Sunday, June 21st – 2 pm
A Celebration for
Poet Neeli Cherkovski’s
The Crow & I
with honored guest Diane di Prima
Neeli Cherkovski’s newest volume of poetry,
The Crow and I (R.L. Crow Publications, 2015) — following two works from the same publisher: Leaning Against Time (2004, PEN Award winner) and From the Canyon Outward (2009) — “again opens the window to the self as (Cherkovski) takes us deeper into his search for time, reason, redemption and love.”
Joining Neeli for today’s reading will be honored guest Diane di Prima (San Francisco Poet Laureate Emerita) as well as the poets John Landry, Marina Lazzara and Jorge Argueta.
Neeli Cherkovski grew up Neeli Cherry — the son of Clare, a social worker, and Sam Cherry, a bookseller and photographer, down in San Bernardino, California. Still in his mid-teens, he was brusquely introduced by his father to the great postman-poet Charles Bukowski and soon gravitated to the Southern California literary scene that centered in the sun-bleached sprawl of Los Angeles. With Bukowski, he co-edited the little literary mimeographed magazine, “Laugh Literary and Man the Humping Guns” which ran from 1969 to 1971. By 1975 he was in Northern California writing speeches for then-state senator George Moscone, and becoming inextricably linked with the beat and post-beat writers and artists of San Francisco — North Beach and the Mission in particular. With nearly twenty books to his credit from domestic and foreign publishers alike, including volumes of poetry, biography and essays, he is among our finest and most thoughtful poets, and his profiles of a dozen writers collected in Whitman’s Wild Children (Lapis Press, 1989 and Steerforth 1999) provide great insight into a major current of poetry that has had incalculable influence worldwide.
Novelist, poet, anthologist Alan Kaufman writes that Neeli speaks “not only to our times but back across the ages to those greats of whom he is a certain successor: Whitman and Neruda, Patchen and Pasolini, his poems hard earned yet easeful, lyrical but tough.”
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