A poetry reading featuring Will Alexander, Garrett Caples, Neeli Cherkovski, Aggie Falk, Jack Hirschman, Kaye McDonough, Margaret Randall, and Anne Waldman, hosted by Sparrow
In this talk
A special thanks to Rail Consulting Editor Raymond Foye for organizing this event.
Poet, novelist, playwright, aphorist, essayist, philosopher, visual artist, and pianist Will Alexander has produced 30 collections in the above mentioned genres. Both a Whiting Fellow and a California Arts Council Fellow, he has been recipient of an Oakland PEN Award, an American Book Award, and winner of the 2016 Jackson Prize for Poetry.
Garrett Caples is a poet and an editor at City Lights Books. He was Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s personal assistant off and on for many years. His latest book of poems, Lovers of Today, will appear in October from Wave Books.
Neeli Cherkovski is a poet, memoirist, literary chronicler, and editor. His latest books of poetry are Hang on the Yangtze River and Elegy for My Beat Generation. He is also the biographer of Charles Bukowski and Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and the recipient of an American Book Award and the Josephine Miles PEN Award.
Poet and painter Agneta (Aggie) Falk grew up in Sweden, moved to England, and has lived in San Francisco since 1998. With friends, she directed Live Worms Gallery in San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood. Her most recent book is Heart Muscle, and she’s a regular figure in both the San Francisco and international poetry scenes.
Jack Hirschman was born in New York City. He earned degrees from the City College of New York and Indiana University. A poet and translator, Hirschman is the author of numerous books of poetry including All That’s Left (City Lights Books, 2008) and The Arcanes (Multimedia, 2006). The former poet laureate of San Francisco, Hirschman taught at the University of California, Los Angeles. He lives in San Francisco.
Poet, publisher, playwright, and teacher, Kaye McDonough is author of She Stag and the Tiger of Wanawatu (LARB, 2018), Pagan: Selected Poems (New Native Press, 2014), Zelda: Frontier Life in America (City Lights, 1978 and a finalist in the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center awards), City Lights Anthology, Exquisite Corpse, Beatitudes (10 issues), and others. She was an adjunct lecturer in writing and poetry (2000-2020) and publisher of Greenlight Press, handset and photo offset editions. She is currently working on a memoir of North Beach/San Francisco 1965-85: The Spell of Bohemia.
Writer, translator, photographer, and social activist Margaret Randall has published more than 150 books of poetry, essay, and oral history. Among her most recent poetry collections are: The Morning After: Poetry and Prose for a Post-Truth World, Against Atrocity and Time’s Language: Selected Poems 1959-2018 (Wings Press). A memoir, I Never Left Home: Poet, Feminist, Revolutionary, was published by Duke University Press in spring 2020. In March 2020, AWP named her recipient of the year of its George Garrett Award and in June Chapman University awarded her its Paulo Freire Prize.
Internationally recognized and acclaimed poet Anne Waldman has been an active member of the “Outrider” experimental poetry community, a culture she has helped create and nurture for over four decades as writer, editor, teacher, performer, magpie scholar, infra-structure curator, and cultural/political activist. Her poetry is recognized in the lineage of Whitman and Ginsberg, and in the Beat, New York School, and Black Mountain trajectories of the New American Poetry, but has raised the bar as a feminist, activist, and powerful performer. She remains a highly original “open field investigator” of consciousness, committed to the possibilities of radical shifts of language and states of mind to create new modal structures and montages of attention.
Member of the New York-based literary group The Unbearables, Sparrow has published several poetry collections with Soft Skull Press, as well as chapbooks in collaboration with St. Mark’s Poetry Project, and has served as the editor for the literary journal Big Fish. He has been published in The New Yorker (after picketing their offices in 1996 while holding a sign reading, “My Poetry is as bad as yours”), The Quarterly, and the New York Times. He was featured in the PBS series The United States of Poetry, and his music (with the band Foamola) is featured on the poetry compilation Poemfone: New Word Order. Sparrow lives with his wife and daughter in the hamlet of Phoenicia, New York, in the Catskill Mountains.
The New Social Environment — Daily conversations with artists, writers, filmmakers, poets around the world where we discuss creative life in the context of our new social reality.