Thursday, April 06, 2006

Northern California Book Awards

Hi everyone,

Yesterday evening I attended the Northern California Book Awards sponsored by Poetry Flash. It was exciting. Like the Oscars of Nor Cal literature.

Brian Turner's book Here, Bullet won for best book of poetry. The poems are based on some of his combat experiences and he read a few of them.

The most exciting part of the night for me was hearing Diane diPrima speak and read. She was honored with the Fred Cody (of our very own Cody's bookstore) Lifetime Achievement Award. The audience gave her a standing o, and she was witty and moving. Spoke of some of her own heroes and friends like Ezra Pound, "Larry" Ferlinghetti, and Audre Lorde. The poem she read was "Rant."

I would have posted about this event beforehand, but found out about it at the last minute. Keep an eye out for these awards next year. It's a free event, and pretty fun. Lots of books for sale and authors sign them too.



rodney k said...

Thanks for posting this! Glad you caught the book awards and enjoyed the report.

You know, I almost included DiPrima for our Beat week, then decided 4 poets at one go was just too many, and I couldn't bring myself to remove K., G., or B. Out of such decisions are literary history made ...

But I'm glad you got to see her, and I'd encourage you all to check out her poems, and her memoir "Memoirs of a Beatnik." This and more at her web site:

There, that helps salve the conscience. :)

melissa said...

holy crap, laura! i was there too ... wasn't it great?
I wish I had seen you.

Diane gave an incredibly moving speech in which she referred to the bay area as its own nation, with its own laws and levels of understanding and tolerance. As I recall, her term for our community was "from the feral to the mythic." She made me remember why I moved here from NY in the first place.
Gotta love that crazy broad!