Start: Saturday, October 15, 2022 12:00PM
End: Saturday, October 15, 2022 4:30PM
Poets, musicians, environmentalists, and community members will gather on Saturday, October 15, 2022, the 27th annual Watershed Environmental Poetry Festival, to celebrate Writers, Nature and Community, and send an urgent message to consider the earth and climate change in our daily lives. Our belief is that if you walk the earth, breathe air, this is your struggle, too, whatever your appreciation of art. You, too, will need the inspiration of poetry and music to meet our collective challenge.
The Festival begins with the Strawberry Creek Walk, poetry, nature commentary, and an easy walk along beautiful Strawberry Creek through UC Berkeley. To participate, meet at 10:00 am, at the southeast corner of Oxford at Center, on the edge of the UC Berkeley campus. All Festival events are free.
The Watershed Environmental Poetry Festival continues on the Main Stage, next to the Berkeley Farmers' Market, at Martin Luther King, Jr. Civic Center Park, at Center Street, Berkeley, Noon to 4:30 pm. Please gather for a free afternoon of poetry, music, and nature writers in the park.
Watershed will kick off with a climate fiction reading, "cli-fi" by prolific novelist and spoken word poet Aya de León, Creative Director of "Black Literature vs. The Climate Emergency" conference. ("Cli-fi" refers to fiction that deals with the impacts of climate change and global warming.) Presenters include Robert Hass, Summer Snow, Pulitzer Prize-winner and US Poet Laureate 1995-97; Forrest Gander, Be With, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, and Twice Alive; poets Caroline Goodwin, Old Snow, White Sun, and Trapline; Susan Cohen, Democracy of Fire; Tureeda Mikell, Synchronicity: The Oracle of Sun Medicine; John Curl, Rainbow Weather: Poems for Environmental Healing; Gene Berson, representing Canary, a literary journal of the natural world; Rooja Mohassessy, When Your Sky Runs into Mine, winner of the Elixir Press Poetry Award; and Theresa Whitehill, A Grammar of Longing, former Poet Laureate of Ukiah, California. More poets and presenters will be announced; for updates, see: Poetryflash.org or https://poetryflash.org/programs/?p=watershed_2022_inperson.
California Poets in the Schools students will read with poet-teacher Maureen Hurley; Barry Finnerty Jazz Trio, with acclaimed jazz guitarist Barry Finnerty, will be the onstage house band. Hosts include Chris Olander, River Light, former Nevada County Poet Laureate; Kirk Lumpkin, Storm Warning anthology; Joyce Jenkins and Richard Silberg from Poetry Flash.
To read at the We Are Nature Open Mic, enter the lottery at noon (at the info booth) for three-minute reading slots. To exhibit your books, magazine, project, or organization at the Festival, tables, canopies, and chairs are available, email email@example.com. Exhibit information will be posted on the Watershed page at Poetryflash.org.
Berkeley has a rich literary culture with poetry at its base. Poetry Flash has represented that base since 1972 with literary events, articles, and reviews. Since 1995, Watershed Environmental Poetry Festival has blended art, culture, and the environment to celebrate Writers, Nature, and Community in northern California. Robert Hass, the first U.S. Poet Laureate from the West, co-founded the Watershed Environmental Poetry Festival during engaged community discussions between environmental groups and poets. The first Watershed Festival took place in April 1996 at the Golden Gate Park bandshell, with over a thousand people in attendance to hear poets Joy Harjo, Michael McClure, and many others. The late Mark Baldridge, for so many years, the Director of the annual Watershed Environmental Poetry Festival, left an incredible legacy of support for this Festival. The Watershed logo is a wood block print by Shane Eagleton.
Admission is free, and the Main Stage Festival is wheelchair accessible. ASL interpreters are available with notice by October 6. Contact event organizer Joyce Jenkins at (510) 525-5476, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Kim McMillon at (510) 681-5652.
Thanks to the Berkeley Civic Arts Program for their support, and to our community partners, the Ecology Center and the Berkeley Farmers' Market.