Pasadena, CA (September 12, 2012) – Three contemporary poets, Dana Gioia, Douglas Kearney and Amy Gerstler, will highlight this year's Sixth Annual Festival of California Poets, reading selections from their own works and paying tribute to three California poets they admire.
The poets' appearance is a featured event of Pasadena Art Night on Friday, October 12, beginning at 7 p.m. in the Donald R. Wright Auditorium of the Central Library. Admission is free. For the sixth consecutive year, the festival is hosted by The Friends of the Pasadena Public Library, in concert with PEN Center USA and the Poetry Society of America. The 2012 program features the diverse talents of:
Dana Gioia, an internationally acclaimed and award-winning poet, who has published four full-length collections of poetry and eight chapbooks. His poetry collection, Interrogations at Noon, won the 2002 American Book Award. Former chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, Gioia has served as the Judge Widney Professor of Poetry and Public Culture at the USC since 2011. He will discuss Weldon Kees, the multi-talented poet and artist who lived in the San Francisco Bay area from 1950 until his 1955 disappearance.
Douglas Kearney, whose first full-length collection of poems, Fear, Some, was published in 2006. His second manuscript, The Black Automaton, was chosen by Catherine Wagner for the National Poetry Series and was a finalist for the PEN Center USA Award in 2010. Raised in Altadena, Kearney lives in the Santa Clarita Valley. He teaches at California Institute of the Arts and Antioch University. Kearney will salute Los Angeles native Wanda Coleman, who in recent years has been a highly regarded nominee for California Poet Laureate and in 2008 published a second volume of short stories, Jazz and Twelve O'Clock Tales.
Amy Gerstler, whose recent books of poetry include Dearest Creature, Ghost Girl, Medicine, and Crown of Weeds. A Los Angeles resident, Gerstler teaches in the Masters of Professional Writing program at USC and the Bennington Writing Seminars Program at Bennington College in Vermont. She will pay tribute to Tom Clark, who taught poetics for two decades at the New College of California before that institution closed in 2008. Clark was The Paris Review's poetry editor from 1963 to 1973. Best known for poems about sports, Clark is also a prolific nonfiction writer who has authored biographies of Jack Kerouac and Damon Runyon, among others.
[About The Friends of the Pasadena Public Library: Founded in 1975, the nonprofit corporation supports activities and affairs of the Pasadena Public Library, including One City, One Story, and children's and teens' programs. Its funding comes from memberships, donations and book sales. For additional information, visit http://friendsppl.org.]