*Please Note: Steeped in Words dates and poets were listed incorrectly in our latest newsletter, the correct dates and names are listed on this page. We regret the error.
Poetry is one of the five elements necessary for a comprehensive Chinese garden. Usually, the poetry is presented in the form of calligraphic inscriptions. In this series, hear poetry come alive during readings and Q&A sessions with prolific Pacific Northwest poets.
David Rutiezer, a grandchild of Jewish immigrants, was raised in Illinois and Massachusetts. David writes poetry and articles, is a trained actor, sings and plays keyboard and ukulele and performs a one-man musical variety show, has taught International folk dancing, and is available for writing, editing, and educational projects. He holds a BA in Creative Writing and Theater Arts, and has a background in arts education, music therapy, and geriatric wellness. He enjoys working with people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds. David Rutiezer has an MFA from the Rainier Writing Workshop and TESL certification. He has also volunteered for several community organizations, including the Cascade Festival of African Films, Friends of William Stafford, and the Oregon Holocaust Resource Center, and has been active with Portland Community Dialogues. He has trained to offer creative writing prompts to folks with Alzheimer’s and dementia to access memories and use cognition, language, and intellectual skills. David lives in the Portland, Oregon, metropolitan area.
From associate professor of English to management trainer to retiree, Carolyn Martin has journeyed from New Jersey through California to Oregon to discover Douglas firs, months of rain, and dry summers. Her poems and book reviews have appeared in publications throughout North America and the UK. Her third collection, Thin Places, was released by Kelsay Books in 2017 and her fourth, A Penchant for Masquerades, is scheduled for an early 2019 publication from Unsolicited Press. She is currently the poetry editor of Kosmos Quarterly, journal of global transformation. Carolyn claims that poetry is the way she interacts with the world — in images, rhythms, sounds, and intensities of language. After years of correcting academic papers and writing business books, she’s settled into the joyful challenge of translating experiences into as few words as possible. Her aesthetic is embodied in Jack Kerouac's comment in Dharma Bums, “One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple”; and in Galway Kinnell's statement, “To me, poetry is somebody standing up ... and saying, with as little concealment as possible, what it is for him or her to be on earth at this moment.” Her poems attempt to be simple in words as they grapple with the complexity of being on earth at this moment. Now she’ll share poems about one of her favorite spots on the planet: her garden.
Shelly Rudolph is thrilled to be sharing selections from her upcoming book “Soul Sonnets” as part of the “Steeped in Words” series at the enchanting Lan Su Chinese Garden. This collection of poems seeks to conjure the inexpressible sense of being both earth and spirit, human and divine. The themes of these poems arise from her personal experiences - of nature, of being female, of love and Love – with the guidance of her mysterious, yet ever present, muse. As a writer, Shelly’s process is very yin; receiving poems and songs versus willfully creating them, as if she is collaborating with a force, a source, beyond her daily self. Inspiration often comes unbidden so she can frequently be seen scribbling phrases on the back of receipts and envelopes as well as on pages of messy notebooks and pretty journals. As a Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Oregon, Shelly chose the fields of Psychology and Cultural Anthropology to explore human nature. She was fascinated by the ways in which people are essentially the same and yet wildly diverse, and captivated by the magical meeting where apparent opposites merge: “it is in the exquisite, intimate expression of our uniqueness and perspective that something opens up, a space in which separation dissolves and we truly, soulfully meet ourselves and one another.” Her desire to delve more deeply into these archetypal studies led her to pursue graduate work in Mythology at Pacifica Graduate Institute. Performing, writing and recording locally, nationally and internationally as a jazz-soul singer for almost thirty years, Shelly has recently begun to include her spoken poetry at her concerts; taking the audience deeper within by flowing from lyric to verse and back again. Her work can be enjoyed at www.shellyrudolph.com and www.sweetmoonmusic.com.
Annie Lighthart started writing poetry after her first visit to an Oregon old-growth forest and now loves to teach poetry workshops wherever and whenever she can. Poems from her book Iron String have been featured on The Writer’s Almanac and in various anthologies, including Poetry of Presence: An Anthology of Mindfulness Poems. Lantern, her second poetry collection, was published in 2017 by Wells College Press, and her new book, Pax, will be out in 2020 from Salmon Press. Her poems have been turned into choral music, used in healing projects in Ireland, England, and New Zealand, and have traveled farther than she has.
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Lan Su Chinese Garden
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