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December, 2003

Contributors' Notes

Gene Berson

Gene Berson lives in San Francisco, California. He has been published in numerous small press publications, including The American Poetry Review and Bastard Angel, edited by poet Harold Norse. 

He has won several awards, among them second prize in the yearly Jack London Contest for his poem Sphinx Moth. He was the Director for the Western States of The Poetry in the Schools Program. He received his Masters in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. He is currently working as a display installer for Local 510, which has many writers in its ranks. 

Janet Buck

Janet Buck is a six-time Pushcart Nominee. Her poetry has recently appeared in CrossConnect, Poetry Magazine, The Montserrat Review, Offcourse, The Pedestal Magazine, Southern Ocean Review, PoetryBay, Tryst, The Rose & Thorn, Red River Review, Coelacanth, Facets Magazine, and hundreds of journals worldwide. Buck's work is forthcoming in Zuzu's Petals, The Pittsburgh Quarterly, and Octavo. Janet's second print collection, Tickets to a Closing Play, was the winner of the 2002 Gival Press Poetry Award; the book was released in September, 2003.

Tembra Campbell 

Tembra Campbell lives and takes photographs in Los Angeles, California. She takes the background photographs for Abalone Moon. 

Brendan Constantine

Brendan Constantine is a poet living and teaching in Los Angeles. His poetry has appeared in numerous journals and he has read his work to audiences throughout the U.S. and Europe. His latest collection of poems, entitled Hyenas 57, was a finalist for the National Poetry Series.

Carmine Giordano

Husband, poet, retired teacher and school administrator; psychoanalyst; Fulbright Scholar (Classics Study, Rome, Italy) 

Steve Goldman

Stephen Goldman has no memory of running any poetry reading series in Venice, CA., or in any library, but he does have 3 nobel Prizes. He keeps them in a closet with his collection of blueberry pancakes dating from the year 1942, when as a three year old he was stationed with the Marines on Guadalcanal, in a special experimental pediatric unit. Goldman actually once gave a reading at Beyond Baroque in Los Angeles. He is by the way The Lone Ranger or the king : ask anybody. At a memorial reading for John Thomas, Steve read "Passing: A Lineage of Trees". 

John Harris 

In 1969, John Harris founded the Venice Poetry Workshop at Beyond Baroque Foundation with Joseph Hansen. In the 1970s and 1980s, he was the proprietor of Papa Bach Books, the historic bookstore and literary center where a generation of Los Angeles poets came of age artistically. His poems have appeared in many periodicals and anthologies and in two collections, "Where Love Is" and "Against the Day of the Dead." His manuscript "Climbing" was a finalist for the University of Pittsburg Press U.S. Poetry Award judged by Muriel Rukeyser.

Phyllis Holliday

Born in Idaho, lived in Oregon, where she studied with William Stafford at Lewis and Clark College. Published in numerous small press literary magazines, including Sheaf, edited by David Hoag, Spit in the Ocean, edited by Ken Kesey, Tree, edited by David Meltzer, Poets West, edited by Lawrenced Spingarn, Peace and Pieces, and Mythic Circle. In 1978 became the care-giver for Dimitri, her head-injured son, which changed her life. Now working on a novel called The Photomythograper's Tale. Set in 1878 in the West, with Native Americans, outlaws, quirky Oregon townfolk, a woman photographer and fairies.

Larry Jaffe

Jaffe is the International Readings Coordinator for the United Nations Dialogue among Civilizations through Poetry undertaking and Co-Founder of Poets for Peace/United Poets Coalition. He has been the resident Poet/Host at the Autry Museum of Western Heritage and currently produces the popular Buddha Jam Poetry Series at the Elixir Cafe. 

He has been featured at numerous readings and poetry festivals throughout the United States and abroad. Jaffe's work can be found in a variety of publications and anthologies. He has 5 books: Jewish Soulfood, Unprotected Poetry CD and book, Greatest Hits, Lying Half-Naked in the Doorway and L. A. Rhapsody. 

Didi Menendez

Ms. Menendez was born in Havana, Cuba a year after Fidel took over the island. Her parents left a month before she turned two. She does not remember any of that. What she does remember is everything after. She is a single parent of four very creative children. Her children are what she is most proud of. When she is not publishing magazines, she makes dreams come true for thousands searching for that one special cruise vacation. 

Harold Norse

Born 1916, New York City. B.A. Brooklyn College; M.A. New York University. Norse became a member of W. H. Auden's inner circle. Norse's second book of poems, The Dancing Beasts, was published by Macmillan. He received an unsolicited letter from William Carlos Williams singling out a free verse poem by Norse called "The Railroad Yard". Williams read it in an avant garde group of poems by eight young poets who sent their poems to him and Ezra Pound. Williams chose Norse and arranged his reading debut at the New York Museum of Modern Art in 1952. 

     In 1953 Norse left for Europe, lived in Rome and translated the bawdy sonnets of the great 19th Century Roman poet, G. G. Belli, admired by D. H. Lawrence, James Joyce and other greats. Norse's translation is the only successful one, originally featured in The Hudson Review with a Preface by W. C. Williams who also praised Norse for his poems, January 30, 1959: "You have breached a new lead, shown a new power over the language which makes theories of composition so much blah." 

     In Paris Norse met Gregory Corso and William S. Burroughs, who invited him to live at the "Beat Hotel". This began Norse's ongoing relationship with the Beats. He began experimental cut-up writing with Burroughs from 1959 to 1963 at the hotel. 

    In New York Norse had met Allen Ginsberg in 1944 when Allen was an eighteen-year-old freshman at Columbia University. Norse knew Kerouac when Jack was a boisterous young drunk in Greenwich Village. 

    At the Beat Hotel Norse practised the Cut-up method of writing. His widely praised cut-up novel Beat Hotel, written there, remains a literary and documentary classic. He repatriated in 1968 and has resided in San Francisco, California since then. 

    He was also praised by the unknown Charles Bukowski who singled him out as the leading American poet. In 1969 Norse's Selected Poems appeared with Bukowski and Philip Lamantia, both chosen by Norse for the Penguin book. The publishers had originally chosen only Norse for the book but he preferred the three-poet Modern Poet Series.

    In 1974 City Lights published Norse's Hotel Nirvana, Selected Poems. Nominated for the National Book Award, Norse was regarded as the poetic spokesman of the gay literary movement with his book of selected poems, Carnivorous Saint. Camille Paglia in her essay "Love Poetry" (Vamps and Tramps, Vintage, 1994) wrote: "The 1960's freed gay poetry from both underground and coterie....Paul Goodman, Robert Duncan, Frank O'Hara, Thom Gunn and Harold Norse document the mechanics of homosexual contact for the first time since Imperial Rome." In her book, Poetry for the People (Routledge, 1995), June Jordan included Norse among "indispensable" Gay and Lesbian poets (Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Adrienne Rich, Allen Ginsberg, Frank O'Hara, John Ashbery, Harold Norse, James Baldwin, etc.). 

    In the 1980s Norse wrote his autobiography, Memoirs of a Bastard Angel, (William Morrow). Mark Thompson in his ground-breaking book, Gay Spirit: Myth and Meaning (St. Martin's 1987) wrote: "Burroughs and the experimental writing of the day--Jack Kerouac, Harold Norse, Brion Gysin, Allen Ginsberg--created a stylistic revolution in literature, a fresh way to view...words themselves. Their technique disrupted syntax and linear structures of thought to create new context and forms." Norse's work is translated into 17 languages. He received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Poetry Association and two National Endowment for the Arts grants. His poems are translated into Spanish, Italian, French, German and other languages abroad. Presently he is working on a volume of his collected poems.

Jamie O'Halloran

Jamie O'Halloran was born on Long Island and raised there, in New Orleans, and Seattle where she received a Master's in Creative Writing from the University of Washington. She is the author of the chapbook Sweet to the Grit. Her poems have appeared in Solo, The Cream City Review and Yankee, and other magazines, and anthologies, most recently So Luminous the Wildflowers: An Anthology of California Poets. She has won the Ann Stanford Poetry Prize and other awards. Her contributions to literary Los Angeles have included teaching workshops, founding a writers' group and reading series, curating reading series, and editing chapbooks and anthologies. She lives and teaches in Los Angeles.

Eugene Ruggles

Eugene Ruggles first book, The Lifeguard in the Snow (University of Pittsbugh Press, 1977) received a Great Lakes Colleges Association Award in Poetry, and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.  

The recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Sonoma County Community Foundation, PEN, Poets and Writers, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Ruggles has had his poems published in Poetry, Poetry Northwest, the New Yorker, the Nation, the Hudson Review, the Paris Review, the Dickens, Field, Kayak, Pequod, Manoa, and others. He lives in Petaluma, California. His new collection of poetry is due for publication in 2004.


Steve Schutzman

Steve is a playright and poet. He was born in NYC, and has sprinted back and forth between the east coast and west coast several times. He lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for many years, where he wrote poety, produced plays, and ran a poetry series called Intersection, which featured local and prominent poets. He has lived in Baltimore for the past decade, and is raising his son there. He has been published in many arenas, and currently he is readying a play which will be produced in Baltimore with a grant from the state of Alaska. He tries to face the "slings and arrows of outrageous fortune" by dodging the arrows. 

Jayne Lyn Stahl

Jayne Lyn Stahl was born, and raised, in New York City, and currently resides in Los Angeles. Her poetry has been published widely, and appeared in "Poetry Magazine," "City Lights Review: 2," "The New York Quarterly," "Exquisite Corpse," "Big Bridge," "The Jacaranda Review," and many others. She is a member of PEN West, and PEN America Center. 

John Swift

John Swift was recently a featured poet in the July issue of amanoverboard.com, and has published in other small magazines. He currently lives with his wife, Lynne, and their vociferous cockatiel, Chirper, in Portland, Oregon.

Erica Wagner

Erica Wagner is the author of Gravity: Stories (Granta, London) and Ariel's Gift: Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath and the Story of Birthday Letters (Faber & Faber, London; W. W. Norton, NY). She was born in New York but lives in London, where she works as the literary editor of The Times.

Royce Wood

Royce D. Wood is a native Californian residing in Los Angeles. His interest in illustrating botanical subjects evolved from an interest in complex forms and an unlimited palette of unusual colors. Watercolor is the choice of paint used to depict the subjects on view.

Anne Yohn

Anne Yohn currently lives in Atlanta. She has been a teacher, a corporate manager, a civil rights investigator, a writer, musician, a parent, and had a cookbook published. Her poetry has been published in Numbat, Poetry Magazine, Sojourners, Buffalo Bones,

The Mandrake Poetry Review, Baltimore Lite, and various on-line poetry magazines.

"Moth" is the first poem in a triptych of poetry entitled "Light Kindled".