Harold Adler, founder and curator of the Art House Gallery & Cultural Center, has been a fixture in the Berkeley arts community for over 40 years and he’s still going strong. Well known for his photographic coverage of the Beat scene, the Free Speech Movement, and the Anti-Vietnam War Movement, Harold just doesn’t know when to quit. Thank goodness. Adler is deeply committed to keeping alive the vision and aesthetics of 1960s Berkeley and that’s more than groovy, man. But don’t be fooled. Despite the nostalgia on the walls and Bob Dylan’s records playing in the background, Adler’s curation is vital and contemporary, looking forward as well as back. Likewise for his current photographic efforts, which are on display and well worth a look.
It is no surprise that when the poetic triumvirate of Oakland writers Clive Matson, Karla Brundage and Richard Loranger decided to start a new poetry series, they selected the Art House Gallery & Cultural Center as the venue. It is a place where artists are respected and the work comes first. The two videos below include playlists for both the open reading portion of the July 7th edition as well as the features. We don’t often include video of open readings here at Litseen (we can’t do everything), but when the sign up sheet includes the likes of Jack and Adele Foley, among other excellent readers, how could we not?
Featured writers Eanlai Cronin, Clara Hsu, and John Curl all delivered excellent sets. Cronin’s nonfiction prose essays may seem an unlikely choice for a poetry reading. But in her hands, journalism and prose transcend themselves and sprout wings. Clara Hsu offers truly experimental work for multiple voices, and John Curl presents translations of work from indigenous American languages.
Truly, this was Poetry Unbound!
Charles Kruger has been contributing to Litseen since the beginning of time. He is also known as The Storming Bohemian and founded and runs Theatrestorm and helps to organize Bridge Art Space. He also contributes occasional book reviews to The Rumpus.