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Gualala Arts

Promoting public interest and participation in the arts since 1961.

Archive of past events: 2004 through 2014

  Eighth Annual
Redwood Coast Whale & Jazz Festival

Poetry & Jazz

Northern Element:
Mendocino County Poets & Players

Historic OddFellows Lodge
183 Main St., 2nd floor, Point Arena
Thursday, April 22, 2010
8:00 p.m.

Redwood Coast Whale and Jazz Festival logo

This year, the month long Redwood Coast Whale & Jazz Festival's final weekend begins with "Poetry & Jazz" at the Historic OddFellows Lodge on Main St. in Point Arena.

Poetry & Jazz poster by Blake More
by Blake More
Previous Poetry & Jazz events were held at Point Arena's CityArt Gallery (2006-2007) and Gualala Arts Center (2008-2009). Featured guest poets have included: Michael Warr, ruth weiss, QR Hand, Jr., California Poet Laureate Al Young, and in 2009 at Gualala Arts Center, Butoh theater with Don McLeod, haiku and other forms of Japanese poetry accompanied by traditional Japanese instruments.

With the rosy-lit ambiance of a speakeasy, the historic OddFellows Lodge in downtown Point Arena has been the site of numerous "Bohemian Cabarets" over the past decade, making it the perfect venue for Northern Element. The space will be transformed into cabaret atmosphere with intimate cocktail tables, flickering votive candles and light snacks along with wine & beer and soft beverages for sale.

Scheduled poets include Blake More and Janet Debar (returning by popular request) plus Devreaux Baker, Dan Barth, Dale "Crawdad" Nelson and Dan Roberts, along with youth poets Norma Orozco and Xochil Goretsky. This event is appropriate for high school student and adults. Come prepared for some toe tapping, romance-inducing, fist-raising expressing and jamming!

Sliding scale donation* at door $5-$10 (or more). *No one turned away for lack of funds.

The Poets

Devreaux Baker, Dan Barth, Janet DeBar, Blake More,
Dale "Crawdad" Nelson, Dan Roberts
youth poets Norma Orozco, Xochil Goretsky.

Devreaux Baker Longtime Mendocino resident, Devreaux Baker's poetry has appeared in many journals in both the United States and Europe. She was co-editor of Wood, Water, Air and Fire, The Anthology of Mendocino County Women, has taught poetry in the schools as part of the California Poets in the Schools Program and has been awarded Writing Residencies at The MacDowell Colony and The Hawthornden Castle in Scotland for her book-length prose poem, Jeanne D'Arc. She received three California Arts Councils Awards to produce The Voyagers Radio Program of Original Student Writing, which aired on KZYX. Most recently Devreaux has been awarded a 2008 Can Serrat Writing Award in Spain, and a 2009 Helene Wurlitzer Writing Fellowship in Taos. One of the founders of the Loire Valley Writers Retreat in France, Devreaux has co-produced workshops in Mexico on the Asana of Poetry / The Poetry of Asana with Jiva Mukti Yoga Instructor, Paloma Thoma-Baker. She currently produces the Mendocino Coast Poetry Reading Series.

Daniel Barth Daniel Barth's poetry, fiction, essays and reviews have appeared in a wide range of publications including Ant Farm, Beat Scene, Dharma Beat, Jazz Times, Redwood Coast Review, Review of Contemporary Fiction, Western American Literature, Whole Earth Review, Wild Duck Review and Zam Bomba. He is the author of Fast Women Beautiful: Zen Beat Baseball Poems (Tenacity Press, 2008), Coyote Haiku (Secret Goldfish Press, 2004), and Ukiah Haiku: Journal of a Year (Goin' Prose Press, 1996). He is a contributing editor of The Redwood Coast Review, an organizer and judge for the annual Ukiah Haiku Festival, and co-director of the monthly Writers Read series in Ukiah.

Daniel was born and reared in Louisville, Kentucky. He is a graduate of Duke University with a B. A. in Anthropology. He lives near Talmage with his wife Mary and their son Nate. In addition to writing and editing, he works as a teacher and librarian at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas in Talmage.

Janet DeBar Janet DeBar has been reading and writing poetry since her childhood in Beech Bottom, in the northern panhandle of West Virginia. She studied English Lit at the college of Wooster in Ohio and at Stanford University but hopes that these experiences have not made a lasting impact on her poetry! She and her husband have lived on the Mendocino coast for the past two decades. DeBar began reading her poems to audiences after moving here, and in these past twenty years has organized several poetry reading series and participated in many readings organized by others including the Redwood Coast Whale & Jazz Festival's Poetry & Jazz 2006 and 2007. Her work appears in Wood, Water, Air and Fire, the Anthology of Mendocino Women Poets. For the past ten years she has been attempting to play didjeridu in a language-based manner. She has played in a backup group for tribal belly dancers and is currently a member of the fusion group, Cloudfire, who will be performing for the 2010 Whale & Jazz Festival's Youth & Jazz and Wine & Jazz at Annapolis Winery.

Blake More A resident of Point Arena, Blake More is an artist with many creative voices and expressions; poetry being her first obsession. Her work is all over the map: from book, magazine, poetry and playwriting to performance art, dance and yogic trapeze; from teaching poetry, video and drama to theatrical costume design, functional mixed media art/life pieces, assemblage sculpture, books and wildly painted poetry art cars.

More wowed the crowd at the 2005 Whale & Jazz Festival Main Event with her poetic tribute to John Coltrane accompanied by Steve Heckman on tenor sax. That performance led to the inclusion of Poetry & Jazz in the Whale & Jazz Festival lineup with More at the helm as event coordinator and a featured poet ('06 & '07). In 2006, Blake received the Arts Council of Mendocino County 4th Annual Art Champion Award in the category of Artist. Blake was honored for her demonstrated excellence in the fields of literary, visual, and theater arts, while integrating art into the daily life of her community and for supporting and inspiring youth participation in the arts. She has recently discovered a passion for radio and has become the host of her own web radio show called "Cartwheels on the Sky" and is also the fourth Monday host of Women's Voices on KZYX&Z Mendocino, listener supported radio. Her newest book godmeat is a collection of poetry, prose, color artwork, and a DVD compilation of poem movies (available at To explore more of Blake's creative world, please visit

Dale 'Crawdad' Nelson Dale "Crawdad" Nelson was born in Fort Bragg and grew up on Tunnel Hill. He attended local schools where he specialized in journalism and forestry, two interests which would eventually coalesce in a series of late 80s/early 90s articles in the Anderson Valley Advertiser and a series of interviews for the New Settler Interview, whereupon he developed a reputation for telling it like he sees it.

For the next fifteen years, he lived in Humboldt County, and in 1991, he became the founding editor of a small "working class cultural and literary review," The Steelhead Special and served as editor till 1996. While Nelson is no longer involved, The Steelhead Special is in its 52nd issue and continues to publish interviews, current-events articles, poetry, fiction and miscellany of interest to most residents of the North Coast area.

He moved to Sacramento in 2003 and now participates in the local poetry community as well as contributes articles and essays to the Sacramento News & Review. He works as an English tutor in addition to his journalistic work.

In a departure from its usual thumbnail-sized Poems-for-All editions, the 24th Street Irregular Press has published this chapbook of Crawdad Nelson's longer work. His gentle observations of the natural world are coupled with a Zen-like desire to quiet the mind and a realistic approach to the difficulty of doing so. The opening poem, "Conditions," exemplifies this with the repeated actions of a "Buddha nature" seeking the unknowable, only to find it in the search. In the prose poem, "Drunk," Nelson uses the form to examine every aspect of inebriation: "I was drunk. Good and proper drunk. Antidisestablishmentarianism drunk. Drunk as a duck. Drunk as a truckload of dynamite." He also returns to the natural world for solace, as in "Encounters With White Owls:" "We can look up / but we can't break / away-"

Dan Roberts Dan Roberts is a poet, artist, and radio producer living in Mendocino County for 30 years. He was born in Oakland, went to high school in Berkeley, and graduated from UC Davis in 1970 in Creative Writing and Modern European Literature. He read poetry in Davis, Sacramento and Berkeley from the late 1960s on. He produced the Wild Sage Poetry radio program on KZYX for ten years, has taught as a California Poet in The Schools for over 20 years, and has published two chapbooks of poetry, "Hunting For The Sun At Night" (1989) and "Heresies" (1991). His paintings and photographs have been exhibited around Northern California since the 1970s. He currently produces an internationally syndicated radio program, "The Shortwave Report," as well as music/poetry (RhythmRunningRiver) and youth programs (YouthSpeaksOut!) on KZYX. He has raised 3 children while developing a homestead in the mountains northwest of Willits.

Youth Poets

Norma Orozco Norma Orozco is a 17-year-old senior at Point Arena High School. For the past two years, she has participated in the Mendocino County Finals of Poetry Out Loud at the Arena Theater as well as the Point Arena Youth Slam Team.

Norma is the daughter of two immigrant parents who moved to the United States from Mexico before her birth. Her Mexican-American roots have motivated her to work for the minority and fight for equality. She plans on becoming a lawyer and an advocate for human rights. She is very inspired by music and poetry and dreams of changing the world with her own words and actions.

Xochil Rina Gorestky Xochil Rina Gorestky, freshman at Mendocino High School, is of Yaqui Indian, Chicana, and Jewish ancestry. She has been writing poetry since she was seven, and it is her passion.

She is a writer, scholar, singer, and athlete. She is keenly aware of the issues and struggles of Native peoples everywhere and hopes to be a pediatrician and diplomat working for the Yaqui Nation.

The Players

Christian Doering - guitar
Harrison Goldberg - saxophone
Keith Abrams - acoustic bass
Chris Campbell - drums
Mendocino Players

Harrison Goldberg - saxophone

Goldberg has performed on tenor, alto and soprano saxophone with a variety of groups, including Tabula Rasa, Legend, Neon Egypt and Cloudfire. Harrison has literally spent a lifetime in music from East to West Coast. He has been involved in Whale & Jazz Festival since 2004 at Top of the Cliff with The Top of the Cliff Jazz Trio and for the first two Poetry & Jazz events in 2005 and 2006. For this year's festival he will also be playing with Cloudfire for Wine & Jazz.

Christian Doering - guitar

A recent migrant to the Mendonoma coast, Christian Doering, dropped his piano studies and picked up the guitar soon after The Beatles appeared on Ed Sullivan. He has been playing and practicing ever since, moving from blues, rock and funk into jazz via lessons with Pat Martino, Dave Friesen and Warne Marsh along with academic studies in music theory. Christian's versatility as a guitarist allows him to play also for BBQ, Brews & Jazz, Romance & Jazz and Brunch & Jazz.

Keith Abrams - bass

Class clown Keith Abrams has been an instigator since junior high school days. Told by his principal that he had much unrealized potential, and having the music of Monk, Miles, Brubeck, Django, etc. indelibly imprinted on his young mind, he has been working to fulfill that potential ever since. Providing relentless pulse and breathing precious life and vitality into the classic musical themes of our time, Abrams lives by the premise that whatever musical phenomenon comes his way must have been sent to him by the "highest power" for him to apply tender loving care. Keith, (who loves you madly even if you are a jerk), gives thanks every day for Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Muddy Waters, John Coltrane, James Brown, Bob Marley and all the rest. Abrams will also be heard during the Whale & Jazz Festival with Christian Doering at Brunch & Jazz and others at BBQ, Brews & Jazz.

Chris Campbell - drums

A San Franciscan who found his way to a life on the coast at the start of the millennium, Chris Campbell started playing drums as a youth and never stopped. From his early performance days in concert bands, jazz band, theatre pit orchestra, and marching bands to forming rock bands with his classmates, he has developed a varied style. He is comfortable in most musical genres and finds himself at home on stage. He prefers to keep his interests varied musically and currently plays with a handful of bands on the coast and in San Francisco. Chris performs regularly in a variety of local venues, was the drummer for the 2006 and 2007 Poetry & Jazz events, plus was a member of the "jazzy" stage band for Gualala Arts' Ain't Misbehavin'. Chris will be also play drums for BBQ, Brews & Jazz.