Pleasanton Weekly

Arts & Entertainment - February 11, 2011

Let's get literary

Firehouse Arts Center to host its first Literary Evening

Heroes and anti-heroes. Where would literature be without them?

Pleasanton Poet Laureate Deborah Grossman and Livermore Poet Laureate Cher Wollard will co-host a Literary Evening at the Firehouse Arts Center on Friday, Feb. 18, at which poets and prose writers will weigh in on "The Myth & Reality of the Hero & the Anti-Hero from Mythology to Reality and Personal Story."

The evening will begin with a cheese and no-host wine reception from 7:30-8 p.m. following by the author readings. A book signing will follow the event. Admission is $5, free to students.

The event will feature narrator Robert Eastwood, who will weave original and other writing into his perspective on the heroic and anti-heroic traditions in literature and myth in conjunction with more than a dozen highly-acclaimed invited Bay Area writers including David Alpaugh, Lynne Knight, Connie Post and Lee Rossi.

Eastwood, a San Ramon resident, has been nominated twice for a Pushcart Award and has won the grand prize at the Berkeley Poets Dinner Contest. His work has appeared in Blue Unicorn, Carquinez Review, The Dirty Napkin, Oxford Magazine, Ekphrasis, and many other journals, in print and online.

David Alpaugh of Pleasant Hill is a nationally known poet and performer. He is a graduate of Rutgers University and UC Berkeley, and has taught poetry writing and appreciation at the UC Extension. He is best known for his two-part essay, the "The Professionalization of Poetry," published in 2003 issues of Poets & Writers Magazine. He has authored several poetry books including "Heavy Lifting" and "Greatest Hits."

Lynne Knight, who lives in Berkeley, published her fourth poetry collection, "Again," in 2009. She is currently working on a memoir. Among her awards are the 2009 RATTLE Poetry Prize, the Lucille Medwick Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, and a National Education Association (NEA) grant.

Connie Post was Livermore Poet Laureate from 2005-09. Her work has appeared in many nationally recognized journals, and she was winner of the 2009 Caesura Poetry Awards from Poetry Center of San Jose. She hosts the Valona Deli Second Sunday Poetry Series in Crockett.

Lee Rossi of San Carlos is the author of three books of poems, including "Ghost Diary" and "Wheelchair Samurai." His poetry, reviews, and interviews have appeared widely in such journals as The Sun, Poetry East, Chelsea, The Spoon River Poetry Review, and The Beloit Poetry Journal.

Other invited writers include Jannie Dresser, poetry columnist for the San Francisco Examiner; Fred Norman, founding member of the Tri-Valley California Writers Club; Kirk Ridgeway, Pleasanton's third Poet Laureate (2001-03); freelance journalist Aleta George, author of a book about California's first Poet Laureate, Ina Coolbrith; Liz Fortini, poet, prose author and publisher of www.languageandculture.net; Las Positas College student Samantha Kennedy, and the 2010-11 Pleasanton Teen Poets Laureate, Mitch Grimes, Noelle Malindzak and Vivian Tsai.

The Firehouse Arts Center is located at 4444 Railroad Ave. in downtown Pleasanton. For more information, contact Deborah Grossman at pleasantonpoetry@gmail.com.

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