Literary Dialogs with Nina Serrano Celebrates Diane di Prima

Litany for Kathy Acker

Silverado Trio at Bird and Beckett Bookstore

QR Hand Reading Diane di Prima poem at San Francisco's Bird and Beckett Bookstore

September 7, 2019. QR Hand Reading Diane di Prima poem at San Francisco’s Bird and Beckett Bookstore. Thomas Stanton and Nina Serrano seated.

Litany by Diane di Prima brought us together. QR Hand, Jr. first presented the idea of forming a poetry trio to Thomas Stanton (Benicia’s Poet Laureate) and me after an exciting radio session at OZCAT (89.5 FM KZCT), our local Vallejo area community station. QR suggested we premiere Diane di Prima’s never before performed poem, “Litany for Kathy Acker.” We later named ourselves the “Silverado Trio” after our gray hair and our location in the north country.

Thus, began a series of unforgettable, inspiring, and enjoyable rehearsals, as we explored di Prima’s words, our voices, and interactions. We investigated and played with her enormous vocabulary and historic information all relating to the loss of the irreverent late punk poet/musician Kathy Acker, who, like Diane, thought nothing of transgressing all boundaries and taboos. Each rehearsal went on for hours because we were having too much fun exchanging our stories, poetic viewpoints, eating, and even singing old pop songs.

Drawing by Nina Serrano. Silverado Trio Rehearsing Litany by Diane di Prima

Drawing by Nina Serrano. Silverado Trio Rehearsing Litany by Diane di Prima

When we added the magic ingredient of a discerning San Francisco Bird and Beckett Bookstore audience, we soared. I hope you enjoy our plunge into Diane di Prima’s gorgeous poem. Paul Richards captured and edited it for you in the attached video. Enjoy!

About Nina Serrano: Nina Serrano is a well-known, international prize-winning inspirational author and poet. With a focus on Latino history and culture, she is also a playwright, filmmaker, KPFA-fm talk show host, regular contributor to OZCAT radio, a former Alameda County Arts Commissioner, and a co-founder of the San Francisco Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts.

Oakland Magazine’s “best local poet” in 2010, she is a former director of the San Francisco Poetry in the Schools program and the Bay Area’s Storytellers in the Schools program. A Latina activist for social justice, women’s rights, and the arts, Nina Serrano at 85 remains vitally engaged in inspiring change and exploring her abundant creativity. For more information go to ninaserrano.com or contact her publisher at estuarypress.com. For more detailed information about Nina see About Nina on her website.

About Estuary Press: Estuary Press is the publisher of Nicaragua Way. It is also the home of the Harvey Richards Media Archive, a repository of photography and video documentaries of various social change and political movements during the 1960s and 1970s. Contact Paul Richards (510) 967 5577, paulrichards@estuarypress.com or visit estuarypress.com for more details.

MEDIA – For photos & interviews: Paul Richards (510) 967 5577; paulrichards@estuarypress.com

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About Nina Serrano

Nina is a well-known, international prize-winning inspirational author and poet. With a focus on Latino history and culture, she is also a playwright, filmmaker, KPFA talk show host, a former Alameda County Arts Commissioner, and a co-founder of the San Francisco Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts. Oakland Magazine’s “best local poet” in 2010, she is a former director of the San Francisco Poetry in the Schools program and the Bay Area’s Storytellers in the Schools program. A Latina activist for social justice, women’s rights, and the arts, Nina Serrano at 84 remains vitally engaged in inspiring change and exploring her abundant creativity. For more information go to ninaserrano.com or contact her publisher at estuarypress.com. For more detailed information about Nina see About Nina on her website.

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