The event celebrates California’s first Poet Laureate, Ina Coolbrith. The 150th anniversary of her birth and the centenary of her laureateship at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition is billed by the group as an energizing force for the open reading at the its First Wednesday poetry event.
The event, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., is free and open to the public; an open mic follows the formal presentation.
One of California’s oldest poetry organizations, The Ina Coolbrith Circle, was founded by the first laureate almost 100 years ago.
The Alameda Island Poets event will feature current Ina Coolbrith Circle members sharing Coolbrith’s poetry and selections of their own works. Readers include Richard Angilly, Natica Angilly, Tanya Joyce, Claire J. Baker, Maria Rosales and Deborah Fruchey.
Richard Angilly serves as president of the Ina Coolbrith Circle and is the co-founder of the Dancing Poetry Festival. His books include Organic Music, Chants a Zen Wind, Inspiration and Collaboration, Pulse Source, and his work is in anthologies such as Prairie Schooner and many Ina Coolbrith Circle anthologies.
Natica Angilly serves as artistic director of the Richard and Natica Angilly’s Poetic Dance Theater Company and co-founder of the Dancing Poetry Festival. Their Poetic Dance Theater Company is the only known company entirely dedicated to poetry and dance as a unified art form. Natica is honored with titles and awards such as World Muse and received the United Poets Laureate International gold crown as international poetic dance artist. Her poetry is published in Heartistry and the 2016 Ina Coolbrith Anthology.
Tanya Joyce is a poet, visual artist, researcher, and teacher. She co-teaches Artist Embassy International workshops and serves as a board member, presenter and lecturer at the Ina Coolbrith Circle and The Shipyard. Her poetry and paintings are featured at the Dancing Poetry Festivals and included in Love Your Audience, Cause for Applause – Vol 1 & 2 Ina Coobrith anthologies; her books are A Sampler of Poems and Illustration, Tarot Haiku and English Retellings of the Russian Poems, Dreams of Panwith Semion Mirkin.
Claire J. Baker is one of California’s most highly awarded poets and long time member of Ina Coolbrith Circle who presides over Poetry Landmarks of the Bay Area. Baker’s books include Trails of Naming and Trails of Naming 11. She is a frequent contributor to “Street Spirit” and is seen in many anthologies and publications such as Blue Unicorn, Ina Coolbrith, Peace and Hope in San Francisco, Pulse Source, Cause for Applause and others. . .
Maria Rosales has served on the Board of Directors for the Ina Coolbrith Circle since 2007. Her poems have appeared in Byline, Poetry Depth Quarterly, Poetalk, Meridian, The Dirty Napkin, BeniciaHerald, The Contra Costa Times, Nashvill Newletter, and anthologies. Her chapbook, Time to Fly, was published in 2001.
Deborah Fruchey is the author of four books. Her first novel was chosen as a Best Book in 1987. Her manual on coping with mental illness has been called “the best book of its kind.” Her first poetry collection, Armadillo, was released in 2014 by Cybord Productions.