Watershed Environmental Poetry Festival-Berkeley, CA 2013

Watershed Environmental Poetry Festival in conjunction with 100 Thousand Poets for Change

ORGANIZER: Joyce Jenkins at editor@poetryflash.org

CONTACT: Mark Baldridge at bridgemc@emf.net

WEBSITE:Poetry Flash

Media contact only (please do not publish this number): Mark Baldridge, (510) 221-7732, mbb@poetryflash.org.
Gary Snyder Photo Credit: San Simeon Films. Additional photos available on request.



Stand Up for the Earth with Pulitzer Prize-winning poets Gary Snyder and Robert Hass, with Brenda Hillman, Matthew Zapruder, Brian Teare, Ann Fisher-Wirth (The Ecopoetry Anthology), giovanni singleton, Wang Jiaxin,
Jennifer Elise Foerster, Barbara Jane Reyes, Mary Mackey, John Shoptaw, Alan Soldofsky, California Poets in the Schools, River of Words, and Poetry Inside Out K-12 Student Poets, The Barry Finnerty Trio, and more!

Saturday, September 28, 2013, Noon–4:30 pm, Free
Civic Center Park at the Berkeley Farmers’ Market
Martin Luther King Jr. Way, at Center Street, Berkeley

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

Watershed is presented by Poetry Flash and Ecology Center/Berkeley Farmers’ Market,
with co-sponsors 100 Thousand Poets for Change, Pegasus Downtown, Moe’s Books.

“Stand up for the earth” at the 18th annual Watershed Environmental Poetry Festival, Saturday, September 28, noon-4:30, at Berkeley’s Civic Center Park, one block west of the downtown Berkeley BART. Poetry readings by renowned poets and environmental authors, K-12 student poets, world-class jazz, and We are Nature Open Mic will take place in front of beautiful Watershed banners created for the festival by the late Bolinas artist Arthur Okamura. Watershed’s “River Village” will feature Poetree interactive writing with Poecology and Milvia Street literary and art journal, with Kristi Moos and Sharon Coleman, a Creek Poem installation over the footprint of Strawberry Creek (it runs under the park), and exhibitors from the East Bay Alternative Press Book and Zine Fest with Tomas Moniz. To exhibit, e-mail mbb@poetryflash.org or see Poetryflash.org. Watershed is part of the lively Berkeley Farmers’ Market; it will be in full swing as the stage presentations begin. “Waterchute” shade tents will provide sunshade; chairs and recycled carpet squares will be available for seating. Bring your lunch or pick up something at the Farmers’ Market!

The Strawberry Creek Walk begins at 10 am, Saturday morning, September 28, just inside the UC Berkeley campus at Oxford and Center Streets. The public is invited to join the Walk for brief readings and commentary on the health and restoration of Strawberry Creek, led by poet-performer-teacher Chris Olander, along Strawberry Creek through the University of California campus and downtown Berkeley. The Creek Walk traces the creek’s path as it flows above ground then tunnels beneath the city to the festival site.

NOON – 4:30 pm:
• Gary Snyder, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, is the author of twenty books of poetry and prose, including Riprap and Cold Mountain Poems, Turtle Island, Axe Handles, No Nature, Mountains and Rivers Without End, The Practice of the Wild, and A Place in Space: Ethics, Aesthetics, and Watersheds. Since 1970 he has lived with his family in the watershed of the South Yuba River in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada in northern California. (Gary Snyder Photo Credit: San Simeon Films)
• 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. 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 is professor of English at the University of California, Berkeley.
• Brenda Hillman is the author of Seasonal Works with Letters on Fire, 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. 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.
• Matthew Zapruder is the author of Come On All You Ghosts, The Pajamaist, American Linden, and Sun Bear (forthcoming in 2014). A poet, co-editor of Wave Books, he co-translated, with historian Radu Ioanid, Romanian poet Eugen Jebeleanu’s Secret Weapon: Selected Late Poems. His honors include a William Carlos Williams Award, Guggenheim Fellowship, a Lannan Literary Fellowship, and a 2008 May Sarton Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He teaches in the MFA Program at Saint Mary’s College in Moraga.
• Ozzie Zehner just received the 2013 Northern California Book Award in Non-Fiction for his new book, Green Illusions: The Dirty Secrets of Clean Energy and the Future of Environmentalism. He is a visiting scholar at the University of California, Berkeley. “Provocative and Essential! Green Illusions shakes us awake to the true challenges we face as a species…and inspires us to take action. —John Perkins
• Ann Fisher-Wirth is co-editor and contributor to The Ecopoetry Anthology, with an introduction by Robert Hass. Her books of poetry include Dream Cabinet. Her awards include the Malahat Review Long Poem Prize and the Rita Dove Poetry Award; she teaches at the University of Mississippi.
• giovanni singleton is the author of Ascension, winner of the Gold Medal in Poetry from the California Book Awards. She is founding editor of nocturnes (re)view of the literary arts, a journal dedicated to the work of artists and writes of the African Diaspora and other contested spaces. She is coordinator of the Lunch Poems series at University of California, Berkeley.
• Brian Teare is the author of Companion Grasses, and two previous poetry collections, including the Lambda Award-winning Pleasure. He has also received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, MacDowell Colony, The Brittingham Prize and the Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry. He teaches at Temple University in Philadelphia.
• Wang Jiaxin began writing poetry while a student at Wuhan University and has been teaching and editing ever since. In the early to mid-1990s, Wang traveled widely in the United States and England, becoming one of the poets whom Maghiel van Crevel has termed “an exile.” His poems often depicted the life of a wanderer, the loneliness of an individual set against the crowd, the world, or a natural surrounding. He now makes his home in an artist and writer’s enclave just north of Beijing and teaches Chinese literature at People’s University.
• Alan Soldofsky is the author of In the Buddha Factory. His poems have been published widely in magazines and journals including Poetry Daily, Grand Street, The Georgia Review, Rattle, The Rattling Wall, and The Rumpus. A former contributing editor of Poetry Flash, he is professor of English and director of creative writing at San Jose State University.
• Emcees: Richard Silberg, Associate Editor of Poetry Flash, 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. Guitarist Barry Finnerty’s CDs include Blues for Trane, Straight Ahead, and Manhattan Sessions with the N.Y. All Stars.
• California Poets in the Schools, River of Words International Poetry & Art Contest, and Poetry Inside Out K-12 student poets with John Oliver Simon, poet-teacher, Artistic Director of Poetry Inside Out program for children at the Center for the Art of Translation. He is a National Endowment of the Arts fellow in literary translation, author of Caminante, a narrow road into the far south, and Son Caminos, selected poems in Spanish.
• We Are Nature Open Mic, enter the lottery by noon at the Info Tent on site for six three-minute reading spots.

(Creek Walk poets will also appear on the main stage in the afternoon.)
• Jennifer Elise Foerster is a poet, her first book of poems is Leaving Tulsa. Joy Harjo says, “Wow. This first book of poems reminds me of the urgent vision fueling Kerouac’s On the Road. Foerster spins her poem-songs like wheels. A former Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, she is widely published in journals and anthologies, and is of German, Dutch, and Muscogee descent and a member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation of Oklahoma.
• Mary Mackey is the author of Sugar Zone, five previous collections of poetry and twelve novels. Her works have been translated into twelve foreign languages. For the last twenty years she has been traveling to Brazil, where the poems of Sugar Zone are set.
• Chris Olander, author of Mallard, is an eco-performance poet and California Poets in the Schools and Poetry Out Loud teacher-mentor. He lives in Nevada City, California.
• Tim Pine is an Environmental, Health & Safety Specialist, University of California, Berkeley.
• Barbara Jane Reyes is a poet, author of Diwata, Poeta en San Francisco, winner of the James Laughlin Award of the Academy of American Poets, and Gravities of Center. She has taught Creative Writing at Mills College and Philippine Studies at University of San Francisco.
• John Shoptaw is a poet; his “Blues Haiku” was published in The New Yorker. He teaches at the University of California, Berkeley, where his professional statement is “If you’re not a green poet, whatever other kind of poet you are, you’re not paying attention.”
• Tom Wilson is the author of two poetry collections, Till Sun & Moon Go Down and The Only Journey.

Admission is free. Wheelchair accessible. ASL interpreters will be provided if an email request is made by September 21. Email: mbb@poetryflash.org.

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 a “100 Thousand Poets for Change” event. Our community partners are Pegasus Books Downtown and Moe’s Books. The Watershed Festival presents a private session for students with featured poets at Berkeley High School on Friday, September 27. 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.

Calendar Listing:
18th annual Watershed Environmental Poetry Festival, Saturday, September 28, noon-4:30 pm, at Civic Center Park, Martin Luther King Jr. Way, at Center Street, Berkeley, one block from Berkeley BART. Pulitzer Prize-winners Gary Snyder and Robert Hass, with poets Brenda Hillman, Matthew Zapruder, Brian Teare, giovanni singleton, Alan Soldofsky, Barbara Jane Reyes, Ann Fisher-Wirth (The Ecopoetry Anthology), Mary Mackey, Jennifer Elise Foerster, John Shoptaw, Tom Wilson, Chris Olander. John Oliver Simon, K-12 student poets, writer Ozzie Zehner (Green Illusions), jazz by The Barry Finnerty Trio, River Village exhibits: books, magazines, and alternative ’zines. Strawberry Creek Walk with poetry and talk precedes the main event at 10:00 am, meet at Oxford and Center Streets, UC Berkeley. Free admission. Wheelchair accessible. ASL interpreters with email notice by Sept. 21. A 100 Thousand Poets for Change event, presented by Poetry Flash and Ecology Center/Berkeley Farmers’ Market. 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

Gary Snyder Photo Credit:
San Simeon Films

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