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 She left behind several unpublished typescripts.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     

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