William O' Daly, Judy Halebsky, Straight Out Scribes

Saturday Dec. 4 at 7:00 PM

1169 Perkins Way

Sacramento, CA

Four for the Quarter, a Sacramento Poetry Alliance quarterly reading series, brings four poets together for a special event every few months!

This month is no exception to the novel poetry series! Dr. Judy Halebsky, Director of MFA in Creative Writing Program at Dominican University, Pablo Neruda translator and poet William O'Daly, and the exciting spoken word team Straight Out Scribes, with Staajabu and Dr. VS Chochezi.

William O’Daly was raised in the San Fernando Valley and frequented the backpacking trails of the southern Sierra Nevada. He attended the University of California, Santa Barbara, as an economics major but before the end of his freshman year turned to literature and the writing of poetry. At UCSB he studied with poets Kenneth Rexroth, Alan Stephens, Fredrick Turner, and John Ridland, and with modernist critic Hugh Kenner; under friend and mentor Sam Hamill, he served as assistant editor of Spectrum magazine. In 1972 he left UCSB for Denver, Colorado, where he co-founded Copper Canyon Press. His published works include eight books of translation of the late-career and posthumous poetry of Chilean Nobel laureate Pablo Neruda (Still Another Day, The Separate Rose, Winter Garden, The Sea and the Bells, The Yellow Heart, The Book of Questions, The Hands of Day, and World’s End), and Neruda’s first volume, Book of Twilight — all published by Copper Canyon. Book of Twilight was a finalist for the Northern California Book Award in Translation of Poetry for 2018. Books of his own poems include The Whale in the Web (Copper Canyon), as well as Yarrow and Smoke, Water Ways (a collaboration with JS Graustein), and The Road to Isla Negra, the latter three published by Folded Word Press. He was profiled by NBC news correspondent Mike Leonard for The Today Show, as a finalist for the 2006 Quill Award in Poetry. Recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts as a Fellow, his poems, translations, essays, and reviews have been published in a wide range of journals and anthologies. With co-author Han-ping Chin, he wrote a historical novel, This Earthly Life, set amid the fascinating and deadly Chinese Cultural Revolution. This Earthly Life was selected a “Finalist” in Narrative magazine’s 2009 Fall Story Contest. Currently residing in the Sierra foothills of Northern California, he has worked as a college professor, a literary and technical editor and writer, and an instructional designer, and he has received national and regional honors for literary editing and instructional design. In 2016 he was recognized by the State of California for his contributions to the California Water Plan.

Judy Halebsky is the author of three poetry collections—Sky=Empty, Tree Line,and Spring and a Thousand Years (Unabridged)—and the chapbook Space/Gap/Interval/Distance. Born and raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia, she holds an M.F.A. in English & Creative Writing from Mills College and a Ph.D. in Performance Studies from the University of California, Davis. On fellowships from the Japanese Ministry of Culture, she spent five years living in Japan, where she trained in Butoh dance and Noh theatre. She now directs the low-residency MFA program at Dominican University of California. Halebsky’s work has been supported by fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Millay Colony, and the Vermont Studio Center. Sky=Empty won the New Issues Poetry Prize, and Space/Gap/Interval/Distance won the Poets-Under-Forty Award from Sixteen Rivers Press. Tree Line was shortlisted for five awards including the Believer Poetry Award and the California Book Award. In Spring and a Thousand Years (Unabridged), published in 2020 by University of Arkansas Press, the Tang Dynasty poets Li Bai and Du Fu encounter everyday life in Oakland, California, where Halebsky now lives with her nature guide and their young daughter.

Dr. V.S. Chochezi and Staajabu are a unique mother and daughter poetry team known as “Straight Out Scribes.” They are widely published, have received many honors and awards and have self-published seven books of poetry and two CD compilations. In addition to their writing and performance accomplishments, this mother/daughter poetic duo has produced and coordinated many consciousness-raising events and fund-raisers primarily on the West Coast since they first decided to make it their home in 1991. They are often referred to as activist poets and have spent the past 30+ years working on the campaign to free Mumia Abu-Jamal and the MOVE 9.

4 for the Quarter