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Kathe Jordan: A Night of Poetry

November 7, 2018 @ 7:00 pm

On Wednesday evening, November 7th at 7pm at the Open Book, Kathe Jordan will read from her book of poetry for the community. Free; donations appreciated.

Kathe Jordan is a writer, musician, and teacher, living in Berkeley, California. She studied for her M.A. with former U.S. Poet Laureate, Robert Hass, at UC Berkeley, taking a break from writing to raise a family and teach English, choral music, traditional folk song, and guitar for many years.

She devised and taught a curriculum for middle school that combined creative writing, singing, music theory, and history in sharing with youth the story of African American music and its impact on American life. Kathe confesses to being vocationally promiscuous — on the writing side, poetry, narrative nonfiction and many, many published Letters to the Editor! In her performing life, she plays at coffee houses with her husband, performs in local theatre, and studies improv. As one might imagine, Kathe brings a dramatic flair when she gives a reading and has been known to burst into song when a poem requires it. Additionally, she is an avid birder, backpacker and photographer.

Kathryn Jordan‘s Riding Waves is not for the faint of spirit. Do not pick it up unless you are prepared to be jolted by hurts, inspired by survival, and charmed by metaphors that can only come from a wounded place within us.–John Warley, author of A Southern Girl

Kathryn Jordan‘s beautiful book reverberates with the beauty and pain of a lost era. Scenes from a fragmented military childhood at the height of the Vietnam War are interspersed with meditations on Nature, family, love, loss, travel and music. It’s a rich tapestry of memory and spiritual inquiry. Jordan finds her way through a tumultuous time by paying rapt attention to the sensory details and small epiphanies that accompanied her on her journey.–Alison Luterman, author of Desire Zoo

A strong book, crafted and elegant, utterly unsparing of hard truths and lit ablaze by the flamed-open heart of saying. These are poems that pull us close with their unflinching presence; roped in, caught up by Kathe Jordan‘s work, we turn pages that spill a tough and aching history, broken, bled through, and fraught with beauty.–Judyth Hill, Poet, Author, Editor

Books and Matches
That summer my mother took up residence as Queen of the Lariat Bar,
leaving fourteen-year-old me tumbling loose in the Rockies,
I told those cowboys I was sixteen because I wanted to lead
horseback rides. No one knew I’d learned to ride from books.
The first time I sat a saddle, leather smells like her wallet, I held
my back erect, squeezed my thighs around the haunch,
and let the reins tell me of the horse’s mouth.

Plodding geldings and mares, dusty, heavy with tourists
from the city, picking our way up the mountain, me at the head
of the line on a dapple gray, lighting a Salem, holding the match
book pinched between two fingers, my cupped hand forming
a wind-block, using my thumb to strike flame.
This I had learned from boys,
not books.



November 7, 2018
7:00 pm
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The Open Book’s event center hosts a diverse array of concerts, readings, and lectures, in an intimate setting with book- and wood-backed acoustics. Want to book an event? We have a 12′ by 8′ stage, a high-end PA with XLR and quarter-inch hook-ups, and capacity for 80 fans.