Pleasanton Weekly

Arts & Entertainment - February 25, 2011

Pleasanton Poetry, Prose & the Arts Festival

by Deborah Grossman

Pleasanton broke new literary ground and hosted the first Poetry, Prose & the Arts Festival in 2001. For the 10th annual Festival on the weekend of March 26-27, an extraordinary team of literary and artistic talent will produce another special event. Al Young is the keynote speaker and a workshop presenter. An eloquent and gifted teacher, the California Poet Laureate emeritus has published over 22 books of poetry, fiction and non-fiction and has taught and lectured around the globe.

The Festival offers poetry, prose and screenwriting workshops for adults, teens and youths. Topics include "The Secret to Writing a Successful Memoir" with author and former San Francisco Chronicle columnist Adair Lara, "Plotting Your Novel" with author Kathryn Reiss, and "How to Make your Poetry Publishable" with nationally known author David Alpaugh. Youth and teen programs include "Dramatic Writing for Teens" with Lisa Gentile, and "Magic Spells" for youths 5 to 11 with Alison Luterman.

As a bonus, there is a free fine arts exhibit and luncheon Literary Row to meet regional authors. Registration deadline is March 15. For information, see http://pleasantonarts.org/ppa_overview.html or contact Dave Wright at 484-0614 or dawright@sbcglobal.net.

Thank you to all who supported and attended the Literary Evening at the Firehouse on the Myth and Reality of the Hero and Anti-Hero on Feb. 18. The audience was riveted by the original works of 16 writers who read about folk heroes, Greek gods, real and imagined champions and anti-heroes, and don't forget those classically tragic types.

The readers included the three Pleasanton Teen Poets Laureate. Vivian Tsai of Foothill High School read her beautiful and award-winning poem, "I heard History from That Man's Scar." Here is another of Tsai's poems.

To Mother

by Vivian Tsai

The other day when we watched that movie

in which a faithful daughter wailed at the funeral of her father,

I never expected to see you crying

so hopelessly like a child,

losing direction on a lonely playground.

Within that darkness,

you sent your mother off

in the same manner as the faithful daughter.

You too, wailed and begged and wept and bawled as your mother left you.

It was the first time, Mom,

that I saw you cry,

that I understood

within that unspeakable depth,

you keep with you a silent scar,

which you never dared to talk about.

Then when the movie ended,

you wiped off your tears and told me it's time to rest,

I went back to my room,

and wonder if I would too,

since I grew up to be so like you,

save that same scar when you leave me

alone in this world.

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