Seventh Annual Morton Marcus Poetry Reading
The Seventh Annual Morton Marcus Poetry Reading on Nov. 3 hosted Joseph Stroud, a poet who taught English and journalism at Cabrillo for 35 years and won the 2011 Arts and Letters Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Gary Young, Santa Cruz County poet laureate 2010–2011 and master of ceremonies, read poems from “Last Poems,” by Morton Marcus, including “The Dark Figure In the Doorway” and “Witness Between Two Worlds”.
Young introduced Stroud, who read samples of his poetry from his earliest “First Song” that he wrote at age 17, to some from his most recent book “Of This World” to a full auditorium of about 200 in building 450.
Stroud described finding his own voice for the first time. He also discussed Ezra Pound, an influential poet of the early and mid-20th century, so as to discuss Chinese and Japanese minimalism.
The earlier poems Stroud read included Despair, about Hamlet and how he reached some resolution, “Passage”, “Fortress”, “the Poem Within the Poem”, “Back at a Beginning”, “the Quiet Masters”, “Chisel the Words in Stone” and “Framing My House”.
Other poems included “Let Me Tell You”, “Looking at the Lion” (based on a true story that happened in a Santa Cruz animal shelter), “Animal Fair”, “Flowers”, “Blast” (about a bear having a blast at a lake), “God Lives in the Sun”, “Working on my Headstone”, “Apostrophe”, and “Poem in the Chinese Manner”.
Stroud stayed for a book signing after the reading.