The Museum of American Poetics
American Poet Greats Lecture Series

1999 - 2000 Season

Carl Sandburg
by Tree Bernstein with Jane Wodening, Carlos Seegmiller, & Ken Bernstein
October 19, 1999
Carl Sandburg  Tree Bernstein and Friends

Carl Sandurg wrote volumes of people's poetry, including Chicago Poems, The American Songbag, Rootabaga Stories for Young Folks and two comprehensive biographies of Abraham Lincoln. For forty years he read and sang his way across the United States as his poems were dramatized, choreographed, and woven into folk songs. In later years, he penned more romantic verse and love songs into slim volumes like Honey and Salt. In his preface to Complete Poems, Sandburg wrote, "All my life I have been trying to learn to read, to see and hear, and to write. I should like to think that as I go on writing there will be sentences truly alive, with verbs quivering, with nouns giving color and echoes."

Tree Bernstein is publisher and graphic designer for TreeHouse Press and Nest Egg Books in Boulder. She is author of On the Way Here, a book of short stories published by Baksun Books and Journal of the Lingering Fall, a memoir from Dead Metaphor Press. Tree is also a reading coach with the Colorado Literacy Corps.

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Kenneth Rexroth
by Richard Wilmarth
November 9, 1999
Kenneth Rexroth
Richard Wilmarth

The late Kenneth Rexroth (1905-1982) is surely one of the most readable of this century's great American poets. Like William Carlos Williams, he honed his writing to a controlled and direct language. His love poems and erotic lyrics are unsurpassed. From his role in the San Francisco Renaissance to his translations of Japanese and Chinese poetry, he almost single-handedly redefined the way American poetry was written.

Born in Fall River, Massachusetts, Richard Wilmarth has been a resident of Boulder since 1990. He is an MFA graduate of The Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at the Naropa University, and is the publisher of Dead Metaphor Press. His books include Alphabetical Order, The Henry Miller Acrostics, and Voices in the Room.

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Susan Howe
by Cole Swensen
January 18, 2000
Susan Howe   Cole Swenson

Susan Howe is one of our most important and most intriguing contemporary poets. Deeply entwined in the country's history, her work also continually re-defines the present moment by through its insistence on the page as visual theater. This overview of her work will pay particular attention to this interesection of time and space and the way that it underscores her predominant themes.

A native of San Francisco, Cole Swensen teaches at the University of Denver, where she directs the creative writing program. Her recent publications include Try (U of Iowa Press, 1999) and Noon (Sun & Moon Press, 1997).

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Wallace Stevens, William Carlos Williams, & Robert Creeley
by Jack Greene
February 22, 2000
Wallace StevensWilliam Carlos WilliamsRobert CreeleyJack Greene

Rhythm, Pound said, "is a form cut into TIME, as design is determined SPACE. This talk, "Parables of Time/Space in the Poetry of Wallace Stevens, WC Williams and Robert Creeley," will explore the different means by which being is achieved--how form is "cut into TIME," into SPACE, by these three poets.

Jack Greene received his BA from UCLA and holds an MFA in Writing and Poetics from Naropa University. He has published poetry in Lillipuit Review, Rattapallax, Bombay Gin, Mungo vs. Ranger, and Napalm Health Spa.

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Gertrude Stein
by Kay Campbell
March 21, 2000
Gertrude Stein   Kay Campbell

Gertrude Stein. Most often, those hearing Stein's name will know more about her life than about her work. Stein's writing explored some of the most radical early twentieth century ideas of consciousness and perception. Throughout the stages of her development, her work demonstrated a remarkable capacity for following an impression to its core. Stein's work is among the most mysterious, misunderstood, and captivating writings of the twentieth century.

Kay Campbell is a writer, musician, and scholar currently residing in Boulder. Her most recent love affair with Gertrude Stein began several years ago in a cabin in northern Michigan. Ms Campbell will graduate this May from Naropa University with an MFA in Poetry. She is writing her critical thesis on Stein's work.

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Jaime de Angulo
by Andrew Schelling
April 18, 2000


Jaime de Angulo
Andrew Schelling

Jaime de Angulo has been secret literary legend in California and West Coast poetry annals since his death in 1950. Born 1888 of Spanish heritage, at early age he sailed for America to become a cowboy and after numerous Mark Twain misadventures arrived in San Francisco on the eve of the 1906 earthquake. A crackshot linguist and renegade anthropologist, his bohemian life eventually shut him out of academia, and his writings took a wild turn from orthodox ethnography into fiction and poetry. Ezra Pound called him "the American Ovid;" he tutored Jack Spicer in linguistics and Robert Duncan in North American shamanic sorcery; he appears in Kerouac's books. Unknown to East Coast establishments, he is a cape-enshrouded figure of Big Sur and North Beach, an American coyote who has told the real history of North America in books like Indian Tales, Indians in Overalls, Jaime in Taos, and through twenty hours of story, poetry and song broadcast over KPFA radio in Berkeley.

Andrew Schelling is a poet, translator, and amateur ecologist. Preeminent American translator of India's old poetry, his Dropping the Bow: Poems from Ancient India received the Academy of American Poets translation prize in 992. Nearly twenty years residence in the mountains and cities of California; two decades research on de Angulo and other West Coast outlaw writers; travels in Asia and Mexico; teaching and poetry readings in London, Vienna, Mexico City, Patzcuaro, as well as numerous USA venues. Since 1990 he has been faculty at The Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, and teaches Sanskrit for Naropa's Buddhist Studies program. Recent books include The Handful of Seeds (essays), The Road to Ocosingo (Basho inspired poetry travel journal), and The Cane Groves of Narmada River: Erotic Poems from Old India (translations).

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