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The Paths Toward Song

Summer, 2012

Contributors' Notes

Gene Berson

Studied with Harold Norse, Stan Rice; Academy of American Poets Prize, 1968, among other awards for his poetry. He has published in numerous poetry journals, including the American Poetry Review and Bastard Angel. He was the Director for the Western States of The Poetry in the Schools Program. Lives in Grass Valley, California.

David Meltzer
A poet at age 11, David Meltzer began his literary career during the Beat heyday in San Francisco and early on took his poetry to jazz for improv wonders, which he continues to astound listeners with today. He is the author of many volumes of poetry including The Clown, The Process, Arrows: Selected Poetry, 1957--1993, No Eyes: Lester Young, Beat Thing, and David's Copy. City Lights in San Francisco published his most recent book, When I Was A Poet, as # 60 in the Pocket Poet's Series. As well he has published fiction and essays including Two-Way Mirror: A Poetry Notebook and has edited numerous anthologies such as Reading Jazz, Writing Jazz, and San Francisco Beat: Talking with the Poets. David Meltzer composed, performed and recorded as a singer/songwriter during the 60s and 70s; albums include Serpent Power and Poet Song. He taught in the Humanities and graduate Poetics programs at the New College of California in San Francisco for 30 years. He is now performing in and around the Bay Area with his wife, poet Julie Rogers. In 2011 he received the SF Bay Guardian's Lifetime Achievement Award.

"David Meltzer is a hidden adept, one of the secret treasures on our planet. Great poet,
musician, comic; mystic unsurpassed, performer with few peers." Diane diPrima, current Poet
Laureate of San Francisco.

"One of the greats of post-World War Two San Francisco poets and musicians. He brought music
to poetry and poetry to music!" Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Beat Poet, author, founder of City Lights,
San Francisco

Majid Naficy
Majid Naficy fled Iran in 1983, a year and a half after the execution of his wife, Ezzat in Tehran. Since 1984 Majid has been living in Los Angeles. He has published two collections of poetry in English Muddy Shoes (Beyond Baroque, Books, 1999) and Father and Son (Red Hen Press, 2003) as well as his doctoral dissertation Modernism and Ideology in Persian Literature (University Press of America, 1997). Majid has also published more than twenty books of poetry and essays in Persian.

Majid Naficy's poetry has been anthologized in many books including Poetry in the Windows edited by Suzanne Lummis, Poets Against the War edited by Sam Hamill, Strange Times My Dear: The Pen Anthology of Contemporary Iranian Literature edited by Nahid Mozaffari and Ahmad Karimi-Hakkak, Lounge Lit: An Anthology of Poetry and Fiction by the Writers of Literati Cocktail and Rhapsodomancy, Belonging: New Poetry by Iranians around the World edited by Niloufar Talebi, After Shocks: The Poetry of Recovery for Life edited by Tom Lombardo, and Becoming Americans: Four Centuries of Immigrant Writing edited by Ilan Stavans. He was the first writer in residence in Annenberg Community Beach House, Santa Monica in 2009-10, and the judge for Interboard Poetry Community contests in 2009. Majid has received awards in two poetry contests, "Poetry in the Windows" sponsored by the "Arroyo Arts Collective" as well as "Poetry and Recipe"; organized by "Writers at Work" in Los Angeles. His poetry has been engraved by the City in public spaces in Venice Beach and Studio City. His life and work was featured in LA Weekly, February 9-15, 2001 written by Louise Steinman, entitled "Poet of Revolution: Majid Naficy's Tragic Journey Home".

Julie Rogers
Julie Rogers began writing at age 12 and reading her poetry in San Francisco cafes in the late 1970's. She has published five chapbooks, and in 2007 Vimala published her Buddhist hospice manual, 'Instructions for the Transitional State'. She is currently compiling several manuscripts of poetry and her book 'House of the Unexpected' is forthcoming from Wild Ocean Press. She has read on public radio and television and at many venues in California and Oregon. Her poems have been published in various magazines, literary journals and anthologies such as Poets Against the War and most recently, Beatitude--Golden Anniversary 1959--2009. She's now performing with her husband, poet David Meltzer, in the San Francisco Bay Area and elsewhere.

"Both lucid and heart-felt, Julie Rogers' words travel--and illumine--the Way." Jane Hirshfield,
poet, translator and editor

"The voice of Julie Rogers is so pure, so unadorned with the usual poetic conceits it reads like the soul's voice inside us all."
Sharon Doubiago, author and winner of the Oregon Book Award