Saturday, September 02, 2006

McVal Osborne's Beat

My young friend McVal Osborne has become a journalist. He started off with a great article on homelessness in our area. The Times has signed him on as a permanent, part-time reporter. He can only work part-time because, you see, he's still in high school. This is a young writer to watch. McVal is the son of my friends John and Heather Osborne, who probably are still having palpitations over the idea of their talented, bright son becoming a writer rather than, say, a physicist or a judge. My sympathies go out to them. To McVal I'm giving my collection of back issues of Poets & Writers.

Monday, August 28, 2006


Calling all ghazal-masters: Send your ghazals (or your favorite ghazals by someone else) to a poetry event that's a fundraiser for the Northern Arizona Book Festival. Here's the announcement from Rebecca Byrkit, Director, Northern Arizona Resource Center & Artspace, Home of the Northern Arizona Book Festival:

"As an ancillary (fund-raising) event to the Northern Arizona Book Festival, the NAZ Resource Center and Artspace will be hosting guest and "ghazal master" Steffen Horstmann (from Mt. Holyoke, Mass.) at our inaugural "Ghazalpalooza" here in Flagstaff on Saturday, September 16 at 7:00 p.m. We invite anyone in the vicinity with either original or best-loved non-original ghazals to contact me to participate directly . yet additionally, we wish to read submitted original and best-loved ghazals from anywhere and everywhere in the world. These poems will be read by "skilled ghazalists" (!), trained to effect the most affectionate and accurate rendering of ghazals from poets unable to actually be present at the event.

"Steffen and poet Rebecca Byrkit will also offer two two-hour ghazal writing workshops to the community on Tuesday, September 12 and Thursday, September 14, at the Artspace (see address below) from 7:00 - 9:00 p.m."

10th Annual Northern Arizona Book Festival, April 20-22, 2007
Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 1871
Flagstaff, AZ 86002-1871

Northern Arizona Resource Center and Artspace
150 W. Dale Suite #6
Flagstaff, AZ

Let's Be Friends

Maybe they haven't heard about this in the Middle East, but as I Stumbled across this web site, it struck me as a sign of the times:

Let's Be Friends

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Great Night for Humor and Poetry

Last night Berkeley's Freight and Salvage hosted Dan & Dale Zola's poetry-and-music event, "A Great Night of Soul Poetry." I missed it, but fortunately it can now be heard online. The performances are professional, lively and often hilarious.

My favorite is the rendering of Naomi Shihab Nye's "A Boy and His Mother at the Nutcracker." First runner-up: Billy Collins' "Child Development." Second runner-up: "Forgetfulness" by Billy Collins. There's some Rumi, some Mary Oliver, some William Stafford -- accessible stuff. The best are the funny pieces. Some of the serious ones don't work as well. I hope they're going to have more of these evenings. Best is to be in a live performance, second-best to listen online. Poetry performances should more often be combined with music.