The Third Thursday Poetry Reading Series, at the old CityArts building in Point Arena, CA features San Francisco poet JEANNE POWELL on Thursday, April 16, 2009 at 7:30p.m.
While she was not "born in a trunk at the Princess Hotel in Pocatello", Jeanne Powell did travel a lot during childhood -- from New York to Michigan and back again when her parents were not getting along, and finally to Michigan near the Canadian border.
Traveling by train was a childhood delight. Fishing with her dad while looking across the water at Canada was a familiar activity. After completing an undergraduate degree in English at a local university there, Jeanne moved to northern California and never looked back, except at Christmas, because San Francisco does not have snow and she has never gotten over that.
Grad school came later, which she entered and completed on a dare from an acquaintance. That accomplished, she turned to poetry and prose, then to spoken word.
After haunting coffee houses in North Beach and the Mission, listening to the word, Jeanne was asked to take over the weekly reading series at Polk St. Beans & Cafe around 1994. She renamed the series "Celebration of the Word" and built it into the most popular spoken word event in San Francisco with featured performers who wrote plays, novels, poetry, who painted, sang, chanted and even danced. This was before the City began cracking down on coffee houses, requiring them to have licenses for this or that activity, etc.
Once that venue was sold, Jeanne Powell moved "Celebration of the Word" to Notes from Underground on Russian Hill, until new owners took over and shortened the hours. Her series then moved to Someplace Else in the Fillmore with live jazz. Next the series moved to Perry's Joint around the corner, until that owner moved to Pasadena.
The series then retired gracefully with a trunkful of memories. But she persevered, secured another spot, and to this day runs a monthly series entitled "Word Dancing" on Polk Street every second Monday from 7p to 9p.
In 2004 Jeanne Powell formed the idea of publishing several of the poetic elders who enrich spoken word venues throughout the greater Bay area. With limited funds she settled on four writers between the ages of 72 and 82. All four "Living Treasures" were published in 2005: Leonard Irving, Beth McDonald, Jesse Fry and Anne Bacon Soule.
Jeanne also has had many of her own poems published, including the chapbooks, "February Voices," "Cadences," and "Tangerine Dance," as well as two full length collections -- MY OWN SILENCE and WORD DANCING (a complete publishing list and reviews can be found at: www.redroom.com/author/jeanne-powell).
Causes Jeanne Powell Supports
Union of Concerned Scientists, VVAW (Vietnam Veterans Against War), Doctors Without Borders, Waterkeeper Alliance, PSR (Physicians for Social Responsibility...