Great Poets ~ Great Venues ~ Great Cause
Day One

Join three outstanding Bay Area poets  Wedneday evening, October 3, 2012, in beautiful Angelico Hall on the Dominican University Campus in San Rafael, Calif. to benefit  Poetry Flash. All funds raised will go to continue the forty-year tradition of covering everything poetic about the West Coast (and that's a lot).

Robert Hass ~ United States Poet Laureate (1995-1997) and National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize Winning Poet-Environmentalist and teacher is, first of all, a poet of great eloquence, clarity, and force, whose work is rooted in the landscapes of his native Northern California. Widely read and much honored, he has brought the kind of energy in his poetry to his work as an essayist, translator, and activist on behalf of poetry, literacy, and the environment. Most notably, in his tenure as United States Poet Laureate, Robert Hass spent two years battling American illiteracy, armed with the mantra, "imagination makes communities." He crisscrossed the country speaking at Rotary Club meetings, raising money to organize conferences such as "Watershed," which brought together noted novelists, poets, and storytellers to talk about writing, nature, and community. For Hass, everything is connected. When he works to heighten literacy, he is also working to promote awareness about the environment. Hass believes that natural beauty must be tended to and that caring for a place means knowing it intimately. Poets, especially, need to pay constant attention to the interaction of mind and environment. And when he is talking about poetry itself, whether Matsuo Basho's or Elizabeth Bishop's, Hass is both spontaneous and original, offering poetic insights that cannot be found in any textbook. Robert Hass has published many books of poetry including Field Guide, Praise, Human Wishes, and Sun Under Wood, as well as a book of essays on poetry,  Twentieth Century Pleasures. Hass translated many of the works of Nobel Prize-winning Polish poet, Czeslaw Milosz, and he edited Selected Poems: 1954-1986 by Tomas Transtromer, The Essential Haiku: Versions of Basho, Buson, and Issa, and Poet's Choice: Poems for Everyday Life. He was the guest editor of the 2001 edition of Best American Poetry. His essay collection Now & Then, which includes his Washington Post articles, was published in April 2007. As US Poet Laureate (1995-1997), his deep commitment to environmental issues led him to found River of Words (ROW) , an organization that promotes environmental and arts education in affiliation with the Library of Congress Center for the Book. Hass is chairman of ROW’s board of directors, and judges their annual international environmental poetry and art contest for youth; he also wrote the introduction to the poetry collection River of Words: Young Poets and Artists on the Nature of Things. He is also a board member of International Rivers Network. Robert Hass was chosen as Educator of the Year by the North American Association on Environmental Education and, in 2005, elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. His collection of poems entitled Time and Materials won both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. He wrote the introduction to a new edition of selected Walt Whitman poems in Song of Myself: And Other Poems. His most recent volume entitled The Apple Trees at Olema: New and Selected Poems was published by Ecco in spring 2010. Hass is currently at work on a collection of selected essays titled What Light Can Do to be published in August 2012. Awarded the MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship, twice the National Book Critics' Circle Award (in 1984 and 1997), and the Yale Series of Younger Poets in 1973, Robert Hass is a professor of English at UC Berkeley. "Hass has significantly broadened the role of poet laureate to include not only his love for poetry but also his concern for literacy and his passion for environmentalism." - Los Angeles Times

Gillian Conoley was born in Austin Texas, where, on its rural outskirts, her father and mother owned and operated a radio station. She is the author of six collections of poetry, including THE PLOT GENIE, PROFANE HALO, LOVERS IN THE USED WORLD, and TALL STRANGER, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her work has received many prizes, including the Jerome J. Shestack Poetry Prize from The American Poetry Review, a National Endowment for the Arts grant, and a Fund for Poetry Award. Her poems have been anthologized in over 20 national and international anthologies, including W.W. Norton’s forthcoming Postmodern American Poetry, American Hybrid,  and Counterpath’s Postmodern Lyricism. A new collection, Peace, is forthcoming from Omnidawn Publishing in spring 2014. Her translations of Henri Michaux’s Four Hundred Men on the Cross were recently excerpted in an APR special supplement.  Editor and founder of Volt magazine, she teaches in the Program for Writers and Poets at Sonoma State University.

Writer giovanni singleton is a native of Richmond, Virginia, a former debutant, and founding editor of nocturnes (re)view of the literary arts, a journal committed to experimental work of the African Diaspora and other contested spaces. Her debut collection, Ascension (Counterpath Press, 2012), is informed by the music and life of Alice Coltrane. singleton has recently been selected for the Poetry Society of America’s biennial New American Series, which recognizes recent first book poets. Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon says, "giovanni singleton lets silence do its work. The poems are minimalist, while engaging a concern for the historical, the personal, the spiritual. I hear Lucille Clifton saying 'the human, the human' when I read this." She is a recipient of a New Langton Bay Area Award Show for Literature and her writing has recently appeared in VOLT, Poet Lore, Zen Monster, and is forthcoming in I’ll Drown My Book: Conceptual Writing by Women, What I Say: Innovative Poetries by Black Artists in America, and Angles of Ascent: A Norton Anthology of Contemporary African American Poetry. Work from her AMERICAN LETTERS series was selected for San Francisco’s 1st Visual Poetry & Performance Festival. She has received fellowships from the Squaw Valley Community of Writers Workshop, Napa Valley Writers Conference, Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Writers Workshop, and Cave Canem. singleton has given presentations on writing, editing, graphic design, and publishing at high schools, colleges, and conferences such as the American Literature Association, Series X: Bay Area Women Publishers, and the New York Festival of Literary Magazines. She has received fellowships from the Squaw Valley and Napa Valley Writers Workshops and has served as a guest writer at Cal State Los Angeles, Chabot College, and California College of Arts. Over the past 15 years, she has taught poetry at Saint Mary’s College, Naropa University, and at museums and schools throughout the Bay Area.  She coordinates Lunch Poems, the monthly poetry reading series at UC Berkeley under the direction of Robert Hass. She collects bookmarks and enjoys figs and greek style yogurt.

poetnews(at)sonic(dot)net ~ 800.301.8263

Day Two
Thursday, October 4 ~ 7 p.m.
Marvin Hiemstra, Hal Robins, Charlie Getter & Carol Denney
Studio 333 Gallery ~ 333 Caledonia, Sausalito, Calif.

Marvin R. Hiemstra is an award-winning poet, humorist, founding Editor-in-Chief of the Bay Area Poets Seasonal Review, critic, and entertainer who publishes and performs around the world: poetry forthcoming in The Tower Journal and Amsterdam Review.  Roger Huet called Marvin R. Hiemstra's new collection, Poet Wrangler: droll poems, "nothing less than a philosophy of poetry and, in the process, a radiant philosophy of life."

Harry S. Robins, known as "Hal", is a voice artist and screen writer. Robins is best known for his vocal work in the Half-Life series of computer games, and has made a return as the voice of Tinker in Dota 2. He is also a prominent member of the Church of the SubGenius as Dr. Howland Owll. In that persona he voiced the narrator in Arise! The SubGenius Video and made brief appearances in Grass. His official title within the church is "Keeper of Church Secrets". His recitations of "the classics" in the poetic canon are both amazing and delightful to behold.

Charlie Getter might just be someone who shouts at people on a street corner in San Francisco, not unlike many people, who shout at people on street corners in San Francisco... if he does that well, is for the listeners to decide, enough of them do, so that he is included in the program.  His latest book is the three volume The Garrulous Progress, Selected Poems 2004-2010, (Seventh Tangent, 2011) of which the SF Chronicle says "contains the work of a poet as beguiling as Dr. Seuss.”

Carol Denney is an award-winning lyricist, guitarist, fiddler, and concertina player, Fiddlers for Peace" founder, curator of the Deep Poetry Project", and editor of the Pepper Spray Times. 2004 honoree by the City of Berkeley for homeless advocacy, 2003 honoree for civil liberties activism  through music, humor, and art by the Berkeley Commission on the Status of Women, winner of the East Bay Express' readers' poll "Best Solo Performer" for 2002, and selected as one of the San Francisco Bay Guardian's 2001 "Best of the Bay".  Featured writer at the Centre for Political Song, Glasgow Caledonian University in Scotland.  Failure to Disperse Acoustic Revolt and Road Show ensemble and solo performances. Spiritual advisor and graphic production for the Best of Blasphemy project in Canyon, California. Published commentator in local and national fora. Quoted by Alexander Cockburn. Proud part of the Folk This! extended family. Winner of the 2009 Oldtime Spirit award from the Augusta Music Heritage Festival, voted best female artist at PirateCat Radio in SF in 2010. Featured at LaborFest events for over a decade. Nominated to the Revolutionary Poets' Brigade by former poet laureate of San Francisco Jack Hirschman in 2010. Inventor of the chairapillar.

Day Three
Friday, October 5 ~ 7 p.m.
Avotcja, Pablo Rosales, BIll Vartnaw & YOU! (open mic)
Falkirk Cultural Center ~ 1408 Mission Ave., San Rafael, Calif.

Avotcja has been published in English & Spanish in the USA, Mexico & Europe, and in more Anthologies than she remembers. She is an award winning Poet & multi-instrumentalist who has opened for Betty Carter in New York City, Peru's Susana Baca at San Francisco’s Encuentro Popular & Cuba’s Gema y Pável, played with Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Bobi & Luis Cespedes, John Handy, Sonido Afro Latina, Dimensions Dance Theater, Black Poets With Attitudes, Bombarengue, Nikki Giovanni, Los Angeles' Build An Ark, Dwight Trible, Diamano Coura West African Dance Co., Terry Garthwaite, Big Black, The Bay Area Blues Society & Caribeana Etc. Shared stages with Sonia Sanchez, Piri Thomas, Janice Mirikitani, Diane DiPrima, Michael Franti, Jayne Cortez, & with Jose Montoya's Royal Chicano Air Force & is a Bay Area icon with her group Avotcja & Modúpue.  Avotcja was the opening act for the legendary Poet Pat Parker the last three years of her life. She both composed & performed the film score for the Danish documentary MuNu. Her Poetry &/or music has been recorded by Piri Thomas, Famadou Don Moye (of The Art Ensemble Of Chicago), Bobby Matos Latin Jazz Ensemble, & performed by The Purple Moon Dance Project, and was the 1st Poetry performed by New York's Dance Mobile. She's appeared at The Lorraine Hansberry Theater in S. F., The Asian-American Jazz Festival in Chicago, as well as The Asian-American Jazz Festival in San Francisco.  She's been featured 5 times at Afro-Solo, twice at San Francisco's Carnival, The Scottish Rite Temple & Yoshi's in Oakland & San Francisco, Jose Castellar's play "Man From San Juan", Club Le Monmartre in Copenhagen Denmark, Stanford University, at San Francisco’s Brava Theater For The Arts with Cine Acción, New York's Henry Street Settlement Theater and The Women On The Way Festival in San Francisco.

Bill Vartnaw is current Sonoma County Poet Laureate and a veteran of the San Francisco poetry open mic scene; he helped create the Bay Area Poets Coalition's first Summer Solstice and Autumn Equinox Festivals and established Taurean Horn Press in 1974, which has published numerous collections by outstanding local poets. Bill returned to live in Sonoma County in 1998. His latest chapbook, an anothology, Finnish-American Poetry by Rauhala, Vartnaw & Hagelbern, came out in 2010 by united Finnish Kaleve Brothers and Sisters.

Pablo Rosales is a Filipino poet living in Sausalito, Calif. He is also a writer, artist (painter), singer-songwriter, and musician. His poetry and prose ranges from poems of love, personal angst, current topics, poems against injustice, about nature, family & friends, observations and musings, spirituality, poems for children, and odes.He recites and performs his poetry regularly at well-known Bay Area venues in San Francisco, Oakland, Emeryville, Berkeley, Burlingame, and Vallejo.

Day Four
Saturday, October 6 ~ 3 p.m.
Brian Kirven, Elizabeth Underwood,  Todd Plummer & Iron Springs Review
Point Reyes Library, 11431 State Route One ~ Point Reyes Station, Calif.

Brian Kirven is a California Poet in the Schools and radio host on the musicalitery series “Rhythm ‘n Muse” on KWMR West Marin Radio, Brian also teaches for Poetry Inside Out, a poetic translation program based in the urban Bay Area now brought by him to rural West Marin. He has traveled extensively throughout the Spanish-speaking world, gone on many long motorcycle trips, taken one magical trip to India, and to Boulder to study at the Naropa Summer Writing Institute where he met Cecil Giscombe, who he has hosted several times on KWMR. His writing is often informed by a sense of movement and place, wherever he may be at the moment. He is working on a nearly finished chapbook set in and around his Tomales Bay home, as well as a long prose work about his motorcycle travels.

Beth Underwood is host of To Hell and Bach: Fourth-generation Californian (rare photograph of species seen here), raised in Redondo Beach, Beth’s been living in Marin for over 20 years with her strange but true cat, El Gizmo. She puts bread on the table and cat food in the bowl by writing and editing in the wonderful world of advertising. Former professions include radio announcer/programmer, vocalist, and audio and video producer. After falling in love with radio many years ago, she’s thrilled to be part of it again—the KWMR experience is a total joy for her. To Hell & Bach professes no musical borders, and was conceived as a journey through time and genres, via historical, mythological, poetic and purely musical motifs—but ultimately, it just hopes to cock an ear, or raise an eyebrow along the way.

Todd Plummer rides the rails between a love of science and nature and a lifelong obsession in writing and communications.  He works in the Resource Development department at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging in Novato, California and moonlight as an academic tutor.  He is the author of two science books for children, "I've Discovered Energy" and "I've Discovered Force", both published in 2008 by Marshall Cavendish.  He cultivated a love for poetry as an English major at the University of North Carolina, and later -- inspired by writers like Gary Schneider, Mary Oliver, E.O. Wilson, Annie Dillard, and Aldo Leopold -- studied bird ecology at the graduate level at at the University of Georgia.  He has worked as a technical writer, corporate trainer, wildlife biologist, and nonprofit fundraise