May 28, 2016

La Garagista wine pour @ Ordinaire

photos by Styrous®

I spent a beautiful, typically bright Californian afternoon today having fun with friends, talking and sampling wines at a wine pour. The event was given by the Vermont winery, La Garagista and hosted by the wine bar, Ordinaire, on Grand Avenue in Oakland.             

The La Garagista winery is located on Mount Hunger at the edge of the Chateauguay and in the Piedmont chain of hills in Barnard, Vermont.         

The winery is owned by Deirdre Heekin with husband Caleb. She is winegrower, organizer, writer, photographer, flower farmer and designer; Caleb is gardener, cook, designer, builder, mechanic, factotum and philosopher.  More info about them on the winery website (link below).   
Deirdre was one of the servers who poured six varietals from their vineyard; she was pretty busy during the event and this was the best shot I was able to get of her.      

Deirdre Heekin pouring

The reason she was so busy, she provided a wealth of information on each of the wines as she poured for every guest. She seemed to be enjoying the whole process. The six wines were:

Confonde petillant naturel White
Loups d’Or white
Confonde petillant Rose
Grace and Favour petillant naturel white
Vinu Jancu

All the wines were of the, Falanghina, a variety of wine grape, Vitis vinifera, used for white wines. It is a species of Vitis, native to the Mediterranean region, central Europe, and southwestern Asia, from Morocco and Portugal north to southern Germany and east to northern Iran. The exception was the 6th and last one, the Loups-Garroux.

I asked Deirdre about the name of this wine and she confirmed that it meant werewolf, but in this case, a benevolent one. She said Garroux was also a play on words. Roux in French is the word for redhead, thus, this werewolf is a red-haired one.

Confonde petillant Rose

The Frontenac grape is a new varietal grape, released in 1996, a result of research and cross-breeding by the University of Minnesota. It was grown from a crossing of the complex interspecific hybrid Landot 4511 and a selection of Vitis riparia. It is a dry, acidic wine with a touch of a fruity flavor.   

Deirdre has written a book about the winery entitled, An Unlikely Vineyard: The Education of a Farmer and Her Quest for Terroir, which was on sale during the pour. It is published by Chelsea Green Publishing whose maxim on its website is: "The politics and practice of sustainable living."   

Also attending the Garagista pour was wine blogger, Elaine C Brown, who writes in the Wakawaka Wine Reviews blog.       

An interesting aside, the bottles of wine on the shelves at Ordinaire are occasionally separated by old paperback books.  

Life is good!

Net links:                  
Ordinaire website            
La Garagista website           
Chelsea Green Publishing                  

3354 Grand Avenue  
Oakland, CA, 94610

La Garagista  
phone: 802-291-1295             
Styrous® ~ Saturday, May 28, 2016 

May 25, 2016

Judith Lee Stronach

May 25, 1943
November 29, 2002

Judith Lee Stronach         
photographer unknown

She was a writer, poet, journalist and educator.  

Learning from Translation - 2011
Judith Lee Stronach Memorial Lecture Program
photographers unknown
photo of program by Styrous®

Labrinth 2002
photo by Styrous®

Luna 2002
photo by Styrous®

"The poet is a liar who always speaks the truth."
                                                    - Jean Cocteau

Net Links:       
Judith Lee Stronach Memorial Lectures - Blogs         
A History of My Befuddlement 
          (The Judith Lee Stronach Memorial Lecture on the Teaching of Poetry) - Amazon             

Styrous® ~ Wednesday, May 25, 2016       

Lyn Hejinian & The Judith Lee Stronach Poetry Lectures

Teaching the Slow Event

photos by Styrous®

Judith Lee Stronach was born on May 25, 1943. She was a writer, poet, journalist and educator.  

The Judith Lee Stronach Poetry Lecture series is normally held in the Reading Room of the Morrison Memorial Library on the University of California Berkeley campus but due to an impending strike, it was relocated to the Magnes Museum in Berkeley, California.   


The exhibition currently showing at the Magnus is The Jewish World | A Book Installation which gives insights into the richness and variety of Jewish cultures with art and material culture hailing from India, Spain, Yemen, Germany, Tunisia, Turkey, Morocco, China, Russia, the United States, and other regions where Jews once lived or continue to live.    

The lecture opened with an introduction by Professor Raymond Lifchez, founder and mentor of the Judith Lee Stronach Poetry Lecture series which began in 2003. He spoke of the impact Judith had on the cultural and ethnic communities of the East Bay. More info below.

Lifchez introduced Poet, Harmony Holiday, the author of Negro League Baseball (Fence Books, 2011) and Hollywood Forever (Fence Books, 2016). She curates the Afrosonics archive of Jazz Poetics and audio culture, and teaches at Otis College in Los Angeles.     

Ms. Holiday was followed by Guest Lecturer, Lyn Hejinian, Director of the Creative Writing Minor Program at  the University of California, Berkeley.

During her lecture Ms. Hejinian held up a tiny piece of paper . . .

 . . . on which was printed an even tinier poem by Lorine Niedecker.

Lights, lifts
parts nicely opposed                                                             
this white  
                      lice lithe
pink bird   
                                                 - poem by Lorine Niedecker

Lorine Niedecker was a Wisconsin poet and the only woman associated with the Objectivist poets. She is widely credited for demonstrating how an Objectivist poetic could handle the personal as subject matter. 

Niedecker was born on Black Hawk Island near Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin and lived most of her life in rural isolation. She grew up surrounded by the sights and sounds of the river until she moved to Fort Atkinson to attend school. The environment of birds, trees, water and marsh influenced her later poetry. 

Niedecker died on December 31, 1970, from a cerebral hemorrhage. She left behind several unpublished typescripts. Many other Niedecker papers were burned by Albert Millen, her husband, who said he did so at Niedecker's request.    

Niedecker's comprehensive Collected Works, edited by Jenny Penberthy, were published by the University of California Press in 2002. A centennial celebration of Niedecker's life and work, held in Milwaukee and Fort Atkinson in 2003, included treks to her two Rock River-edged homes on Black Hawk Island and symposium sessions including presentations by scholars and poets.   

The lecture was followed by a reception . . .  

                 Lyn Hejinian & David Heiden                   .

The Judith Lee Stronach Human Rights Award is given annually to an individual or organization who has made an outstanding contribution to the movement for global justice. The inspiration for this award was Judith Lee Stronach (1943 – 2002) a committed human rights activist who was instrumental in the founding of CJA. The award is presented during CJA’s Annual Dinner.   

The Creative Writing Minor Program is offered by the Office of Undergraduate and Interdisciplinary Studies in the Undergraduate Division of the College of Letters and Science. The approved courses students take to satisfy the minor course requirements are offered by over thirty departments on campus. Interested undergraduate students in any major may earn an interdepartmental minor in Creative Writing by completing three approved upper-division creative writing courses and two approved upper-division literature courses from any department that offers them, satisfying the minor requirements, and declaring the minor.  

May 25, 1943
photographer unknown

Styrous® ~ Wednesday, May 25, 2016