February Readin’

February Literary Happenings
Originally uploaded by geminipoet

[Being a short month and all, I’m really surprised how much reading I got done. A highlight was finding the audio of Nerdua delivering the Nobel Lecture and then getting a comment from the folks at redpoppy.net, an excellent Neruda resource.

Speaking of resources, I also got to check out the Allan Ginsberg, Anne Waldman and Joy Harjo recordings from the Lannan Video Series. Harjo was chill but understated in describing her process and in reading her work, definitely not the same vibrancy I experienced when hearing her live at the Bowery Poetry Club 13 months back. Waldman on the other hand was the same super animated, belting poems using her whole body as an instrument, cross collaborative, deeply introspective on poetics, fast speaking woman I’ve seen on stage. Ginsberg was reading poems he penned 20-30 years back from his “Best of/Collected” tome with so much joy, surprise, and vigor, you’d think that they were the newness from last week; and his talk on how sometimes his poems would start as melodic tunes he converted to vowel and consonant notes on page was one of the most succinct explanations on lyric poetry I’ve ever heard.

I can’t believe Barb and I also were able to hit up five literary events this month with Writers Remembered, the RE:DEFintion Hip-hop Conference, Poor Magazine’s Luchador Poetry Battle, the San Francisco Noir 2 reading, and The Wind Shifts Tour. Damn. Life in the Bay sure is good with that breadth and width of readings that really does give you so many perspectives on what great writing can be and, most importantly, is.

With so much happenin’ and so many influences on my writing, I’m thinking that from now on I’ll be keeping track of more items than just books on my monthly retrospectives.]

• From the Cables of Genocide: Poems on Love and Hunger by Lorna Dee Cervantes
• Letters to a Young Novelist by Mario Vargas-Llosa
• Bluestown Mockingbird Mambo by Sandra Maria Esteves
• Swamp Thing Vol. 1: Saga of the Swamp Thing by Alan Moore, art by Stephen Bissette, and John Totleben
• The Fate of the Artist by Eddie Campbell
• Toward the Splendid City by Pablo Neruda
• When Living Was a Labor Camp by Diana Garcia
• Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation by Lynne Truss
• Survival Supervivencia by Miguel Algarín
• Colors! ¡Colores! by Jorge Luján, illustrated by Piet Grobler, translated by John Oliver Simon and Rebecca Parfitt
• The Wind Shifts: New Latino Poetry edited by Francisco Aragón

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1 Comment

  1. Oscar, you’re right about reading being much more than just books. Especially with poetry. I’m always reading poems in collections and anthologies without reading the entire book. There’s also newspaper articles, both in hard newspapers and online.

    Thank you for the photos and the videos on the Wind Shifts Reading. I always say no one covers a reading like you do.

    It’d be interesting to get your thoughts on the reading. I’m glad that Moe’s had to put out extra chairs, and there were people sitting on the steps.


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