Karen Kenyon, Richard Juarez, Will Falk, Sam Ollinger, Ishmael von Heindrick-Barnes, Frank Gormlie and Brent Beltrán
San Diego Free Press contributors and editors are involved in myriad activities beyond writing articles for this site. We would be remiss if we don’t mention some of those activities that have occurred this month.
Karen Kenyon is known to SDFP readers for her poetry, essays and art reviews. She is is a finalist for the San Diego Book Awards for her ebook biography Charles Dickens: Compassion and Contradiction. The biography examines the man behind the novels and seeks to understand all the different aspects of his complex character. Karen teaches Creative Writing at MiraCosta College in Cardiff, California. Her books include Sunshower and The Bronte Family: Passionate Literary Geniuses.
Richard Juarez, author of the SDFP serialized novel Tío Emilio and the Secret of the Ancestors, presented two chapters of the novel to English classes on the Hoover High School campus in City Heights. Rich read the chapters out loud with students providing the dialogue and afterward there was discussion. Students were interested in how he came to write this novel. He explained that he took a trip to the woods with an arm load of books to read many years ago. Instead of reading, the story of Tío Emilio began to unfold in his mind. It is a story that took fifteen years to write, the amount of time that many of those students have been alive on the planet. The students were engaged, curious and enjoyed meeting the author.
We have not heard from poet and essayist Will Falk for a number of weeks now. At the beginning of the month Will was making preparations for his trip to the Unist’ot’en Camp in British Columbia. The Unist’ot’en Camp is a resistance camp built by the Wet’suwet’en people on the path of seven proposed pipelines from the Tar Sands Gigaproject. In his article The Unist’ot’en Camp – Preparation: Home, Language, Self, Will writes in his distinctive, honest way about the fears and excitement engendered by his commitment to stopping the XL Pipeline from being built.
Sam Ollinger is the volunteer Executive Director and Board President of BikeSD. She has been selected as a fellow for the 2014 San Diego Leadership Alliance (SDLA) Leadership Institute. Since 2010 the San Diego Leadership Alliance (SDLA) has identified, recruited, and equipped young progressive leaders with the skills, opportunities and relationships necessary to effect change in the city of San Diego. “Through participation in an intensive five-month program (and it is intense), twenty selected fellows meet and learn from elected officials and local leaders from different sectors to develop leadership skills such as public speaking, advocacy, fundraising, political strategy, and communications.”
Ishmael (Ish) von Heidrick-Barnes’ poem Burn Area uniquely documents the charred landscape behind his daughter’s school. It is fire season in San Diego county. Ish’s poem is a sobering reminder of what that means to our friends and neighbors.
SDFP Editor Frank Gormlie spoke at the May 9th Peace Memorial on the UCSD campus. The Memorial is dedicated to George Winne, who immolated himself and died as a protest against the Vietnam War in May of 1970, plus it’s dedicated to those students who carried on the May 1970 Student Strike.
Editor Brent Beltrán’s voice and presence have been a powerful counterweight to the “no on b & c” special interests. He has shown up at press conferences with family members and a few friends to call out the lies. Vote YES on B and C!
These contributors and editors are writing the people’s history. They deserve recognition and thanks.