Poetry Flash/Watershed Festival, Berkeley, California

Organizer: Joyce Jenkins, Poetry Flash/Watershed Festival

Contact: editor@poetryflash.org

17th Annual Watershed Environmental Poetry Festival

Celebrate Writers, Nature & Community in conjunction with 100 Thousand Poets for Change & Ecology Center/Berkeley Farmers’ Market

This Watershed is dedicated the life and work of Ernest Callenbach, author of Ecotopia Poets & Writers Stand up for the Earth!

Saturday, September 29, 10:00 a.m.

Strawberry Creek Walk • Meet at Oxford & Center Streets, Berkeley
A walk from Strawberry Creek on the UC Berkeley campus to the Watershed festival led by poet/eco-educator Chris Olander with poetry readings by poets and commentary by creek restoration experts, featuring Chris Olander, Susan Kelly-DeWitt, Maya Khosla, Maureen Hurley, Rebecca Moos, Kim Shuck, Tim Pine (UC Berkeley), Kirstin Miller (Ecocity Builders)

Saturday, September 29
Noon to 4:30 p.m. • Free

Festival Main Stage • Martin Luther King, Jr. Civic Center Park • Berkeley
Next to the Berkeley Farmers’ Market, MLK Jr. Way at Center Street, one block west of downtown Berkeley BART

Robert Hass • Joy Harjo • Michael McClure
Brenda Hillman • Francisco X. Alarcón • Rebecca Foust • Richard Silberg
Creek Walk poets: Chris Olander, Susan Kelly-DeWitt, Maya Khosla, Rebecca Moos, Maureen Hurley, Rebecca Moos, Kim Shuck
World class jazz by The Barry Finnerty Trio
Readings by K–12 student poets from California Poets in the Schools with poet-teacher Karen Benke, Poetry Inside Out with poet-teacher John Oliver Simon & River of Words with Robert Hass

We Are Nature open reading
Enter lottery drawing for reading slots by noon (on site at Info Booth)

Environmental Updates:
Kirk Lumpkin, Ecology Center • Kirstin Miller, Ecocity Builders

River Village Literary & Environmental Exhibits
Click here for Exhibitors info—trade exhibit fees for volunteer work!
featuring tables by Bay Area alternative ‘zines & literary mags “Create with Nature Zone” by Zach Pine, environmental artist Buffalo Field Campaign’s “Buffaloon,” a giant Buffalo exhibit Watershed banners by artist Arthur Okamura, Water-chute shades by artist Claire Baker

Books & Book Signing at Pegasus Book Tent

There will be shade structures, and chairs and carpet samples to sit on!

Check back for program updates!


Watershed Environmental Poetry Festival is a collaboration of Robert Hass, US Poet Laureate 1995-97 • Poetry Flash • Ecology Center/Berkeley Farmers’ Market • Ecocity Builders • In conjunction with: 100 Thousand Poets for Change, Pegasus Books Downtown, and Moe’s Books

To volunteer, contact Mark Baldridge, Festival Director, mbb @ poetryflash.org Exhibit fees can be traded for volunteer time

MLK, Jr., Civic Center Park is Wheelchair Accessible
Sign Language Interpreted on request
ASL interpreters for the deaf and hearing impaired can be provided with notice by September 21. Please e-mail: mbb@poetryflash.org

The 2012 festival is made possible with support from:
The Watershed Keepers—our individual donors & volunteers
Civic Arts Program, City of Berkeley • Zellerbach Family Foundation
This event is supported by Poets & Writers, Inc. through a grant received from The James Irvine Foundation

Please support our in-kind community donors:
Acme Bread Company • Berkeley Horticultural Nursery • Berkeley Bowl Marketplace • Bette’s-To-Go • Cheese Board Collective • Trader Joe’s, Berkeley • Voila the Juice Company

Watershed Logo by Shane Eagleton.



Saturday, September 29, 2012, Noon–4:30 pm, Free
Civic Center Park at the Berkeley Farmers’ Market
Martin Luther King Jr. Way, at Center Street, Berkeley

Presented with 100 Thousand Poets for Change and the Ecology Center/Berkeley Farmers’ Market

U.S. Poet Laureate Emeritus Robert Hass, Brenda Hillman, Joy Harjo, Michael McClure, Francisco X. Alarcón, Laura Moriarty,
Rebecca Foust, jazz by The Barry Finnerty Trio, California Poets in the Schools, River of Words, and Poetry Inside Out K-12 Student Poets,

We Are Nature Open Mic & more!

Strawberry Creek Walk precedes the main stage. The Creek Walk leaves from Oxford at Center Streets at 10:00 am.

Admission to the festival is free. Wheelchair accessible. ASL interpreters will be provided on request with notice by September 21.

Poets, musicians, and environmentalists will “stand up for the earth” at the 17th annual Watershed Environmental Poetry Festival, to be held Saturday, September 29, noon-4:30, at Berkeley’s Civic Center Park, near Berkeley BART. This year’s festival is dedicated to Ernest Callenbach, who wrote Ecotopia and appeared at Watershed several times. “Callenbach gives us a vivid, comprehensive, positive vision of an ecologically sustainable world, essential reading for all who care about the earth’s future.”—Fritjof Capra, author of The Tao Of Physics and The Tuming Point: Science, Society, and the Rising Culture.

Poetry readings by renowned presenters and K-12 student poets, eco-updates and ideas, world-class jazz, and We are Nature Open Mic will take place onstage in front of beautiful Watershed banners created for the festival by the late Bolinas artist Arthur Okamura. The River Village exhibit area features tables and tents for books, literary magazines, alternative and DIY ’zines, and organizations, with a twenty-foot “Buffaloon” from the Buffalo Field Campaign, an interactive installation by environmental artist Zach Pine’s “Create with Nature Zone,” and a Creek Poem installation over the footprint of Strawberry Creek. The Berkeley Farmers’ Market will be in full swing as the main stage presentations begin. “Waterchutes” (shade structures made from parachutes) provide audience sunshade; chairs and recycled carpet squares will be available for seating.


• Robert Hass, U.S. Poet Laureate Emeritus, Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning poet and essayist. His books include What Light Can Do: Essays on Art, Imagination, and the Natural World, The Apple Trees at Olema: New and Selected Poems, Time and Materials: Poems 1997-2005, Sun Under Wood: New Poems, Human Wishes, Praise, and Field Guide, which was selected by Stanley Kunitz for the Yale Younger Poets Series. He is co-translator and editor of poets including Nobel Laureates Czeslaw Milosz, Tomas Tranströmer, and The Essential Haiku: Versions of Basho, Buson, and Issa. Curator of Berkeley’s famed Addison Street Poetry Walk, he has served as chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and teaches at the University of California, Berkeley.

• Joy Harjo is an internationally known poet and writer of the Mvskoke/Creek Nation and has traveled the U.S. playing the saxophone with her band. The author of numerous poetry books, her new books are Crazy Brave, a memoir, Soul Talk, Song Language: Conversations with Joy Harjo, and How We Became Human: New and Selected Poems, and a new edition of her classic collection She Had Some Horses. Her honors include a Lifetime Achievement Award and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts.

• Michael McClure, poet, playwright, songwriter, and novelist, has collaborated with prominent artists, poets, and musicians including Allen Ginsberg, Jim Morrison, Isamu Noguchi, and Terry Riley. He has received a Guggenheim and several Obie Awards. His recent books include Of Indigo and Saffron: New and Selected Poems and Mysteriosos and Other Poems. He is legendary for reading “For the Death of 100 Whales,” an early eco-consciousness poem, in 1955 at the Six Gallery event that kick-started the Beat Movement in San Francisco, when Allen Ginsberg first read “Howl.”

• Francisco X. Alarcón is a poet and children’s book author who was honored with the Fred Cody Award for Lifetime Achievement at the Northern California Book Awards. His poetry collections include Ce Uno One: Poemas para el Nuevo Sol/Poems for the New Sun and From the Other Side of Night/Del otro lado de la noche: New and Selected Poems. His work is included in the anthology OCCUPY SF: poems from the movement.

• Brenda Hillman is the author of Practical Water, Pieces of Air in the Epic, Cascadia, Loose Sugar (a National Book Critics Circle finalist), Bright Existence, Death Tractates, Fortress, and White Dress. She is also the author of three chapbooks. Her awards and fellowships include honors from the Guggenheim Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, the Poetry Society of America, and a Bay Area Book Reviewer’s Award. She is the Olivia Filippi Professor of Poetry at Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, California.

• Mark Hertsgaard, called “one of America’s finest reporters” by Barbara Ehrenreich, is author of six books, including Hot: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth and Earth Odyssey: Around the World in Search of Our Environmental Future.

• Laura Moriarty will present The Arcadia Project: North American Postmodern Pastoral, to which she and poet Brenda Hillman are contributors. Her books include A Tonalist and A Semblance: Selected and New Poems, 1975-2007. She is Deputy Director of Small Press Distribution.

• Rebecca Foust is the author of All That Gorgeous Pitiless Song, poems, and God, Seed: Poetry & Art About the Natural World. Dark Card and Mom’s Canoe won the Robert Phillips Poetry Chapbook Prizes in consecutive years. Recent poems have appeared in Atlanta Review, Cincinnati Review, Hudson Review, Journal of the American Medical Association, North American Review, and Poetry Daily.

• On stage emcees: Richard Silberg, Associate Editor of Poetry Flash, and author of The Horses, New and Selected Poems, and poet, lyricist, and spoken word artist Kirk Lumpkin, representing the Ecology Center/Berkeley Farmers’ Market.
• The Barry Finnerty Trio presents jazz interludes.

• California Poets in the Schools, River of Words International Poetry & Art Contest, and Poetry Inside Out K-12 student poets with poet-teachers John Oliver Simon, Robert Hass, and others.

• The Ecology Center and Ecocity Builders present eco-updates and insights.

• We Are Nature Open Mic, enter the lottery by noon at the Info Tent for five three-minute reading spots.

• Strawberry Creek Walk poets will also appear on the main stage.


• Kim Shuck is a poet and weaver whose work has been shown internationally. She is author of Smuggling Cherokee, poems. Her ancestors are Tsalagi, Sauk and Fox, and Polish. She lives in San Francisco.

• Maya Khosla is a poet and naturalist, with advanced degrees in chemistry and biology. Born in London, England, to parents in the Indian Foreign Service, she has lived all over the world. She is author of Keel Bone, poems, and Web of Water: Life in Redwood Creek, published by the Golden Gate National Park Association. She lives in Grass Valley, California.

• Susan Kelly-DeWitt is a poet and author of The Fortunate Islands. She lives in Sacramento and is a member of Northern California Book Reviewers and a Poetry Flash contributing editor.

• Rebecca Moos is the editor of eskimopie.net. She hosts two reading series, Hot Poetry in the Park in Sacramento and Poetry in the Arboretum at UC Davis. She has numerous chapbooks including 200 Ridge Haiku for Lew Welch, The Cook Inlet Poems, Border Crossing, and Raining All Over. She lives in Sacramento.

• Maureen Hurley, California Poets in the Schools poet-teacher and artist, is the recipient of eight California Arts Council grants and two KQED SPARK artist grants. She lives in Oakland, California.

• Tim Pine is an Environmental, Health & Safety Specialist, University of California, Berkeley.
• Kirstin Miller is Executive Director of Ecocity Builders, and is a leading activist for the restoration of Strawberry Creek in Berkeley. She lives in Oakland, California.

• Chris Olander is an eco-performance poet, author of Mallard, California Poets in the Schools and Poetry Out Loud teacher-mentor. He lives in Nevada City, California.

The Strawberry Creek Walk begins at 10 am, Saturday morning, September 29, just inside the UC Berkeley campus at Oxford and Center Streets. All are invited to join poets and environmentalists, led by eco-performance poet Chris Olander and Ecocity Builder’s Kirstin Miller, for a walk along Strawberry Creek from the UC Campus through downtown Berkeley, tracing the creek’s path as it tunnels beneath the city to the festival. Along the way, there will be readings and commentary on the health and restoration of Strawberry Creek. The Creek Walk poets will also appear on the main stage in the afternoon.

Watershed History & Sponsors

Watershed Environmental Festival is a collaboration of Robert Hass, Poetry Flash, The Ecology Center/Berkeley Farmers’ Market, and Ecocity Builders. This year’s festival is presented in conjunction with 100 Thousand Poets for Change. Our community partners are Pegasus Books Downtown and Moe’s Books. The Watershed Festival will present a private session with featured poets at Berkeley High School on Friday, September 28. The Watershed Festival emerged from Robert Hass’s national Watershed initiative during his tenure as U.S. Poet Laureate, 1995-97, which explored connections between the environment and the American literary imagination. The first two Watersheds, 1996 and 1997, were held at the Bandshell, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco.

General Event Calendar Listing:

17th annual Watershed Environmental Poetry Festival takes place on Saturday, September 29, noon-4:30 pm, at Civic Center Park, Martin Luther King Jr. Way, at Center Street, Berkeley, near Berkeley BART; in conjunction with 100 Thousand Poets for Change and Ecology Center/Berkeley Farmers’ Market. Featured poets and writers include Robert Hass, Joy Harjo, Michael McClure, Brenda Hillman, Francisco X. Alarcón, Rebecca Foust, Laura Moriarty, Maya Khosla, Mark Hertsgaard, Kim Shuck, Chris Olander, and more. K-12 student poets, jazz music by The Barry Finnerty Trio, “River Village” literary and environmental exhibits: books, literary magazines, DIY and alternative ’zines. Strawberry Creek Walk with poetry and commentary precedes the main event at 10:00 am, meet at Oxford and Center Streets, UC Berkeley. Admission is free. Wheelchair accessible. ASL interpreters with notice by Sept. 21. For further information, contact (510) 525-5476, mbb@poetryflash.org, or visit poetryflash.org.

Public Information:

Mark Baldridge, mbb@poetryflash.org, (510) 525-5476, http://poetryflash.org.


PHOTOS BY Teri Allen-Piccolo

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