Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Just a reminder that the 2nd Annual Morton Marcus Memorial Poetry Reading will take place this Sunday, November 20. Pulitzer Prize-winner and recent MacArthur Fellow Kay Ryan is the featured poet. And don't forget the change of venue and time: this year, the event will be held at the Music Recital Hall up at UCSC, 3 pm. (The idea is to switch venues between co-sponsors Cabrillo and UCSC on alternate years.)

And while you're up there, stop by the exhibit of material from the new Morton Marcus Archive, to be unveiled on the afternoon of the reading. From noon to 3 pm, Sunday, the public is invited to visit the Mort exhibit in Special Collections at UCSC's newly revamped McHenry Library. Mort's widow, Donna Mekis, has been working with Special Collections curators for weeks furnishing the exhibition cases with personal mementos from Mort's study, where he was wont to prowl around in the middle of the night, working on new poems.

Not that Mort couldn't write anywhere, at any time. On the first trip to France we took with Mort and Donna and the McDougals, after a few days in the countryside, haunting the village boulangerie, Mort disappeared into his room for an hour or so one morning. When he emerged, he read us all the first draft of the poem, "The Baker's Wife," with its wry, yeasty sensuality. (It's now in his collection, "Pursuing The Dream Bone".)

But Mort did most of his writing in his upstairs study, surrounded by his books, his cigars, his Buddha, and the other objects he loved. Donna has tried to capture the spirit of his writing environment in the Specia Collections exhibit, so come early and check it out on the way to the poetry reading. (Donna also suggests a stop at the new Global Village Café, operated by the Hoffmans, located in the atrium of the new Library.)

The Morton Marcus exhibit will be on view from noon to 3 pm, Sunday, November 20, in Special Collections at the McHenry Library. The Kay Ryan poetry reading, with guest readers Shirley Ancheta and Jeff Tagami, introduced by Santa Cruz Poet Laureate Gary Young, begins at 3 pm. Doors open at 2:30, and admission is free, but seating is limited (first come, first served), so plan to get there early.

(Photo of Mort Writing, as seen on mortonmarcus.com.)

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