Thursday, October 24th at 7 pm
Poet John Brandi reads from
The World, the World
joined by Joseph Stroud
John Brandi grew up in California where he avidly hiked the Sierra Nevada and explored the Big Sur coast. He graduated from Cal State Northridge with a BA in art and anthropology, worked as a Peace Corps Volunteer with Quechua farmers in the Andes, held odd jobs in Mexico, drove a truck in Alaska, pruned vineyards north of San Francisco, and lived in a mineral shack above the Yuba River.
In 1971, Brandi moved to New Mexico, built a cabin in a remote canyon, raised two children, and began teaching as poet in the schools. A recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Poetry Fellowship, his books include poems, travel writing, haiku, and haibun. As a visual artist his paintings, collages, and haiga have been exhibited widely. John lives with his wife, poet Renee Gregorio, in the mountains of northern New Mexico.
Jack Hirschman has said of Brandi, “He has been an open roader for much of his life and like his two great forebears, Whitman and Neruda, has named the minute particulars, the details of his sojournings … infusing them with a whole gamut of feelings— compassionate, mischievous, loving and righteous. It’s what’s made his poetry one of the solid bodies of work that’s emerged from the North American West since the ‘60s.” In the late 1960s, Brandi became a friend and colleague of such key figures in the American beat literary world as Gary Snyder, Allen Ginsberg, Michael McClure and David Meltzer and through Meltzer Brautigan, Creeley, Welch… Meltzer published Brandi’s acclaimed prose poem collection Desde Alla in 1971, the first of more than 20 books Brandi has published over the years leading up to the present collection from White Pine Press, The World, The World.
Born in Glendale, California, poet and translator Joseph Stroud was educated at the University of San Francisco; California State University, Los Angeles; and San Francisco State University.
Using a variety of formal approaches, Stroud’s poems address a wide range of historical and international settings. In a 2009 Bookslut review of Of This World, critic John Madera praised Stroud’s “recognition of our frailty, forgetfulness and inattention, amidst the noise of avarice, war, and other distractions, coupled with a profound and compassionate awareness of everything that breathes around him.”
Stroud has published several collections of poetry, including Signatures (1982); Below Cold Mountain (1998); Country of Light (2004), a finalist for the 2005 Northern California Book Critics Award; and Of This World: New and Selected Poems (2008). He has been awarded the Library of Congress’s Witter Bynner Fellowship and a Pushcart Prize, and his work has also been featured on Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac on NPR.
Stroud lives in California, where he divides his time between Santa Cruz and a cabin in the Sierra Nevada mountains.
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