Feb 28, 2019 – Reading at San Francisco State University
In the morning, we headed to San Francisco over the Bay Bridge and met Steve Dickison at Rosso’s Cafe across from the Humanities Building at San Francisco State University.
Then he took us to the poetry center where we looked at the vast library and signed many of our books for Steve and the center. We then moved on to Steve’s classroom for the reading. We were especially happy when Norma Cole and Susan Gevirtz came to the class to hear us read.
The students had already read and discussed the poems in our pamphlet. We both read from the pamphlet. Maureen also read from Erosion’s Pulland Edges of Water; and Barbara read from her novel, Just Like That, and from A Day Like Today. Then we answered questions from the students. Some of their questions were about Maureen’s titles, why we use space and punctuation the way we do, where we get our ideas from, how to get published and how one includes political ideas in poems. Afterwards, we signed books; then we sat outside at Russo’s and ate sandwiches before heading back to Berkeley.
Reading at Moe’s Bookstore in Berkeley
That night after a brief rest, we drove over to Moe’s Bookstore on Telegraph Avenue. Joyce Jenkins and Richard Silberg from Poetry Flash arrived with boxes of our books that they put on display. Richard introduced us with a lively take on our poems in Poets on the Roadpamphlet. We were especially happy to read for Steve Emerson and his wife Gayle, Alan Bermheimer and Ted Pearson, among others.
Joyce reminded me that she lived in Detroit in the 70s. As we talked, we discovered that we were both in fact living in the Cass Corridor a few doors away from each other and we had hung out in the same clubs, Alvin’s and Cobb’s Corner Bar. We surely must have known some of the same people and passed each other on the street. We might have sat across from each other on Sundays in the cafe in the Art Institute, reading The Times and drinking coffee. (BH)
So enjoyed talking to poet friends I hadn’t seen in a while. A nice surprise was meeting Steve Emerson’s wife Gayle, who like myself grew up on a farm out on the mid west prairies. She’s from North Dakota and I’m from Minnesota. We had such similar memories of mothers and grandmothers tending and depending on big gardens and canning produce to make it through the winter. We talked about living far out of town in those remote places and being closely knit with family. Our growing-up lives seemed like mirrors of each other. (MO)