Tuesday, April 25, 2006
THE RAIN ANANAEL DESPEDIDA AND JOANN PURDY MEMORIAL EVENT
The Rain Ananael Despedida and JoAnn Purdy Memorial Event featured one of the most luscious spreads the Sacramento Poetry Center has seen in quite a while. The strawberries and wisteria and pink roses provided the effect of a veritable fertile crescent at HQ.
Rain Ananael, who was scheduled to read with David Purdy prior to the sad news of his wife JoAnn’s unexpected passing, kicked off the evening reading several pieces that David wished her to read, one which chronicled David and JoAnn’s relationship. She read a Benedictus and an occasional piece which she had penned in the last few days since the news of JoAnn’s passing.
Rain was followed by a cast of local poets whose affiliation and connection with David and JoAnn was palpable. The first to read was Josh McKinney, who read a poem by Ronald Johnson entitled “April 18,” the precise day on which JoAnn died. He then read from his book The Novice Mourner the final poem in that book entitled “Empire.”
Sue Thomas read “7/12 Return” written by David Purdy and two of her own poems “On Passing By” and “For Brother Abel Dead at 94.” Finally, she read the epigraph from an epistolary poem that David had recently written
Eric Jeffrey then read two poems “Glad we Met” and “The Great Lover” by Rupert Brooke.
Ann Michals (joined by her daughter Milla) went on to confess her “Filipino Problem” and read a piece entitled “Creation Myth” that was based on a Filipino creation myth. She then read another of her pieces “A Photograph of You and I in Black and White” and finished with Edna St, Vincent Millay’s “I shall Go Back Again to the Bleak Shone”
Ann Privateer read an original piece entitled “Without Warning”
Edythe Schwartz read “Beginner’s Mind” by Margaret Gibson and “Tesserae” by Barbara Guest, revealing her strong belief in the notion of discovering what one is able to accomplich by trying something for the first time.
Tim Kahl read an original piece entitled “The Chariot,” based on a theme of the negro spiritual “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot”
Maddy Walsh read Walt Whitman’s “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d.” and in continuance with her everyman theme, read Joe E. Weil’s “Painting the Christmas Trees.”
Brad Buchanan read Australian poet Peter Porter’s “An Exequy” and an original piece of his own entitled “The Slowness of Light”
Bob Stanley read a poem from Gary Snyder’s Axe Handles, did his best Nat King Cole impression in singing “Nature Boy” and finally made a prediction with respect to Rain Ananael’s impending departure from the Sacramento area when he predicted that “Rain will return to Northern California.” All in attendance were heartily in agreement.
Featured in the photo above: Rain Ananael, stemming the tide of darkness that rushes toward her (large photo), (l to r, first row) Ann Michals with daughter Milla, Sue Thomas (l to r, second row) Josh McKinney, Ann Privateer (seen here hitchhiking to Delaware) (l to r, third row) Edythe Schwartz, Maddy Walsh, Brad Buchanan and Bob Stanley