April is National Poetry Month and we are delighted to have the Tucson Poet Laureate, Rebecca Seiferle, as our speaker. She will be reading from her work and helping us celebrate the month and the concept of Poem in Your Pocket Day (April 21).
Poet Rebecca Seiferle once said that "one should always read a poem as if it was a matter of life and death."
Rebecca is the celebrated author of four collections of poetry, including Wild Tongue, which received the 2008 Grub Street National Book Prize in Poetry. Wild Tongue suggests a similar belief about writing poems as having high stakes.
Her third collection of poems, Bitters, was awarded the Pushcart Prize and her second collection, The Music We Dance To, which won the 1998 Cecil Hemley Award from the Poetry Society of America and was nominated for the Pulitzer prize—poems from this volume are included in The Best American Poetry 2000. Her first book, The Ripped-Out Seam, won the Bogin Award from the Poetry Society of America, the Writers' Exchange Award from Poets & Writers, and the National Writers' Union Prize.
Rebecca is also a noted translator. Her translation of Vallejo's The Black Heralds was published by Copper Canyon Press in 2003. Her translations of several Cuban poets were included in The Whole Island: Six Decades of Cuban Poetry, A Bilingual Anthology (University of California Press, 2008), and her translations of Alfonso D'Aquino and Ernesto Lumbreras appeared in Reversible Monuments: Contemporary Mexican Poetry (Copper Canyon 2002). Her translation of Vallejo's Trilce was a finalist for the 1992 PenWest Translation Award. Seiferle has also made the words of well-known Latin American poets accessible to new readers.
According to the Tucson Pima Arts Council, the purpose of the Tucson Poet Laureate is to promote poetry, to foster its appreciation and to inspire a new generation of readers and writers.
Appointed by the Mayor's Office, Rebecca Seiferle is a poet, editor, teacher and translator of distinction. As a teacher, Seiferle has led numerous local workshops for middle- and high-school students. She currently teaches at Southwest University of Visual Arts.
Seiferle was inspired to move to Tucson in 2006 because of its extraordinary literary community. Since then, she has worked to foster collaboration between Tucson poets and artists and created new platforms for emerging writers. She is also the founding editor of the online poetry magazine, The Drunken Boat—the first issue was published in April 2000 with issues appearing regularly since.
Don't forget to vote! April is the annual Election for our SSA Board. The ballot is the last page of The Write Word. If you want to run, please let Chris Stern know so he can announce that you will be a write-in candidate at April forum.
Betty Webb is the author of the popular Lena Jones mystery series and a new mystery series (with more humor) set in the Gunn Zoo, a fictional California zoo. Betty's work at the Phoenix Zoo was the inspiration for this series. She still volunteers at the Phoenix Zoo, and has not given up her habit of talking to the animals—especially Jezabel, the banana-loving giant anteater who was the inspiration for The Anteater of Death.
She will be presenting to SSA "Five Story Ideas a Day, Every Day." This forum will help beginning and experienced writers who sometimes struggle with the actual creative process and need to get a jump start from time to time. There WILL be writing during this workshop—and Betty will be supplying handouts, too!
Before Betty wrote mysteries she was a journalist and wrote hard news and features. She interviewed astronauts, Nobel Prize winners, the homeless and U.S. presidents. Her Lena Jones mysteries are based on stories she covered as a reporter. Currently a creative writing teacher at Phoenix College, she is a member of National Federation of Press Women, Mystery Writers of America, and the Authors Guild.
One of Betty's hobbies is genealogy. She is descended from Scottish Barons, but there is a bit of mystery on her father's side. Genealogy and bloodlines are a part of the intrigue in her Lena Jones mystery series: Desert Rage, Desert Wind, Desert Cut, Desert Run, Desert Shadows, Desert Wives, and Desert Noir.
The first book in the Gunn Zoo series is The Anteater of Death, followed by The Koala of Death, The Llama of Death and now, The Puffin of Death.
To find out more about Betty's ancestors and especially the Lena Jones books, check her web site at www.bettywebb-mystery.com. The website also links to her appearances and signings.