Moorpark College Multicultural Day T. 4/15

It’s just around the corner. . .
Moorpark College’s
Annual
Multicultural Day
Theme: Nurturing Nature
Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Preview the attached list of over 60 exciting performances, exhibts, master classes, debates, discussions and lectures. If you are an instructor, we encourage you to select events that fit your curriculum and assign your students to participate in this creative and alternative day of learning! Tell your friends in the community. Everyone is welcome to attend.

We will see you there!
(There will be an update on specific room locations)MC DAY 2008 Brief Descriptions.xls

Words to Change Our World: Earth & Poetry Month readings

WORDS TO CHANGE OUR WORLD

Join us as we celebrate National Earth Month & National Poetry Month
Garden Patio by the Library & Student Services
FREE * Refreshments * Book Signing * ALL WELCOME

W APRIL 9 AMALIO MADUENO
FROM TAOS, NEW MEXICO * AUTHOR OF LOST IN THE CHAMISO
12-12:45pm Poetry & discussion of poetics
<1:15-2pm Earth Action Day organizing meeting J-1; also 4/16>
2—3pm Poetry plus writing workshop

M APRIL 14 LAYNIE BROWNE
FROM TUCSON, AZ * AUTHOR OF DAILY SONNETS and THE SCENTED FOX, WINNER OF THE NATIONAL POETRY SERIES 2006 selected by Alice Notley
12-12:45pm Poetry & discussion of contemporary sonnets
130-230pm Poetry plus writing workshop

M APRIL 21 AL YOUNG, CA POET LAUREATE
FROM BERKELEY, CA * AUTHOR OF THE SOUND OF DREAMS REMEMBERED, WINNER OF THE AMERICAN BOOK AWARD 2002
12-12:45pm Poetry & discussion of poetics for change
130-230pm Poetry & Prose plus writing workshop

W APRIL 23 EARTH ACTION DAY with
BRAD MONSMA FROM CSUCI English Prof * AUTHOR OF SESPE WILD
poets * singer/songwriters * open mic
10-1:30pm EARTH ACTION DAY poets & singer/songwriters/open mic
1:30-2:30pm Brad Monsma, non-fiction prose reading & discussion

These events are supported in part by grants from
The Ventura College Foundation and CSUCI’s American Democracy Project.
For more info go to http://whisperdownthewritealley.wordpress.com
or email gwendolynalley@yahoo.com

Poetry Club Service Learning Project

Alley’s English 1B: Ventura College Spring 2008
POETRY CLUB & SERVICE LEARNING ASSIGNMENT: work due dates listed below

By Weds. April 2, choose one of the following to read in the coming weeks:

Laynie Browne, Daily Sonnets (2007) AND/OR The Scented Fox (2006) VISIT 4/14

Danika Dinsmore and Gwendolyn Alley, editors, Between Sleeps (2006)

Amalio Madueno Lost in the Chamiso (2006) VISIT 4/9

Maria Melendez, How Long She’ll Last in the World (2006)

nila northSun, love at gunpoint (2007)

Al Young The Sound of Dreams Remembered: Poems 1990-2000 (2002) VISIT 4/23

If you decide to change books, email me ASAP gwendolynalley@yahoo.com

Working alone, in pairs, or in groups of 3, prepare the following presentations:
1.    SHARE: Prepare to share copies and discuss one or two poems by your Poetry Club poet; consider choosing a poem related also to our environmental theme. Inc work cited

2.    INTRO: Prepare to share a 1-3 minute introduction of the poet. Inc sources.

3.    BROADSIDE: Prepare and distribute at least 10 copies on campus of a poem (preferably eco-themed) by “your” poet as a “broadside.” Include info about when the poet will be on campus if relevant and/or about Earth Action Day 4/23. Include a brief bio.  Include where the work came from. Seek the poet’s permission (by email).  Sample broadsides: http://www.broadsidedpress.org/ http://poetrysuperhighway.com/cobalt/broadsides.html

4.    POCKET POEM: Prepare and distribute at least 12 copies of a poem by any poet for “National Poem in Your Pocket;” consider choosing a poem with an eco-theme. More: http://www.nyc.gov/html/poem/html/home/home.shtml

http://www.poets.org/page.php/prmID/406

WK 14    Mon    4/7

Read/respond to the following readings:; bring typed response to class
Hirsch “A Made Thing” (handout), Poetry Club book
Making of a Poem: The Villanelle (read 2 or more); The Elegy (read 2 or more)

Amalio Madueno broadside/poster due

Wed    4/9    Guest Poet Amalio Madueno; bio, poem/s presentations due
Making of a Poem Meter, Blank Verse (2 or more); The Stanza (2 or more)
Laynie Browne broadside/poster due

WK 15    Mon    4/14    Guest Poet Laynie Browne; bio, poem/s presentations due
Making of a Poem The Sonnet (read 2 or more); The Pastoral (read 2 or more)
Al Young broadside/poster due

Wed    4/16    National Poem in Your Pocket Project copies due
Remaining presentations/broadsides due
<Research Project Ideas Down Draft; final due W. 4/30>
Making of a Poem:  Open Forms & 2 or more poems

WK 16    Mon    4/21    Guest Poet Al Young, California State Poet Laureate
Making of a Poem your choice: read verse or shaping form & 2 poems

Wed    4/23    Earth Action Day: guest poets TBA
<Research Project Up draft due; final due W.  4/30>
Making of a Poem: read 2 more pastorals in honor of Earth Action Day

Summer 08 Environmental Media Program at UCSB

This is a really great opportunity–and they are interested in having community college students attend–not just UC or UCSB students.

BLUE HORIZONS
UC Santa Barbara Summer Program for Environmental Media
Using Media to Communicate Vital Stories of the Global Ocean
June 21 – August 22, 2008

This 9-week summer program brings together students interested in digital media production and environmental studies to learn about important issues of the global ocean from a local, California perspective. A coordinated series of interdisciplinary courses and related activities introduces students to scriptwriting; media portrayals of the environment; the biological, socio-economic, and political aspects of marine conservation; and the latest innovations in environmental filmmaking.

Students will gain the skills necessary to communicate effectively with their peers, scientists, policymakers, and the general public by producing short, compelling videos. Issues such as marine protected areas, sustainable fishing, watershed ecosystems, beach erosion, aquaculture, and others will be closely studied, providing a foundation for the research necessary to produce an informative film.  Techniques of digital video camera operations, sound gathering, lighting, and editing with industry standard Final Cut Pro will also be covered.

This Program is open to undergraduate and graduate students in all disciplines, but the criteria for acceptance include a demonstrated preparation in media or biological sciences. Questions can be addressed to Professor Constance Penley at penley@filmandmedia.ucsb.edu <mailto:penley@filmandmedia.ucsb.edu> . Application forms are available at http://www.summer.ucsb.edu/specialprograms.html <http://www.summer.ucsb.edu/specialprograms.html> . Screening will begin April 11, 2008; applications received after that date will be considered on a space-available basis.  Submit applications to fawcett@cftnm.ucsb.edu <mailto:fawcett@cftnm.ucsb.edu> , or mail to Blue Horizons, Carsey-Wolf Center for Film, Television, and New Media, University of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA 93106-7100. Additional program information can be found at http://www.cftnm.ucsb.edu <http://www.cftnm.ucsb.edu/> .

To Dos: upcoming lit, eco, cultural events

S 3/30 Homeless film fest, Artbarn

M 3/31 7pm Primal Circus, Accolades, El Jardin Courtyard
An evening of avant garde music, performance and film to celebrate the closing of gauvin’s art show. Work by Send My Regards, Opal Gann, gauvin, Sophia Kidd as Astra III, Allen D. Glass II & M.A.H.O. at Accolades Gallery in Ventura.

T 4/1 730pm Dorothea Grossman & Michael Vlatkovich Artists Union April Fools!

T 4/1 Lucy in the Sky’s Fantasy Haircuts aka Puplicious the Victorian Clown’s grand re-opening on Fir

W 4/2 Cover 101? workshop 6-9p Crowne Plaza where C st meets the sea

S 4/5   7pm  -  Phil Taggart reads the Rick Poems and Deepakalypse   
                                 with friends perform in a  benefit for Art City . $ 10

S 4/5 7-9pm Poetry, jazz, print: Poets Jackson Wheeler, Lois Klein, Paul Lobo Potugeus & AJ Ford with Colter Frazier on jazz sax, print work by lettre sauvage, Santa Barbara Public Library $5

this is a mystery box –tell me what you would put in it…

T 4/8 730pm Diana Raab + O Artists Union

W 4/9 noon & 2pm Amalio Madueno VC

S 4/12 from the Margins reading Artists Union

S 4/13 Earth Day Ventura

M 4/14 Laynie Browne reading & discussion on modern sonnets

T 4/15 Lois Klein + o Artists Union

T 4/17 6pm Dengue Fever instore at Salzers

S 4/19 7pm Adrianne Marcus & Carol V. Davis, Carnegie Art Museum $3

S 4/19 Calque – Suzanne Jill Levine, Stephen Kessler, Craig Santos Perez & Jen Hofer 7:30 pm Beyond Baroque (LA) $10

SS 4/19, 20 Chumash Days Malibu Bluffs Park

S 4/20 Santa Monica Pier Earth Day Concert

M 4/21 CA Poet Laureate Al Young noon, 130, 730pm VC

T 4/22 Sojourner Kincaide Rolle +O 7:30 pm Tuesday Night Poets – Artists Union Gallery

W 4/23 Earth Action Day, VC

FSS 4/25, 26, 27 COACHELLA Music and Arts Festival (see post)

SS 4/26, 27 LA Times Book Festival

SS 4/26, 27 Ventucky Artwalk

S 4/26 Poet’s Seder – Laurel Ann Bogen, Ellyn Maybe, Larry Colker, Rachel Kann, Claudia Handler & Rick Lupert 7:30 pm Beyond Baroque, Venice $10

S 4/26 Sherman Pearl +O 7:30 pm Bell Arts Factory, Ventucky

W 4/30 Al Young, Oxnard College

homeless

Saturday 4/5 7pm - Phil Taggart reads the Rick Poems and Deepakalypse
with friends perform in a benefit for Art City . $ 10
as a part of the “Rick Sings” exhibition Upstairs at the Artist’s Union Gallery
330 California Street – Ventura March 22 – April 27
“Rick Sings” features poems, video and photos by Phil Taggart
Rick Sings
a star rises above the gazebo in Plaza Park
bright shiny new
the police review tickets
get their stories straight
sleeping in public
open containers
they turn the sprinklers on
disperse the homeless
10 days before Christmas
at Busy Bee Rick sings Patsy Cline quietly lovingly
he tells me Jack’s in Whittier
has the best ever French Toast
Jack’s had mom’s favorite salad
with blue cheese
we talk about the rain
his friend living in the riverbottom
he asks about Steve
I don’t tell him Tessa died
no reason to
we walk back to his place
past the park
the sprinklers are on
- Phil Taggart
Writes Phil: About twenty-five years ago my mentally ill brother showed up on my doorstep and has lived within a few blocks of me in Ventura ’s Avenue neighborhood ever since.
As a writer I wrote about him, first unconsciously then consciously, pulling all the work together into “The Rick Poems.” I melded the poems with photography and also photographed the homeless as they are a part of Rick’s everyday world and subsequently part of mine.
There’s also a free-form video interview with Rick
many of the poems in the exhibit have been published in SOLO 6, rivertalk,
Solo Cafe3 – 8 Mid-Coast Poets, Ventura Life, Café Solo 40th anniversary issue and Bear Flag Republic, Prose Poems and Poetics.
other events around the show:
Thursday 4/10 7pm - A panel discussion on Ventura County ’s plan to end
Homelessnes in 10 years “Where Are We Now?”
Saturday 4/12 7pm - A group poetry reading to benefit Turning Point
Foundation. $10
directions to the reading:
from the north:
101 south to Main Street (turn right)
turn right on California Street
the street ends – to your right is a parking structure
the reading is across the plaza from the Crown Plaza
(formerly the Holiday Inn)
from the south:
101 north to California Street (turn left)
the street ends – to your right is a parking structure
the reading is across the plaza from the Crown Plaza
(formerly the Holiday Inn)
if you drive into the ocean you’ve gone too far

poetix.net cover story–first thought , best thought

COVER STORY

By Richard Modiano

 

 

First Thought, Best Thought

The expression “first thought, best thought” is usually attributed to Allen Ginsberg. Ginsberg indeed popularized the phrase but it was actually coined by his Buddhist teacher Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Further, there is William Blake’s dictum “First Thought is Best in Art, Second in Other Matters,” also cited by Ginsberg. This expression is often misunderstood to mean first word, best word by people who believe that thoughts and words are one and the same.

Behind first thought, best thought stands a particular epistemology. It’s based on a specific practice of observing the rise and fall of thoughts as they occur moment by moment, called by Buddhists shamatha-vipashana in some traditions and zazen in others.

The careful and repeated observation that comes from being grounded in shamatha-vipashana practice will reveal that thoughts are not simply words but images and emotions, so to capture that first thought is to be aware of the image/emotion in all its starkness. The skill comes in finding the right words to embody that thought in its naked immediacy, and this may involve re-writing.

I say re-writing instead of revision because the latter term implies a departure from that first thought/vision. When looked at a second time, re-vised, re-viewed, either a self-censoring curtain drops between the poet and her original inspiration or the energy of the first flash has been dissipated. Then the poem becomes words referring to earlier words so that the first energizing thought is lost and the end product at its best becomes a prism of language through which language itself is viewed, and at its worst becomes a dried ball of word paste.

“If you stick with the first flashes, then you’re all right. But the problem is, how do you get to that first thought—that’s always the problem. The first thought is always the great elevated, cosmic, non-cosmic shunyata thought. And then, at least according to the Buddhist formulation, after that you begin imposing names and forms and all that. So it’s a question of catching yourself at your first open thought” Ginsberg noted. The unfamiliar word shunyata is a Sanskrit term that’s usually translated as “emptiness” and refers to the insubstantial nature of thoughts and things.

The method of composition using first thought, best thought is noting the image/emotion in words as soon as it manifests itself in one’s mind, “like a flash of lightning in the dark of night.” The poet attempts to describe in words the thought in all its vivid particulars. Sometimes the poet hits the right words immediately, sometimes the poet must carve the poem out of all the words and images that pour from her pen (or word processor.) Gregory Corso called this process “tailoring.” The poet takes the fabric bolt of words and cuts it to an elegant suit of language that preserves original mind in all its rich allusiveness, charged with emotion and insight.

So first thought, best thought is a challenge to the poet who wants to communicate that super-charged flash of awareness-insight into the reality of the moment, whatever that moment may be, however it may be characterized, whether of joy or sorrow, awe or despair, or quiet appreciation of what is.

Corrigenda for last month’s Cover Story:
“One of Allen Ginsberg’s writing slogans is, ‘If the mind is shapely, the art is shapely.’” Ginsberg did indeed make use of this slogan, but it comes from Jack Kerouac. Marc Olmsted informs me that “Mind is shapely, art is shapely” comes from Kerouac, though it has been attributed to Ginsey – and as far as I know, the slogan did not contain “if”—so it has an interesting double level—as in Buddhism itself—that if the mind is mindful, the art will be mindful, but also one just needs to recognize that the mind is already shapely, i.e., unclouded awareness itself is naturally mindful, so art is spontaneously “accurate” as it were— not unlike Krishna saying to Arjuna in Gita, “established in yoga, perform action,” to borrow from another tradition.

Nat’l Earth Month & Poetry Month To Dos 2008

The highlight of Earth Month AND National Poetry Month locally will be the visit to Ventura College by Al Young, California’s State Poet Laureate.Links and more details ASAP!

FSS 3/28. 29, 30 SB Poetry Conference w/Phil Levine $325

F 3/28 Emy Reynolds at Zoeys Cafe

S 3/29 Food Crew Party Artbarn

S 3/29 1-8pm Create an artists’ book that looks like a good old fashioned matchbook. Print on two presses, score and cut! At Lettre Sauvage.

S 3/30 Homeless film fest, Artbarn

M 3/31 7pm Primal Circus, Accolades, El Jardin Courtyard
An evening of avant garde music, performance and film to celebrate the closing of gauvin’s art show. Work by Send My Regards, Opal Gann, gauvin, Sophia Kidd as Astra III, Allen D. Glass II & M.A.H.O. at Accolades Gallery in Ventura.

T 4/1 730pm Dorothea Grossman & Michael Vlatkovich Artists Union April Fools!

T 4/1 Lucy in the Sky’s Fantasy Haircuts aka Puplicious the Victorian Clown’s grand re-opening on Fir

W 4/2 Cover 101? workshop 6-9p Crowne Plaza where C st meets the sea

S 4/5 7-9pm Poetry, jazz, print: Poets Jackson Wheeler, Lois Klein, Paul Lobo Potugeus & AJ Ford with Colter Frazier on jazz sax, print work by lettre sauvage, Santa Barbara Public Library $5

 
     

T 4/8 730pm Diana Raab + O Artists Union

W 4/9 noon & 2pm Amalio Madueno VC

S 4/12 from the Margins reading Artists Union

S 4/13 Earth Day Ventura

M 4/14 Laynie Browne reading & discussion on modern sonnets

T 4/15 Lois Klein + o Artists Union

T 4/17 6pm Dengue Fever instore at Salzers

S 4/19 7pm Adrianne Marcus & Carol V. Davis, Carnegie Art Museum $3

S 4/19 Calque – Suzanne Jill Levine, Stephen Kessler, Craig Santos Perez & Jen Hofer 7:30 pm Beyond Baroque (LA) $10

SS 4/19, 20 Chumash Days Malibu Bluffs Park

S 4/20 Santa Monica Pier Earth Day Concert

M 4/21 CA Poet Laureate Al Young noon, 130, 730pm VC

T 4/22 Sojourner Kincaide Rolle +O 7:30 pm Tuesday Night Poets – Artists Union Gallery

W 4/23 Earth Action Day, VC

FSS 4/25, 26, 27 COACHELLA Music and Arts Festival

SS 4/26, 27 LA Times Book Festival

SS 4/26, 27 Ventucky Artwalk

S 4/26 Poet’s Seder – Laurel Ann Bogen, Ellyn Maybe, Larry Colker, Rachel Kann, Claudia Handler & Rick Lupert 7:30 pm Beyond Baroque, Venice $10

S 4/26 Sherman Pearl +O 7:30 pm Bell Arts Factory, Ventucky

W 4/30 Al Young, Oxnard College

BTW, any of these events would count toward a cultural/literary/eco event; help out and it will count toward service learning. make-up or extra credit!