Friday, October 2
Poets' readings 7-8pm
Followed by Q&A
Former U.S. Poet Laureate, National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize winner, Robert is a Distinguished Professor in Poetry and Poetics at the University of California, Berkeley. Lauded as one of our most humanitarian poets, a national and international treasure. His poetry streams into the heart and intellect of our collective consciousness, reminding us of what matters most in this world, and in these particularly dark and challenging times. (Anne Waldman) https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/robert-hass
His books of poetry include The Apple Trees at Olema: New and Selected Poems; Time and Materials, which won the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize; Sun Under Wood: New Poems, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award; Human Wishes; Praise, which won the William Carlos Williams Award; and Field Guide, which was selected by Stanley Kunitz for the Yale Younger Poets Series. Most recently, he received the 2014 Wallace Stevens Award for proven mastery in the art of poetry by the Academy of American Poets.
Brenda Hillman has been included in a list of “Fifty of the Most Inspiring Authors in the World”; Poets and Writers notes: “[Hillman] reminds us that the language we use when ordering a sandwich is also the language we use to make art.” She has been increasingly interested in innovative and experimental lyric traditions, particularly how the Romantic concepts of nature and spirit have manifested in contemporary ecological and political poetry.
Brenda Hillman’s most recent book is Extra Hidden Life, among the Days (2018). Hillman has co-edited and co-translated numerous volumes, including Ana Cristina Cesar’s At Your Feet (Parlor Press, 2018), co-translated with her mother, Helen Hillman. Her awards for poetry include the Griffin International Poetry Prize, the William Carlos Williams Poetry Prize and the Morton Dauwen Zabel Award for Innovation from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She teaches at Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, California and currently serves as a Chancellor at the Academy of American Poets.
Tom grew up in an extended family on the rural south shore of Long Island, and later studied at Harvard, majoring in English & Fine Arts. His father composed music on their Steinway grand piano, and his mother wrote unpublished poetry, both arts later weaving into Tom’s life. His passion was Art, which took him around the world, traveling to Spain by ocean freighter, and Mallorca where he met the love of his life, Barbara. On to Mexico City, Big Sur, Carmel, and finally in San Francisco, Barbara rejoined him and they were married. After a few jumps forward, they opened their Shaker furniture shop in Inverness, where they settled as a family. In addition to making furniture, Tom was a volunteer firefighter for 20 years, and a lead musician and warden for St. Columba’s Inverness. Last summer, Tom received a mysterious fat envelope from his brother, filled with their mother’s poems. Tom’s latent passion for poetry was sparked, and now we are treated to his debut reading!
Christine Eleanor Merritt's new book of poetry: Somewhere Within Whispers Yes, contains whispered love letters to God written over the course of her life. She studied poetry at UC Berkeley under Leonard Nathan who encouraged her to stay at the university in the poetry department. However she went on to UCSF Medical Center to become a physical therapist, since she felt she could do more good in the world in the field of medicine. An advocate of body, mind and spiritual transformation to wholeness, Christine established a private practice, Metamorphosis, through which she offers visceral and brain evaluation and treatment, spiritual direction and supervision of spiritual direction, as well as labyrinth retreats and workshops. She recently published another book: A Radiance of Love, Journaling with the Mystic in Everyone, available in paperback and ebook versions. Christine and her husband, Gary, have two grown sons and grandsons. When not sequestering at home during this pandemic, Gary and Christine love to travel.