Irrepressible spring leans toward summer. Even here, at the coast, inland heat simmers just beyond the fog and ocean clouds. With April comes National Poetry Month and with that come the festivals!
I’m reading in the Sierra Poetry Festival’s Poetic Crossings on North San Juan Ridge (just outside Nevada City), a site of artistic vitality when I lived in Nevada County in the late 70s and early 80s. I am grateful for the long friendships I have maintained with this place and these people who contributed immeasurably to my growth as a poet. With poppy fields! Susan
From the organizer, Bishop Randall: In 1969 Gary Snyder, Allen Ginsberg, Dick Baker, and James Walter bought a piece of property along a spur of the San Juan Ridge. With their re-inhabitation came a slew of characters who would visit or eventually call this place home. This event honors our rich past and present ridge poetic tradition, with a night of history, remembering those who have gone, who we love. Each poet will share a bit of history about the poet they are reading and few of their poems, plus a few poems of their own.
In a letter to Bishop Randall, Gary wrote, “I was trying to say to you, that one does not become a poet or even a writer, without some background scrabbling. And a lot
of reading and thinking, especially about the curious role “poetry” has in our culture, an inbuilt prestige but also no serious rewards. You do it for yourself and your artist comrades, but the literary public just gives it a look and moves on. And, as it often is in art, people give poetry lot of respect but then basically ignore it. When you have real issues, and a circle of lively minds, it gets interesting. That’s what we have here.”
Poetic Crossings, Past & Present: San Juan Ridge
Doors 6:00. Reading 7:00 PM; $15 suggested donation. Proceeds benefit the
Schoolhouse & Nevada County Arts Council/Sierra Poetry Festival. Here is a link to the Facebook events page,