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Gualala Arts

Promoting public interest and participation in the arts since 1961.

Archive of past events: 2004 through 2014

ruth weiss & jazz trio

Saturday, April 14, 2007 at 7:30 p.m.
at the Gualala Arts Center

For the third year, Gualala Arts joins The Friends of the Coast Community Library for a poetry reading during National Poetry Month. This year ruth weiss, described by Herb Caen as the Beat Generation goddess who launched jazzpoetry readings at The Cellars in the 60's, will appear on Saturday, April 14 at 7:30 p.m. in Gualala Arts Center's Coleman Auditorium.

ruth weiss Poet Jack Hirschman said, "No American poet has remained so faithful to jazz in the construction of poetry as has ruth weiss. Others read to jazz or write from jazz. Ruth writes jazz in words."

Her nomadic life journey began in Berlin where she was born in 1928. Her family fled Germany in the 30's, first for Vienna, then on the last train to Holland and finally to America where she moved from New York to Chicago to San Francisco and finally to her current home in Albion.

Living in San Francisco in the 50's weiss gravitated to the North Beach Beat scene where she shared haiku poems with Jack Kerouac and Neil Cassady. In 1956 she mixed her poetry with another favorite artistic form, jazz.

When Sonny Nelson, Jack Minger, and Wil Carlton, all friends she first met in New Orleans, opened The Cellar, ruth joined them on stage performing her poetry accompanied by the trio's music. She popularized what became a signature art form of the Beat generation.

A prolific poet and playwright, weiss has written many books and magazine submissions. Gallery of Women, her first work published in 1959, painted verbal portraits of women that inspired her. The two hundred page Desert Journal (1977) remains one of her most powerful performance pieces.

She has written twelve one-act plays and a series of film-poems. She acted in and collaborated with San Francisco artist Steven Arnold in his film Messages, Messages that premiered at The 1969 Cannes Film Festival.

Recognition of her talent came slowly, but has been building. In 1990 she won the Bay Area "Poetry Slam" and released Volume 1 of her two-volume album "Poetry and All that Jazz." In 1996 THE BRINK, a film she wrote, directed, and narrated with jazz screened at The Whitney Museum of American Art.

In October 2006 she was awarded a medal for excellence in cultural achievement in Vienna during a festival honoring ruth weiss. She continues to perform with her jazz collaborators on the last Monday of every month at The Gathering Caffé on Grant Street.

For those who missed the Beat scene the first time or for those who want to relive those carefree, iconoclastic days once more, this performance by a poet who has never stopped performing her work over the last fifty years is a must event.

Donations will be gratefully accepted.

ruth weiss on KZYX & Z

Monday, April 9, 2007 at 7:00 p.m.

KZYX & Z FM, Mendocino County Public Broadcasting ruth weiss will be featured on April 9, 2007 on the Women's Voices Show on KZYX & Z FM, Mendocino County Public Broadcasting 90.7FM, 91.5FM (KZYZ Willits & Ukiah), and 88.1FM.

The show will be an audio collage of an interview Joy LaClaire scheduled with Ruth on Sunday, March 18th, at her home in Albion, plus audio material of her readings/performances.

Joy LaClaire is executive producer of Beyond the Deep End Productions. In addition to the Women's Voices Show (usually the 2nd Monday of the month at 7:00 - 8:00 p.m.), she also produces Fourth Friday Forthright (4th Friday of the month at 1:00 - 2:00 p.m.) Increasingly, she is also doing the 2nd Friday 1:00 show as well, Fortnight Friday Forthright.

Located at 46501 Old State Highway in Gualala, the Arts Center is open weekdays 9 am to 4 pm, and weekends from noon to 4 pm. Please call (707) 884-1138 for more information.