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2018-01/28 Journeys to the Hand of the Poet: Poem-Making With Jim Moreno

Date: Sunday, January 28, 2018 Time: 1pm to 4pm Number of sessions: 1 day only! Members: $45 Nonmembers: $54 Location: San Diego Writers Ink, 2730 Historic Decatur Rd #202-204, San Diego, CA 92106, USA

Handed a copy of a beautiful poetry anthology as a Christmas gift from a colleague, Jim Moreno was taken on a journey across cultures, across generations, and across genres of poetry.  In the pages of this inspiring anthology, he found 4 women poets who shared a common theme of drifting between polarities of cultural and cross-cultural, existential binds and meaning and transformation of meaning, accepting and rejecting genders, as well as traditional to the colloquial writing of spoken word.  Each woman was criticized in print and each woman became an icon of change in the art and industry of verse.

     The poetry anthology, of course, is The Hand of the Poet: Poems & Papers in Manuscript (Rizzoli International Publications, USA, 1997)  by Rodney Phillips.  The women, Julia Alvarez, Muriel Rukeyser, Ai, and Adrienne Rich all shared parallel journeys of the heart, the hero’s path.  From one of Alvarez’s first teachers who misguided her with misplaced advice to her emergence as a woman who’s voice speaks if she was sharing coffee with an old friendmusing, laughing ruefully, seeking reassurance (p.310, The Hand of the Poet), to the sexual politics of the mature poet, Adrienne Rich, reminding the canon of American poetry that writing with political passion is one of the roots on the poet’s tree, workshop participants will explore the poetry of these medicine women in the first 90 minutes of this class and write original poetry from their poem prompts.

     The second 90 minutes of this three-hour workshop, for beginning or seasoned poets, is focused on the men in The Hand of the Poet that have inspired Moreno since junior college. “Robert Frost’s Stopping by Woodside on a Snowy Evening in English 101, Moreno remembers, gave me so much peace. I was just back from Vietnam, still learning that a fire siren didn’t mean run for a bunker. ”  The poems of Imamu Amiri Baraka, W.S. Merwin, Ted Berrigan, and James Wright round out the second half of this poetic nutrition.  From jazz buff Baraka’s meld of jazz riffs with poetry breaths to the Robert Bly/Pablo Neruda/ Cesar Vallejo influences on the pen of James Wright,  the second half of this workshop invites participants to float between the sweetness of the heart’s passage and obloquy intervention activism.

     All italicized phrases or sentences are quotes from The Hand of the Poet.

     Jim Moreno is a Poetry Teaching Artist with San Diego Writers, Ink and on the Program Committee.  Jim is a Regional Editor of the San Diego Poetry Annual where he gathers the Juvenile Hall and Native American chapters.    He is the co-host with Theresa F. of 2nd Tuesday Jihmye Poetry – Open Mic at the Cafe Cabaret.  Jim will also be hosting Cultures Connect in San Diego at the San Diego Art Institute in Balboa Park, April 7, 2018 at 7:00 P.M., a poetry program featuring six poets from diversity including Sharon Elise, Pilar R. Aranda, Shadap Zeest Hashmi, Francisco Bustos, Ted Washington, & Viet Mai,