Long Beach Poets Read In Telluride And Norwood

by Art Goodtimes

The Norwood Writers Guild has teamed up with ACE of Norwood and the Wilkinson Library to host Long Beach poets RD “Raindog” Armstrong and G. Murray Thomas for readings in Norwood, Monday, Oct. 24th at the Livery beginning at 7 p.m. and in Telluride, Tuesday, Oct. 25th at the Wilkinson Library beginning at 6 p.m.

These two events will be the start of a three state tour of Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona for the two writers, who are promoting their new books: Armstrong’s E/OR – Living Amongst the Mangled (Lummox Press, 2010) and Thomas’s My Kidney Just Arrived (Tebot Bach, 2011). Armstrong, publisher of Lummox Press, will also be showcasing Working the Wreckage of the American Poem (Lummox Press, 2011).

G Murray Thomas
G Murray Thomas

Their tour in Colorado will also take them to the Innisfree Bookstore in Boulder Oct. 27, the Glovinsky Gallery in Denver Oct. 28, and the Daily Grind Café in Pueblo Oct. 31. The Boulder and Denver readings are being billed as an Outlaw Poets Summit.

All readings are free and open to the public, although attendees are encouraged to buy books, as that is how the poets are financing their tour.

Armstrong is a somewhat enigmatic figure in the Southern California poetry scene. He has been featured at poetry readings all over that region, including with the Redondo Poets, Beyond Baroque in Venice, Book Soup in Hollywood, and the Artists Union Gallery Reading in Ventura. He has also read in the Bay Area and at the Sacramento Poetry Center, as well as in Grass Valley. Between 1995 and 2006, he published and edited The Lummox Journal, a monthly lit/arts magazine, distributed via subscription across the United States and to seven countries worldwide. He operates the Lummox Press, which publishes the Little Red Book series and has also published 28 full length titles. Armstrong has seen six full length collections of his poems published and one of short stories and 19 chapbooks. He has also edited twelve publications.

Armstrong’s new poetry book, E/OR – Living Amongst the Mangled is based on the poet’s experiences as a diabetic and L.A. County health-care patient. After being diagnosed with the disease and nearly losing his right foot to infection, back in 2008, Armstrong began his journey through the health maintenance system provided to the poor and indigent members of Los Angeles County. He calls it, “A wild ride thus far.” A stranger to any sort of health care, Armstrong has survived with a wicked sense of humor and a fatalistic philosophy about human nature.

E/OR – Living Amongst the Mangled is published by Armstrong’s Lummox Press, a one man, micro press in San Pedro, California. The mission of the Lummox Press is to publish writers based on the quality of their work, and to demonstrate the power of poetry to transform lives through readings and publications. More information about Armstrong his new book, and the Lummox Press, can be found at  HYPERLINK “http://www.lummoxpress.com” www.lummoxpress.com.

G. Murray Thomas is another long-standing figure in the Southern California poetry scene. He also has had featured readings in the region, including with Laguna Poets, Beyond Baroque in Venice, the Ugly Mug in Orange, and After the Carnival in Long Beach. Between 1994 and 1998, he published and edited Next…, a monthly poetry calendar and newsmagazine, distributed for free throughout Southern California. He has had one full-length collection of poems published, Cows on the Freeway (iUniverse), and five chapbooks. He also edited Paper S.Thomas’s new book, My Kidney Just Arrived, is based on his experiences as a dialysis and kidney transplant patient. After seven years on dialysis, Thomas received a new kidney in April 2010, as part of a chain donation. His kidney came from Jodi Tamen, an altruistic donor in Chicago, who had no idea who would receive her kidney. In return, Thomas’s sister, Jeananne, donated a kidney to a man in Salt Lake City, whose wife then donated to another patient. In the end, five people received new kidneys from this chain.

My Kidney Just Arrived is published by Tebot Bach, a non-profit publishing house in Orange County, California. The mission of Tebot Bach is to strengthen community, to promote literacy, to broaden the audience for poetry by community outreach programs and publishing, and to demonstrate the power of poetry to transform life experiences through readings, workshops and publications. More information about Thomas and his new book can be found at gmurraythomas.com. More information about Tebot Bach is at www.tebotbach.org.

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