Please scroll down for photos and description of our event.
13th Annual Multi-Cultural Poetry Reading
and Pot Luck Lunch
August 10, 2013, Noon-4:00
Redwood Empire Chinese Association Center
Santa Rosa, CA
This year, as every year, was the best ever. It was not the biggest, that was last year. But it was declared by those who have attended before, to be the best, most exciting and the most varied for activities and poets. We had about half return poets and half first time attending poets. The food was marvelous and the company was even better.
We began our afternoon with two hours of meet, greet and eat. That gave those coming from 50 or more miles away time to creep through traffic then have a nice lunch once they arrived. Food was a marvelous array of food from many ethnic origins. L-R: Margo Van Veen, Santa Rosa; Aasiya Iddeen, Windsor, Don Hagleburg, Sonoma, Sarahanne Lum, San Francisco; George Suin, Santa Rosa; Tanya Joyce, Emeryville.
We had a cake that said, "Multi-Cultural Poetry," donuts, regular cookies, fortune cookies and lots of fresh fruit picked from home gardents. At the other end of the table was everything from chou mien to eggplant with tofu, seseme chicken, chicken enchiladas, breads made from ancient grains, cheese, orange chicken, steamed veggies, fried rice, kim chi, and many, many other delectables to choose from.
L-R: Sarahanne Lum, San Francisco; George Suin, Santa Rosa; Tanya Joyce, Emeryville.Aasiya Iddeen, Windsor;
This photo was taken early, much more came in later.
We had our choice of eating inside or outside on the shady porch lined with roses, hydrangeas and lawn. L-R: Natica Angilly, Richmond; Ann Butts, Oakland; Pandora (sorry, we didn't get her last name), Sonoma; Dave Hold, Concord: Aasiya Iddeen, Windsor. While eating, we had time to meet new friends, discuss poetry in various languages and pick partners for the bi-lingual reading that was held later in the afternoon.
During the meet-eat-and-greet time, everyone was encouraged to talk to someone they didn't know, choose a poem together so, during the Pick-a-Partner Read-Around, one person could read in one language and the other would read in English.
Lulu Huang and Kay Renz study a book of poetry that was copied from the graffiti on the walls of Angel Island Immigration Center during the time when all Asians entering the continental USA stayed there until approved to enter. One poet told us how she, as a child, had been there three months with her mother. No, she did not remember writing anything on the walls, but many adults did.
Tanya Joyce, poet and artist from Emeryville, CA, has created a portable labyrinth which she brought, along with fresh rosemary and basil, for poets to experience the serenity producing experience of walking the path that does not end, but enters and exits at the same place without retracing your steps. L-R: Tanya Joyce; Ken Peterson, Alameda; Denise Collett, Alameda
We gathered in the Dance Studio/converted garage, with air conditioning that we didn't need because of the increadibly marvelous weather. Logistics prevented taking a photo of everyone as they were seated. We had our Pick-a-Partner readings first, then poets' choice reading of mostly original works, second. Here, Dave Holt, Concord, reads in English as Pandora (sorry, we didn't get her last name or town) read in Greek. Then Dave read in Ojibwa and Pandora read in English. L-R: ;Ann Butts, Oakland; Kay Renz, Santa Rosa; Lulu Huang, Santa Rosa; George Suin, Santa Rosa; Dave Holt, Concord; Pandora; Richard Angilly, Richmond.
Lilith, Healdsburg read English and Suning read Mandarin. Don Hegleburg, Sonoma, and Denise Collett, Alameda listen intently. Suning and her husband had just arrived from Oklahoma and stopped in to check out the Chinese Association. They were suprised to find a party and poetry reading. They stayed and both read. Welcome to Suning and Allen, the ones who came the farthest to our event.
David Chung and Phi Phi Dang, both of Santa Rosa, sang Beautiful Red Sunset, a classical Chinese poem, after we heard the English translation from George Suin, also of Santa Rosa.
Judy Cheung read a poem by Pablo Naruda in Spanish after it was read in English by Aasiya Iddeen. Margo Van Veen from Santa Rosa and originally from The Netherlands, listens between.
Peter Lee, Fremont, read a poem in German with Ken Peterson (seated) reading English. For the individual readings, Peter Lee read an original poem in Korean with English translation from his new book that will be awarded at the Dancing Poetry Festival on September 14, 2013.
During the individual readings, Richard and Natica Angilly, Richmond, and show off the latest edition of Open Exchange Magazine which features their dance troupe, Natica Angilly's Poetic Dance Theater Company and the Dancing Poetry Festival which they produce. The red photo of Natica was taken and photoshopped by Judy Cheung.
About 25 people attended our event. Poetry was read in German, Korean, Japanese, Mandarin, Spanish, Ojibwa, Greek, Middle English and Modern English. Participants came from Santa Rosa, Fremont, Windsor, Sonoma, Oakland, Emeryville, Richmond, Alameda, San Francisco, Concord and Oklahoma. National origins included China, Korea, Greece, Canada, Viet Nam and America. It was a great afternoon of food, fun, poetry and getting to know people we don't usually have a chance to talk to.
For those not pictured or mentioned, please accept our apologies. Candid photos do not always turn out to be usable. Every one atteding was a valuable participant. Thank you all for coming.