[ Thurs May 10 12 ]
“When a society becomes afraid of its poets, it is afraid of itself. A society afraid of itself stands as another definition of hell.” – Lenore Kandel
To celebrate the release of Collected Poems of Lenore Kandel, North Atlantic Books hosted a gathering at The Beat Museum for readings and reminiscences, hosted by Evan Karp (that’s me). You can read the story of how I got involved with this book here. As you might find by trolling the web, there’s not that much about Lenore to be found. Demand is intense though; the room was absolutely packed with a wide demographic; a sweet woman from Italy emailed me to see how the event went (we’ve been emailing back and forth – she is a Lenore fanatic and absolutely thrilled for the book – she also sent me her beautiful new book on Neal Cassady, but I haven’t started my Italian lessons yet!).
I think the event went over really well: after Community Outreach and New Media Specialist Kat Engh introduced me, I gave a brief outline of how the night would go and then introduced two of my first Bay Area bosses Richard Grossinger and Lindy Hough (second only to Teresa Rodriguez Williamson, but let’s stay linear); this was special for me; as Kat said, I did tell everyone at NAB they would have to kick me out, which they essentially did, eventually, but not before I became personal assistant to Richard and Lindy and they introduced me to a lot of wonderful people, including Rob Brezsny and Sherril Jaffe and, of course, Lenore Kandel.
Lenore’s poetry is not only explicitly sexual, as most people know, but idiosyncratically mystical. I walk by her old apartment several times a week on my way up to the top of Bernal; it was my visit to her home that smote me with the Bernal bug (I can still remember locking my bike up on the street sign outside her door, thinking oh well here goes, I hope she likes me). I hope you’ll take a read… or watch some of the videos of her reading. I have an extra copy of the book and I’d be happy to loan it to you.
Above is the entire evening. Click “Play” to watch all, “Next” to skip forward, or the small “Playlist” screen (to the right of the video time) to see thumbnails and watch them directly. Below is an index, excluding my introductions: