Watershed Environmental Poetry Festival in conjunction with 100 Thousand Poets for Change
ORGANIZER: Joyce Jenkins at email@example.com
CONTACT: Mark Baldridge at firstname.lastname@example.org
Watershed Environmental Poetry Festival & Strawberry Creek Walk, Saturday, Sept. 27, Berkeley
Kay Ryan, Anne Waldman, Dean Rader, Randall Potts, Al Young, River Village book fair, exhibits, open mic, & more!
19th annual Watershed Environmental Poetry Festival, Saturday, September 27, noon-4:30 pm, at Civic Center Park, Martin Luther King Jr. Way, at Center Street, Berkeley, one block from Berkeley BART. Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Kay Ryan; poet Anne Waldman in a rare West Coast appearance; Al Young; Dean Rader; Randall Potts; paleoclimatologist B. Lynn Ingram, The West without Water; Lucille Lang Day; Phavia Kujichagulia with guitar and percussion; Poetry Inside Out and California Poets in the Schools students with poet-teachers John Oliver Simon, Maureen Hurley, J. Ruth Gendler; Chris Olander, Tiffany Higgins, Traci Gourdine, Eliot Schain, Sharon Coleman, Doreen Domb, Patricia Bulitt with Creek Dance, John Shoptaw, jazz by The Barry Finnerty Trio, River Village exhibits of books, magazines, and Buffalo Field Campaign’s Buffaloon for the kids. Strawberry Creek Walk at 10:00 am precedes the main event with poetry, dance, and talk, meet at Oxford and Center Streets, UC Berkeley. Free admission. Wheelchair accessible. ASL interpreters (email by Sept. 19). 100 Thousand Poets for Change event, presented by Poetry Flash and Ecology Center/Berkeley Farmers’ Market. For information, (510) 525-5476, email@example.com, or visit Poetryflash.org.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
19th ANNUAL WATERSHED
ENVIRONMENTAL POETRY FESTIVAL
Stand Up for the Earth with Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Kay Ryan (US Poet Laureate 2008-10), poet, activist, performer Anne Waldman in a rare West Coast appearance, Al Young (California Poet Laureate 2005-08), Dean Rader (99 Poems for the 99 Percent),paleoclimatologist B. Lynn Ingram (The West without Water), Randall Potts, griot Phavia Kujichagulia with guitar and percussion, poets Dick Bakken, Lucille Lang Day, Tiffany Higgins, Eliot Schain, Sharon Coleman, John Shoptaw, Traci Gourdine, California Poets in the Schools and Poetry Inside Out K-12 students, The Barry Finnerty Trio, and more!
Saturday, September 27, 2014, Noon–4:30 pm, Free
Civic Center Park by 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.
100 Thousand Poets for Change event. Presented by Poetry Flash and the Ecology Center/Berkeley Farmers’ Market, with co-sponsors Pegasus Downtown, Moe’s Books.
Poets and scientists of different traditions all “Stand up for the earth” at the 19th annual Watershed Environmental Poetry Festival, Saturday, September 27, noon-4:30 at Berkeley’s Civic Center Park, one block west of downtown Berkeley BART. This Watershed is dedicated to Denise Levertov, twentieth century poet and environmentalist.
Poetry readings by renowned poets and environmental authors, K-12 student poets, world-class jazz, exhibitors, and We are Nature Open Mic in front of beautiful Watershed banners created for the festival by Bolinas artist Arthur Okamura. Books by the readers will be available for purchase at the Pegasus Book Tent. Watershed’s River Village exhibitors include Berkeley Climate Action Coalition, Poetree interactive writing and exhibits from Milvia Street literary and art journal, Haight Ashbury Literary Journal, Sixteen Rivers Press, Poetry Inside Out, California Poets in the Schools, Sugartown Publishing, and more. The kids will enjoy a larger-than-life Buffaloon (inflated Buffalo) from the Buffalo Field Campaign. Creek Poems artwork will be installed over the footprint of Strawberry Creek (it runs under the park). To exhibit, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, or see Poetryflash.org. Watershed is part of the lively Berkeley Farmers’ Market that 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 snacks at the Farmers’ Market!
Strawberry Creek Walk begins at 10 am, Saturday morning, September 27, just inside the UC Berkeley campus at Oxford and Center Streets. The public is invited to join the Walk for poetry, dance, and talk along 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.
This Watershed is dedicated to Denise Levertov; Berkeley poet David Shaddock will present a tribute. New Directions recently released The Collected Poems of Denise Levertov. Born in England in 1923, Levertov emigrated to the U.S. in 1948, died in 1997. She was the author of more than twenty books of poetry along with books of criticism and translation; she was poetry editor for The Nation. One of the greatest poets of the twentieth century, she was a staunch environmentalist and antiwar activist. Kenneth Rexroth called her “the most subtly skillful poet of her generation, the most profound, the most modest, the most moving.”
NOON – 4:30 pm:
FEATURED READERS & PERFORMERS:
- Kay Ryan’s most recent book, The Best of It: New and Selected Poems, won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. She served as U.S. Poet Laureate 2008-2010. Her awards include the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize from the Poetry Foundation, four Pushcart Prizes, Northern California Book Reviewers’ Fred Cody Award, and a Guggenheim fellowship. She lives in Marin County.
- Anne Waldman, author of more than forty collections of poetry and poetics, is a poet, professor, performer, and cultural activist. An active member of the Outrider experimental poetry movement, she has been connected to the Beat movement and the second generation of the New York School. Her publications include Fast Speaking Woman, Marriage: A Sentence, and the multi-volume Iovis project. Her recent collections are Jaguar Harmonics: Person Woven of Tesserae (2014) and Gossamurmur (Penguin Poets, 2013). In 1965 she attended the Berkeley Poetry Conference, where the Outrider voices she encountered inspired her to commit to poetry and to found Angel Hair, a small press that published an eponymous magazine and numerous books. She was director of the St. Mark’s Church Poetry Project, New York. In 1974, with Allen Ginsberg, Waldman founded the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa Institute in Boulder, Colorado. Her honors include grants from the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts, the Poetry Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. She has twice won the International Poetry Championship Bout in Taos, New Mexico, and was “poet in residence” with Bob Dylan’s famed concert tour, the Rolling Thunder Revue. She divides her time between Boulder, Colorado, and Greenwich Village, New York.
- Al Young is a novelist and poet. California Poet Laureate from 2005 to 2008, he’s prodigiously published; recent books of poems are Coastal Nights and Inland Afternoons and Something About the Blues. Among his honors are NEA, Fulbright, and Guggenheim fellowships, The Richard Wright Award for Literary Excellence, Northern California Book Reviewers’ Fred Cody Award, and 2011 Thomas Wolfe Award.
- Dean Rader has published widely in poetry, American Indian studies, and popular culture. His debut collection, Works & Days, won the 2010 T. S. Eliot Poetry Prize. His poetry was selected for Best American Poetry, 2012. His most recent collection, Landscape Portrait Figure Form(Omnidawn), was named by Barnes & Noble Review as one of the Best Poetry Books of 2013. He edited 99 Poems for the 99 Percent: An Anthology of Poetry (2014) featuring poems by well-known poets. Rader reviews poetry regularly for The Huffington Post, The Rumpus,and San Francisco Chronicle, His columns on “10 Greatest Poets” were covered by The New Yorker, The New York Times, and dozens of other media outlets.
• B. Lynn Ingram is a paleoclimatologist who teaches at UC Berkeley. She is co-author, withFrances Malamud-Roam, of The West without Water:What Past Floods, Droughts, and Other Climatic Clues Tell Us about Tomorrow.
“A masterful portrait of how water shaped the American West.…Part detective story, part call to action, this book offers vital advice on how to fix the West’s looming water crisis.” —Scientific American; “Earth’s climate has changed before, but always on a geological time scale. By burning millions of years worth of fossil fuels in a couple of centuries, humans have now forced atmospheric change onto our time scale. To make matters worse, in the American Southwest we have built a civilization on the assumption that we can get away with it. As The West without Water eloquently and passionately reveals, we can’t.”—James Lawrence Powell, author of Dead Pool
- Randall Potts new book is Trickster (University of Iowa Press, 2014); his previous collections are Collision Center and a chapbook, Recant: (A Revision). His poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Antioch Review, Colorado Review, Denver Quarterly, Five Fingers Review, Iowa Review, Jung Journal: Culture & Psyche, The West Marin Review, Poetry Flash, and other publications. A volunteer at a wildlife rehabilitation hospital, he has worked on and written about oil spill responses. He lives in Berkeley.
- Dick Bakken new book is The Whiskey Epiphanies, Selected Poems 1963–2013. His poem “Song” was displayed across the USA in Poetry on the Buses. He won an Arizona Commission on the Arts Artist Projects Grant and the 2010 Bisbee Idol First Place Trophy for rapping his poem “A Fish in School.” His work appears in Greatest Hits 1967–2002, 100 American Poets against the War, and New Poets of the American West. He lives in Bisbee, Arizona.
- Lucille Lang Day is the author of eight poetry collections, including The Curvature of Blue and Self-Portrait with Hand Microscope, which received the Joseph Henry Jackson Award. She also published a memoir, Married at Fourteen: A True Story (Heyday), a children’s book, Chain Letter, co-authored How to Encourage Girls in Math and Science, and edited SEEK: Science Exploration, Excitement, and Knowledge (Children’s Hospital Oakland). She received her Ph.D. in science and mathematics education. Founder and director of a small press, Scarlet Tanager Books, she also served for seventeen years as the director of the Hall of Health, an interactive museum in Berkeley.
- Phavia Kujichagulia is agriot (oral historian who uses music and poetry to reveal history), spoken word artist, and musician; she will perform with Ron Williams on guitar and Val Serrant and Sosu Ayansolo on percussion. She dynamically orchestrates African music, jazz, and pop into a hypnotic rhapsody. Her performances include the World Drum Festival, National Black Expo, John Coltrane Festival, and Nelson Mandela’s 1990 USA Tour. Between 1990-99, Phavia Kujichagulia was cultural director and co-leader of the African Roots of Jazz. Her production piece, The Story of Jazz, has received national acclaim. Her latest CD, The Human Race, is available online. “After experiencing Phavia Kujichagulia, you’ll understand why we’re asking Sanchez, Walker, Angelou, Jordan and the rest of the heavyweights to move over and make room for another member of the First Team.” —Black Culture Magazine
- David Shaddock, poet and psychotherapist, studied poetry with Denise Levertov at UC Berkeley. Among his books of poems are This Place Where Something’s Missing Lives and Dreams Are Another Set of Muscles. He won the Ruah Magazine Power of Poetry Award and the International Peace Poem prize; his play, In a Company of Seekers, was performed at the Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto, Italy.
• 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, former manager of 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.
• Poetry Inside Out K-12 students with John Oliver Simon, poet and 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.
• California Poets in the Schools K-12 students with Maureen Hurley, California Poets in the Schools poet-teacher and artist, and the recipient of eight California Arts Council grants and two KQED SPARK artist grants. She lives in Oakland, California.
• California Poets in the Schools K-12 students with J. Ruth Gendler, author of the bestselling The Book of Qualities, Notes on the Need for Beauty, and the anthology Changing Light. Her artwork has been exhibited nationally. A long-time poet in the schools, she has taught writing and art to adults and children for twenty-five years.
- We Are Nature Open Mic, enter the lottery by noon at the Info Tent on site for six three-minute reading spots.
10:00 am, STRAWBERRY CREEK WALK:
(Most Creek Walk poets will also appear on the main stage in the afternoon.)
• Patricia Bullit is a dancer; she will perform ROCK SONG PRAYER OR WATER’S RETURN on site; she says her piece is about “creeks and alphabets and war and the magic of creeks and the way they go around rocks to form ‘letters….’”
- Sharon Coleman is author of Half Circle. A contributing editor to Poetry Flash, she is a coordinator of Lyrics & Dirges reading series at Pegasus Books, and co-directs the Berkeley Poetry Festival. She is faculty advisor to the award-winning Berkeley City College art and literary journal, Milvia Street.
• Doreen Domb is a poet who has read and published spiritually influenced poetry widely in northern California. Her chapbook is Pralaya. Shelives in Grass Valley.
- Traci Gourdine’spoetry and stories have been published in numerous literary magazines. Traci and Quincy Troupe were paired in a year-long exchange of letters for the anthology Letters to Poets: Conversations about Poetics, Politics, and Community. She is co-editor of Night is Gone, Day is Still Coming, an anthology of writing by young Native writers, and We Beg to Differ, poems by Sacramento poets against war. For ten years she facilitated writing workshops in California state prisons in the Arts in Corrections program for the William James Association.
- Tiffany Higgins is author of and Aeneas stares into her helmet. Her poems have been published in Big Bridge, Kenyon Review, and other journals; her critical essays on the work of Mahmoud Darwish and Iraqi poet Dunya Mikhail have appeared in Poetry Flash. She translated the poetry of Lebanese writer Nadia Tuéni, from the French.
- 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 a Creek Restoration expert who works in Environmental Protection at UC Berkeley.
- Eliot Schain’s books include American Romance and Westering Angels. After receiving his M.F.A. from Columbia University, he served as Program Director for the Poetry Society of America. For twenty years he has taught English, history, psychology, and religions. Earlier this year, he organized an EcoPoetry Festival at John Muir House. He lives in Berkeley.
• 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.”
Watershed History & Sponsors
Watershed Environmental Festival is a collaboration with Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Robert Hass, Poetry Flash, and the Ecology Center/Berkeley Farmers’ Market. This year’s festival is a “100 Thousand Poets for Change” event. Our community partners are Pegasus Books Downtown (book suppliers) and Moe’s Books (media sponsor). The Watershed Festival presents a private session for students with featured poets at Berkeley High School on Friday, September 26. 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.
19th annual Watershed Environmental Poetry Festival, Saturday, September 27, noon-4:30 pm, at Civic Center Park, Martin Luther King Jr. Way, at Center Street, Berkeley, one block from Berkeley BART. Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Kay Ryan; poet Anne Waldman in a rare West Coast appearance; Al Young; Dean Rader; Randall Potts; paleoclimatologist B. Lynn Ingram, The West without Water; Lucille Lang Day; Phavia Kujichagulia with guitar and percussion; Poetry Inside Out and California Poets in the Schools students with poet-teachers John Oliver Simon, Maureen Hurley, J. Ruth Gendler; Chris Olander, Tiffany Higgins, Traci Gourdine, Eliot Schain, Sharon Coleman, Doreen Domb, Patricia Bulitt with Creek Dance, John Shoptaw, jazz by The Barry Finnerty Trio, River Village exhibits of books, magazines, and Buffalo Field Campaign’s Buffaloon for the kids. Strawberry Creek Walk at 10:00 am precedes the main event with poetry, dance, and talk, meet at Oxford and Center Streets, UC Berkeley. Free admission. Wheelchair accessible. ASL interpreters (email by Sept. 19). 100 Thousand Poets for Change event, presented by Poetry Flash and Ecology Center/Berkeley Farmers’ Market. For information, contact (510) 525-5476, firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit Poetryflash.org.
email@example.com, (510) 525-5476, http://poetryflash.org