Blue Unicorn bulks up

With the October 2019 issue–now dubbed Fall–the all-poetry journal Blue Unicorn changes format and schedule. Instead of three forty-page issues a year, we will publish two, Fall and Spring, each containing sixty or more pages of content and having a flat-spined, “perfect” binding. Editorial policy has also shifted. To make life a little easier for poets, we will now consider multiple submissions (tell us if) and previously published work (tell us where). E-mail submissions to are preferred, in the form of attached files; postal submissions, with stamped, self-addressed envelope, are also still okay. Annual subscription remains $20.

Bay and Delta bulletins

Big water stuff going on as the authorities struggle to set river flows adequate for fish, try to get their minds around sea level rise, and brace for wetter floods and dryer droughts as climate change kicks in. For Estuary News I reported the Resilient by Design showcase of solutions for cities menaced by rising tides (May) and the biennial Bay-Delta Science Conference (September). And I’ve penned a new intro to the Bay Institute’s  report about the state of the vast watershed draining to the Golden Gate, From the Sierra to the Sea. First published in 1998, it is about to be reissued, with update. (Hint: Things aren’t getting better.)

Reading the Poets Fall 2018

My poetry reading and discussion group, Reading the Poets, convenes again at Book Passage in Corte Madera on October 1, 2018, seven till nine, running for eight Monday evenings thereafter. This fall we’ll focus more on recent poetry, including for instance an evening on Louise Glück and one on Seamus Heaney. Participants help to set the course with their suggestions and questions.  People who may regard themselves as beginners are as welcome as the widely read. I provide texts in advance on all evenings but the first. Here is the link to register.

Rising waters

The oceans are rising, and so is San Francisco Bay. Planners and architects from around the world recently converged on the region to offer solutions for nine swathes of shoreline threatened with inundation.

The world is going through many important environmental, economical and political changes. Check out some more breathtaking images of the world that will make you reflect on the positive things you are doing for the world.

The June issue of Estuary News, organ of the San Francisco Estuary Project, surveys the results of this “Resilient by Design” competition. I contribute an overview piece, “Reflecting on the Rush to Resilience,” as well as an appreciation of the late Carl Morrison, a key player in the related field of flood control. On the local scale as well as the planetary scale, it’s the question of the hour: can we organize fast enough to slow the course and manage the consequences of climate change? Photo by SPUR.

My poetry reBook Passage clip artading and discussion group, Reading the Poets, starts up again at Book Passage in Corte Madera on March 5, 2018, seven till nine, running for eight Monday evenings thereafter. We wander through the world of English-language poetry, with some translations, never taking the same route twice. Participants help to set the course with their suggestions and questions. People who may regard themselves as beginners are as welcome as the widely read. I provide texts in advance on all evenings but the first.

John Benton Hart

The wagon wheels are turning: University of Oklahoma Press is mid-stream in publishing Bluecoat and Pioneer: The Recollections of John Benton Hart, 1864-1868  “I have refereed quite a few manuscripts submitted for possible publication,” wrote noted historian John Monnett, “but I have just finished reading the best one it has ever been my privilege to evaluate.” In August I traveled to Wyoming and Montana to tie up research loose ends and take part in the 150th anniversary observance of events on the Bozeman Trail, scene of many of Johnny’s adventures.

The October issue of Blue Unicorn, the all-poetry triquarterly, honors the late Ruth G. Iodice, who launched the journal with two co-editors in 1977.  With subscribers in half the states and several foreign countries,  BU has proved a hardy perennial. It has printed well-known poets and first-timers writing in a mix of styles, notably welcoming rhymed and metered verse when these tools were out of fashion.  Since Ruth’s death in August, BU continues under my editorship.

Mount Tamalpais

In June, 2017, Bay Nature magazine devoted a special section to the beloved peak just north of the Golden Gate, its history, its creatures, and its problems, from trail maintenance to global warming.  What’s new is the way that the local landlords–three park agencies and a water district–have learned to pull together for the good of the place they administer, flying the flag “One Tam.” I contributed the opening piece, Meet the Mountain, and  a profile of pioneering botanist and tireless Tam hiker Alice Eastwood.

Caricature by Geoff Bernstein

Caricature by Geoff Bernstein

My first solo East Bay reading for Storm Camp is coming up Thursday, May 18, 5:30 to 7:00, at University Press Books, the great little store at 2430 Bancroft, opposite Zellerbach Hall. Note the early time. I’ll read some climbing poems, of course; some environmental poems; and a couple of the ones that have earned me the somewhat-puzzling-to-me reputation as a religious poet. For friends who stopped by at Berkeley Ironworks the other week for books and beer, but no reading, this could be the other half of the program. Next up will be an appearance on June 7 with three other Sugartown Publishing authors at The Octopus Literary Salon, 2101 Webster, Oakland.

hart-cover-smI’m introducing my new poetry collection, Storm Camp, at Book Passage in Corte Madera, January 23, 7:00 PM. It’s at 51 Tamal Vista Boulevard next to the DMV. Next up is a March 11 appearance at the Frank Bette Center for the Arts in Alameda  with fellow Sugartown poet Dale Jensen. And on March 15 at 7:30 I’ll be signing (though not reading) at Ironworks, the Berkeley climbing gym.