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Zen Garden hosts fall poetry fest

Posted: October 9, 2008 8:16 p.m.
Updated: December 11, 2008 5:00 a.m.
Fans of the written word should not miss the Fall Poetry Festival to be held Sunday in the Laughing Buddha Zen Garden in Newhall.

Richard Weekly, an internationally published poet with 11 books to his credit — including his new work “Hallelujah — Poems About Mom” — will host the annual event in his backyard at 24721 Newhall Ave.

Free admission and complimentary food and beverages will be provided in addition to music and poetry reading.

Don McLeod will offer a rare Butoh performance. Butoh is an unusual dance form that originated in Japan in 1959.  Annie Reiner, will read her poetry and perform songs from her new CD “Love Songs and Songs I Love.” Other award-winning free verse poets who will be reading include Heidi Joseph and Sherman Pearl.

Professional musicians Jerry Danielsen and Jorge Davies will also perform.

Weekley’s new work is a tribute to his mother, Marjorie Shepherd Weekley, who died in Santa Clarita in 2007 at age 95.

“Suddenly after mom died I found myself scouring my writing archive and I was saying to myself, ‘here’s one’ or ‘I’d totally forgotten about this one,’” he said. “The poems range from mundane moments like weeding her yard, to her crisis with cancer in 1978.”

Weekley said he also included his mother’s homemade twisted doughnuts recipe in the book.

“It seems my poetic eye is always with me and my internal poetic camera was on even during the last difficult moments of her amazing life,” he said. “The last part of the collection is called ‘The Silent Bell’ where the poem are about grief and the many states of mind I went through after she died.”

Weekley’s brother, Richard Weekley, will fly in from the East Coast.

“He will read portions of an essay on our mother and also one about our poetic grandmother, Minny Shepherd,” he said.

Richard Weekley retired in June 2007 after 40 years as a high school teacher. In 1999 he was selected to represent the William S. Hart School District as Teacher of the Year.

A sign up for a limited open reading will also be part of the afternoon’s activities. Richard Weekley’s new book “Hallelujah — Poems About Mom” will be on sale for $12.


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