An Interview with This Sunday’s Guest, Amos White

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amos-white-thumb.jpgFive Questions for Haiku Poet Amos White

Amos White is an awarded American haiku poet and author, producer and activist, recognized for his vivid literary imagery and breathless poetic interpretations. Amos is published in several national and international reviews and anthologies. He is Founder and Host of the Heart of the Muse creative’s salon, Executive Producer and Host of Beyond Words: Jazz+Poetry show; Producer of the Oakland Haiku and Poetry Festival; President of Bay Area Generations literary reading series.

Member and book publicist Cristina Deptula interviewed him for the California Writers Club.

Meet Amos this Sunday, when he is our featured guest for our April monthly meeting at Preservation Park.

CD: Out of all possible forms of poetry, what drew you to haiku?

AW: In 1987, my haiku was referred to Assistant Professor. Shelly Fenno, a visiting professor in Wittenberg’s East Asian Studies Department. Word was, she had studied under the foremost US authority on haiku at the time. I had just graduated and was working at The Ohio State University as Assistant to the Dean of Humanities. I had dreams of getting published in the New Yorker or Playboy (the highest paying magazine at the time).

After an arranged meeting to discuss a focus on the Japanese art of haiku, Professor Fenno encouraged me to read the works of Matsuo Basho. She also let out that a haiku contest was being held for the Department and the winning entries were to be published in The Witt, the University literary periodical.

I drove 55 minutes from Columbus to Springfield with those three haiku to personally submit them at 5 p.m. on the day they were due. The result some days later lay indelibly on me for years thereafter. The phone rang to inform me that The East Asian Studies Journal had published my haiku and I had been selected its contest winner.

Amos White will be speaking at our April event

CD: You mentioned that you want a poet elected president. What sort of unique approach to governing do you think a poet would bring? And how do you think that poetry and art speaks to the practical issues our country faces?

AW: It is my deepest belief that one who presides over others in governance is best served, and best serves, when they have the poetry of their people and of the stories that compose their land’s narrative at heart. Poets know this best. They can carry a kernel of hope in but a metaphor and feed the hearts and souls of millions with the feathered edge of their words. Such empathy begets a selfish humility—not to parrot the fears of the misguided, nor to pimp the most vulnerable, nor preen when satellites watching, nor crow in Capitol columns, but to reflect without hubris or reflex in times of crisis or great national stress, and to draw upon the image of the institution to frame one’s thought and policy, as a sound of the commons.

CD: I know that you’re a runner as well as a writer. Annie Dillard wrote about running in her memoir and linked it to her writing as a parallel form of discipline. I was a runner myself for a few years—do you notice that it helps your writing, helps you think? Do writers tend to be drawn to running?

Amos White pull quoteAW: I last ran the week my first son was born. Time to time now, I find myself buying a new pair of joggers and thinking about the throb of thighs and pangs of cold air pulled tween pursed lips.

I do not know if writers or poets are drawn to running. I do hear often that many take walks, and since we live in the most beautiful place on earth, here in the San Francisco Bay Area, we can find ourselves, bay side on sandy encinal lined beaches of Alameda to the salmon flecked creeks of Sausal and Dimond and Strawberry Creeks, to the peaks that bear spent lava and amaze those who dare lose themselves if but for a few hours wrapped in a Redwood’s embrace.

CD: Do you prefer to write pieces to be read aloud, or read silently, and why?

AW: I have never contemplated this. I write because an experience from without has moved me within, and that feeling within I want to share so precisely shape that you know where I’ve been.

CDIt’s become a cliché that poetry can’t sell, that poets have to have day jobs, that people don’t often read and think they can’t understand poetry. So in today’s world, how and where can a writer who’s primarily a poet have an influence? Or should a writer just write and not worry about their influence?

AW: Poets have influence because they are poets. To be a poet is our point of differentiation. Poet means “maker.” We make worlds from words and we make futures when we fashion and code our images to page or mindful listeners. We capture time to memorialize an occasion or celebration or to give rise to our eyes cast low from forgetting the meaning of horizon, it is a gift to be able to share so little that can mean so much to so many in so few words. To write *is* to influence: the world, and yet the universe itself has changed, and Heidegger’s cat rolls twice on pages and screens with every dappled character that only we poets dreamed to be that was not there moments before.

 

Join Us This Sunday, April 15, When Amos Speaks to the Berkeley CWC on The Art of Giving Live Readings

Come hear this engaging and educational speaker to learn how the subtleties of tone and time can move an audience with but a word. Find out how to find open mic readings and learn to perform like a pro. Amos will teach us the dos and don’ts of reading etiquette and even how to host your own literary readings. Bring a small poem or a written paragraph of fiction, nonfiction, etc. to practice reading aloud.

Learn more or Say you’re coming on Facebook.

About Amos White: about.me/amoswhite or follow him on Facebook.

 

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April 15th: The Art of Giving Live Readings with Amos White

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Amos White will be speaking at our April event

amos-white-thumb.jpgAMOS WHITE, Haiku poet, author and speaker
on The Art of Giving Live Readings

Sunday, April 15
1204 Preservation Parkway,
Oakland, CA 94612

Come hear this engaging and educational speaker to learn how the subtleties of tone and time can move an audience with but a word.

At the presentation you will learn:
* How to perform like a pro
* How to find open mics readings
* The dos & don’ts of reading etiquette
* How to host your own local literary readings

Bring a small poem or a written paragraph of fiction, nonfiction, etc. to practice reading aloud.

About Our Featured Guest, Amos White

Amos White is an awarded American haiku poet and author, producer and activist, recognized for his vivid literary imagery and breathless poetic interpretations. Amos is published in several national and international reviews and anthologies. He is Founder and Host of the Heart of the Muse creative’s salon, Executive Producer and Host of Beyond Words: Jazz+Poetry show; Producer of the Oakland Haiku and Poetry Festival; President of Bay Area Generations literary reading series.

Learn more about Amos White at: about.me/amoswhite or follow him on Facebook.

 

But Wait, There’s More!

Get Marketing Support, Get Your Craft Questions Answered, and Network with Other Writers…

Be sure to arrive early to participate in the Craft and Marketing groups. These are interactive conversations where you can talk to other writers to resolve the issues in your writing and your writers career. Make the commitment to be join us every third Sunday; your writing career is important and you deserve this.

MEETING SCHEDULE

12:00–1:00 – Craft Support Group
1:00–2:00 – Marketing Group
2:00–2:30 – Break, Book Sale
2:30–3:00 – Announcements

Featured Speakers

3:00–3:15 – CWC Featured member Fred Dodsworth
3:15–4:00 – Featured Speaker Amos White

Meetings are $5 for members, $10 for non-members.

Our meetings are right off 980 in downtown Oakland, at beautiful Preservation Park. Just off 12th Street, naturally you can get there from the 12th St. BART station. Those with limited ability can use the parking lot off of MLK Way; otherwise there should be plenty of FREE parking within the park and on surrounding streets.

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Save the date for our April 15th Event on Giving Live Readings

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Amos White will be speaking at our April event

For poetry month we welcome Amos White to speak to the Berkeley CWC on joining and succeeding at giving public readings. Amos White will share with us tips on securing public readings, as well as how to make a big splash once you walk on stage.

If you’ve ever met Amos White, you’ll know why we asked him to speak for poetry month. He’s active in the Bay Area literary scene, and he’s a charming guy who lights up the room. Don’t know Mr. White? Come join us this April and find out how you to can become the kind of reader who owns the stage and the room. As usual, we’ll also have support groups to discuss craft and marketing issues. Snacks, coffee, and plenty of networking opportunities at every meeting.

Our meetings are the third Sunday of every month, so mark your calendar for April 15th. If you use Google Calendar, you can subscribe to our calendar so you get notifications for every meeting. Our meetings are at Preservation Park, from 12-4. More info to come!

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4/17 SPEAKER – “Ina Coolbrith & the Saving Grace of Poetry” with Aleta George

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April is National Poetry Month! Come and learn about California’s first poet laureate—and the founder of the California Writers Club!

Aleta George author of 260px-ina_coolbrith_portrait_with_signatureIna Coolbrith: The Bittersweet Song of California’s First Poet Laureate,will speak about Coolbrith’s love of poetry, and how the act of writing it brought meaning and grace to her challenging life. George’s book captures the life and times of a pioneer poet, Oakland’s first public librarian, and the most popular literary ambassador in the early American West. Bret Harte called her the “sweetest note in California literature.” Jack London and Isadora Duncan considered her their literary godmother. Hers is the story of adolescent California; of a female poet who slipped into the male-dominated literary world of post–Gold Rush San Francisco; and of a woman whose unrequited love for poetry (and a handsome young protégé named Carl) drove her to Roaring Twenties New York in her eighties.

george flyer

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Journalist and independent scholar Aleta George writes about nature and culture in California. Her work has been published in Smithsonian.com, the San Francisco Chronicle, Bay Nature, and several travel anthologies.

Our featured CWC author this month is Jane Glendinning.

Meeting Schedule for Sunday, March 20th, 2016:

12-1 Author Support Group*
1-2 p.m. – Marketing Group*
12:30-2 p.m. –Social Hour
2-2:30 p.m. –Break & Book Sales
2:30-3 p.m. — Club Business & Announcements
3 p.m. – CWC member Jane Glendinning
3:15-4 p.m. – Aleta George

* Guests may visit any of our author support groups once before joining.

Click here for more information about location and time.