Company of Poets

Company of Poets

For the third season THEATERWORK presents the work of poets in fully staged performances. This year’s poetry has been pulled together under the general heading “Harvest”. Performances will include both new work by the poets, as well as work selected from other poets.

THE POETS:

LAUREN CAMP Ms. Camp is a founding member of A Company of Poets, and has been involved in poetry events accompanying ANTIGONE and THE TEMPEST. She produces and hosts “Audio Saucepan” on KSFR Radio, and is the author of the poetry collection, This Business of Wisdom (West End Press). In addition to teaching creative writing, she writes about poetry daily on the blog Which Silk Shirt: www.laurencamp.com/whichsilkshirt. Lauren Camp is a visual artist as well as poet. Her work is in the collections of hospitals, cultural centers, museums and embassies in the US and around the world.
A COLLOQUY ON WATER by Lauren CampWe have brought you to the desert seven thousand feet above the sea, where the bare ground seams itself to the unyielding sky. You are in a region with its own definition of surface tension.We ask you to understand that the earth I shallow here, unsweetened, a thin veneer of sediment and below that, knotted clay. This ground is voracious, but clogged, and we do what we can. We are a people of anticipated guilt, each seed, a mouth, each flower, a confession. We collect each bead of water like beggars after coins, and dole out our sum on the few green corners of our land. We are efficient and thorough; we chart each tree, chart the chewable sound of rain, our ears cunning and satisfied when each drop, each small volume of liquid, resonates on the metal roof, then gathers in the gutters and funnels down through dry grooves around our home. We talk endlessly about prisms of sun on the land, the dry air and wind. We discuss these things in the morning and again when we pour coffee and make bread. It is here that you learn about water, not in grottoes and ponds or snow-glossed trails. This tangled earth, this withering… look here, where the wild olive lives, the berried sumac, this earth, its tart face waiting, the crabapple weeping, the honey locust, black currant, purple ash, the amurs and cottonwoods standing, stiffening, it is here that we draw maps from the clouded dishwater and the fertile remains of each shower, the puddle of liquid we collect when we wash clothes. In this place, where we constantly rescue water.
JENICE GHARIB Ms. Gharib has written essays, reviews, poetry, feature stories and plays. Her work has appeared in publications such as Vision Magazine, Not Enough Night and Sin Fronteras. With THEATERWORK she appeared in and/or produced new work for AS KINGFISHERS CATCH FIRE: A Celebration of the Poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins; SUCH STUFF AS DREAMS ARE MADE ON: A poetic response to Shakespeare’s THE TEMPEST; and OTHER ANTIGONES, a response to Jean Anouilh’s ANTIGONE. She is a member of the THEATERWORK Permanent Company.
SAMSARA A SPIDER WEBSamsara a spider web Spun by hungry ghosts and silk Catching fallen leaves feathers and graceWorld woven in desire in word In the body of an ant in footsteps Numerous as stars Three times the world on her back Which mountain is the greater? I sit waiting Budda sits not waiting You need only sit You need only blue sky and cloud
ANN HUNKINS Ms. Hunkins is a poet, translator and photographer. her poetry has won a number of awards, including the James Hearts Poetry Prize ( North American Review); Celeste Turner Wright Poetry Prize; and the Sacramento Poetry Center Award. She is currently finishing the translation of a novel from Nepali into English. She is a former Fulbright grantee to Nepal with an M.A. in Poetry at the University of California, Davis. She received a National Endowment for the Arts Translation Grant in 2008. Ann Hunkins’ photography has been featured in The New Mexican, a Santa Fe daily. By Ann HunkinsThe world is an instrument of passion, my dove,not logical, not safe, a horse’s mane on fire,wide prairies capable of making mathematicians weep.The world is sweet and deliberately idiotic,always whispering waves against lighthouseswhile setting loose the birds of flesh.I cry for it at night, my dove,the burden of fruit, the shed of tears,memories of pecking grain before the roseor the porcupine had been born.A vast moonscape of silk unsteady on its feetstuttering layers of quartz and granite
To My DoveThe world is unsafe, dove, it has eyes on opposite sides of its head – silly slices of sandstone and stupid slips of clay.I cry for it at night, my dove – memories of heaven left in the open to burn under too-hot stars. Even the saké doesn’t know why it was made and cries all the way down.
ELAINE MARIA UPTON Ms. Upton is the author of an award-winning collection of poems, Children of Apartness, based on her experiences living in South Africa during apartheid and in the African diaspora of America. Poems by her appear in various journals. She is a former university professor of English and has taught at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, the Santa Fe Waldorf School and the Waldorf School in Pretoria, South Africa. She studied in Germany as well as the US, and received an M.A. in Shakespeare Studies at the Shakespeare Institute of the University of Birmingham (England) after completing thesis on theory and practice in Gordon Craig’s theater productions of Shakespeare. After continuing her studies of Shakespeare and literature in English, she received a Ph.D. at Ohio State University. She has completed a second book manuscript of poetry titled Isis in Appalachia. She grew up in East Tennessee, and presently lives with her partner in Santa Fe. Her work is greatly inspired by many poets, especially by the ideas of Andre Lorde, who declares “… poetry is not a luxury. It is a vital necessity of our existence.”
Frederick Douglas' Escape from Talbot County*He slipped through as though his body were the yield of a new language he'd learned and his closed lip one with the thin lip of the river when he found an easy bend between the broad flat faces of dark indifferent fieldsAnd so it was that he left one night like Nicodemus escaping his former body though not its cross. The river went with him and the Dipper through a rippling nimbus cloud and winded sails unseen into the horizon's hidden harbor After that the night changed --moon and constellations suddenly entered a different season and one could not say if it were harvest or planting--even the night-rambling cats knelt crying for the resurrection-- The next morning when the others saw (quicker than a whip) he was gone they looked from the suddenly irresolute fields up to an empty sky where his footsteps disappeared. A gull wing then a wisp of wild hair flew by. A sea breeze caught their throats and they sang a song to travel by

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