level so that there is only the greyscale band left, no RGB. That's what gives them depth. (The richness and depth of the background makes me all drooley. Also the crosslight on faces. Or the way the presence of light can create the framework for the photo. It's a Vermeer thing.)

The original photo was Tri-X 400 ASA, probably pushed to 800 ASA. I never could get a decent print of it. By digitalizing it, I was able to bring out the details. Something I never managed to do in the darkroom. Ilford glossy paper (vs. matt paper, which had a wider range of greyscale) gave the best overall results but much was lost in the stark contrast between black and white. Paper choice was always a juggling act.

Scanners don't do well with B&W negatives, part of the problem is that the silver bromide left on the film reflects back light to the lens. I'm using an Epson Perfection v550, which has a single lens. I really should use the Epson Perfection v850 scanner with its dual lens system. It handles the reflected light much better. I realize this is all Blah blah blah Ginger to most of you (WTF is she nattering on about?)

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

For the Bahamas (scans from 1985) (photos)




For the Bahamas. That fragile strand of atolls, jeweled necklace of the sea. We were in the Bahamas in 1985 for a writers' conference, and became friends with many local writers. I hope they are safe, especially Gareth on Cat Island, near Freeport, and Eleuthera, or Cigateo, the birthplace of the Bahamas, home of the Arawak/Taino. To see the related photos posted as comment son Facebook visit my page. I found and scanned the b&w negatives of the poetry conference. I will post them later after I’ve cleaned them up. I'll be posting some of the B&W photos of us soon.