Poetry Is Kind-of An Insiders’ Club

I mean, you can join, but you’ll have to really commit to being all dark and mysterious, like my friend Stephen Kessler:

Very dark. Very mysterious.


And then you’ll have to write poems. But first: dark and mysterious, and bonus points for being dark and mysterious at a microphone.

Anyway, let’s go to this:

Stephen Kessler discusses his new collection of essays
Moving Targets: On Poets, Poetry & Translation


Twenty-nine personal and critical essays exploring the lives and works of key poets of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Examining his subjects in their social, historical and biographical contexts, the author attempts to reveal the essence of their accomplishment. An introduction for the uninitiated and a refresher for those familiar with these writers.

The book includes portraits and appreciations of Kenneth Rexroth, Robert Duncan, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Allen Ginsberg, William Everson, Bob Kaufman, Gary Snyder, Jack Hirschman, Charles Bukowski, James Laughlin, Denise Levertov, Robert Bly, W. S. Merwin, Frank O’Hara, Amiri Baraka, Wendell Berry, Billy Collins, Vicente Aleixandre, Fernando Alegría, Ernesto Cardenal, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Yehuda Amichai, Guy Davenport, and Czeslaw Milosz, as well as provocative essays on the art of translation, “antiwarism,” poetry and radio, and “seducing the muse.”

Stephen Kessler is a poet, translator, essayist, editor and novelist whose work has appeared in hundreds of publications across the United States since the late 1960s. He is the author of eight books and chapbooks of original poetry and a dozen books of poetry and fiction in translation, as well as hundreds of essays, articles, columns, reviews and interviews in dozens of periodicals, mostly in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is the former editor of Alcatraz, an international journal, and The Sun, a Santa Cruz weekly, among other magazines and newspapers; the current editor of the quarterly literary newspaper The Redwood Coast Review; and the author of the yet-to-be-published novel The Mental Traveler

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Thursday, November 6, 2008, 7 pm

City Lights

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