Our Prayers Almost Answered
Thursday, October 12, 2000
Faithful readers of ArtiFacts (someone.... anyone?) may remember a couple of months back when we were complaining about California''s pathetic excuse for a poet laureate, Charles B. Garrigus. It''s nothing personal; we just think that our gilded, golden state deserves more in the way of poetic representation than a guy who wrote one book way back in the ''60s and has been goofing off ever since.
Well! Buying the Best, a publication of the Carmel Publishing Co., has taken it upon itself to bestow the title of "Poet Laureate of Carmel" upon Big Sur poet and performance artist Ric Masten. We thoroughly applaud the decision. We even are so bold as to wonder if Ric, a longtime Central Coast resident well known for his literary chutzpah, might consider putting in a bid for the state poetic post. But even if he doesn''t, we''ve decided to give him a promotion. ArtiFacts hereby dubs Ric Masten the People''s Poet Laureate-Elect in Exile and Absentia. Congratulations, Ric!
I''m Your Puppet
First Night Monterey is the bomb. They''ve invited Wise Fool Puppet Intervention here from Berkeley to hold a one-day workshop on puppetmaking on Saturday. The Wise Fool puppet people, as nobody knows, is a community theater project that operates under the umbrella of the nonprofit Wise Fool Community Arts. They create works of public art and processional theater that incorporate giant puppets, masks, stiltdancing, wildly creative costumes and the like.
All tools and materials are provided, and even if you''ve never made a puppet in your life (is that possible?), for the low, low sliding scale fee of $10-$25 (lunch is included), you will emerge from the workshop with your very own puppet ready to hold public office, prop up a military dictatorship or even rule a small to medium-sized country. Call 373-4778 to register.
Bevy of Bards
The Monterey Bay Independent Book Festival, hosted by the Monterey Bay Independent Booksellers (there''s a certain symmetry there, don''t you think?), takes place Nov. 5. Festival organizers have issued a general call for local poets to lend their verse to an enterprise called-alliteration alert-"Plenitude of Poets."
Book fair folk invite poets to send them up to two poems (they must fit on a single typewritten page) to be published in a booklet for festival attendees. This is not a contest, and there is no entry fee. Eighteen lucky poets will read their work at the book fair, and the booklet will also be sold at Thunderbird Bookshop after the fair.
Festival organizer James Berkowitz describes the booklet as a sort of gift to the community and to local poets. "It''s reaching out to the community and saying, if you write poems, you''ll have the opportunity to be in a book."
One caveat is that the work to be published should be "non-controversial." Since the definition of the word "controversial" is about as slippery as the word "socialism," we asked Berkowitz for clarification. He says he consulted a dictionary and thesaurus himself, in an attempt to figure out just how to define controversial. Basically, he says, the organizers just needed "some type of guideline." Since there are no restrictions on form and all submissions will be included in the book, they want to ensure all work is "in the spirit of poetry."
Interested poets should send their poems (remember, limit it to one page) to Monterey Bay Independent Booksellers, P.O. Box 22830, Carmel CA 93922, by Oct. 20.