Thursday, July 12, 2007

Feliz Cumpleanos @ Red Poppy Art House

The WORDParty recently partnered with The Red Poppy Art House andCity Lights to organize a special night to celebrate Pablo Neruda’s 103rd Birthday. Held at the Red Poppy Art House in the heart of the Mission on July 12, 2007, the magical night was filled with fantastic poetry and film.

We had a very large turnout, in fact, the show was SOLD OUT! 

There were several exclusive readings from many of our participating poets. The evening began with Mark Eisner, who read from his wildly popular bookThe Essential Neruda: Selected Poems published by City Lights. He also showed highlights from the new version of his film formerly known as Pablo Neruda! Presente! Kristen Sbrogna graced the mic with her East Bay allure as she read a few of her favorite Neruda poems, as well as, her own poetry about the wonders of the Berkeley free clinic.

Another Pablo was present during the evening, Pablo Rosales! He impressed the crowd with not only his dapper appearance, but the Neruda poetry he recited from memory. He also read Neruda-inspired poems from his recently published book, Poems in the Palm of My Head.

Jennifer Barone electrified the audience with a passionate reading of Neruda’s "Poet's Obligation" and “Ode to the Tomato" alongside her original Ode to the Tomato. She also read "Poetry Like Bread is for Everyone,” from her recent book, Secret City, which was inspired by a quote from Neruda.

Johnathan Siegel showed us poetic alchemy as he interwove his poetry with that of Neruda’s. He began with a slow muted voice and then crescendo’d into a giant volcano spewing hot love poems! The audience responded with a thunderous clapping to one poem in particular, “And it is Then That I Will Beat.” 

Barbara Paschke, translator extraordinaire, shared some of her beautifully crafted translations from poets around the world. 

Adrian Arias was our bilingue poetry chef of the evening! As he recited poetry in Spanish, Adrian was able to convey the importance of reading Neruda in his native language. Adrian revealed through his poetry, his very famous ceviche recipe and even provided sample tastes!

In addition to organizing and hosting the evening, Ingrid Keir closed it with several of Pablo’s poems that resonate with her the most. She noted "Growing up on the beach with sand between my toes, and playing in the tide pools even as an adult, I connect with Neruda’s poems about the sea." Ingrid read Neruda's “Maremoto” (or “Sea Quake”) as well as her own “Mendocino” and “Feliz Cumpleanos Pablo Neruda” which was written for this special evening.

The enthusiasm throughout the evening was a clear indication of how much Neruda has touched all of us. We’d like to thank everyone for helping to make this night a possibility and a huge success!
Mark Eisner introduces his film
Ingrid Keir Reads & Hosts
Jonathan Siegel
Barbara Pashke & Jennifer Barone
Pablo Rosales
Adrian Arias

Sunday, July 1, 2007

2007 WORDparty "People's Choice" Award Winners!

We swear it was NOT fixed! We gave it to the crowd to hand-pick their favorite poet and jazz musician and luckily they chose right!

Jazz Musician of the Year: Colin Williams on Bass
Colin Williams has been playing with the Nova Jazz Quartet since the beginning. He is more than just a kick-ass bass player, he has even jumped on the mic to spew some verse! He is the first to hop up and creatively accompany the poets and is one of the reasons our night is so special. Congratulations Colin!

Poet of the Year: Bear (Barry Toffoli) 
Bear has been one of our favorites and a very enthusiastic supporter for well over a year. He always makes us smile when he gets on the mic. He gave a great performance of his favorite 80's songs wrapped up in a passionate ode. Congratulations Bear!

2007 WordParty Winners:
This year we hand-picked some of our favorite artists, both poets and jazz musicians, to commend a year of amazing performances and inspiring words! These lovely artists come almost every week to make our night what it is. This is our little way of showing gratitude for making WORDparty Tuesdays special. The recipients received an award certificate and a sweet little prize of candies for making Club Deluxe sweet.

Awards for Poetry:
#1 — Fresh New Poet
— Mr. Lewd Lyrics We Love
Dan Brady
 — Favorite Outdoor Poet
Cara Vida
 — Best Cabaret Stylin' 
Steven Gray — Slow Rapper of the Year
Guinevere — "Can You Hear Me Now?" Award
Charlie Getter — Best Contribution to the SF Poetry Scene
Jimmy Hammond— Wordsmith of the Year & Best Use of a Hat
Jonathan — Lover of the House
E.K. Keith — Best Contribution to the SF Poetry Scene
Ledbetter — Best Poet We Allow to Sing
Harmon Leon — Favorite Fucked-up Field Tripper
Martin — Favorite Early Bird
Matt — Best Cross-over Aritist
Maria Medina — The Celia Cruz Award for Percussion
Mirabai — Sex Pot Poet Award
Tatiana Molinar — Words of Gold Award
Monique Marquisa De Magdalena — Best Use of the Wall of as a Prop
PT Nails — "And Then I'll Take Her to a BAR" Award
Pablo — Best Contribution to the Bay Area Poetry Scene
Ozzy — (Posthumous) best Use of the crowd
Reinaldo — Best Whistle Stomp
Michael Stark — Most Organized Poet
William Taylor Jr — Wordparty Poet Laureate
Toby — Best Use of Performance Art
Rudy Waltz — Favorite de-86ed Poet
Jessie Whiley — Best Orator 

Hanna — Miss Congeniality
James — Biggest Brass Bone Award
Geordie — Favorite Percussionist
Micha — Freshest Cat on the Scene
Ofir — Fancy Fingering on the Keys
Carl — Brassy Tootin' Award
Mike — Best Guitar Slinger
Rick — Slickest on the Skins
Colin — Best Poetic Accompanist
Lorin — Scatmaster Flex

Our Deluxe Staff:
Katarina — Master Mixocologist Award
Jay Johnson — Master 86er
Kyle Knobel — WP Artist of the MoFo Year!
Mac McIntosh — Best Friend to the Rescue in a Time of Need
Reggie Sparks — Instant Photographer Award