Books

William Everson: The Light the Shadow Casts

Clifton Ross

Selected Everson Poems and Five Interviews by Clifton Ross

In this collection of interviews with one of the central poets of the San Francisco Literary Renaissance (which preceded the Beat movement) William Everson/Brother Antoninus ponders the mystical dimensions of poetry. The interviews span the final fifteen years of his life and contain his final thoughts on the prophetic, the shamanistic and the aesthetic dimensions of his craft, as well as his own life, characterized by the Portuguese proverb that “God writes straight with crooked lines.” The interviews, accompanied by selected poems, were conducted, edited and introduced by Clifton Ross and were first published two years after the poets death by Stride Publications, UK, republished by Freedom Voices to honor the centennial of the poet’s birth. $14.95

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Translations from Silence

Clifton Ross
Winner of the 2010 PEN Oakland poetry book award.

with an introduction by Jack Hirschman


“Clif Ross is among the most highly respected activists of the Left Coast… His own poetry, a generation of works, is here warmly presented in the context of a maturation of tone and voice that is quietly remarkable--and very much like himself. Ross is a fusion of a lyric realism and the power of metaphor. His voice isn't of the plosive kind. He writes an organic lyric, resisting any attempt on the part of the "Poet" in himself to overcome himself by a kind of verbal oblivion. His poems are expressions of his determination that friendship triumphs through beautiful communications that make one feel solidarity without feeling one's being indoctrinated or recruited.”
Jack Hirschman
Poet Laureate of San Francisco
from the introduction to the English edition.

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Song of the Flies

María Mercedes Carranza
[An Account of the Events]

Translations by Margarita Millar

Available now!

Canto de las Moscas (Song of the Flies), by the late Colombian poet María Mercedes Carranza, was published for the first time in 1997, following a decade marked by extremely high levels of violence in Colombia. At this point the country had already endured nearly half a century of armed struggle between government and rebel groups, and had more recently experienced the emergence of paramilitary forces and warring drug lords.

Carranza wrote these twenty-four poems, each bearing the name of a town or city that had been the site of large-scale violence, as a sort of chronicle and commemoration of the tragedies the people endured. The titles reflect a contradiction characteristic of Colombian reality: the beautifully-musical and whimsical place-names stand in cruel contrast to the events that marked them as massacre sites. Written in a form similar to Japanese haiku but not adhering to its strict line-and-syllable counts, the poems are short and spare.

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Man Offbeat

Rhett Stuart

This collection of poetry and prose tells the story of one man's liberation. Reading it, we join him as he spirals outward from the sound of the word, to the sound of the street, from a story of everyday life, to the inner magic of creative transcendence. His love of language and of people vibrates almost musically on each page. Stuart finds himself always out of sync. Offbeat. . . articulating hope in a place where sleeping on the streets is as common as being housed.

ISBN: 0-9625153-5-3
60 pages
Perfect bound paperback $9.95

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Image and Imagination

Ben Clarke, Editor; Photographer, Dorothea Lange

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.

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Stories from El Barrio

Piri Thomas

Piri Thomas, who reached millions of readers with his bestselling autobiography, Down These Mean Streets, now gives readers of all ages a vivid slice of the life in El Barrio—a place where people face their problems with energy, ingenuity and love. He draws vivid stories from his past experiences and makes us feel what it means to be poor and proud and generous; to be streetwise and full of bravado but frightened, too; to struggle to go straight; to be ashamed of being ashamed; to dream. Speaking in the voice of the streets and from his heart, Piri captures the spirit, the laughter and the hope of his people.

Reviews
“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

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Through the Wall: A Year in Havana

Margot Pepper

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

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Translations from Silence by Clifton Ross wins PEN Oakland Award

Freedom Voices

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.

PEN OAKLAND 20th Annual 2010 Literary Awards
Oakland Public Library,
Rockridge Branch, 5366 College Ave.
Saturday, December 11, 2010, 2 PM – 5 PM

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Goddesses We Ain't

Edited by Lucy Bledsoe

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.

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Whatever Comes of Not Knowing

Eric Robertson

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.
--Elaine Katzenberger
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

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