Featured Reader, March 2017

Christine Richardson, the co-host of Willow Glen Poetry, introduced the featured reader for March, Peter Neil Carroll, with these words:

Tonight we welcome back our October 2013 featured reader, Peter Neil Carroll. At that time Peter presented many of the fine poems in his 2012 prize winning book, A Child Turns Back to Wave: Poetry of Lost Places. He then continued to reveal the deeper truths of America’s past, present and (intuits) the future in his 2015 book, Fracking Dakota: Poems for a Wounded Land.  Peter has the gift for examining the landscape of industry and the industry of landscape as he holds them in juxtaposition as in his poem, “Birds of Dakota” in which he paints us a lovely/terrifying scene of silos, cows, hayfields, the quintessential red barn where The Bomb sleeps underground.

Peter is not the typical poet Billy Collins describes sitting at his desk by a window only imagining the world beyond. Peter goes whole-heartedly physically and emotionally into the world and extracts the poetry out of it. This is what is in store for us tonight. Peter is here with his literally hot off the press latest book of poems, published just last month, The Truth Lies on Earth: A Year by Dark, by Bright. It has been described as “containing poems of small moments, intimate scenes with expansive import.” For those of us who were fortunate to hear Peter read nearly 4 years ago and or remember his poems from open mic, particularly last month’s very touching poem, “Finance” know the wisdom and wit and the keen reflective powers Peter pours into his poetry. Please welcome Peter Neil Carroll!

Featured Reader, February 2017

Christine Richardson, the co-host of Willow Glen Poetry, introduced February’s featured reader, Janet Trenchard with these words:

We are very pleased to honor a valued supporter and frequent participant of Willow Glen Third Thursdays, Janet Trenchard.  Janet carries dual artisanships: she is both a well- known visual artist and a published poet. While her two choices of creative expressions are executed differently, what inspires her can be viewed as arising out of the same source.  Janet describes her paintings as kinesthetic and visual pleasure, which gives her a sense of being in touch with the process, resulting in paintings that can look very elemental.

In much the same way her poems involve the very elemental aspects of human existence: the ebb and flow of daily life, memories – good and bad, aging, and celebrations of the individual spirit especially when it is not constricted by norms.

I invite you to listen to Janet’s poems tonight with an ear for the kinesthetic. Notice how the lines almost ask you to rub them through your fingers or hold them on your tongue, as in these phrases from her poem Circling: Life, I want to get caught in your web…. drink your sticky nectar… swoon like jello.  And in your mind’s eye see the strong visuals she incorporates into each poem. In her poem, Memory Hag, Janet paints a checkerboard floor mopped with the long gray strands of memory revealing among many things both the crumbs and frostings of birthday cakes and broken glass crunched underfoot.

Please welcome artist and poet, Janet Trenchard.

Featured Reader, January 2017

Christine Richardson, the co-host of Willow Glen Poetry, introduced January’s featured reader, Tamam Kahn with these words:

Welcome to the start of another year for the Third Thursday Willow Glen Poetry Readings. Throughout the years of presentations we have tried to honor the primary purpose for our existence: to hold a caring community space for the many rich poetic voices from here and afar. Tonight we are so pleased to have a poet return to us who exemplifies our goal of inclusiveness. With her first book, Untold, A History of the Wives of Prophet Mohammad, our featured reader, Tamam Kahn informed and delighted us.  Again we will be enriched by Tamam’s work as she has brought us her new book Fatima’s Touch, Poems and Stories of the Prophet’s Daughter.

Tamam has traveled and read in many cities in the Middle East, India, and North Africa and well as here in the United States. She has devoted many years doing extensive research into early Islamic history. How fitting that as women across this continent prepare to make their voices heard, we will learn about the life of a strong, vibrant woman of the 7th century relayed to us through the voice of a strong, vibrant and charming woman of the 21st century. Please join me in welcoming back Tamam Kahn.  

Featured Reader, November 2016

Christine Richardson, the co-host of Willow Glen Poetry, introduced November’s featured reader, Deborah Kennedy with these words:

 

Make the universe your companion, always bearing in mind the true nature of things, mountains and rivers, trees and grasses, and humanity – and enjoy the falling blossoms and scattering leaves.”  So says Basho, the 17th century Japanese poet who showed us the interdependency of everything. The concept of his book, The Narrow Road to the Deep North, a poetic travelogue, written nearly 350 years ago, has strong parallels to the recent book of our featured reader, Deborah Kennedy, Nature Speaks: Art and Poetry for the Earth. In which Deborah invites us to travel with her listening to the world we live in and forging together pathways for healing our earth and ourselves.

Because Deborah has planned a magnificent multimedia presentation for us tonight I want to keep my remarks short. Her many accomplishments, exhibitions of her art, accolades for her poetry are will described on our PCSJ website. If you haven’t had a chance to read them, I encourage you to do so. They are many.

Again, Basho.

   Awake, butterfly
   It’s late. We’ve miles
  To go together

 

We are thrilled and honored tonight to have Deborah as our guide.

Please join me in welcoming our own beautiful Willow Glen poet, Deborah Kennedy.

Featured Reader, October 2016

Lesa Medley introduced our featured reader, Vinod Narayan, with these words:

 

Tonight’s featured reader is one very engaged, active and versatile writer. Born in India, living in the Bay Area since 2002 and writing poetry since 2004,  Vinod Narayan enthusiastically describes himself in this manner: Content Addict, Blogger, Poet, Flash Fiction Enthusiast, Liberal, Movie Freak, Human who pays bills by implementing large enterprise level content management systems.

Wow! No question, Vinod is a man of conviction. He believes it is essential to be vocal about things that should be discussed and debated.  Look at his blog posts about critical considerations of current events. He sets tough personal challenges for himself as shown in his commitment to write not only a poem each day of poetry month, but also to translate a poem of an international poet into his native Malayalam language. Vinod is also a man of deep feelings and introspection. Read his poems about his father to see his loving tribute. And to know his humility and  gift for introspection,  read his essay, Reflecting On Oneself and Making Changes, in which he outlines the 7 specific ways he is working on being a force for good in this world while staying true to himself.

He has published 2 books of poetry, and a third one is in the works. He believes that “ the power of the pen is not the color of ink it spills, but the power of the word it spells.”

Please welcome Vinod Narayan.

Featured Reader, September 2016

Christine Richardson, introduced the featured poet, Erin Redfern, with these words:

 

Picture ocean swells as, “ribbons of candy trails”, the sea with “its throat of salt and blue, the setting sun casting, “its blister of light against the ocean’s rim” and be amazed as I was to see these original and vivid images all within a single stanza of a single poem, “Gidget Builds an Igloo”. This unique gift of imagery resides in tonight’s featured reader, Erin Redfern.  Of course for those of you who have heard Erin share her poems here at this podium, or have read her poetry in workshops or other settings already know that what I say is true.

Others outside of our poetry community have recognized Erin’s talent as well. Surely the editors of the many online and print journals who have published her work for over a decade can attest. One of the judges for the Poetry Society of America for which Erin is the recipient of the 2016 Robert H. Weiner Memorial Award, said, “I found Erin Redfern’s vibrant and protean poems, packed with telling details, immediately engaging: they’re acrobatic, dynamic, richly populated – a rightful heir to C.K. Williams’ roving and inclusive work in Tar.”

Not only is Erin generous to the reader in her poetry, she has been generous to our PCSJ community with her time and expertise: graciously subbed for me as host at this reading; co-edited the 2015 edition of Caesura, and lead groups at Poets at Play.

Erin’s chapbook entitled, Spellbreaking and Other Life Skills will be published in November. The poems in this chapbook have been described as emanating  “lyrical brilliance in a compact collection.”

We do have to wait until then to actually hold this volume in our hands, but tonight we are fortunate to perhaps get a preview of some of those poems and others from the head and heart of this talented poet.

Please welcome Erin Redfern.

Featured Reader, August 2016

Poet Christine Richardson, who co-hosts the WGPP readings with her husband Dennis Richardson,  introduced the featured reader, Arlene Biala, with these words:

Tonight we are thrilled to present the fourth poet laureate of Santa Clara County, Arlene Biala, a Filipina poet and performance artist. Supervisor Dave Cortese said, “The poet laureate serves as ambassador to the poetic arts in our community.” Perhaps no poet is better qualified to continue this legacy. Arlene has devoted her adult life to public service and community involvement, working since 1996 as an arts education and grants manager for the city of San Jose Office of Cultural Affairs. She has collaborated with writers, dancers, musicians and other artists in many creative endeavors, most notably, appearing with former California, now U. S. Poet Laureate, Juan Felipe Herrera at a presentation in March of 2016 at the National Photo Gallery in Washington D.C. He has praised Arlene and her poetry by telling us, “Arlene Biala chants and dances at the center of inner-outer sacred lakes, her texts move at the incredible heights of Pele, the ancient Goddess.”

Arlene discovered poetry as a young person when she found a copy of e.e. Cummings poems in her brother’s backpack. Encouraged my her mother, a drama and English teacher, Arlene has continued to write, at first in a journal in which she wrote poetry to vent negative feelings and then later to witness the challenges and issues that confront us working through words to solutions.

Arlene has published three volumes of poetry. Her most recent work, her beckoning hands, was the winner of the American Book Award in 2015.

Her poems have been described as “ lovely, lush poems grounded in ritual object and ritual practice, mantras that resonate with the body and plant the body firmly in the world.”

Prepare now to enter the fascinating and evocative world of Arlene Biala.

Featured Reader, July 2016

We have much to thank Barbara Saxton for. A wonderful poet (one time featured reader here at Willow Glen!), she brought us, all the way from Texas, our July featured reader, Loretta Diane Walker.  She introduced her with these words:

Like most of you, I love poetry, and while I try to give everything a chance, there are poets who affect me more than others — touch me deeply, made me understand things I didn’t know (or appreciate) before, help me go forward in the complex challenge of life. For me, Loretta Diane Walker has always been such a poet.

I’ve been Loretta’s friend and an enthusiastic admirer of her amazing body of work for quite some time; I was beyond honored when she asked me to write a jacket “blurb” for her second full book of poetry, In This House:

Loretta’s emails always close with the postscript “Life is a poem waiting to be written.” And, oh, what a life hers has been! Providing many generations of young children with the music education (and love) they crave and deserve, creating and sharing her own amazing poetry, standing up against injustice and prejudice, as well as supporting her family, friends, and even herself through bad times and health challenges! In her own words, Loretta dares not “run from love, power, time or magic.”

Loretta has been nominated several times for the Pushcart Prize, has published two full length poetry collections (which are available for purchase after this reading!), and her poetry has appeared in many, many anthologies and journals (including HER TEXAS, which featured 60 Texas women poets.) Loretta (for IN THIS HOUSE) is also this year’s winner of the prestigious Wheatley Award for poetry by African-American authors.

A few more accolades: “Loretta Diane Walker writes with compassionate wisdom and insight. Her poems restore humanity.” –Naomi Shihab Nye

“(Loretta’s) talent as a musician infuses her lines with a haunting musicality which compliments her mastery of image and diction. Walker’s poems glow on the page like candles in the darkness.”   —Larry D. Thomas, 2008 Texas Poet Laureate

By all means, let’s stop listening to me and allow Loretta’s poetic candles set this room alight for us. It gives me such pleasure to introduce my friend and fellow poet from Odessa, Texas–Loretta Diane Walker!

 

Featured Reader, June 2016

Parthenia Hicks introduced our June featured reader, Ziggy Rendler-Bregman. Before that, however, Leslie Hoffman wrote the following insightful words about Ziggy, and we use these to introduce her to our blog readers:

Ziggy Rendler-Bregman has lived in Santa Cruz for more than 40 years. She is an alumna of UCSC, with a degree in Aesthetic Studies and an emphasis on arts education. As a student, she co­ founded the children’s literary and art magazine, STONE SOUP, a widely circulated print magazine which includes writing and art by children ages 8­-13.

In the late 90’s, Ziggy was a key leader in helping to restore music and arts education for children in the Santa Cruz public schools. A community activist, she was also a key leader in helping to form The Land Trust of Santa Cruz County. As an artist, she has participated in Open Studios for many years and exhibited her prints and paintings widely. Her poems have appeared in several journals and anthologies. With her husband, Jesse, she has raised three children. Her poems draw inspiration from family, home, garden and travel. Ziggy’s self­-published collection titled: The Gate of Our Coming and Going was just released in December 2015.

The Gate of Our Coming and Going is a beautiful collection of both poems and prints created by Ziggy. She selected more than a dozen of her poems to be accompanied by a mono print created and hand­pulled in her studio. As both a poet and artist, Ziggy celebrates the way in which the language of the visual arts complements the beauty of her poems. There are poems which speak of her growing up in a family of nine children and poems which bring to light her own mothering, her home, garden, and love for the California landscape.

Featured Reader, May 2016

Christine Richardson introduced the featured reader, Tim J. Myers, with these words:

 

If you read the bio in the PCSJ’s announcement for tonight’s featured reader, Tim J. Myers, you may have been as curious as I was to learn more about Tim and researched his website as I did and subsequently be equally as impressed with his interests and accomplishments. Eldest of 11 children, Tim began writing poetry in 6th grade. Also at an early age his songwriting and musical abilities began to be explored and have continued to evolve and deepen throughout his life. Tim has 2 published volumes of adult poetry, a chapbook, and over 130 published poems in a variety of journals. His non-fiction writing includes the award winning book, “Glad to Be a Dad: A Call to Fatherhood”. He has also published 15 outstanding books for children. Enriching and informing his creative outputs as well as his skill as a storyteller are his many experiences living and teaching in 3 continents, and in over a half-dozen states.  Tim is currently working on the first in a series of fantasy novels for young adults. Oh, and I must mention, he is a pictorial artist as well. His website displays a charming set of unique abstracts. Tim has placed a lovely Rilke quote introducing himself and, I imagine, his philosophical grounding. Rilke writes:

“Oh, speak poet, what do you do?
I
praise.”

So tonight we say, “Speak, oh Poet. You praise. We listen”

Please welcome Tim J Myers.

Featured Reader, March 2016

Christine Richardson introduced the featured reader, Wendy Taylor Carlisle, with these words:

We must thank our predecessor host, Jean Emerson, for tonight’s featured reader. Jean introduced us to her good friend and poet, Wendy Carlisle, some years ago and we are pleased that she traveled here from her home in the Arkansas Ozarks to share her poetry with us.

Wendy has published 3 books of poetry, the most recent having the intriguing title, Persephone on the Metro, and 3 chapbooks. Her work has appeared in many print and online journals and individual poems have been nominated for 12 Pushcarts and 2 Best of the Web prizes. She is poet-in -residence at the Village Writing School in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.

It is inspiring to know a poet’s process. Wendy impetus for writing is so beautifully simple: “I write because I cannot keep from it.” Her requirements for writing are also simple: a quiet mind, a Moleskin notebook or perhaps a cheap Mead notebook with a mottled cover (preferably black and white), and a Pilot P500 pen. If she hasn’t received a nudge from her unconscious, she turns to favorite works of others, most notably the late, extraordinary poet, C.D. Wright.

As for her goal in writing, Wendy says it so eloquently: ” The question I continually ask and hope to answer someday is how do I get to  “Rilke’s 10 good lines”. If I had the answer to that one I’d be, as we say here, in high cotton.”

Well, lucky us. With Wendy here tonight to read her vibrant, original, funny, intelligent poetry, we are all “in high cotton.”

Please join me in welcoming Wendy Taylor Carlisle.

 

Featured Reader, February 2016

Co-host Christine Richardson introduced February’s featured reader, Barbara Saxton, with these words:

From the first time in 2011 our sprightly featured reader bounced up to this podium, Barbara Saxton has invited us to travel with her into her wit, her fresh insights into human relationships, and her own personal, very relatable life story. Barbara’s poetry is richly influenced by her journey into music, dance, travel, literature, and careers ranging from stockbroker to teacher.

I felt a little breathless, if not envious, just reading her bio.

Her chapbook, Dual Exposure, has been hailed by our own Casey FitzSimons as a book of poems that display Barbara’s fortitude ­ “the kind that reconciles all that emerges with all that has been suppressed to offset love and outrage.”

Tonight we are going to learn about some of her “warrior memories” as Barbara calls them and how they have transformed her into the very special poet that she is… and to further prove that, be ready for a few surprises she has in store for us.

Please join me in welcoming our own, Barbara Saxton

 

Featured Reader, January 2016

Mary Lou Taylor was our wonderful featured reader this month! Christine introduced Mary Lou with these words:

We are indeed honored to present tonight’s featured reader, Mary Lou Taylor, for several reasons. One, of course, is because she is a poet with a keen sense for molding past experiences into well­crafted poetry. Another is to recognize her tremendous contributions to Poetry Center San Jose. Mary Lou joined in 1981 and has served two terms as president. For 35 years she has contributed to programs, events, and fund raising activities. She has mentored and encouraged so many poets in our community. Mary Lou has done this with a particular grace and generosity, which I am certain the hundreds of students she taught during her career as a high school teacher would attest to.

Mary Lou’s first book, The Fringes of Hollywood published in 2002, recalls her years living in that eclectic, electric place. Her second book published last year, Bringing Home the Moon, was 10 years in the making and captures her childhood in Chicago and Los Angeles and adulthood living and working here in Silicon Valley. Her artist residency at Montalvo Arts provided her with the time to assemble this manuscript.

Grace Cavalieri, the Washington DC host of The Poet and the Poem, calls Mary Lou one of her favorite poets. We call Mary Lou that as well and count her as one our own.

Featured Reader, December 2015

Our poetry group owes so much to Nils Peterson, the featured reader of our December gathering. Christine Richardson, who co-hosts the Willow Glen Poetry readings with her husband, Dennis Richardson, introduced Nils with these words:

Tonight we celebrate together our final poetry reading for 2015. Who other than our own Nils Peterson should be the one to tie a big red ribbon around this gift! Nils was a dear friend of the poet, William Stafford, and like him, believes in “following the golden thread, it will lead you in”.

Stafford was inspired by the William Blake poem that begins with this mysterious concept. Holding onto that thread will lead you into not only a poem, but as in the case of both William and Nils, into a life that is a continuous poetic journey. This is why I can say Nils Peterson is our golden thread. He has led us in: the thousands of students he enriched as a professor at San Jose State University, the establishment and maintenance of Poetry Center San Jose, the poets he influenced as the first Santa Clara Poet Laureate and especially this community here at the Willow Glen Library. This third edition of our anthology can be traced back to the support and encouragement Nils has provided so generously to all of us for decades.

It is with deepest gratitude we thank you, Nils, our golden thread. We are all holding on and following you in.

Featured Reader, November 2015

Christine Richardson, the co-host of Willow Glen Poetry, introduced November’s featured reader, Jerry Dyer with these words:

Does one become a poet or is one born to be a poet? In the case of tonight’s featured reader, Jerry Dyer, there is no question that it is written in his stars. He says he was drawn to poetry for a number of reasons: personal, political, and philosophical. I believe the attraction was because he came into this world with a poet’s eye, a poet’s ear, and a large poet’s heart. This is why he can see from his bedroom window the tops of trees as “the grey bone­work of vases.” Why he can hear “His truck rides the groove down the coast,/ a low bass growl against the tenor sea.”. Why he knows, “Yes, all the way to the spinning/ carousels of heaven,/ our longing feeds the stars.”
These marvelous lines are all contained in Jerry’s first collection of poems, “What I Don’t Know,”while it turns out he actually knows a lot about this earth we share and our common feelings.  His upbringing and his own travels have contributed to honing these sensory skills.  He tells us that his life work has been language and literature. That is why his journey brought him to Willow Glen Bookstore nearly 10 years ago. We can thank Jerry for being the inspiration behind the Willow Glen Poetry Project. When we were just a few gathering on folding chairs and the open mic list no longer than 7 or 8 names, he wanted to have some way to preserve all the wonderful
poems we heard each month. What he thought could just be a binder of shared poems has turned into our online anthology.

Now, when Jerry is not able to attend a reading or doesn’t sign up to read, I always miss hearing his voice and experiencing his poem. But tonight there will be no such longing because we are going to have a rich evening of his poetry. Please welcome our very own, very dear Jerry Dyer.

Featured Reader, October 2015

Willow Glen Poetry Project co-host, Christine Richardson, introduced October’s featured poet, Kelly Cressio-Moeller, with these words:

In August 2007, a poet took her seat among the small group of chairs in the back corner of Willow Glen Books. She had never before attended a Willow Glen Poetry reading. To assuage her fears she signed up to read first for Open Mic. When the hostess Jean Emerson called Kelly Cressio­-Moeller, those of us lucky enough to be in the audience received our first gift of Kelly’s presence, her elegant delivery, and her exceptional poetry. She read a beautiful poem about the artist Ruth Asawa. This well­ crafted poem, as dozens of other poems, was later published in one of the many fine online journals and printed editions that have accepted her work: Rattle, Poet Lore, Zyzzyva, to name just a few.

Kelly has been nominated for Best New Poets, Best of the Net, and in one year alone was nominated by three different journals for a Pushcart Prize.

A few months ago she completed her first full­ length manuscript. It was recently selected as a semi­finalist for the Crab Orchard Review First Book Award.

All of Kelly’s interests and abilities inform her poetry: from her passion for all kinds of music — she is a drummer — lyric, cadence, and voice, from her knowledge of art history and painting — imagery and allusion, from her endeavors as an artist and photographer — eye for placement and detail, and out of her love for classic fountain pens and ink — simply, words. Tonight Kelly is here to engage us with those words, so carefully chosen, arranged and delivered to us as gifts, as that first gift of her first poem read that August night 8 years ago.

We cannot thank Kelly enough for being such an integral, proficient, contributing member of our Willow Glen Poetry community for all of these years.

It is with deep joy I present this outstanding poet and my friend, Kelly Cressio-Moeller.

Featured Reader, September 2015

Christine Richardson introduced Lynne Knight with the following words:

Time and circumstance previously delayed the appearance of tonight’s featured reader, Lynne Knight. But as my mother often told me, “Everything comes to he who waits.” And as usual, Mother was right. Not only have we waited to hear Lynne’s poetry, but she too has waited for her own poetry, though poetry has been part of her life since early years. Influenced by T.S. Eliot in high school and Rilke in college, she earned writing awards in her undergraduate work as well as an MFA in creative writing and Literature.

And then her own circumstances kept her away from writing for nearly 20 years. When she returned she looked on writing as its own reward and wrote for the sheer joy of writing. But acknowledgements from the poetry world were waiting for her. She was awarded an NEA grant in 2009 as well as the Rattle Poetry Prize that same year. She won the 2013 Stephen Dunn Poetry Prize. She has published 4 chapbooks and 4 full­length books as well as works in translation. Even individual poems have waited for her. “To the Young Man Who Cried, “What were you thinking” When I Backed Into His Car” took only 20 minutes or so to write but it incubated within her for 13 years.

I could tell more of the accomplishments of this fine poet, but we have waited long enough to hear her beautiful, evocative poetry. Please join me in welcoming Lynne Knight.

Lynne Knight is the author of four poetry chapbooks and four full-length poetry collections, the most recent of which, “Again”, appeared from Sixteen Rivers Press.

Her work has appeared in a number of journals, including Kenyon Review, Poetry and Southern Review. Her awards and honors include publication in Best American Poetry, the Prix de l’Alliance Française 2006, a PSA Lucille Medwick Memorial Award, the 2009 RATTLE Prize,and an NEA Grant.

I Know (Jesais), her translation with the author Ito Naga of his Jesais, appeared in 2013.

Featured Reader, August 2015

Christine Richardson, poet and co-host of the Willow Glen Poetry Project, introduced our featured readers thus:

Tonight we feature a double header from 2 local poets who have long committed themselves to the Yuki Tekei Society and to the lyrical Japanese verse of haiku and the oldest form of Japanese poetry, tanka.

Roger Abe and Betty Arnold exemplify poets whose career choices intrinsically link to their poetry. Roger has been a San Jose Park ranger, as he says, for more years than syllables in a haiku poem, ample time for him to observe and write about nature and its seasons. As he wrote:

All night winter rain

pitter­patters in my sleep

I awake, fluent

Betty Arnold, whom some of you may have heard at our 1st Poetry Festival this past April, was a pediatrician and grief counselor, attuning her ear, eye and heart to the essences of both life and death. Betty wrote:

islands of duckweed

drift on the autumn pond­­

sky mind

We are very pleased to present these two fine poets. Please welcome Roger Abe and Betty Arnold.

ROGER ABE has been active with Yuki Teikei Haiku Society, YTHS, for the better part of twenty years.  With YTHS he has hosted an annual Spring reading in San Jose  Parks (usually at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Kelley Park) since 1992.  He likes the outdoors and parks, and has served as a San Jose Park Ranger, also, for more years than there are syllables in a haiku.

BETTY ARNOLD has been a pediatrician in private practice and academia,a children’s grief counselor and a facilitator of the Healer’s Art Course for medical students at UCSF in her other life. She was drawn to haiku some 15 years ago and became a member of Yuki Teikei Haiku Society in 2002. She also has been active with Haiku Poets of Northern California during the last 3-4 years. The art of writing haiku is her daily practice.  Patricia Machmiller has been her cherished dojin. The Yuki Teikei Society has been the fountainhead of some of her dearest friends. Her haiku and tanka have been published in the Geppo, the yearly YTHS Anthology since 2005, Mariposa and Red Lights.

Featured Reader, July 2015

 Jim Russo was the featured reader of the WGPP July meet.  Christine Richardson had this to say of him by means of introduction:

Tonight’s featured reader has been a frequent participant in the open mic portion of our Third Thursday evenings and a faithful contributor to our blog. But Jim Russo has not made the trek over the Santa Cruz Mountains for several months. We now know the reason. As he stated in the bio announcing his reading, Jim has been working the posterior region of his body very hard,  actually, he claims, of , in order to publish 3 chapbooks ready for his presentation tonight. And now  he will be the lucky recipients of his grueling, body reduction workout, or rather, output. Jim was  born in San Francisco and migrated down the coast to Santa Cruz County in the early 60’s. I guess you  would say he was born for the stage, whether acting in plays, some of which he wrote himself in order to act in them, or in front of a microphone reading his poetry. Poetry, Jim says, is his expression of ­choice. Its relative brevity and directness align with his temperament: says what he has to say and moves on.

He is a narrative poet, and his new works are part memoir, part criticism. Jim lives his life boldly and confronts the world he lives in with the same vigor and challenge.

Please join me in welcoming Jim Russo.

Featured Reader, June 2015

Christine Richardson, introduced the featured poet, Diane Moomey, with these words:

For those of you who are frequent participants to our Willow Glen Third Thursday Readings, you know the lyrical treat you are about to be served. And for our first time visitors prepare to be delighted and moved. Our featured reader, Diane Moomey has faithfully attended here since [forever]. Not only has she always participated in the open mic, but she has been a strong supporter of all of the poets who have shared their work with us.

Diane is a traveler, both geographically and figuratively. Wherever she lives or visits, whether various parts of the US or eastern Canada and especially now ensconced by the sea, Diane becomes part of its terrain. She digs in it, she paints it, and she writes about it. This love of the wild and the tame informs and enlivens her work. Her art and poetry are open invitations to travel with her. Diane is a generous guide. Begin your journey by simply entering her lovely book, Figure in a Landscape, with a cover of her own design. You will move through chapparal and suburbs, valleys and farmlands and the more interior regions of love and loss and renewal. Together you can play a game of jacks, learn a family secret and go with her at 3 AM and enter the ocean for a swim in its blackness.

Please join me in welcoming our lovely poet, Diane Moomey.