Saturday, January 30, 2016

Poetry Expressed vol1, 2016


poet bios  at http://www.poetryexpressed.com/p/poets.html


IF ONLY I COULD...     by Grace Marie Grafton


Say thank you. What a prodigy of present.

I would be present to the croquet game

that gave me the delicious thunk! of wood on

wood, flat on round, color wheeling in its

little parade of turn and turn about. I would

be present to taking turns, to the paddles

that churn butter, to the royal gold congealing

milk fat makes, add salt, present to the bread.

I didn't learn to read 'til third grade but

then, present to everything the Word could

offer. I started with the Presidents' wives,

became present to how a wife can be in

her own book and so a woman has her own

mind even if it's hidden behind the hipbones

of a man. Now I could be present to the possibility

I could dance without music. I know the breath,

the inner beat that makes feet move and

shoulders roll, I see the kaleidoscope of

tree sky raven-wing circle and gather. My eye-

sight's keen, my mouth waters, my mind hears

the sound of wood on wood, I don't need

to travel around the globe to see the glass and

shoes of Istanbul or the games of Kathmandu.









HERE I WEEP   by Laura Schulkind


We look straight ahead while I drive,

you next to me, curled into your coat

against the chill of summer.

You are always cold now.

And I remember, years ago,

giving driving lessons to your first grandchild.

How, looking straight ahead,

we could share the passing world.

So, I test the “how to talk to teens” advice

that had served us well--

to do it in cars, where eyes naturally do not meet.

What else do I know to do?



Eyes on the road,

I say there are options to weigh,

second opinions to seek,

factors to consider, steps to be taken.

You bristle,

and I remember my first disorienting look

up into my son’s face.

His first bending down to me.

I try again.

Find a new voice for this unmapped moment.

I drive and ask questions,

about what is next, what you want, what you fear,  

while I focus on my well-timed lane changes,

gentle stops,

smooth merges,

and think, I can do this.

But on the plane home,

I am lost.

No driver’s illusions up here,

where all is surrender and faith.

We sit, looking straight ahead,

my row-mate and I,

busy with laptops and crosswords and page-flipping.

A stranger, but still,

I hope he does not notice

I am weeping.



THE SWING   by Judy Wells


THE SWING

I am standing
in front of a famous Renoir—
“The Swing,” in French, “La Balançoire”
Young woman in white dress
stands on swing, seven
            blue bows adorn her dress
                        from neck to hem
How the light dapples down her dress—
            that Renoir touch
Those red apples on her cheeks
She looks away from her admirer
Man in light-dappled yellow hat
            away from me, another admirer

A voice, calling my name,
            awakes me from my Renoir reverie
Amidst the crowd, a former student
            “This is my favorite painting!
I came back through the rooms to see it again.”
The crowd thickens around “La Balançoire”
            We step aside
“Did you hear about the concert?
            Last night.   At the winery.
A man committed suicide.
He climbed on a roof
            over the stage and jumped.
I was right up front.
                        I saw everything.”

She has a wild look in her eye
“He was at the concert.
The music was very stirring, passionate.”
            She waves her arms
“He acted on it.
I have to go back to my friend now.
We took off today to…” she hesitates
            I complete her thought                                  
“to see something beautiful.”
                        “Yes,” she says


I look back at Renoir’s “La Balançoire”
Someone came unbalanced last night
All over the world
people are struggling to survive
            terrible floods, fires, cancer
                        while a young man
swings out over center stage
            and lets go
                        plummeting, plummeting
Stops a concert, traumatizes an audience
            Ends his life.  Why?

I turn back to rooms
            filled with beautiful impressionistic paintings
to hundreds of viewers
            struggling to understand
how that white snow can shimmer so
            how those green strokes can compose a bridge
how those blue bows can fascinate


Judy Wells 
Impressionism Exhibit, de Young, San Francisco, 2010

(I later learned the music was called “When Your Mind’s Made Up”)








AMAZON WOMEN: A COUNTRY OF WARRIORS   by Nadine Lockhart


His upper chest moves above me as if hung and swayed by a tether: This is no romance.

We come from mountains, formidable, a jumble of peaks and ranges and lower lands—

instability, a region of instability, lifetimes of it. Warriors on horseback, single-breasted

women, that would be us. This war is our peace, our meditation, how we balance to know

ourselves, our skills honed far beyond the lifting of an infant. I lift my bow.

We ride among the oak, the hornbeam, maple and ash, ever higher into birch and pine, rising

into spruce and fir until alpine replaces forest, and above that, snowline, glaciers like glass.

Sunlight glints off ice like a spirit strong with life. We wait, we thaw, we do our daily grind

and mill—until it arrives, they arrive, our time for mating the Gargareans. It was not always

this way, this methodical.

To be sure, this is no romance: Rape and murder still occur, though most pairing is willingly.

After all, we carry the child. We carry and birth, and birth and birth. Give them males,

keep the girls. Gargareans, better them than sex with slaves—where did that rumor begin?

A male brought by us into slavery, hands bound behind his back, not to be intermixed with—

it happens. Intermarriage happens. If you believe Herodotus.

The clang of swords against body armor, round shields, and helmets. The theory I put forth:

Tribes are nomadic, illusionary in nature. Amazons only appear to be without men, their men

fight and hunt—gone long periods. The women, independent, train for battle, farm, and wander

the wilderness, this geographic area now called Ukraine, or Russia. My people come from here,

we are Carpathian. Carpatho-Rus.

This is what I’m trying to say: It’s in my blood this waiting for you, it’s in my bones this

“not needing” you in the flesh, your attempts at intimate soul-bonding, your constant pull for

attention and more attention. I’ve enough to do: Soap your own hair, wash your own feet,

find your own mistress. I’m busy practicing my best form to steady the bow, draw the arrow

straight and across that flat plate where my right breast used to sit.



Dancing, Swarming by Nadine Lockhart


I, who have arrived in heaven, watch from an advantaged angle,
you who are getting obliterated in the dancing swarm of fireflies.1
(A falling angel, maybe two, enter my vision as they pass by).

You radiate with lesser stars, a crescent moon, or a gibbous,
which waxes and wanes as this is your life on the earth, obsidian,
or lamp black and dark, lamp black and coal dark. . .

I, however, am forced to follow my soul which has headed northward
or inward—it’s difficult to know directions—being bodiless and all
dimensions are everywhere at once.

Music, spheres of it, sends me packing toward itself. And the lights,
you think your fireflies are something? They are nothing—swirling
sunlit beads of a reflection of a reflection . . . small ardors.

The light here—a thousand thousand orgasms and then some and not
describable. The sound, the sound that pulls up and in, that sound—
another thousand thousand orgasms.

You: Catch that firefly—the faint sound of it, the dim light of it—
latch on until you are that sound, that light, obliterated in the dancing
swarm, until you are the dancing swarm, until you are . . . the dancing.


1 Yayoi Kusama, “You Who Are Getting Obliterated in the Dancing Swarm of Fireflies.”

Mixed Media Installation (2005).

NEANDERTHALS    by Elana Levy                                                      


when i would hear neanderthals

the butt of jokes

implying ugly dumb lower being,

it felt like i was under attack

which i didn't understand.

now i know

that neanderthals can be found

in my family tree,

and i am so proud.

can you see my great great greats

to the thousandth degree

in the depth of my eyes

the breadth of my nose

the contour of my chin

your "yes" would so please me.

those of us with euro-asian ancestry

share 1-4% of genes

with neanderthals who resided

from europe to siberia.

and only disappeared

thirty thousand years ago

little question, that homo sapiens and

homo neanderthalensis did interbreed

after all we are first cousins

sharing homo heidelbergensis

as our immediate grandparents.

not only do we have genes and grandparents

in common,  but modern brain size

and speech. 

yes, none of that "ugh" stuff for us.

your diggers have dug up a neanderthal

hyoid bone,  equipment needed, for vocals,

plus evidence we too had the "speech" gene.*

certainly, we talked with each other

those long winter nights.

the more the diggers uncover

the more similar we cousins are

to one another.

first traces of neanderthal's ancestors found

some 400,000 years ago

by 250,000 years, we were fully formed.

the last sites with our burials, ornaments, tools and bone

about 30,000 years old,  lay along the mediterranean shores.

during our 200,000 plus years

we survived through several severe glaciations

perhaps our modern day cousins could

learn some strategies of accomodation

we knew how to keep on

keeping on.

who of us here, in this very room

were sitting together around a hearth

in the designated living area of our rock shelter

warmed by our fire and furs.

caring for our sick and elderly

singing  chanting

planning, as the ice melted and the sun warmed,

whether it was time

to journey forward.


primary reference:  neanderthals rediscovered,papagianni and morse,2013.

         plus several articles from a homo neanderthalensis on line search.


FIRST CLASS MAIL    by Elizabeth Alford


I wish I were the letter

that I sent you yesterday:

kiss-sealed inside an envelope

addressed to your address,

nestled safe inside your mailbox

where you’d notice me at last.


I wish you were the envelope

in our paper-thin embrace—

that you were folded close

around me, and wouldn’t

ever let me go.


But I know one thing for certain

(sure as stamps will see the world):

that I, your letter, the heart of this

great matter, will never see your face,

but be banished to the trash can,

still sealed tightly away.




THE LAW OF BRIDGES    by Gary Turchin

Of bridges I know little,  

Least of all the physics that hold them up—               

often in such precarious poses & places

as to hint at a madness in them,

a beautiful madness.


Why connect this to that, here

now    ?

above this 

beside that  ?

Aren’t we tempting fate ?

Can’t we just go around  ?

Or not go at all   ?


But we bridge,

like the beaver dams;

because we’re bridge builders

of the seen and un-seen

kind


Many have I crossed.

real, imagined,  

Paid their tolls,

admired their reach,

suffered their traffic,

felt their sway in the wind,

been blown across their lanes like tumbleweed

threading the needle of fate 

to arrive, on the other side, still safely stitched  

thanks to no handiwork of my own,


But it’s the bridges I haven’t crossed,

that needle me,

will mark my time

like a cross marks a grave.

This is the Law of Bridges.


I knew a man

who jumped off a bridge 

because he wanted to get

to the Other Side

  before

    he got

       to the other side.



FOR THE YOUNG PEOPLE    by Jan Dederick

They know the jig is up:

how the ocean is acid they learned it in school

beside Pythagoras’ theorem,

how Manhattan and Boston aspire to Atlantis

which also sank.

they know the jig is up:

how the web of debt like Black Widow’s spin

pins them,  stuns them,  entangles them,

strangles hopes of finding the edge of the box

let alone climbing out.

They know the jig is up:

how the behemoth careens,

how steep is the scarp,

how deep the rut,

how gravity yanks,

how Niagara’s brink is here,

how the barrel must be stove.

They know the jig is up:

how the future is tumors and thirst,

how the present is largely PR,

how the past has been air-brushed for TV,

how so-option trumps co-operation.

They know, and yet they love.

The cook from scratch, recipes old and new.

They know and yet they celebrate,

go to the sea, see sea lions’ shenanigans.

They know, and yet they laugh:

Better to laugh than rant.

They know the future’s a long long shot,

so they stay in the here, in the now,

to see what wants to happen.

they know the jig is up,

and yet they dance withal. 



A phrase from a Gertrude Stein poem prompted this poem.
lESS LACED DIAMONDS   —Nancy Schimmel, 2015

less laced bodice

come down, back and forth

edged in froth

diamonds down her front

watermelon dripping

on diamonds

on lace

on white dimity

and black laces

and rose red and snow white

snow in the winter

watermelon red in the summer

lace the diamond

lace edges

all around the back

green and not-green stripes

black eyes and susies

lazy susies

turn back and forth 

lacy susie

turn back, turn back

to me here

at the bottom 

of the garden 

in the patch

in the pachouli

in the mouth of the kisses

in the unlacing 

in the meander

in the wandering finger

running up the edge

around the dimple

through the eyelet

unlacing everything 

that would be free



WINTER  by Bruce Bagnell


We talked of traction

on the ice

at speed

with studded tires singing

a song on the 8-track.


She was full of fast.

You could spin out,

crash,

hurt-burn      against skin,

the down blanket of her neck

too warm

even in this winter

of my want for the long  road.


It was the pistons of Marley

with her        guitar throat

singing

off the beat
capturing me,

until I was in the ditch,

upside down,

dazed,

and I swear she hugged me

as she crawled out from under,

vanished.



UNCLE BOB'S CENTURY-OLD PRACTICAL JOKE    
by Jim Barnard

    I
So I’m harvesting tomatoes
the end product of my labor
the precursor to a glorious meal
a source of pride and wellbeing.
Life is good.

Hey wait.  What on earth is that?
A small, ripe tomato
with a huge, perfectly spherical bite
right out of the middle.
Not good.

I know my enemies.
Birds might peck a hole.
Slugs would leave a trail.
Sow bugs only eat tomatoes on the ground.
Paranoia strikes.

 II
October 28th, 1915
my mom’s 6th birthday.
Big brother Bob has the perfect gift
for his favorite, tomboy sister.
He giggles diabolically.

He wraps it in a matchbox
pink paper, pink ribbon.
He can hardly wait
to see the expression on her face
and hear her scream.
Olive tears open the present
her heart full of love
for her mischievous brother.
She screams, but with delight.
“Oh!  How beautiful!”

III
The hollowed out tomato’s 
in a cluster of five.
Two of the others 
like the first, half gone.
Panic grows.

My fingers probe the thick foliage  
expect a thick, hard tomato stem
feel soft, responsive tissue
the size of my thumb.
I scream….  Loud.

I imagine Mom and Uncle Bob
in the hereafter 
roaring with laughter
at their faint-hearted kin
and my monstrous, beautiful tomato worm.




I did not dream I saw Joe Hill Last Night
By Chris Chandler

I did not dream I saw Joe Hill Last night…
I simply saw Joe Hill – Alive in you and me.

The work of Ceasar Chavez, and the work of Eugene Debs is not 75 or
even 25 years dead.
it will Never dies says, me.
For it will Never die IN me.

The Billy club of Ferguson, the tear gas streets in the streets of Occupy
killed you joe?

They ran you out of town says some?

It takes more than that to shut us down,

Which is why, we’ll stay right here.

Which is why we will not die.

… and organize he did!

And standing there as big as life… is the work of United Students Against
Sweatshops, The School for the America’s Watch, and the United Mountain
Defense, Nurses without Borders, Anonymous, Black Lives Matter.

Who struggle to organize a world in which all people live in freedom from
oppression… valued as whole human beings… rather than exploited in a
quest for productivity under the rule of the wrong kind of profits.

THEY WENT ON to Organize!

Organizing as they fight police brutality.  Organizing as they fight the prison
industrial complex.  Organizing as they fight to force queer and transgender
issues onto the agenda.

Joe Hill is ALIVE in those who went on to organize!... Went on to organize
the unorganized.

From Johannesburg to Imokolee
From Zuccati Park to Ferguson
from Oakland to Baltimore
From Prauge to Side Bouzid
this is where you will find Joe Hill
that is where you will find you and me.

For I did not dream I saw Joe Hill Last night…
I AM JOE HILL TONIGHT!

I am Michael Brown
I am Victor Jara
Iam Rachel Corey
I am joe Hill
I am Joe Hill
I will never die, say, me
for I will never die IN me.




If Only I Were Light That Dances
- Paul Elias Taylor 

“...You will have to create the path by walking yourself; the path is not ready-made, lying there and waiting for you. It is just like the sky: the birds fly, but they don't leave any footprints. You cannot follow them; there are no footprints left behind.”
Osho

I.      Soledad Barrio y Flamenca Noche

moved to tears
by high, raw cry
that rises
from half lit stage

man holds himself erect
in poised, rigid posture
tight vest over open collared shirt

woman sheathed in red
wrapped tight
ruffled train behind
poised, cobra
ready to strike

eyes locked on one another
move intertwined
through restrained intricate patterns
of impassioned fiery grace

staccato hand claps
percussive heel strikes
on hardwood floor
punctuate lattice work
of stately guitar arpeggios

rise and fall
of singer's voice
shreds edges of heart
to feel such depth

they moved
two candle flames
that cast light
into a dark room

their flicker
chased shadows
into the night


II.    In a Ballet Studio

my heart broke
that day
in the ballet studio

when I felt
I mastered my body
in complete control
of my physical instrument
down to smallest
muscular adjustment

en pointe:
developpe,
rond de jambe,
arabesque,
promenade

such ballon
grande jete gathers itself
in feathery descent

then pas de bouree
comes to stately rest
at stage edge
only to begin again

stillness within
centered movement

yet I felt so far
from perfection of all possibility
that moves across an open stage
to fill space and suspend time
such that indrawn breath
is held in moment
of wonder


III.  Blues in the night

an old black gentleman
came up to me and asked
where I learned to dance
like that

it seeps into the soul
first from radio
then TV dance parties

James Brown mashed potato
Hollywood jazz dance,
Fosse broadway
Kathryn Dunham afro-cuban
and everything else
in between
that fits body's need
to move

Guitar lines soar
electric bass pushes
thick volumes of air
cut by snap
of snare drum
mouth harp tears
melody to shreds

'...cause my baby
done took the train
and gone...'

but my baby
wants to slip, slide
bump, grind
grin an evil smile
in some dark, smokey bar
with blues through the night

work out that fever
work in that bone rhythm
feel heat burn inside

that causes men to shout,
women to moan

IV.            I would

I would dance
as birds fly
across skies
leave no footprint
behind

- Paul Elias Taylor



Poets

The full list of those elected by the Poetry Express Berkeley participants is:
Grace Grafton 
Alice Templeton 
Laura Schulkind 
Joshua Curtis 
Paul Taylor 
Bruce Bagnell 
Judy Wells 
Nadine Lockhart 
Gary Turchin 
Elana Levy 
Nancy Schimmel 
Elizabeth Alford 
Elizabeth Agans 
David Erdreich 
Jim Barnard 
Chris Chandler 

Jan Dederick 

 If you are listed and your poem, etc. is not in this issue it is because we do not have the material.  Please email Bruce and we will add it in.

OUR PUBLISHED POETS :



JUDY WELLS 


JUDY WELLS was born in San Francisco and raised in Martinez, California.  She received her

B.A. from Stanford University and her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of

California, Berkeley. She has published ten books and chapbooks of poetry, from I Have

Berkeley to her latest, The Glass Ship (www.sugartownpublishing.com).  She was a featured

reader in the Berkeley Poetry Festival, 2006, 2009, and 2011 and a featured reader in the 2015

Irish-American Crossroads Festival in San Francisco. She is also co-editor of The Berkeley

Literary Women’s Revolution:  Essays from Marsha’s Salon (McFarland, 2005). Judy was an

academic counselor and faculty member at Saint Mary’s College of California, working with

adults returning to school.  Now a full-time poet, she lives with her husband, avant-garde poet

Dale Jensen, in Berkeley.





   GARY TURCHIN 

is the author/illustrator of the wondrous, If I Were You (Simon DeWitt 2011, and the award-winning Ditty-Ditty Doggerel; A life From Bad to Verse (Simon DeWitt, 2012).  His newest collection of poems, Falling Home, was published in 2013 by Sugartown Publications. See http://www.garyturchin.net  for these offerings and more.
    Gary is also performance artist, poet, and illustrator. His children’s poetry show, Gary T. & his PoetTree, has been performed in more than 300 schools and libraries throughout California.  
     To see/hear and learn more about Gary, see the documentary film about his life’s journey, The Healthiest Man On Earth at http://youtu.be/craVH8mzpuQ .
NADINE LOCKHART
Nadine Lockhart received her MA in English and an MFA in Creative Writing with an

emphasis in Poetry from ASU; she is currently earning her PhD in Literature from the

same university. Along with Rosemarie Dombrowski, she founded and hosts the Phoenix

Poetry Series, a monthly featured reading showcasing award-winning poets; it’s in its

eighth year and won “Best of” page-poetry reading in Phoenix Magazine. Lockhart has

been awarded more than a baker’s dozen of fellowships and scholarships providing travel

and study in English, poetry, and languages to such places as India, Oaxaca, Prague, and

the UK. She presented  several times at academic conferences over the last two years on 

the ability of poetry to transform itself into continued relevancy through hybridity and

cultural relativism. Her dissertation explores Arizona poetry in the public sphere for

which she received the Lattie and Elva Coor Fellowship for Building Communities. She

recently published “Hidden Lives of the Black Cat Poets,” a five-part interview series

during April, the poetry month, for the Herald of Truth or Consequences, NM. Nadine

lives with Badger the Cat. They happily travel together throughout California and the

American Southwest in search of plays, poetry, and paintings.



GRACE MARIE GRAFTON

Grace Marie Grafton, an active community poet, has taught in the California Poets In The Schools program for over thirty years.  She was awarded twelve CA Arts Council Artist-In-Residence grants for her work at Lakeshore Elementary School in San Francisco. Through her teaching, she became involved in US Poet Laureate (1997-99) Robert Hass’ annual River Of Words Youth Poetry and Art Contest.
After many years of seeing her poems widely published in literary magazines, her first book, Zero,won the 1999 Poetic Matrix Chapbook contest.  In 2001, her book of poems inspired by the artwork of contemporary women, Visiting Sisters, was published by Coracle Books. Ms. Grafton’s most recent books are Other Clues (2010) from Latitude Press, and Whimsy, Reticence & Laud, unruly sonnets (2012) from Poetic Matrix Press.  Other Clues is comprised of surreal prose poems. Whimsy, Reticence & Laud, as the subtitle indicates, is Grace’s experimentation with the sonnet form. Author Tobey Hiller writes, of this book, “In these lush sonnets by Grace Marie Grafton the wild and the cultivated often collide.  Here the habit of observation and the outcome of wonder produce…the sensate pleasures of both language and being.”
Hermost recent book, Jester, was published in 2013 by Hip Pocket Press
Recent poems appear in Ambush Review, The Offending Adam, Talking/Writing, and Theodate.  Ms. Grafton’s poems have won prizes from The Bellingham Review, the Soul Making contest (San Francisco PEN Women), The Sycamore Review, and Coracle.
Ms. Grafton grew up in the central valley of California, earned her BA from the University of California Berkeley and her MA from New York University.  She currently resides in Oakland, CA, with her husband and extended family.

LAURA SCHULKIND



Poet and writer Laura Schulkind is an attorney by day, where she is entrusted with others’ stories. Through fiction and poetry she tells her own. She and her husband divide their time between Berkeley and Big Sur California, and her two grown sons continue to inspire her. Her published work can be seen atwww.lauraschulkind.com


ELIZABETH ALFORD



Elizabeth Alford has always had an on-again-off-again relationship with poetry; but in the wake of her graduation from CSU East Bay, she recently announced that they are now going steady (much to everyone’s relief). She lives in Hayward, CA with her loving fiancé, mother, and two dopey dogs. Her favorite things include sushi, loud music on long drives, staring at the stars, and poetry. Her work has appeared in the student literary magazine Occam’s Razor and also online at Poetry Super Highway, Haikuniverse, Quatrain.Fish, and the blogs of Silver Birch Press and Creative Talents Unleashed. 

ELANA LEVY


Elana Levy is a recent transplant to the land of her daughter, of avocadoes and redwoods, from the northeast, of snow, lakes and green.  She will read her latest poems, as well as poems from her recent collection, Legacies and Heresies with blessings.  Elana will also read from her translations of much heralded 20th century German Jewish poet, Rose Ausländer, book available this fall.  Elana taught math in community college for two decades.  First  photographed by FBI in 1959.  Student and teacher of Jewish meditation and Kabbala; factory worker, social justice activist, radio producer, video director; embraces silence one month yearly. Still studying hard, knowing there's no easy answers.  

NANCY SCHIMMEL

Nancy Schimmel has toured nationally as a singer and storyteller, and is well known in the Bay Area. Brought up in a household full of music and stories, Nancy has been sharing them with the world ever since, as well as adding many of her own inspired originals. 

BRUCE BAGNELL



Bruce Bagnell has worked as a cook, mechanic, and college professor; held various management positions including running a car dealership; and was a USAF captain in Vietnam. Now retired, along with writing he is a Poetry Express Berkeley host, does the accounting for his Masters Swim Team, and is remodeling a 1930’s French Laundry into an art space.  He also does occasional management consulting work.   He has been published in OmniVerse, The Scribbler, The Round, Blue Lake Review, Crack the Spine, ChaparrelOxford Magazine, Diverse Voices Quarterly, Studio1, Westview Magazine, Zone 3,  the Griffin, The Burningwood Literary Journal, Poetalk, Tower Journal, and The Alembic.

JIM BARNARD


BIO:  If all the world’s a stage, I just auditioned for the role of Grandpa.

JAN DEDERICK 




 Jan lives in the East Bay and earns her keep doing homeopathic medicine and Kairos healing work. She lives with a wonderful poet,  two cats, two ducks, a grand piano and a jungly garden.  It’s hard to find time to do everything she loves.  Poor thing.

CHRIS CHANDLER



Poet and storyteller Chris Chandler is as hilarious and entertaining as he is provocative and rabble-rousing, delivering vignettes about politics and modern culture with the fire of a Baptist Preacher. His appearances are insightful tales of a world gone slightly mad, accompanied by a wide variety of musical styles. He has performed on thousands of stages across North America, working with such legendary figures as Allen Ginsberg, Pete Seeger, Mojo Nixon and Ani DiFranco. The late great Utah Phillips called Chris "the best performance poet I have ever seen."  see more at chrischandler.org 

PAUL TAYLOR


Paul Elias Taylor wrote music journalism for the Kansas City Blues Society  monthly publication and the now defunct online music website,theZone.org.   His poetry is included in Milvia Street Journal 2014 and 2015. He published Carla Kandinsky's chapbook, Invasion and Amy Ballard Rich'scollection Thump. He studies with Sharon Coleman and participates in a number of writing workshops in the East Bay.
  
ALSO NOMINATED
Unfortunately we did not recieve a poem, picture, and bio from Elizabeth Agans, Alice Templeton, or Joshua Curtis at the time of publication.  Our apologies 











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