Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Shelby Stephenson Creates a Riprap of a Southern Life

In case you haven't yet read Shelby Stephenson's newest collection of poems, Playing Dead, you should. I had the great pleasure of listening to him read at the NC Writers Conference in New Bern last weekend, and here is the response I had to what I heard:

"It takes no keen ear, scholar's mind, or poet's appreciation to recognize that Shelby Stephenson loves language, loves naming things, and loves remembering the specific names of things in a particular time and place. Riprap of a Southern life, his poems recall the intimate names of things that being uttered bring the things they name to life. He does the hard work of memory for us in a way that makes what has been lost ours again forever."

Friday, July 20, 2012

New Review of "For One Who Knows How to Own Land"

Joel Ferdon has written a review of For One Who Knows How to Own Land in the new issue of Main Street Rag. Here is my favorite part of what he says:

"For One Who Knows How to Own Land, by Scott Owens, is like walking through a farm on a hot South Carolina afternoon in the summer. His poems ring out with an emotional intensity that reminded me of Andrew Hudgins' collection of poetry, The Glass Hammer."

I hope you'll get a copy of the journal and read the entire review. There are also wonderful poems by Karen Paul Holmes, Robert King, Mimi Herman, David Poston, and many others. Main Street Rag is one of the journals I strongly recommend subscribing to.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

100 Thousand Poets for Change 2012

Second Annual Worldwide Event Includes Musicians and Poets Striving for Global Change
This Year’s 100 Thousand Poets for Change Adds Musicians; 560 Events Planned in More Than 100 Countries

Santa Rosa, Calif. (July 18, 2012) – September 29, 2012 marks the second annual 100 Thousand Poets for Change, an event that brings poets, artists and musicians (new this year) around the world together to call for environmental, social, and political change. Voices will be heard globally through concerts, readings, workshops, flash mobs and demonstrations that each focus on their specific area of concern, within the framework of peace and sustainability, such as war, ecocide, racism and censorship.

“Peace and sustainability is a major concern worldwide, and the guiding principle for this global event,” said Michael Rothenberg, Co-Founder of 100 Thousand Poets for Change. “It’s amazing to see how many people have joined in around the world to speak out for causes they believe in, and to see so much heart and creativity expressed in their diverse approaches to this event.”

Participants are hoping, through their actions and events, to seize and redirect the political and social dialogue of the day and turn the narrative of civilization towards peace and sustainability. Those that want to get involved can visit www.100tpc.com to find or plan an event near them.

“This grass roots movement has arisen largely due to the impact of social media,” said Co-Founder Terri Carrion. “We’re really excited about the events we’ve got planned this year.”

There are hundreds of activities planned in the United States alone, including:

• A blues festival in New Orleans to help raise funds for medical care for aging musicians
• A concert of Tibetan music and poetry hosted by 100 TPC Free Tibet in Pasadena
• A concert in Nashville's Centennial Park featuring major local musicians
• An Occupy Wall Street poetry group will kickoff a weekend of events in New York City
• An all day festival with multiple stages and over 50 poetry readings hosted by Beyond Baroque Cultural Center in Los Angeles
• A three-day event in Santa Rosa (near San Francisco) that will live-stream events from around the world and feature live poetry readings, workshops and various styles of music and dance including hip hop, flamenco, African drums, reggae and more (more info in the “What Else” section below)
• A poetry reading on the themes of peace, diversity, tolerance, and sustainability at Working Title Farm in Claremont, NC

Poetry and peace gatherings are also planned in strife-torn countries like Syria and Afghanistan as well. In Cairo and Alexandria, Egypt, poets, musicians and mimes will perform in public spaces and theaters. In Kingston, Jamaica an entire week of concerts, spoken word performances, lectures and workshops will address literacy issues in the country.

100 Thousand Poets for Change began in Sonoma County, Calif. The headquarters’ event will take place at the Arlene Francis Center in downtown Santa Rosa and will feature live poetry readings, workshops and various styles of music and dance including hip hop, flamenco, African drums, reggae and more. The event will also live-stream other 100 Thousand Poets for Change events worldwide and is sponsored by the Peace & Justice Center and Sonoma County Arts Council.

Immediately following September 29th, all documentation on the 100TPC.org website will be preserved by Stanford University in California, which recognized 100 Thousand Poets for Change in 2011 as an historical event, the largest poetry reading in history. They will continue to archive the complete contents of the website, 100TPC.org, as part of their digital archiving program LOCKSS.

About 100 Thousand Poets for Change
Co-Founder Michael Rothenberg (walterblue@bigbridge.org) is a widely known poet, editor of the online literary magazine Bigbridge.org and an environmental activist based in Northern California. Co-Founder Terri Carrion is a poet, translator, photographer, and editor and visual designer for BigBridge.org

100 Thousand Poets for Change
P.O. Box 870
Guerneville, CA 95446
Phone: 305-753-4569
www.100TPC.org

Friday, July 13, 2012