Editor’s note: The poems of Lisa Ortiz have appeared in “Zyzzyva,” “Comstock Review,” “The Dirty Napkin,” “Pedestal,” and “Crab Creek Review.” She was a recipient of a 2007 and 2008 Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg prize, and her work has been featured on “Verse Daily.”
Henry Rollins returns—and he has a lot on his mind
With a brawny build, a shaven head sprouting gray, and darting eyes that stare down like a bull about to pounce on a cape-waving Spaniard, Henry Rollins can pierce through the lens of a camera looking like a mean mofo. But, as he’ll tell you himself, he really just aims to be one polite dude. Pleasant and matter-of-fact, a one-on-one chat with the guy proves to be more of a relaxing, earnest exchange of ideas. Is the infamous Black Flag and Rollins Band frontman a big softy? Pretty much. But a pushover, he ain’t.
Author Laura Fraser’s account of coming to terms with and then learning to love her place in the world
Being a woman, a writer and an avid traveler, I was intrigued by Laura Fraser’s new book, “All Over the Map.” Travel writing may sound glamorous, but it can be an exhausting and sometimes frightening job. Many of the world’s farthest flung corners, once you set foot in their squalid streets, no longer seem exotic but downright scary. On the other hand, being a travel writer presents a string of riveting sensory experiences that remain engrained on your memory far after the reality has faded into the past. But perhaps more than a focus on travel writing, Fraser’s book, dubbed a “coming of middle-age memoir” by Booklist, is a look into the life of an independent woman who is coming to terms with her internal struggle for excitement and security. In short, she wants to have someone to come home to.
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A mixed bag of stellar acts shine at this year’s Santa Cruz Blues Festival
Music Festivals seem to be recession-proof—from the East Coast’s massive Bonneroo to the West Coast’s epic Coachella and the hundreds of smaller festivals in between—cash registers are ringing and communities are celebrating. And like the swallows returning to San Juan Capistrano, blues fans will be swooping down to Aptos Village Park for the 18th Annual Santa Cruz Blues Festival on Saturday, May 29 and Sunday, May 30. Although corporations fund most musical festivals, in Santa Cruz, low back chairs and beer on tap are the frothy face of what is an increasingly rare locally owned event.
Kirby Scudder and Mark Halfmoon plan to discover what inspires Californians
With the economy still shot, people feeling grumpy, and everyone complaining all the time, you’d think Californians were an unhappy lot. Not so. There are plenty of people in our golden state who continue to find the West Coast an inspired place. And two local men are about to hit the road on a cinematic adventure to prove that even though complaints abound, we’re living in a great state, and perhaps it’s time to remember that.
Editor’s note: In this week’s Poetry Corner, we feature the work of Dion Farquhar, a poet and fiction writer with recent poems in “moria,” “The Dirty Napkin,” “of(f) course,” “BlazeVOX,” and “Hamilton Stone Review" and "Shifter.” Her chapbook, “Cleaving,” won first prize at Poets Corner Press in 2007, and her first poetry book, “Feet First,” will be published by Evening Street Press in July 2010.
Local jewelry designer’s work is a treasure chest of inspiration
Denise Peacock peers through a window, tracing with her finger the curves of a blossoming cherry tree outside. She locks her eyes with the bark, as if she and the tree sit in joined meditation. She describes how her jewelry design is largely inspired by things like this tree: twisting branches and erratic color schemes, the way things blossom, how the light passes through leaves and petals, and the muted shadows that juxtapose the hues.
Peacock is an artist of two aesthetic worlds: nature and city. During her youth in England, she moved between London and the bordering countryside in Kent where she would romp free with her siblings in the open fields and woods. After attending university in London, she moved to New York City with her husband and two daughters, taking photography classes and visiting galleries. And now she and her family live in Santa Cruz.