Tag Archives: Robert Hass

On downtown Berkeley street, the poetry is underfoot

Poetry Walk Photo edrdo
Print Friendly

On a downtown Berkeley city block, poetry is a constant companion.

Stretched along both sides of Addison Street between Milvia Street and Shattuck Avenue, cast-iron “stepping stone” plaques engraved with fired, glass porcelain enamel lettering speak the language of poets from Ohlone Indians to contemporary wordsmiths.

Known as the “Berkeley Poetry Walk” and anthologized in The Addison Street Anthology,  published by Berkeley-based Heyday Books, the public-art project was a massive undertaking completed in 2003 by a team of pivotal volunteers, private donors, the City of Berkeley, City staff and the Civic Arts Commission. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , ,

The man behind the Watershed Environmental Poetry Festival: Mark Baldridge, 1948-2014

markbaldridge
Print Friendly

By Sharon Coleman

For decades, Berkeley has been enriched by a vibrant literary community with poetry at its heart, as we see in downtown Berkeley’s Addison Street Poetry Walk. At the heart of the poetry community since 1972 has been Poetry Flash, a hub for reviews, articles, event listings, and presenter of many singular literary events. And at the heart of Poetry Flash since 1995 has been Mark Baldridge, in so many capacities from board member to web master, but most notably as Director of the annual Watershed Environmental Poetry Festival.

When Robert Hass was named first U. S. Poet Laureate from the West in 1995, he joined in meetings at International Rivers Network with poets and ecologists to discuss “Nature and the American Imagination,” the theme of his laureateship, and to think of ways to engage the public using poetry. Having left a corporate career and started his own small advertising agency, hungry to do something real, Mark attended these meetings. From the discussions came the idea for the first Watershed Festival that took place in April 1996 at the Bandshell of Golden Gate Park. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The It List: Five things to do in Berkeley this weekend

Print Friendly

JENNIFER KOH Violinist Jennifer Koh is no stranger to Berkeley, although Berkeley audiences may know her as Einstein, a role she undertook when she played in Einstein on the Beach at Cal Performances. This time she plays as herself — a powerful soloist — when she performs Sibelius’ Violin Concerto with the Berkeley Symphony tonight, Thursday Oct. 2, at 7 p.m. Also on the program are Elgar’s Enigma Variations and Oscar Bettison’s Sea Shaped in its world premiere. Tickets for the Zellerbach Hall show cost $15-$74. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Chancellor apologizes for Occupy Cal police response

Birgeneau
Print Friendly

Chancellor Robert Birgeneau issued an apology today for police tactics during Occupy Cal protests on November 9 on campus.

In a recording made while en route to spending Thanksgiving with his children and grandchildren on the East Coast, Birgeneau said he took full responsibility for the events that day and would do “his very best to ensure that this does not happen again.”

The manner in which the police handled Occupy Cal protesters on that November night has come under scrutiny and attracted attention. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , ,

Poet writes about Occupy Cal, protesters plan next steps

Hass1-1
Print Friendly

Robert Hass, professor of poetry and poetics at UC Berkeley, attended Occupy Cal this month and wrote about his experience in an op-ed piece for the New York Times on Sunday titled “Poet-Bashing Police”.

He decided to go on campus with his wife, Brenda Hillman, after hearing about police beating protesters with truncheons in order gain access to, and dismantle, tents that had been declared unauthorized by the Cal administration.

“I wanted to see what was going to happen and how the police behaved, and how the students behaved. If there was trouble, we wanted to be there to do what we could to protect the students,” he writes.

As we reported on November 14th, the former poet laureate ended up being hit by police and his wife was knocked to the ground. The experience, he writes, got him thinking that “life is full of strange contingencies.” Read the full column in the New York Times. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , ,