QUIET LIGHTNING: poetry festival santa cruz (in keeping with a tradition of radical egalitarianism)

[ Sun Feb 12 12 ] Poetry Festival Santa Cruz, presented for the first time in 30 years, was hosted by Daniel Yaryan and his Sparring With Beatnik Ghosts at the beachside Cocoanut Grove ballroom. People were there from every walk of poetry, some from music and visual arts and lit journal backgrounds and some from their own particular hybrid thereof. Generations of poets, we’re talking. Over 40 performers and 200 in attendance. A marathon reading that began at 3:30pm and ran until 10:30 without any breaks, it was a rewarding endurance test and an epic occasion. Much like I was after I left the Guerilla Opera at BAM—singing (louder than usual) in the streets and making eye contact with my vocals—I couldn’t stop talking when we left the Cocoanut Grove, as worn out and overwhelmed as I was. It was really something special [more here].

Quiet Lightning did a 45-minute set, the first QL outside of San Francisco [show #27]. It was a bizarre but utterly satisfying experience to be part of a larger show. I think it was good for both Quiet Lightning and Poetry Festival Santa Cruz, a testimony (perhaps) to the appropriate timing of the event, a signal that the many concurrent swellings of community around the Bay Area are representative of something larger than themselves. Above are videos of all the readers, in order of performance:

  1. Lauren Eggert-Crowe
  2. Timothy Walker
  3. Steven Gray * both of Steven’s readings are merged into this spot
  4. Cassie J. Sneider
  5. Jarett Kobek [no video]
  6. Keely Hyslop * both of Keely’s readings are merged here
  7. SB Stokes
  8. Max Tomlinson
  9. Arisa White
  10. Keely Hyslop
  11. Steven Gray
  12. Jason Scheinheit
  13. Tristen Chang
Click “Play” to watch all, “Next” to skip forward, or the small “Insert” screen (to the right of the video time) to see thumbnails and watch them directly. You can also watch the entire show as one video here (if you haven’t been to a QL this is pretty much all there is to it).

You can read the entire show for free here and purchase the perfectbound here. The next Quiet Lightning is Mon Mar 5 at the Elbo Room. Suggested $5 | Doors at 7 | Show at 7:30 | RSVP