“Up Jumped Spring” a spring poem by Al Young

Al Young, CA Poet Laureate visits VC

Monday April 21

12-12:45pm Poetry & discussion of poetics for change

1:30-2:30pm Poetry & Prose plus writing tips

both the above events take place in the Garden Patio
between the new library (LRC) and the old library (SSC)

7pm Guthrie Hall with live music, art and living history performance by Suzanne Lawrence

Ventura College 4667 Telegraph Road Ventura
Host: Gwendolyn Alley

What’s most fantastical almost always goes
unrecorded and unsorted. Take spring.
Take today. Take dancing dreamlike; coffee
your night, creameries your dream factories.
Take walking as a dream, the dearest, sincerest
means of conveyance: a dance. Take leave
of the notion that this nation’s or any other’s earth
can still be the same earth our ancestors walked


From “Up Jumped Spring” by Al Young

California
poet laureate, Al Young, was born in Mississippi and was reading by the age of three. He began publishing poems, stories, and articles in his early teens, and has lived most of his life in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has been a poet, writer, teacher and lecturer throughout his literary career and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California , Berkeley in Spanish. He has taught poetry and fiction writing at a number of universities nationwide, including the Universities of California at Berkeley , Santa Cruz and Davis ; and Stanford University . Versatile and prolific, his works have appeared in the New York Times, Chicago Review, Seattle Review, Rolling Stone, and the Norton Anthology of African-American Literature. As a screenwriter, Young has worked with Sidney Poitier, Bill Cosby and Richard Pryor.
Thanks to Phil Taggart and Maggie Westland for helping to get the word out about these readings!

VC Earth & Poetry Month Speakers & Special Events

Happy Earth Month and National Poetry Month!

Over at Ventura College, we have lots of great events planned!

Guest speakers include
> California State Poet Laureate Al Young,
> Channel Islands NP Sup’t Russell Galipeau,
> Ventura City Council Member Carl Morehouse, and > CSUCI Prof Brad Monsma, author of Sepse Wild.

Ventura College’s Planet Preservation Club invites you to join us at the following events sponsored in part by a Staff Innovation Grant from the Ventura College Foundation, Ventura College Associated Students, Elzbet Diaz De Leon’s Environmental Issues Class, CSUCI American Democracy Project, and more. Many of these activities are connected to student service learning projects.

Continue reading

spring poem by Amalio Madueno

My good friend the poet and general rascal Amalio Madueno is going to read at Ventura College next Weds. April 9 at noon and 2pm and I’ve been rereading his book, Lost in the Chamiso looking for a poem to use for a broadside to publicize his reading, National Poetry Month, and Earth Month activities.

Here is one I am considering: it’s short, accessible, local, earth oriented, fun. What will you do for a broadside this month?

Middle Spring


Below me and above, middle Spring.
Blossom air soothes gravel and stone.
Birds in my shaggy yard scamper in dust
At home in morning’s ocean breeze.
Night after night dreams become less
Familiar, like the landscape of a city
I will never see. Today is light,
Tomorrow will be lighter still. Sundogs
Streak the perihelion, spiders drop
Filaments of light out of the blue
Into sunny scrutiny – the intersection
Of the everyday.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Amalio Madueño grew up on the borderlands of California and Baja,organized farm workers with Cesar Chavez, and studied poetry in graduate school at UC Irvine; he now lives near Taos, New Mexico.

Long associated with the Taos Poetry Circus and Mexican Bob’s Poetry Camp, Madueno has published widely in journals across the United States and Europe. Recent anthologies featuring his work include Venus in the Badlands (ed. J. Macker, Santa Fe 2006) between sleeps: the 315 experiment 1993-2005 (ed. Dinsmore and Alley, Vancouver BC, 2006) and Wandering Hermit Review (Seattle, 2006). Ranchos Press has published almost a dozen chapbooks of his in the last 10 years; Lost in the Chamiso (wild embers press 2006) is his first full-length book. Amalio performs his work frequently the throughout New Mexico and the west in featured readings, seminars, television and radio, as well as on videos and CDs.