Tag Archives: reading

GuerrillaReads No. 106: Lucille Lang Day

Lucille Lang Day is one of the thoughtful minds behind Fire and Rain: Ecopoetry of California, along with Ruth Nolan who appeared on this site a few years back. In this guerrilla reading of her poem “Muir Woods at Night,” recorded during a visit to Muir Woods in February 2019, nature shows its power to inspire ladybugs, salmon, and poets.

Day has published ten poetry collections and chapbooks. She is also coeditor of Red Indian Road West: Native American Poetry from California and the author of two children’s books and a memoir, Married at Fourteen: A True Story. Her writing has appeared widely in magazines and anthologies, and her many honors include the Joseph Henry Jackson Award in Literature, the Blue Light Poetry Prize, two PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Literary Awards, and nine Pushcart nominations. Day is also the founder of Scarlet Tanager Books, publisher of Fire and Rain. All profits from sales of the book will be donated to environmental organizations.

Much more at lucillelangday.com.

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GuerrillaReads No. 105: Kirk Lumpkin

 

Poet, songwriter, and environmentalist Kirk Lumpkin recently retired and now lives with his wife on 80 acres of undeveloped land in Mendocino County in Northern California. After two years of managing their land for forest health, wildlife diversity, and to reduce the possibility of a catastrophic wildfire, he realized he needed to get a better attitude toward poison oak, because he was spending a lot of time with it. So he started with Kate Marianchild’s book Secrets of the Oak Woodland which he quotes from in the introduction to the poem.

Now he’s a State Certified Naturalist and writing poetry about the itchy vine. For this guerrilla reading he stands in front of  a crawling expanse of the stuff in its lovely red phase.

Lumpkin’s poem, “To Poison Oak,” appears in Fire and Rain: Ecopoetry of California, edited by Lucille Lang Day and Ruth Nolan. [Full disclosure: two of my poems appear in the anthology.] If you want to learn more about California’s environment and humans’ complicated relationship with it, poets are a great place to start.

In fact, poison oak is an excellent place to begin.

GuerrillaReads No. 100: Lynn Harris Ballen

Lynn Harris Ballen is perhaps best known as a senior producer and co-host on KPFK radio’s fearless Feminist Magazine. She’s also an important player in the LGBTQ literary scene in southern California.

Ballen grew up in South Africa during the apartheid era. Her family’s role in the struggle for majority rule in that country is at the center of the memoir she is currently writing. In this guerrilla reading, Ballen gives us a tantalizing preview of the story she will tell.

And with that, GuerrillaReads turns 100 today! I’ll admit, we’re kinda proud to still be alive and kicking.

GuerrillaReads No. 99: Federico Villalobos-Zambranou

You can find poet Federico Villalobos-Zambranou at TheOxfordSemicolon.

You can also find him here on the GuerrillaReads Lambda LitFest Video Walk. We stepped across the street from the corner where A Different Light bookstore once stood, and shot his guerrilla reading in front of Rough Trade leather shop.

GuerrillaReads No. 98: Tatiana de la Tierra

Tatiana de la Tierra was a force to be reckoned with. She was a bilingual, bicultural writer who focused on identity, sexuality, and South American memory and reality in her work. She also established the first international Latina lesbian magazine Esto no tiene nombre

De la Tierra passed away in 2012, but her work and her spirit live on. Here, three poets who were friends of hers – Olga García Echeverría, Persephone Gonzalez and Cat Uribe – pay tribute to De la Tierra by reading two of her poems. Hang on tight for the ride!

Reporting back from the GuerrillaReads Lambda LitFest Video Walk

Did you see us on the corner with our tiny video camera and big literature? A group of iconoclastic local writers showed up for the GuerrillaReads video walk at the first (annual?) Lambda LitFest on March 12. We met at the corner in Silver Lake where A Different Light once stood. More than a bookstore, A Different Light was a an LGBTQ community center and a safe space at a time when being out was dangerous. It was also the place where, guerrilla reader Lynn Harris Ballen told us, author and troublemaker Jeanne Córdova (aka GuerrillaReads No. 52) proposed to her. We read our works on the corner, paying tribute to everything A Different Light once stood for.

This week GuerrillaReads will post the work of one video walk participant each day. You’ll see

To kick things off, I’d like to introduce you to A Different Light, with this guerrilla reading.

GuerrillaReads No. 98: Neal Rabin

Literature meets tennis in this guerrilla reading by Neal Rabin.

Rabin has been a Club Med tennis and surf instructor, refrigerator stocker, and even worked as a “fetch” for Time Life Films. One-time founder and CEO of a global software company, he now spends his time doing the kind of stuff you’ll see in this video. Plus, he raises chickens. 23 Degrees South is his first book. 

And that’s game, set and match.