Writer-in-residence at the Oakland Museum of California and the Oakland Public Library, Ben Clarke, re-examines Dorothea Lange's photographs along with collaborating artists including: A.K. Black, Scott Braley, Lucha Corpi, Kitty Costello, Maketa Groves, Richard Oyama, Margot Pepper, Eric Robertson, Clifton Ross, Abena Songbird, and Rhett Stuart. Using poetry, personal essay, rap and contemporary photography the artists explore the intersection between Lange's documentary photography and current realities.
“Stories From El Barrio is a crystal clear reflection of the general facet of Piri Thomas’s literary power. It is tender, powerfully compassionate, humanely provocative.”
Claude Brown, author of Manchild in the Promised Land
Margot Pepper's memoir propels us through the blockade to post-cold war Cuba. It's a surreal world where high-ranking officials are required to pick up hitch-hikers. Root canals, cosmetic surgery and graduate school are free, but toilet paper is exorbitant. There's no income tax nor homelessness, yet no house-paint either. As the story unfolds, Margot pursues a passionate love affair with a penniless Mexican poet who shakes up her views about Cuba. With cinematic vividness, Through the Wall reveals the failures and successes of one of the few functioning alternatives to corporate-run government, and draws out lessons that will be embraced by all who believe another world is possible.
ISBN: 0-915117-17-7 $19.95
Maketa Smith-Groves is a reincarnate William Carlos Williams, recording specifics of an urban world so down and out that only those born of it are permitted to wander its ghost realm. When she brings this sensibility to a more familiar scenery, it is with compassion for its discarded broken denizens and exhausted working class ignored by the entitled, such as in L.A.'s bright horrors. Moving, accurate snapshots without a tough persona or preaching rhetoric. You haven't been here before. Marc Olmsted —poet, and author of Don't Hesitate Knowing Allen Ginsberg.
Maketa Smith-Groves has given her life to the poem, as these works so clearly and beautifully demonstrate. Her voice is strong, as she continues to practice the art and craft of poetry, with true devotion. This collection will take its place on the shelf of literature that lasts. Neeli Cherkovski —poet, memoirist and literary chronicler. His latest book of poetry is, The Crow.
The poems ... are marvelous! Elias Schneitter —poet, novelist, and co-founder, Sprachsalz Literary Festival. Co-author of, The Two Austrians of North Beach.
Maketa Smith-Groves is a truly important representative of American poetry. Her poetry unites the blues of Mississippi, the harshness of the struggle to survive in Detroit, and the sensitivity of an outsider in San Francisco. Hers, is a distinguished voice in American Literature. —Sprachsalz Literary Festival Review, Innsbruck, Austria.
104 Pages, Trade paperback. $14.95
We are pleased to note that Translations from Silence by Clifton Ross has won the 20th annual PEN Oakland-Josephine Miles National Literary Award outstanding book of poetry published in 2009, awarded in 2010. Please join us at the PEN Oakland Awards ceremony and booksigning.
20th Annual 2010 Literary Awards
Oakland Public Library,
Rockridge Branch, 5366 College Ave.
Saturday, December 11, 2010, 2 PM – 5 PM
This anthology offers
poetry, short stories, performance pieces and autobiographical memoirs
that were developed in the Tenderloin Reflection and Education Center's
Women Writers Workshop. A dozen women from different cultures explore
the landscape of love, language, literacy and liberation. In forms as
diverse as the personalities of the participants. Edited and introduced
by workshop facilitator, Lucy Jane Bledsoe, the collection cuts to the
heart of women's concerns today.
Like Willian Saroyan, Roberston's humor, imagination and sensitivity awaken the senses to that which is worth celebrating in the human condition.
-- Margot Pepper
Eric Robertson writes with a plainspoken, direct, almost childlike innocence about a world of wonder and cynicism, hope and dread.
Eric Robertson writes with a southern drawl. Actually, he is from the South. Generally, I don't like anything from the South, but a guy that writes about getting baths from his grandmother... is warmly welcome in San Francisco.
-- Mark Schwartz
A bilingual edition of a book-length award-winning poem by the militant Roman Catholic priest who was Nicaragua's Sandinista Minister of culture for nearly 11 years. Through 52 poetic fragments, Ernesto Cardenal articulates a multiple vision, constantly constellated by myth that has always been one of the most effective mechanisms of his poetic creation.
ISBN 0-915117-38-X, 57 pages, perfect bound, two color uncoated cover, $11.95.
"Janice King's writing is musical, thought-provoking, subtly crafted and above all, honest. She speaks frankly of the `world that was too hard and incomprehensible.' Out of that struggle she has fashioned poetry which, by the subtlety of her wit and her craft, can both charm and amuse us."
Perfect bound paperback
"Repurposing a (usually) manufactured object aligns Babcock on the one hand, with Warhol and his Brillo boxes … but, in contrast to the Pop master, Babcock reintroduces his creations to the world as a new kind of functional object - a representation that now makes representations." (from the essay by Douglas R. Nickel, director for the Center for Creative Photography)
"Resolutely low-tech but conceptually adroit, the images he produces have a raw, antique sometime "terrible" beauty." (from the introduction by Bill Berkson, poet, art critic, teacher, curator)