Poetry & Open Mic with Ken Weisner & Rose Black 7pm Free

Join us as for a night of poetry and open mic at the Octopus Literary Salon featuring poets and Oakland natives Ken Weisner and Rose Black. Ken Weisner will give a reading, discussion and signing of new release “Cricket to Star”, his third collection of poetry and his first since 2010.

"There is so much pleasure to be had in Cricket to Star, Ken Weisner’s latest collection of poems, I didn’t want it to end. Weisner is like that one amazing friend, smart, funny, large of spirit, a gifted raconteur. Whether he’s describing the Truckee river and its 'singing mouths' or riffing on ants in his bed as 'wise men come to the Bethlehem of my body,' he imbues his lines with exuberance and grace. His gaze is by turns wounded, ecstatic and patient, but always 'busy, uncovering something human, something splendid.' I’m reminded of the bards, those consummate poets and singers who traveled the countryside. 'He could balance chairs on his nose while juggling plates, or sing arias blindfolded,' Weisner writes in 'Dream.' He might be dreaming of himself." —Ellen Bass

"Weisner is the generous master of all possible landscapes, an inexhaustible lover and sufferer, a poet of the lyrical, whimsical and bitter truths of our times." —Elizabeth McKenzie 

Ken Weisner enjoys his day job as a De Anza College Community College English teacher, and both advises and edits Red Wheelbarrow, their literary journal. He coordinates, with Poetry Center San José, the Red Wheelbarrow Poetry Prize. For fifteen years, Ken edited Quarry West out of Porter College, UCSC. Ken has published two previous volumes of his own poetry with Santa Cruz’s Hummingbird Press, including Anything on Earth in 2010. Ken’s poems have appeared most recently in Perfume River Poetry Review, Catamaran, Caesura, Nine Mile, Porter Gulch Review, and Phren-Z. Ken also teaches poetry writing at Salinas Valley State Prison.

Rose Black lives and works at Renaissance Stone, a sculpting studio in East Oakland. Rose’s poetry has been widely published, and she is the author of three books: Clearing, Winter Light, and Green Field. Her first two books, Clearing and Winter Light, are included in Yale’s Beinecke Library for the Yale Collection of American Literature. Rose currently teaches poetry at Salinas Valley State Prison. Her extensive article about the workshop there, nominated for a Pushcart Prize, is featured in Red Wheelbarrow 2015, Literary Magazine.

Rose is one of the founders of Right to Write Press, a nonprofit which promotes the growth of emerging writers who are incarcerated in California state prisons.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019 - 7:00pm