Listen to: from me to you
Community Music Center
544 Capp Street @ 20th, San Francisco, CA
click for map
Q&A Sessions 7:30 pm
Performances 8:15 pm
|PoetryFreqs Wed. July 30
ruth weiss - poet
Hal Davis - hollow log
Doug Lynner - Buchla Mystery Serge
ruth weiss dubbed by writer Herb Caen as "the goddess of the beat generation," is a poet, performer, playwright and artist and original member of the first Beat Generation, a label she has recently embraced and that is used frequently by historians detailing her life and works. Her first performances of poetry and jazz were documented in Chicago at the Art Circle in 1949, and she is considered the first poet to experiment with jazz. weiss spells her name in lowercase as such as a symbolic protest against "law and order," since in her birthplace of Germany all nouns are spelled capitalized. ruth came from a climate of political turmoil. Born to a Jewish family in the tumultuous years of the rise of Nazism, her early childhood was spent fleeing her home with her parents. After a brief time in the U.S. during the war she returned with her family to Germany in 1946 as her parents worked for the Army of Occupation. In 1948, weiss and her parents moved back to the United States, resettling in Chicago. weiss left home in 1949, at first staying in Chicago. She originally moved into the Art Circle, a housing community for artists. It was in this community that she began experimenting with poetry and jazz. In 1952, she left Chicago and hitchhiked to San Francisco, where she began jamming and reading poetry with street musicians. ruth weiss and Jack Kerouac first met in 1952. They had, in her words, a "fantastic connection on multiple levels." weiss and Kerouac engaged upon a "haiku dialogue," spending hours over bottles of wine writing haiku back and forth to one another. Occasionally Neal Cassady would show up and the three of them would drive off, adventuring outwards in California at dangerous speeds. In 1959, weiss published her book Gallery of Women, a book composed in poetry, honoring the female poets who she most admired. In 1960, weiss finished her narrative poem "The Brink," which Painter Paul Beattie asked if weiss could turn it
into a film script. In 1961, weiss had finished her creation and filming of The Brink, incorporating "found objects" into her style and philosophy towards the film. ruth weiss continues to perform live in North Beach and at many jazz and poetry festivals. In 1990, weiss won the Bay Area poetry slam and consequently released recordings of her poetry performance, entitled Poetry & Allthatjazz. She currently has over 15 works published since 1958 with her latest, Fool's Journey published in 2012. In 2011, Can't Stop the Beat was published documenting her life and words as a founding member of the American Beat generation.
Hal Davis is a retired officer in the merchant marines as well as a consummate multi-instrumental musician since he was a child. He has worked with ruth weiss touring from Vienna to New Orleans since 2010.