Events & Poetry in the Popular Culture

If you're in the San Francisco Bay Area, you might want to cross a bridge or two for your next poetry fix. The venerable Second Sunday Poetry Reading Series at Valona Deli in Crockett, which I believe has been going strong for more than twenty years, has a great fall lineup of featured readers:

September 13, 2009

Kim Addonizio

October 11, 2009

John Amen

November 8, 2009

Peter Tamases

December 13, 2009

Kit Kennedy and Joan Gelfand

Yes, Kim Addonizio is featured this Sunday! And my friend John Amen, publisher of The Pedestal Magazine, will be featured in October. He's a great reader and also a musician. Connie Post, past Poet Laureate of Livermore, has taken over coordinating this series from David Alpaugh. She will obviously uphold the terrific tradition.

Connie herself will be reading September 16 at Newpoint Coffee House in Sausalito with Becky Foust and Janell Moon.

Poetry on Craigslist? You heard it from Wired, and I heard it from Mike Chasar's blog, Poetry & Popular Culture. Jim Buckmaster, CEO of Craigslist, has adopted a haiku approach to fighting spammers and con artists who attempt to hijack Craigslist. Buckmaster drops in a haiku or two to alert the would-be spammer that their too-numerous posts have been detected and deleted. In their place might appear one of Buckmaster's brief poems:

a wafer thin mint
that's been sent before it seems
one is enough, thanks

I really like that one. Subtle, imagistic, and discouraging in just the right way. And Buckmaster has avoided altogether the major dilemma of the modern poet: publication. He has his own public square from which to quietly declaim haiku, if one can ever declaim a haiku. Well-placed, unmistakable, able to gather a crowd. Better than a microphone at Union Square, I'd say.

Poetry in unlikely places, my favorite. On my bookshelf sits a row of one of my favorite po-publishing experiments, the poetry gumball. Instead of a Bazooka bubble gum comic, you get gum and a short poem. Three of mine are in those little packages. Ah, to reach the masses. At least the gum-chewing ones.