On August 30th, Bridge Art Space hosted the opening reception for “Sensuous Dreams of the Lotus Woman” by artist Debbie Moore.

In celebration of Debbie’s woman-focused artwork, curator Charles Kruger invited writer Cassandra Dallett to put together a reading by several distinguished East Bay women who write.

Artist Debbie Moore, her sangha friend Meghan and musician Jamsa musically blessed the space before the poets performed:

Cassandra Dallett occupies Oakland, California. She writes poetry and memoir of a counter culture childhood in Vermont and her ongoing adolescence in the San Francisco Bay Area. Cassandra has published in Slip Stream, Enizagam, The Criminal Class Review and  sPARKLE + bLINK among many others. Manic D Press has recently announced that they will be publishing Cassandra’s first book length poetry collection.

Mk Chavez is the author of  Virgin Eyes (Zeitgeist Press), Visitation, Next Exit #9 (with John Sweet) and Pinnacle (Kendra Steiner Editions). Her poetry and fiction has been published in print and online. Find some of her work at 580 Split, Opium, Instant City, The Rusty Truck, and Zygote in My Coffee. She has been the editor of Mill’s College Award winning journal The Walrus (2010), Cherry Bleeds Literary Journal and the Milvia Street Journal. She is co-founder and co-curator of the Berkeley based monthly reading series Lyrics & Dirges with Sharon Coleman and Thomas Moniz.

Poet Sharon Coleman is an accomplished translator of French and Yiddish poetry, a contributing editor to Poetry Flash, and a much beloved creative writing teacher at Berkeley City College. At BCC, she is the faculty advisor for the award winning student-run literary journal, Milvia Street Magazine.

For many years, Julia Vinograd has been a Berkeley street poet, known to the community as “The Bubble Lady” for her tradition of blowing cascades of soap bubbles while hawking her poetic wares.. Her outsider demeanor (she is never seen without a button pinned to her clothes that reads “proud to be weird”) belies her significant poetic accomplishments. Educated at UC Berkeley and with an Masters of Fine Arts from the prestigious writing program at the University of Iowa, Julia has published an astounding fifty seven books of poetry and three poetry CD collections. The City of Berkeley has given her a Poetry Lifetime Achievement Award, and she has won a Pushcart Prize.

Sonya Renee Taylor is a National and International poetry slam champion who has shared her work and on stages across the US, New Zealand, Australia, England, Scotland, Sweden, Canada and the Netherlands in prisons, treatment facilities, homeless shelters, universities, festivals and elementary schools.  Her poetry appears in numerous journals and anthologies including Spoken Word Revolution:Redux, Off Our Backs, Beltway Quarterly, and On the Issues Magazine.  Her first collection of poetry, A Little Truth on Your Shirt, was released by GirlChild Press in 2010. Sonya’s work has been translated into Dutch, Swedish and German. As a performer, Ms. Renee appeared on HBO, Oxygen Network, BET, CNN, and MTV.

Here is a selection of  photographs (credit Ted Harris) of Deborah’s paintings from “Sensuous Dreams of the Lotus Women”. The show of paintings will remain available for viewing at Bridge Art Center through the end of October. (Click on pictures for a larger view.)

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