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Aug 28th
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Literature

Beautiful Mind

Beautiful Mind

Distinguished local poet, writer and translator Richard Kessler takes on some of the greats in poetry

The great American poet Robert Frost once said, “Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought, and the thought has found words.” Throughout the centuries, poets have churned emotions into flowing words of love, passion, hate, regret and every other human emotion one can name. One of the most famous yet elusive poets of the 20th century, Jorges Luis Borges from Argentina, preferred to explore the dark world of blindness, visions and dreams. But until now, many of Borges intriguing poems have remained unexplored by English speakers. Local translator (and poet and writer) Stephen Kessler has undertaken the monumental task of translating Borges’ works from Spanish into English and has therefore created two new masterpieces where poetry books are concerned—“The Sonnets” and “Poems of the Night.” GT recently caught up with Kessler prior to his poetry reading at Bookshop Santa Cruz to find out more about his compelling translations.

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Literature

How Are You?

How Are You?

Robin Black’s short stories take a look at the poignant human experiences we all share
The ubiquitous greeting adopted by most Americans is, “Hi. How are you?” To which the expected response is “Fine, and you?” This exchange is made perhaps billions of times a day between everyone from bank tellers to co-workers to the man that comes to install the new dishwasher at your home. But does anyone really care? If a deviation to the usual response of, “Fine, how are you?” is indeed made, the robotic trance of the standard impersonal greeting is broken, revealing an uncertainty of what to say next. To say, “I’m terrible actually,” elicits a panicked state in the mind of the other party, who becomes unsure of whether to ask why, or simply say, “I’m sorry.” The thing is, it seems that few people want to hear how someone is really doing, and vice versa—few really admit that they are feeling anything besides, “Fine, thank you.”

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A&E

Speed Racer

Speed Racer

Local auto racer stays on the fast track
In Germany, crowds of thousands flock to the automobile racing star’s hotel just to try to find out which room is his. Back home in Santa Cruz, people who meet him ask his name and wonder what it is he does, exactly.

We sit in Brook Johnston's office on a Friday afternoon. I am lucky I've caught some time with him, as the 22-year-old has just arrived back from a trip to Texas and plans a return flight to the Lonestar state on Monday.

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A&E

Riding the Wave

Riding the Wave

Surfing takes the spotlight in a breathtaking new MAH show
Upon my arrival at his picturesque hillside studio, surf photographer and videographer Patrick Trefz offers me water with lemon. Soon after, I clamor behind him through a small dark semicircle, into a dome-shaped sweat lodge. It reminds me of an igloo made from stone. To my relief, on such a stifling hot afternoon (hence the water), the sweat lodge is currently out of order but, as Trefz points out, it provides great acoustics for our interview.

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Literature

More Tango, Please

More Tango, PleaseMemoir explains how one woman used tango to transform her life
As anyone that has ever experienced the pain of heartbreak as the result of a shattered relationship knows, it can take months or even years to put the pieces of your life back together again. Memories as sharp and pointed as shards of glass litter the landscape of your life, cutting deep into your emotions. If you are not careful, such shards can slice into your psyche and cause permanent damage. But how does one begin the process of picking up the jagged pieces without cutting oneself on the excruciatingly serrated edges? For Maria Finn, a writer from New York City, the answer was tango.
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Literature

Poetry Corner

Poetry Corner

Editor’s note: This week’s Poetry Corner features the work of Robert McDowell, the author/editor/co-author/translator of 10 books, most recently “Poetry as Spiritual Practice: Reading, Writing, and Using Poetry in Your Daily Rituals,” “Aspirations,” and “Intentions” (Free Press/Simon & Schuster). He was co-founder and director of Story Line Press for 22 years, worked at the Institute of Noetic Sciences, taught at many universities, high schools, and conferences, and is a UC Santa Cruz graduate. To learn more about him, visit robertmcdowell.net or threeintentions.com.

 

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Literature

Lucky Strike

Lucky Strike

New local publication is born by way of a matchbook
“For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” —Ernest Hemingway
Short, and not exactly sweet, those words are a ‘story’ that Hemingway wrote, and a tale that many, ironically, call one of his finest. The ‘story’ is six words long, 28 characters, deep, moving, and brilliant. This concept of ‘micro-fiction’ has been around for ages, and one local Santa Cruz writer has zeroed in on the allure of writing in a very small format. Editor Kyle Petersen has launched something called Matchbook Story, a quarterly publication that comes out in the form of a matchbook, with the inside flap telling a story in 300 characters or fewer. On Thursday, March 25, at 6 p.m. at local pub, Poet and the Patriot, Petersen will unveil his first edition of Matchbook Story, along with an author reading from the first story published in this new medium. Additionally, runners up will also be reading their 300-character stories at the event.

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Literature

Young at Heart

Young at Heart

Santa Cruz honors its first Poet Laureate
At a book fair in seventh grade, Gary Young purchased Whitter Bynner's “The Jade Mountain; Translations from the Tang Dynasty,” and Oscar Williams’ “Immortal Poems of the English Language.” Upon reading the books, he decided then and there that he wanted to be a Chinese poet of the Tang dynasty.

Although he is not Chinese and does not live 1,200 years in the past, Young has come far in the way of recognizing his childhood dream. On Jan. 26, Young was named the first ever poet laureate of Santa Cruz County.

“What really is important is that the community said, ‘We have marvelous poets here, poetry is important in our lives, it's important in our schools, it's important in the community—let's recognize that,’” Young says.

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A&E

Night on the Town

Night on the Town

Santa Cruz Hot spots and other notables you need to know about
Motiv, Mad House, Jalisco, Parish Publick House, Britannia Arms, Boulder Creek Brewery

In downtown Santa Cruz, Motiv is hot and happening. The nightclub’s  owner, 39-year old Mike Pitt, said the root word motiv in many languages means purpose. Purpose is fueled by inspiration.

“We’re an art venue,” says Pitt, “we’re a political forum, we’re music, we’re food. What all those things have in common is inspiration. That was my goal, to bring together all this inspiration.”

Born and raised in Santa Cruz, Pitt graduated from UCSC. Once a competitive surfer, he’s a sales rep for O’Neill, managing 100-plus accounts. And he’s no stranger to nightlife. In 2005 he purchased Castaways, a seedy Live Oak bar.

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A&E

Surfing Wholeheartedly

Surfing Wholeheartedly

Local event helps veterans, amputees go surfing
When Chris Lopez was an infantryman stationed in Iraq in 2003, his father would go out surfing and sit on his board to send him prayers across the ocean. Today the 27-year-old, who retired from the service and returned to Santa Cruz with an injured lower back and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), assists fellow veterans through his work at the local Veterans Affairs office. Taking a cue from his father, he also picked up surfing as a source of relief from the memories of war, and the stresses of the everyday. Now, he’s helping other veterans—and amputees—do the same.

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Mercury Enters Libra

It’s the week of Burning Man, the temporary, intentional, alternative, art-filled community on the playas of Nevada. Mercury, messenger of the Sun, enters Libra this week. Libra is the equalizer, a sign of balance and right human relations. Sometimes with Libra, we can be indecisive and confused while learning how to make balanced and right choices. Sometimes to keep the peace we communicate only what others want to hear. Eventually, we learn how to speak from the heart.

 

Final Cut

Cedar Street Video to close after 10 years at downtown location

 

Banter and Spark

Engaging actors, wry script distinguish lightweight rom-com ‘What If’

 

Back to Silicon Beach

With a new wave of startups, the future of Santa Cruz tech looks more promising than ever
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Himalayan Kitchen

Chef Purna Regmi on the secrets of Nepalese cooking

 

What’s the nicest thing you’ve done for someone this week?

Germany  |  Beekeeper

 

Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX

 

A Cab To Be Coveted

I first tasted Villa del Monte’s 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon at a Fourth of July party, where the hosts had bought a case of it because they love it and didn’t want to run out. It’s one of those wines that will grab you—in the best way—with its full body and rich fruit characteristics.