By Sue Fishkoff
Thursday, February 13, 2003
POETS FOR PEACE...You''d think the FIRST LADY would realize that if she invited a bunch of nationally-renowned poets to the WHITE HOUSE for a FEB. 12 SYMPOSIUM honoring the "American Voice," some of them would use those voices to speak out against her husband''s Iraq war plans. But she didn''t realize, so when a number of them-including heavy-hitters Jamaica Kincaid, Galway Kinell and Jay Parini-indicated that they were planning to stand up at the gala dinner and read their anti-war poetry, Madame Bush called the whole thing off. Two former U.S. Poets Laureate, Stanley Kunitz and Rita Dove, blasted the cancellation as an example of the Bush administration''s hostility to voices of creativity and dissent.
In protest, many of the invited poets have been staging their own anti-war readings across the country. On Feb. 10, CABRILLO COLLEGE in Aptos hosted a reading by one of them, SAM HAMILL-founder of Copper Canyon Press, author of 13 volumes of poetry and dozens of other books, and a former National Endowment for the Arts Fellow. Hamill was so annoyed at Mrs. Bush''s invitation, juxtaposed against the impending horror in Iraq, that he created a "poets for peace" website as a spark to ignite a POETS AGAINST THE WAR movement-similar, he says, to one organized during the Vietnam War. One week later, the site had already received 5,300 poems and statements against Bush''s war plans. On Feb. 12, declared a national day of Poetry Against the War, poets submitted an anthology of protest to the White House. To read what''s up with this grassroots peace initiative, or to submit your own poetry, visit WWW.POETSAGAINSTTHEWAR.ORG.
TALKS NOT TO MISS...This FRIDAY AT 8PM, poet, author and theologian KATHLEEN NORRIS will speak at Monterey''s SANTA CATALINA SCHOOL on "What in the World Do I Do With My Life?" Three of Norris''s books have made it to the New York Times'' bestseller list, including The Cloister Walk-a diary of her years as a monastic member of the Assumption Abbey in North Dakota-and Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith-a book that continues her theme of a spiritual life rooted in nature. Admission is free, but reservations are required: 655-9310. Also on FRIDAY, AT 7PM, National Writers Union Local 7 presents two doctors-turned-poets at the THUNDERBIRD in Carmel. ED JARVIS, a Pacific Grove chiropractor, published his first volume of poetry a year ago; cardiologist JOHN SCHATZ, with two poetry books and a CD to his name, will sing about his patients and might even show off his green umbrella. $5 admission, call 684-0854 for details.