Bob Kaufman

Other People’s Poetry (OPP) Presents
The Poetry of Bob Kaufman
Golden Sardine

Sunday, January 29 2017
Deep Vellum Books
3000 Commerce Street
Dallas, TX 75226

About Bob Kaufman and Golden Sardine | Poems & Readers | About the Readers | About OPP

Bob Kaufman (1925 – 1986)

In many ways, Bob Kaufman was the original Beat Poet. Part jazz musician, part prophet; aesthete, provocateur, printer of broadsides and small magazines as well as upholder of the oral tradition, Kaufman was certainly in the right place at the right time to be classified a Beat. He was born in New Orleans, wandered for much of his early adult years as a Merchant Marine, and eventually became a fixture on the San Francisco coffee house scene of the late 1950s and early 60s. But a closer examination of Kaufman’s writing reveals him to have been a Surrealist working in an authentically American grain. So much so that the French dubbed Kaufman “the American Rimbaud.” And, like countryman (by extension) Aimé Césaire, Kaufman’s notions of the marvelous were colored by his own experiences as an individual of African descent living in a New World of post-colonial incongruities. In his lifetime, Kaufman seemed fated to the status of “legendary figure.” He spent time in both prison and mental institutions, adopted a posture of indifference with respect to the preservation of his own poetry—“I want to be anonymous… my ambition is to be completely forgotten,” he is reported to have told one editor—and took a vow of silence (occasioned by the assassination of John F. Kennedy) that lasted for over a decade. Golden Sardine emerged during this otherwise fallow period, as part of City Lights epochal “Pocket Poets” Series. Despite containing some of Kaufman’s most accomplished, dazzling and excoriating inventions, the volume slipped out of print and was unavailable to a mass readership until it was reissued by Coffee House Press almost 30 years later. Nevertheless, anything but faint echoes of Kaufman’s voice can be heard in the work of a diverse group of great American poets and spoken word artists: Jayne Cortez, Wanda Coleman, Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera, John Wieners, Jack Hirschman, Will Alexander, Harryette Mullen, Cedar Sigo, and virtually countless others.

Bob Kaufman, Golden Sardine. City Lights, 1967. Available in: Cranial Guitar: Selected Poems. Coffee House Press, 1996.

Poems & Readers

Golden Sardine (1967)

Abomunist Manifesto (Carlos  Salas / Daniel Evans / Jolee Davis / Opalina Salas / Paul Koniecki / Robin Myrick / Sean Enfield)
Carl Chessman Interviews The P.T.A. (Darryl Ratcliff / Jim Dolan / Mark David Noble / MH Clay / Randy E. Aguebor)
The Enormous Gas Bill at the Dwarf Factory (Brett Ardoin / Greg Brownderville / Jolee Davis / Misty Amber Moore / Sebastian Mejia)
Alien Winds (Nadia Wolnisty)
Tidal Friction (Brett Ardoin)
A Terror is More Certain (Herb Levy)
Sheila (Victory)
Heather Bell: Chorus (Mark David Noble)
Walking Hot Seasons (Jolee Davis)
Results of a Lie Detector Test (Sean Enfield)
Come (Opalina Salas)
Saraswati (Carlos Salas)
Unhistorical Events (Daniel Evans)
Cocoa Morning (Randy E. Aguebor)
Picasso’s Balcony (Misty Amber Moore)
“Michaelangelo” The Elder (Jolee Davis)
Blue Slanted into Blueness (Gayle Bell)
Early Loves (Gayle Bell)
Round About Midnight (Gayle Bell)
Jazz Chick (Gayle Bell)
Tequila Jazz (Darryl Ratcliff)
Harwood Alley Song (San Francisco) (Paul Koniecki)
His Horn (MH Clay)
The Biggest Fisherman (Sebastian Mejia)
Inside Connie (Victory)
Lost Window (Nadia Wolnisty)
Cross Winds (Song for Paul Swanson) (Opalina Salas)
Believe, Believe (Jim Dolan)
Blue O’Clock (Sean Enfield)
But As Love (Joe Milazzo)
The Cat Is Sleeping on a Poem (Greg Brownderville)
Sun (Daniel Evans)
The Mind for All Its Reasoning (Carlos Salas)
Crootey Songo (Brett Ardoin)
Slight Alterations (Robin Myrick)
I Sigh a Marbled Sigh Ah, at Last (Darryl Ratcliff)
Why Write ABOUT (Jim Dolan)
Waiting (Jolee Davis)
Heavy Water Blues (Joe Milazzo)
When We Hear The Eye Open… (Paul Koniecki)
Falling (Victory)
I Wish… (Herb Levy)
Suicide (Mark David Noble)
The Late Lamented Wind, Burned in Indignation (MH Clay)
Night Sung Sailor’s Prayer (Opalina Salas)
The Under Weight Champion (Greg Brownderville)
Plea (Sean Enfield)
Drunk Time (Sebastian Mejia)
Genealogy (Daniel Evans)
On (Robin Myrick)
O-Jazz-O (Carlos Salas)
O-Jazz-O War Memoir: Jazz, Don’t Listen to It at Your Own Risk (Misty Amber Moore)
I Am A Camera (Paul Koniecki)
Bonsai Poems (Brett Ardoin / Darryl Ratcliff / MH Clay / Sebastian Mejia)
To My Son Parker, Asleep In The Next Room (Gayle Bell / Jolee Davis / Opalina Salas / Robin Myrick / Victory)
Cincophrenic Poet (Mark David Noble)
I, Too, Know What I Am Not (Joe Milazzo)
Would You Wear My Eyes? (Nadia Wolnisty)
Dolorous Echo (Randy E. Aguebor)
[Bob’s Letter to the SF Chronicle, 10/1963] (Herb Levy)
Jail Poems (All Readers)

About the Readers

Randy E. Aguebor possesses a lifelong fascination with words and is the student who would always get in trouble for reading novels during class. An anti-racist, activist, advocate, altruist, artist, and actor; Randy is also a vocalist and professional voice-over artist with a voice described as dark, smooth and melodic. Listen here: www.soundcloud.com/randyaguebor.

Brett Ardoin is a co-creative, performance art improvisationalist from Dallas, Texas. He has a background in Theatre, Improv and Open Mic Madness. He also enjoys slamming together cosmic, high-octane fueled collage art.

Gayle Bell‘s (1958-Still Hanging Tough) work has been featured in numerous anthologies and publications, both in print and online. In 2013-2014, she was a co-docent for “My Immovable Truth—A Dallas Lineage.” Yea, lo, and possibly verily. This was Ethiopia/Sumatra coffee days. The scents of frankincense, myrrh and sandalwood surround me. There is an alchemist in my spirit. A griot knows the healing of scents, touch, tastes.

Greg Brownderville is the author of three poetry collections, most recently A Horse with Holes in It, published in November 2016 by LSU Press. He serves as Editor-in-Chief of the Southwest Review, Director of Creative Writing, and Associate Professor of English at SMU. (Twitter: @gbrownderville / Website: www.gregbrownderville.com).

MH Clay is a poet, playwright, musician, actor and raconteur residing in Dallas, TX. He is the poetry editor at www.MadSwirl.com, with a poetry page on Mad Swirl’s Poetry Forum, www.madswirl.com/author/mhclay/. He published his chapbook, Perhaps This Rain, in 2007 (3rd edition in 2014). His poetry collection, sonoffred, was published in 2015 by Rebel Poetry, County Cork, Ireland. His latest collection, ANGST, was published in May 2016 by Mad Swirl Press in Dallas.

Jolee Davis is the Creator/former Editor of Death List Five, an arts and literary magazine, which published the works of Karen X, Robert Trammel, and Harris Schiff (aomng others). Publication credits include: The Beatest State in the Union (edited by Christopher Carmona and Chuck Taylor), The Blue Max Review, and, most recently, the White Rock Zine Machine. She’s also been a featured reader at Laughing Goat, Boulder and many others. Her work is on exhibit as part of Shinpei Takeda’s installation, “Inscription” @ The New American Museum, San Diego. She resides in Dallas, and, virtually, at desperatelyseekingsusansontag.wordpress.com.

Jim Dolan is a lifelong resident of Oak Cliff, Texas, and a graduate of University of Dallas and Duquesne Universities with undergrad and graduate degrees in psychology. He is a psychotherapist in private practice, a long time member of The Writer’s Garret, an actor, poet, and fiction writer whose Pushcart-nominated writing can be found in the pages of the Red River Review, Illya’s Honey, and the 2016 anthology Cattlemen and Cadillacs. He has appeared twice in Dallas’ story telling series Oral Fixation. He is married and the father of two adult children, also living in Dallas.

Sean Enfield is a graduate of the University of North Texas. Currently, he works as an after-school teacher at a middle school and as the volunteer coordinator for North Texas Performing Arts. His work has been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered and in Vine Leaves, Poetry Quarterly, and Entropy Magazine.

Daniel Evans is a Dallas-area poet and writer and an all-around decent fellow. He enjoys rearranging his mental blocks but seems to have misplaced some of his marbles. He enjoys long, intimate evenings with the collective subconscious and spirited discussions with some of the more unseemly archetypes.

Paul Koniecki is co-curator of Pandora’s Box Poetry Showcase in Dallas, TX and an original contributor to the White Rock Lake Zine Machine. His poems are featured in One Of the Rough, a film by Tropic Pictures, which was just optioned by AVFF Cannes. His book Reject Convention is available at kleftjaw.com.

Herb Levy is a demographic rarity, a non-poet reader of contemporary poetry. His interest in reading work by living writers began when his sister brought home a copy of Donald Allen’s anthology, The New American Poetry, while he was in junior high. Before moving to North Texas, Levy produced concerts, radio programs, and compact discs of new music in Seattle. He writes grants and PR/marketing materials for non-profits.

Sebastian Mejia was born and raised in Dallas, Texas by two very Colombian parents. He recently graduated from the University of Texas at Dallas with a degree in Neuroscience and will be attending the Texas A&M University College of Dentistry in the Fall of 2017. He has a piece forthcoming in the latest edition of Epigraph Magazine.

Joe Milazzo is the founder and artistic director of Other People’s Poetry (OPP). He is the author of the novel Crepuscule W/ Nellie and The Habiliments, a volume of poetry. You can learn more about his activities—literary as well as extra-literary—by visiting www.joe-milazzo.com.

Misty Amber Moore has produced two spoken word albums, specializes in body painting, acrylics on canvas, and the creation of upcycled (the reuse of discarded items) works of art, fashion, and accessories. Misty is an event curator. She has a degree in American Sign Language Interpreting. She has made a career of selling her art, performing her poetry, and being an active mentor in the community. Visit her online at mistyamberart.com.

Robin Myrick is a Dallas-based writer, visual artist, educator, and instigator, as well as a contributing editor for Entropy Magazine. She holds an MFA in Writing and Critical Studies from California Institute of the Arts, and is currently pursuing her doctorate in Aesthetic Studies at UT Dallas. She teaches at Collin College.

Mark David Noble is a writer, videographer, and multimedia developer who enjoys working on poetry, plays and short stories. His work has been published in newspapers, magazines and as lyrics for choral music. He is also a poetry graduate of the CAMP Program at The Writer’s Garret, a Pandora’s Box Poetry showcase co-conspirator, and a retired firefighter from the Mesquite Fire Department.

Darryl Ratcliff is a poet and social practice artist based in Dallas, TX. In 2012, Ratcliff cofounded Ash Studios with artist Fred Villanueva, a 20,000 square foot DIY arts center serving communities of color in Dallas. In 2013, Ratcliff became the inaugural artist-in-residence for Rick Lowe’s Trans.lation Vickery Meadow initiated by the Nasher Sculpture Center. In 2014, Ratcliff initiated Creating Our Future, an art project that focuses on creativity and civic engagement and registered over a hundred millenials to vote for the 2015 city council elections. In 2016, COF successfully advocated for $225,000 in cultural equity grants from the City of Dallas. Currently Ratcliff is working with his art collective, Michelada Think Tank, to create pathways for creatives of color from high school to retirement in the City of Dallas. Ratcliff is also a recent recipient of artist awards from the Dallas Museum of Art, Nasher Sculpture Center, and Office of Cultural Affairs.

Carlos Salas is co-host of the Poets on X+ Reading Series at Lucky Dog Books. He can be heard reading at open mics, galleries, bars, porches, inside the White Rock Zine Machine, and can be found right here on Earth, 75208 specific. He lives with love, beautiful wife-poet Opalina in Oak Cliff, Texas with their daughter Paloma, two cats Jack and Benny.

Opalina Salas is a poet, a former Oak Cliff bookstore owner, an editor of femme lit zine, Let It Bleed, and creator and host of Poets on X+ reading series held in her beloved home of Oak Cliff TX. She has been a curator and hostess for many WordSpace events in Dallas and feels most at home on stage at any local open mic in her area. She is a regular contributor to The Mad Swirl, a White Rock Zine Machine poet, and was a featured performer at The Texas Beat Poetry Festival 2012, Forest Fest in Lamesa TX in 2011, and a participant in the first annual New Orleans Poetry Fest of 2016. She has been writing and performing in and around the DFW area for 20 years with her comrade, partner and fellow poet, Carlos Salas. Her only desire is to continue her pursuit of the open mic state, country and worldwide and to finally construct that one perfect poem. Until then, she continues.

Victory is a writer, painter, graphic designer, copywriter, parent and poet from Texas. At an open mic in Dallas she received encouragement from host and well-known “slam poet” Clebo Rainey. She has been a member of several poetry slam teams since the year 2003 that have competed at the National Poetry Slam. Victory has performed at the Austin International Poetry Festival, the Deep Ellum Arts Festival and was featured at the Fermoy International Poetry Festival in Ireland in 2014 as part of the Mad Swirl Poets. She has appeared on radio and on the 2004 National Poetry Slam DVD. Her work can also be found in Not Dead Yet: An Anthology of Survivor Poetry (2014). She is driven by her belief that poetry can heal and provide strength and the validation necessary as we struggle with the burdens of loneliness, anxiety and self-doubt.

Nadia Wolnisty is a poet, memoirist, and creative non-fiction writer. Her work explores the space between poetry, prose, and where fiction meets non-fiction. Her poetry and essays often deal with the redemptive power of the imagination—how the stories we tell ourselves can be what save us. Her poetry and essays have appeared in several journals, such as Mad Swirl, Do Not Go Gentle, University Scholar, La Alarma, Essay Daily, Haggard and Halloo, Bullet for My Butterfly, and a zine machine (www.WhiteRockZineMachine.com). Her first chapbook, Manual, is forthcoming from Cringe Worthy Poetry Collective. She can be found performing around Dallas at Mad Swirl, Common Company, Pandora’s Box, Bonehouse, and Poets on X+.

About OPP

Other People’s Poetry (OPP) is a new repertory poetry reading series. One poet, one book of great poetry per event.

OPP’s mission: To develop an audience for poetry. To provide opportunities for audiences to interact with poetry that has otherwise fallen out of the oral tradition (because the originating poets are no longer alive to present the work themselves). To broaden notions of canon. To recognize the important work done by our poetic predecessors. To increase the diversity of literary programming in DFW (Dallas-Fort Worth), in part, by creating more opportunities for DFW’s discrete poetic communities to intersect and collaborate.

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Special thanks to Will Evans, Anne Hollander, Rebecca Thompson, Tanya Wardell, Deep Vellum Books & WordSpace for sponsoring this event.