Devreaux Baker Devreaux Baker at Coast Community Library in Point Arena
On Thursday, January 17, at 7:30pm The Third Thursday Poetry & Jazz Reading Series will feature Mendocino poet Devreaux Baker. The reading will take place in its temporary home at the Coast Community Library and will begin with live improv jazz and an open mic with jazz improv; the reading will conclude with more live improv jazz.
Devreaux Baker is a 2011 recipient of the PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Poetry Award, a 2012 Hawaii Council on Humanities International Poetry Award and the Women’s Global Leadership Poetry Award. She is a 2014 recipient of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation Poetry Prize, a 2016 Poets in Mexico Award, and a 2017 recipient of the Outermost National Poetry Prize.
Baker has received fellowships to the MacDowell Colony, Hawthornden Castle, and the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation. She has taught poetry in the schools and produced The Voyagers Radio Program of original student writing for public radio. She has led writing workshops in the United States, France and Mexico. Her books of poetry include Light at the Edge, Beyond the Circumstance of Sight, Red Willow People, out of the bones of earth, and the just released, Hungry Ghosts.
Autumn in Chinese Medicine is the season of elemental metal
The time of letting go of the old and taking in the new
I press the point on my arm that connects me to grief
seals come to mind, beaching themselves along the California coast
stretching out their sleek forms against sand and rock
letting go forever of the deep currents that connect them to water
In Chinese medicine it is the season of elemental metal
I carry the taste of tin or aluminum rising from my tongue
I press that point on my arm hard wanting to let go
of the known world and open to pure essence
I set a table for the naked and the dead, the living and the lost
all the hungry ghosts needing to be fed and released from my hands
Like dust to wind and rain to earth I open my fingers
so the animal and mineral bodies slip through
falling into the shape of 10,000 pieces of metal
scattering like silver leaves in November wind.