Michael Pollan, taking the stage at the 31st Annual Northern California Book Awards on Sunday June 10, accepted the Fred Cody Award for Lifetime Achievement with two caveats: first, he’s not that old. And second, he’s lived in California (on Berkeley’s north side) for only nine years.
When Joyce Jenkins, the editor of Poetry Flash magazine, wants to describe poet David Meltzer, she uses language evoking his love of jazz music and association with the San Francisco Beat and Berkeley Renaissance poetry movements: “He’s a colorful cat,” she said. “Nobody can riff like him.”
The denizens of other cities can snicker all they like, but Berkeley historian Adam Hochschild has no problem with Berkeley’s foreign policy.
“It’s important not to forget what happened in 2008 and remain angry,” says Barry Eichengreen, professor of economics and political science at UC Berkeley.
The East Bay Literary scene is heating up. Never before in the 31-year history of the Northern California Book Awards have the Fred Cody Award for Lifetime Achievement, plus ten nominations for book awards, all been given to East Bay writers.
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