The Poetry Circus, Burning Books, and The Size of Our Bed

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It has been busy. I can only hope life will remain this alive.

The Poetry Circus is beautiful; it takes countless hours and an intense generosity from our community to make this event take place. It takes work. I admire work–hard work. I admire everyone who came, read, performed, and became The Poetry Circus.

Soon there will be photos (thank you Edwin Vasquez), video (thank you Karyn Ben Singer), and a proper thank you (let me just start by saying thank you Anne Yale, thank you Curt Hanson, thank you Julio Gosdinski).

There are so so many things to say about The Poetry Circus…mostly words of gratitude…but for now life is racing and I’m racing to stay on creative street. I remember poet Juan Felipe Herrera teaching us, “you have to run on creative street or you’ll go cold.” I didn’t realize at the time how true his statement–I’m beginning to understand–creative street is a long road.

Tidal Rise

This Saturday is a poetry marathon. Beginning with book burning and ending in bed; let me explain.

My Saturday begins with this event: Red Hen Press at WeHo Reads 2015: Banned Books

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Date: Sep 26th, 2015
Time: 2:00 pm
Location: West Hollywood Library
625 N. San Vincente Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069

Description:

2:00-2:45pm

THE BOOKS YOU SHOULD NOT WRITE

Free event! Red Hen presents “The Books You Should Not Write” panel discussion at WeHo Reads, featuring Ron Koertage, Douglas Kearney, Nicelle Davis, and moderated by Kim Dower.

As an author who has had my books burned, this is a subject near and (smoldering) dear to my heart.

Once the fires have been put out in North Hollywood, I’ll race to Beyond Baroque for a moment I’ve been waiting years for–the release of Jacqueline Tchakalian’s first poetry collection, “The Size of Our Bed.” This is a not to miss poetic milestone.
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Jacqueline Tchakalian Poetry Reading

Date: Sep 26th, 2015
Time: 8:00 pm
Location: Beyond Baroque Literary/Arts Center
681 Venice Blvd
Venice, CA 90291

So I’ll be running on creative street this Saturday, I hope to see you on the road. Best to all.

What Is The Poetry Circus?

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The Poetry Circus

Want to know more about the Poetry Circus? Step inside my closet and I’ll tell you all about 1. what to wear 2. hair 3. rain 4. light 5. sound

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Final Call for the Poetry Piñata: If you have poems to share with children at The Poetry Circus please send them to nicellecdavis @ gmail . com

A Free Poetry Event Saturday, February 28th

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Poetry Merry-Go-Round Rides
with readings by:Lauren K. Alleyne, Laurel Ann Bogen, Chiwan Choi,

Brendan Constantine, Nicelle Davis, Kim Dower, Blas Falconer, Kate Gale, Melanie Jeffrey, Douglas Kearney, Ron Koertge,
Justin Wallace Kibbe, Suzanne Lummis, Katie Manning,

Eric Morago, Jacqueline Tchakalian, and Yvonne de la Vega.

Interactive poetry projects, activities, and crafts for the whole family brought to you by the Red Hen Press WITS program
and The Los Angeles Review.

Make your own maracas and Join The Children’s Poetry Parade ed by twirler Peggy Dobreer!

Simultaneous Poetry Writing based on your suggestions from RENT Poet and the Melrose Poetry Bureau!

Live circus acts including performances by Post Mortem Movement Theater!

At the Griffith Park Merry-Go-Round
4730 Crystal Springs Drive,
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(323) 665-3051

The Poetry Circus Needs a Poetry Piñata: A New Year for the Living Poetry Project

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This is a Free Event hosted by

IN THE CIRCUS OF YOU: An Illustrated Novel-in-Poem by poet Nicelle Davis and artist Cheryl Gross

http://www.rosemetalpress.com

Poetry Merry-Go-Round, Circus Acts, Kid Crafts, and Magic Shows

Poetry Merry-Go-Round Rides with Readings by:

Lauren K. Alleyne, Laurel Ann Bogen, Chiwan Choi, Brendan Constantine, Michael Datcher, Nicelle Davis, Kim Dower, Blas Falconer, Kate Gale, Mira Gonzalez, Melanie Jeffrey, Douglas Kearney, Justin Wallace Kibbe, Suzanne Lummis, Katie Manning, Eric Morago, and Jacqueline Tchakalian.

Interactive Poetry Projects,

activities, and crafts for the whole family brought to you by the Red Hen Press WITS program and The Los Angeles Review.

Live Circus Acts

including performances by Post Mortem Movement Theater!

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At the Griffith Park Merry-Go-Round

4730 Crystal Springs Drive,

Los Angeles, CA 90027

(323) 665-3051

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Please Runaway to the Circus with Us!

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If you can’t runaway; let your poems come with us!

Please send your poems to The Living Poetry Project

to go into this kid-sized Poetry Piñata

that will be broken open at The Poetry Circus!

Please submit your poems by Feb 15th to:

nicellecdavis @ gmail . com

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AWP

 with Tobi Harper, Molly Frances Wingland, Maureen Alsop, Alexis Vergalla, Lauren K Alleyne, Katie Manning and Cindy Rinne.
with Tobi Harper, Molly Frances Wingland, Maureen Alsop, Alexis Vergalla, Lauren K Alleyne, Katie Manning and Cindy Rinne.

AWP. AWP. What to say about AWP? It leaves us all spinning. If you haven’t left a piece of you sanity in the assigned city, you haven’t really been to AWP. This year I left crazy umbrellas wherever I could. In retrospect, I wished I had brought more umbrellas, more poetry. It is always an issue of more with AWP. 30 umbrellas are swallowed quickly by 10,000 writers. Being swallowed is a good way to describe AWP.

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This year I convinced a few of my writing students (the very talented Trish Donahueto and Andrea Thamm) to attend. They fought with themselves over time and money spent—it’s just a conference, they objected when I described the whirl of energy, lack of sleep, and the effect that three miles of books has on a word lover. Eventually they resigned to go (maybe just to shush me up for a moment). I was delighted when we eventually crossed paths. They could no longer blink. You tried to tell us, they said. Yes, I can try but there is no way to describe what it is about this event that allows for—I am going to say it—transformation.

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The transformation is never expected; in fact the best way to attend AWP is with zero expectations. It is never the same; what you hate one year you may love the next. Some people walk away with the full recognition that life is larger than words. Some fade deeper into the folds of imagination. All is good, even if it feels like hell.

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In our own AWP troupe there was a trip to the E.R. due to exhaustion. I heard feet where broken on the giant escaladers and I witnessed several first time attendees break into spontaneous tears. Had I not been saved by Jason Cook and Maggie Hess (with their magical cup of coffee and hot crêpes) I may have entirely lost my mind in Seattle. I wish I was joking. No. This is no joke. This is AWP. But it’s not. Not really. I mean, it’s just a conference. Right?

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Okay, it’s a conference. But I don’t know of any other conference where a person’s ethics, desires, and ideas (/ bodies) are pushed to a breaking point. If you’re lucky, this four day conference strips you to your most primal self. It gives you permission to be what you want—a writer. Even more profound, it reveals who you are—the reason you write. Such epiphanies are not easy to weather.

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I find it extremely important to keep your friends close when traveling in the storms of desire. I love my Red Hen Press / LAR Family. I love the Pie Bar and karaoke nights; I love feeling like a posse of book slingers. I am extremely proud of Kate Gale, whose new book The Goldilocks Zone launched at this year’s AWP.

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I was also proud of my URC family. My UCR sister Alexis Vergalla organized a reading on a glass bottom boat that included a city race. (What?) Yes. So good. photo 3-2In an ideal world, we would all return home with three solid days to dream away the after-blur of being with 10,000+ people. It isn’t the size of the event, nor the scope, it is the whirling descent of having to face off with what and who we are.

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There is more to be said, shared, posted about all of this. Yes. I am hopeful that those of you who received umbrellas will send me photos of where the words traveled. I would love to mail umbrellas to those who wanted the extra shelter but couldn’t find it.

There is more out there…so much more. I am deeply grateful for this–this something more. Love, gratitude, and most importantly poetry to all.

n.d.