Poetry of World War I

WSL Great War-600x230

In remembrance of the 100th anniversary of end of World War I, CSUB’s Public History Institute (PHI) will host several events related to WWI, including a World War I Poetry Event on November 7, from 6:00-8:00 in the Dezember Room of the Walter Stiern Library. I’ll be the MC for the reading of WWI poetry featuring local poets and historians giving voice to poets and poetry from 100 years ago.  Many thanks to CSUB’s Walter Stiern Library for continuing to provide both space and energy for collaborations such as this; and I’d like to give an extra shout-out to the library’s Historical Research Center, which is a great space to explore history both local and global.

Art After Dark

2018 Art After Dark Poetry Event

On September 27, 2018, poets from California State University, Bakersfield collaborated with the Bakersfield Museum of Art as part of their “Art After Dark” series to present poems inspired by the California collective “Society of Six,” Yvonne Cavanagh, and Charles Arnoldi.  Thanks to the vision and hard work of Development Coordinator Alli Duncan and Curator Rachel Magnus, the event was a smashing success, and thanks to support by Curt Asher, Dean of the Walter Stiern Library, and Robert Frakes, Dean of the School of Arts & Humanities at CSUB, the attendees were given a chapbook featuring the poems and art that inspired them.  I owe Yvonne Cavanagh an extra level of gratitude for painting “Floating Oranges,” the inspiration for my own poem, “Under an Inverstion Layer.”

Under an Inversion Layer
–after Yvonne Cavanagh’s Floating Oranges

Highway 65 was never alive.

Not on those eye-wet days of fog delays
when a sheet would swallow the horizons
and I would steer by watching the shoulder
and wait for the windshield to re-issue
red tail lights proceeding in a linear
fashion past the rows of navel citrus
into which one could easily vanish
were one to drift or lose track of the white.

And not on those nights of cold spell clear skies
and sharp stars with the growers’ wind machines
churning the frost-smoke through the orange groves
in hopes of keeping the sugar cell walls
from rupturing each ember hemisphere
and rendering the sunny flesh unfit
for human consumption, each floating globe
now a mere decoration, a sunk cost.

Roads do not lead anyone anywhere.
I tell myself this whenever I’m lost.


Mt. SAC Writers’ Weekend

On April 20 as part of Mt. San Antonio College’s 2018 Writers’ Weekend, I’ll be leading three workshops focusing on Creative Nonfiction with the workshop titles “Adjusting the Filter: Using Persona to Craft Voice and Perspective,” “Be-Mused: Creating the Subject,” and “If Only: Writing Alternate Personal Histories.”  It should be fun!