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Friday, May 13, 2011

A Day of Poetry! A Night of Films! A day and night of poetic films!

Yesterday's poetry events reminded me of why I love this genre, why I love to teach, why I love to be involved with the Henry Miller Memorial Library, both as a board member and as editor of Ping-Pong magazine of art and literature.

The day started off with Christine Hamm, Francesco Levato and Jenn Hope Stein doing a poetry workhshop for my students. Christine introduced them to fragmentation, and many wonderful poems emerged from this exercise wherein they take five poems, exchange them with a partner, that partner picks out 3 lines from each poem, and then they create a poem out of the fragments. A rebirth of wonder for sure.

Next Francesco talked about Cinepoetry and then showed them this most amazing form through two short films, one made by yours truly (you can watch it below if you click the "Chronicles on Violence" link under the Verrückter Schwanz Cinépoetry schedule. We also watched J. Hope Stein's wonderful film based on her manuscript collection, The Inventor's Last Breath, that includes archival footage of the first moving pictures ever made.

Then we moved on to the Poetic Voices Poetry Festival, now in it's 11th year. This festival awards prize money to student poets. The Faith Webster Fraser award doles out 500.00 to two students, not bad. This year's recipients were Karina Hernandez and Alisa Rodriguez. Circo Award winners included Sergio Perez, Galdino Guijosa and Andrei Juezan. The student readings were followed by readings from Francesco Levato, J. Hope Stein and Christine Hamm.

Then we were off to Big Sur and an early dinner at Nepenthe. Big Sur is like this gift you give to everyone who's never been there before. No one can be unimpressed by the power of this beauty.
We went to the Henry Miller Memorial Library where we grooved to the band, Songs that Hotbox Harry Taught Us, munched on sushi, drank wine, and then watched the Cinépoetic masterpieces.

All in all and spectacular way to spend a day.

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