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.”
Poet Laureate of San Francisco
from the introduction to the English edition.
Translations by Margarita Millar
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.
He was the first poet published by Freedom Voices (in 1989) and his book, Man Offbeat, is still in print.
Rhett Stuart grew up on the James River in Virginia with dreams of becoming a singer. In the 50's he studied journalism in Europe and music in New York. In 1960 he came to California where he sang baritone in a show at the Pasadena Playhouse. A Tenderloin District and San Francisco resident for many years, Stuart performed and read at diverse venues in the Bay Area including: the San Francisco Press Club, the 509 Cultural Center, Intersection for the Arts, Small Press Traffic, KPFA radio, and cafes, libraries, and senior centers. He was an active member of the San Francisco writing community and before his death lived in the Hayes valley neighborhood.
A memorial service for Rhett was held on January 9th, at Hospitality House. You can view the photo gallery at http://freedomvoices.org/new/rhettphotos
If you knew Rhett and would like to post a picture or comment please send email to following address firstname.lastname@example.org, You can read the comments so far posted by clicking the comment link below. An obituary appeared in the S.F. Chronicle November 15, 2009.
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.
Perfect bound paperback $9.95
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
The Tenderloin Reflection and Education Center & the San Francisco Public Library present:
Speaking to and from the Margins
Sunday, December 13, 1pm
San Francisco Public Library
100 Larkin Street @ Grove, lower level
Readings from new and forthcoming books: