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The Penelope Poems

March 25, 2020 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm PDT


Poet Patti Trimble and musician and composer Peter Whitehead merge their considerable skills to present a one-night theater-length spoken-word piece: The Penelope Poems. At The Marsh San Francisco main theater on Wednesday, March 25 at 7:30 pm. A beautifully smart re-imagining of Homer’s Penelope. The Penelope Poems runs approximately 80 minutes. Tickets are limited; ($15); available at themarsh.org.

Here’s more description if you are interested:

Trimble’s delightful text—debuted last year at the SF Commonwealth Club— reimagines Homer’s Odyssey for the 21st century, bridging millennia, celebrating Penelope as a beloved literary collage. Here is a Penelope who’s been written, again and again. And she’s clearly a woman who reads, with muses such as Judith Butler, Socrates, Ovid, Virginia Woolf, Aristophanes, James Joyce, and Ferlinghetti.

Five artists bring Penelope alive; Trimble tells the spoken-word story; voice-over artist/vocalist Julia Norton and poet Maya Kohsla deconstruct and elaborate the tale; and Peter Whitehead, music director and musician, weaves his evocative improvisations on flutes and strings. The set is arranged in collaboration with artist Lauren Elder.

Penelope speaks from her experience, and she speaks to us personally. She’s savvy on heroism, Sirens, gender, monsters, childbirth, faithfulness, and murder. Also about unweaving as a form of reparation, and about the art of living on this wild Earth.

The Penelope Poems runs approximately 80 minutes.

Tickets ($15) are limited; available at themarsh.org.


Writer and Director: Patti Trimble

Music Director: Peter Whitehead

Set Arrangement: Lauren Elder and Patti Trimble

Spoken-Word Penelope: Patti Trimble

Spoken-Word Chorus and song: Julia Norton

Spoken-Word Chorus: Maya Khosla

Instrumental Music, Composition, Song: Peter Whitehead

also songs by Leonard Cohen and Tim Buckley

The Penelope Poems presents an exciting collaboration among these Bay Area artists:


Since the 90s Patti Trimble (original text and spoken word) has mesmerized audiences with smart lyric spoken word, performing in USA and Europe—with support from Lannan Foundation, Poets&Writers, Djerassi Foundation, Adirondack Review, INDA Italy, and a Pushcart nomination. Her writings speak to our lives in publications, and recordings. theater and dance productions, clubs and festivals, museum installations. New York poetry impressario Bob Holman writes, “with her skilled blend of poesy and music, there’s no other journey so worth taking”. Patti lives half-time in Europe; she teaches in the Bay Area and writes for the SF Ethnic Dance Festival. www.pattitrimble.com

Peter Whitehead (musical arrangment and improvisation) is a San Francisco composer, performer, songwriter and instrument builder. He performs solo and creates scores for film, television, radio, and dance, including for Mikhail Baryshnikov, Susan Marshall, Anna Halprin, Charles Moulton and Sarah Shelton Mann & Contraband. His music is available online and from out of round records. He is also a painter & photographer, his most recent project a book of photographs of Treasure Island. website

Julia Norton (spoken word and song)  is an award-winning singer, actor, composer and storyteller, for 20 years teaching others how to use their whole voice. Her podcast ‘Dark and Twisty Tales’ combines grim folk tales with improvised song. Her album ‘Lullaby Island’ mixes Celtic style vocals, traditional lullabies and Victorian poems. www.julianorton.com

Maya Khosla (spoken word) is a wildlife biologist and currently Poet Laureate of Sonoma County. Her poems have been nominated for Pushcart Prizes and featured in The Literary Review, River Teeth, Poem, and other journals. Her books are All the Fires of Wind and Light, Sixteen Rivers Press; Web of Water: Life in Redwood Creek, a guide book; Keel Bone, winner Dorothy Brunsman Poetry Prize; and Heart of the Tearing, Red Dust Press. mayakhosla website

Lauren Elder (set design) is an American artist and designer. Throughout the mid-1980s to early 1990s she worked with the interdisciplinary performance ensemble, Contraband, as a set designer and performer. Currently, she lives and works in California, teaches at California College of the Arts, and works with environmental art, as well as continuing in set design. www.laurenelder.com


contact: Patti Trimble 707 360 8189



March 25, 2020
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm PDT
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The Marsh
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The Marsh
1062 Valencia St
San Francisco, 94110
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(415) 282-3055
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