Thursday, January 29, 2004
PEOPLE’S POET…The city of Pacific Grove will soon be looking for a new poet-in-residence. Current PIR Ryan Masters, who has graciously served in that position for the past 18 months, will be stepping down at the end of June, freeing up the historic downtown home that will go (at reduced rent) to the next Poet. Masters has toiled heroically to bring public poetry to PG during his reign, instituting a monthly reading series at Bookworks, weekly critique workshops, and an annual Monterey Bay Poetry Festival, scheduled this year for April 18 at the Chautauqua Hall, as a fundraiser for an anthology of local poetry. (Full disclosure: he is also a freelancer for the Weekly.) Masters founded The Bathyspheric Review, a cool online journal of ocean-related writings (www.montereybaypoetry.com), and done Plenty More Stuff. There was some question whether the city was going to continue the program, but it is going forward. “I’m stoked,” writes Masters (who does in fact surf in his spare time). “This means, first, that all the programs and projects I’ve started will carry on, and second, someone competent will be taking over, leaving me more time for my own writing.” The job was, Masters continues, “a major stroke of luck for my wife and me,” and he wishes his successor well. Applications will be available at Pacific Grove City Hall sometime after final details are worked out, not before mid-March.
BEAT GOES ON…The Beat Museum at 211 W. Franklin St. in downtown Monterey has just put up a new photography exhibit called L.A.-’76, pictures of writer Charles Bukowski, poet Steve Richmond and other artsy types hanging around the LA scene in 1976, shot by San Jose photographer Lawrence Robbin. Museum owner Jerry Cimino says this is the first time the photos have been exhibited. Robbins moved to LA in 1975 and worked for The Los Angeles Vanguard, a progressive weekly, where he hooked up with Bukowski et al, and started taking their pictures. By ’76, however, “the money ran out and being broke got old,” Robbin says, so he moved back to the Bay Area. “It was 28 years ago that I took these pictures,” he says. “I stuck them in a drawer and went on to other things. Now here they are, fragments of LA in 1976, life come and gone. As Bukowski wrote: ‘The days run away like wild horses over the hills.’” The exhibit hangs through March 31.