Showing posts from January, 2022

2/27/22: Poetry Workshop at Ranger Station!

I'm excited to announce a workshop by poet Paul Corman Roberts this weekend at the Ranger Station! Paul is a wonderful force in Oakland's literary community. A founder of the Beast Crawl Literary Festival and a member of the California Writers Club since 2019, he loves Joaquin Miller Park and, in fact, read pieces by Miller at last fall's beautiful  Blanket and a Basket of Chow event. The author of four chapbooks and two full-length collections of prose poetry, including Bone Moon Palace from Nomadic Press, Paul is a four-time nominee for the Pushcart Prize, Best of the Web, and the Northern California Book Award. For his MA/MFA Graduate of the New College of California Poetics program, he studied with David Meltzer, Genny Lim, and Neeli Cherkovski. In addition to teaching at SF Creative Writing Institute, he also teaches workshops for the Older Writer’s Lab at the San Francisco Public Library. His day job as a substitute teacher for the Oakland Unified School District h

A Poem About Joaquin

 This morning, I drove through “God Rays” as the sun on the hills pierced the pea-soup fog that snuggled around the city.  In the Park it's mellow, green and sunny. A state of grace.  Here’s a poem I found about Joaquin Miller, written by California's first poet laureate, the amazing Miss Ina. The Poet He walks with God upon the hills! …. And sees, each morn, the world arise …. New-bathed in light of paradise. He hears the laughter of her rills, …. Her melodies of many voices, …. And greets her while his heart rejoices. She to his spirit undefiled, Makes answer as a little child; …. Unveiled before his eyes she stands, …. And gives her secrets to his hands. Ina Coolbrith, Century , December 1885;  Songs from the Golden Gate  (1895) photo by Felix Baum

Writers Grove: Delicate Volunteers

In the waning days of December, I gave a journalist friend the nickel tour of the Park. Next thing I knew I was on KCBS radio , talking about finding inspiration in the park and the writers who built it. Then all of a sudden, the idea for a new CWC memorial grove for writers was OUT THERE in the world!  Alongside the Woodminister Cascade, which was built by the WPA run two stands of redwood trees that were planted in 1934. Each one of them is named for a California Writer. Oakland honored its first poet laureate in 2021, so this is a good time to think about honoring writers in the last 90-some years.  I kicked the idea around with Tim Vendilinski, the “Oak Evangelist” of Friends of Sausal Creek , and this week we took a walk to imagine a space where the literary arts could thrive in the woods alongside our wonderful city  amphitheater . We were joined by Dale Risden, the Park's current spiritual (and physical) guardian, and Amos White, social justice eco-energizer and founder of

Everywhere: Mushrooming, a Verb

Mushrooming: to emerge from the earth; to increase very quickly; to appear out of nowhere, in abundance;  OR: to collect mushrooms with great enthusiasm and the intent of eating them.  It's all about the mushrooms right now. Everyone's sharing photos on Facebook, they're talking about the joys of mushrooming on Forum , and on the FOJMP listerv there's the question going around: is it legal to pick mushrooms from a city park? I've been dropping jaw over mushrooms since November, when I walked with a friend who knows many of them by name. Turkey tail, wood ear, candy cap. We text each other photos when we spot bright colors or big beauties. A month ago I took my mom on a walk n' roll, and all my elders dropped to their knees to investigate a fairy ring.  I grew up mushrooming. My dad was a busy doctor, and my mom, a nature sprite, could get him out playing when he had a scientific inquiry to inspire him. They’d send each kid in a different direction with a pillo