Poetry as Portraiture: Adam Zagajewski and Andrew Winer

Courtesy SBMA.

Courtesy SBMA.

Santa Barbara Museum of Art presents Poetry as Portraiture: Adam Zagajewski and Andrew Winer on Sunday, April 15 at 2:30 p.m. in the Mary Craig Auditorium (SBMA, 1130 State St., Santa Barbara). (Note: Please enter through the Museum Store or Park entrance during the current renovation project.)

Prize-winning, globally-admired poet Adam Zagajewski writes with precision and wonder about the calm and courage of ordinary life. He says of poetry that it “is like a human face—it is an object that can be measured, described, catalogued, but it is also an appeal.” His most recent book, Slight Exaggeration, is a blend of memoir, essay, and anecdote, and in which he defines poetry as “a slight exaggeration, until we make ourselves at home in it. Then it becomes the truth.” Zagajewski is interviewed by fellow writer, friend, novelist, and Chair of the UC Riverside writing program Andrew Winer. Book signing to follow.

This special presentation is part of SBMA’s Parallel Stories series, a literary and performing arts series that pairs art and artists with award-winning authors and performers of regional, national, and international acclaim. This series functions as a multidisciplinary lens through which to view the Museum’s collection and special exhibitions.

The event is free for SBMA Members, $10 for non-Members and $6 for seniors. Tickets may be purchased at  the Museum Visitor Services desk or online at tickets.sbma.net.

 —Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on April 14, 2018.

Poetry: William Stafford Community Reading

William Stafford, courtesy photo.

William Stafford, courtesy photo.

The 11th annual  William Stafford Community Reading takes place at the First Crossing Day Use Area on Paradise Road in Los Padres National Forest at 2 pm on Saturday, January 28.

“This year’s featured readers are Enid Osborn, Ron Alexander, and the inspiring student poets from the Los Prietos Boys Camp,” says organizer Paul J. Willis, former Santa Barbara Poet Laureate and Westmont College Professor of English. 

“There are always a couple of featured readers, but anyone in attendance is also welcome to read a Stafford poem aloud,” Willis says.

Since 2007, Willis has hosted the Los Prietos Stafford Readings, an annual community reading of the poems of William Stafford at the First Crossing Day Use Area on Paradise Road in Los Padres National Forest. This is the former site of the Los Prietos Civilian Public Service Camp, where Stafford served as a conscientious objector during World War II. The First Crossing Day Use Area does not have an address, but it is almost directly across the road from the Los Prietos Boys Camp, 3900 Paradise Rd., Santa Barbara, CA 93105. (In case of rain, meet a mile down the road at the Los Prietos Ranger Station, 3505 Paradise Rd., Santa Barbara, CA 93105.)

Also on the horizon at 7:30 pm on Thursday, February 16, the young adult novelist Sara Zarr will read and speak in Kerrwood Hall at Westmont College (955 La Paz Rd.).  Zarr is the author of six novels, the first of which, Story of a Girl, was nominated for the National Book Award.

Both of these readings are free and open to the public. 

—Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on January 26, 2017.

David Starkey Reads “Like a Soprano” at Antioch

Like a SopranoYou never know where the muse will strike. Santa Barbara Seasons’ contributing poetry editor David Starkey binge-watched the entire six-season 86-episode story arc of The Sopranos, then turned the dark, violent mobster underworld into a mordantly humorous collection of 86 prose poems. Like a Soprano (Serving House Books) is, like The Sopranos, a darkly entertaining, disturbing and touching piece of art.

Starkey will read from his work on Thursday, Dec. 4, at 7 p.m. at Antioch University Santa Barbara, 602 Anacapa St.

—Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on December 1, 2014.