Chaos & Kindness Poetry Reading

Last night was such a great event. I was thrilled and honored to see the largest audience to date for an Unsung Holiday poetry reading. We were publicized in the De Anza college paper, so maybe that helped. Here’s a photo of the notice that my son texted me!

De Anza news announcement

I’m a little cranky that I didn’t think to take any photos, but hopefully some of my friends who attended will have some photos I can share. In the meantime, the photo featured at the top of this post is of a piece of art featured at the museum right now, Thinly Veiled, by Mark Engel. It puts me in mind perfectly of chaos, and the beauty to be found there.

David Perez and Kim Johnson were fantastic and moved me and the audience with their spoken word poetry.

  • Kim performed “off book” which put the rest of us to shame. But it’s also a different style of poetry — a hybrid of theater and poetry, a performance reminiscent of a one-woman play. As much as I admired what Kim did, I don’t have that voice, so will try not to be envious! Here’s a link to a performance Kim gave in 2011.
  • David’s poetry is also fine and powerful. He’s a seasoned performer and I love the asides and stories about his work he shared. He read poems about his mom, which I especially enjoyed. You can find out more about David and what he’s up to, with links to his work, at his website and hear some of his performances on his YouTube channel.

If you want to hear David again soon, he’ll be reading Sunday November 16 with Erica Goss at her Poetry Kitchen at the Lost Gatos Library. Check out all his activities as Santa Clara County’s Poet Laureate here.

In addition to my featured readers, we had ten (10!) for our open mic. We put it in the middle of the show, instead of at the end where you typically hear an open mic, and I liked the arc of the reading that created. The energy was up and down and up and down again, the flow constant. Familiar faces read with us and some new folks, who I hope will come again.

The Euphrat Museum of Art is a fabulous venue, and this time the exhibit included works by De Anza and Foothill College faculty and staff. I encourage you to get over there and see the great show. I remain grateful to them for allowing us to hold our readings in such a great space.

euphrat2014-fallx450

“The De Anza and Foothill Art Faculty/Staff Show highlights the diverse yet interconnected work of art faculty and staff from De Anza College in Cupertino and Foothill College in Los Altos Hills. Painting, drawing, prints, mixed media, photography, sculpture, ceramics, and more will be on display. The fall exhibition also includes special projects with summer Artist-in-Residence Titus Kaphar and De Anza students in the Black Leadership Collective, and a Puente class Día de los Muertos installation. Sponsored by De Anza Associated Student Body, the City of Cupertino, the Friends of the Euphrat, and the Creative Arts Division.”

Chaos Never Dies on World Kindness Day

The third reading in my series on Unsung Holidays will be Thursday, November 13. Join us at the Euphrat Museum of Art, at De Anza College for two fabulous featured readers and an open mic.

Below, some information from the press release.

Featured poets for the evening are Santa Clara County Poet Laureate David Perez, and the adult winner of the 2013 Cupertino Library Foundation’s Silicon Valley Reads poetry contest, Kim Johnson.

There is no charge for this event, to be held on World Kindness Day, and celebrating Chaos, and sponsored by the City of Cupertino, the Cupertino Library Commission, the Cupertino Library Foundation and Friends of the Cupertino Library.

“The variety of events this year,” commented Swanton Brown, “has enabled me to touch the many and varied groups in Cupertino. It keeps me energized, and hopefully, encourages others to write poetry.”

Perez currently serves as the 2014-15 Poet Laureate of Santa Clara County. He is a recipient of the Arts Council Silicon Valley Fellowship for Literary Art, a repeat guest on the NPR storytelling series “Snap Judgment,” and author of the poetry collection, “Love in a Time of Robot Apocalypse” from Write Bloody Publishing. In 2012, he was voted “Best Author in the Bay” by the SF Bay Guardian. He currently lives in San Jose.

Johnson was named the 2013 Grand Prize Winner in the adult category for the Library Foundation Silicon Valley Reads poetry contest. She won $350 for her poem related to one of the featured books about technology.

The Cupertino Library operates Monday through Thursday 10AM-9PM; Friday and Saturday, 10AM-6PM; and Sunday, noon-6PM. http://www.sccl.org

The Cupertino Library Foundation is a 501(c)3 Public Benefit Corporation with the purpose to raise money to continue programs encouraging life-long learning and self-improvement through the Cupertino Library. The Foundation has the Non-Profit Seal of Approval by Guidestar demonstrating satisfaction of transparency requirements and is a member of the Google for Nonprofits program receiving tools to work efficiently. It seeks major donations from corporations and the business community and from other foundations as well as individual donations and planned gifts and bequests. For further information visit: http://www.cupertinolibraryfoundation.org.