Sunday, September 1, 2013

Fiftieth Anniversary


My grandfather tells me not to let them rub my head. 
I don’t know why this is, but, later, when
I hear the tale a black boy’s crown
brings his master good luck, I understand


Something else, now.

A Poem Also about Psychoanalysis

I studied the problem inside me, something absurd
In the world 
To live with, try to sing about, and sing. 

And the poem was the song

To live with, try to sing and sing about.
In the world,
I studied the problem inside me, something absurd:

History was happening; my people still not free—
I was a child learning Negro History.

For many children, the age of 7 is the age of social awareness, a perspective on the world that broadens beyond what is identified as local, and some beginning awareness of a history beyond the one the child conceives as one’s immediate own.  When I was 7, the March on Washington, the bombing of the Birmingham church and the deaths of those four like-aged girls, and the assassination of President Kennedy marked my entry into social awareness, and the particular quest for the civil rights of Negroes.  As I learned more about the history and circumstances of that quest, I began to develop what would prove to be twin interests—writing poems and understanding the complexity of the human mind. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Poetry & Psychoanalysis Program 2013

SATURDAY, February 9, 2013, 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.    A special presentation in honor of the Chinese New Year: Paula Varsano, Associate Professor in the Chinese Program at U.C. Berkeley, will speak on “Translating the Ineffable: A Reading of Classical Chinese Poetry.” Professor Varsano specializes in classical poetry and poetics from the third through the eleventh centures, with particular interest in literature and subjectivity, the evolution of spatial representation in poetry, the history and poetics of traditional literary criticism, and the theory and practice of translation. She is the author of The Poetry of Li Po and Its Critical Reception (Hawaii, 2003), and is currently working on a book tentatively titled Coming to Our Sense: Locating the Subject in Traditional Chinese Literary Writing.

SATURDAY, March 23, 2013, 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.    Laura Walker is the author of Follow-Haswed, (Apogee Press 2012), bird book (Shearsman Books, 2011), rimertown/an atlas (U Press, 2008), and swarm lure (Battery Press, 2004), and the chapbook bird book (Albion Books, 2010). Her poetry has appeared in VOLT, Switchback, Ambush, Thermos, and Fact-Simile, as well as in other journals. In conversation with Susan Kolodny and reading from her work.

SATURDAY, June 1, 2013, 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.    D.A. Powell is the author of Chronic (2009), winner of the Kingsley Tufts Award, and of the trilogy, Tea (Wesleyan, 1998); Lunch (2000); and Cocktails (Graywolf, 2004). His latest book Useless Landscape, or A Guide for Boys (Graywolf, 2012) is currently a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He has received a Guggenheim fellowship, a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Lyric Poetry Award from the Poetry Society of America. In conversation with Forrest Hamer and reading from his work.

PLEASE NOTE NEW LOCATION: All events will be held at the San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis’s new building at 444 Natoma Street, S.F. (Powell Street BART). All are free and open to the public.