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Marsha de la O, Phil Taggart, and Mary Kay Rummel read poetry

Winner of the 2014 Blue Light Book Award Mary Kay Rummel is honored to be the first Poet Laureate of Ventura County, CA. The Lifeline Trembles, a co-winner of the 2014 Blue Light Press Award is her seventh book of poetry. Blue Light Press published her previous book, What's Left is the Singing, in 2010. Her work has appeared in numerous regional and national literary journals and anthologies and has received many awards, including four Pushcart nominations. Mary Kay has read in many venues in the US and London, and has been a featured reader at poetry festivals including Ojai and San Luis Obisbo, CA. She often performs poetry with musicians. A professor emerita from the University of Minnesota, Duluth, she and her husband, Conrad, teach part time at California State University, Channel Islands. They live and play with their grand children in California and Minnesota. See and Poet Laureate Ventura County.

Set in present-day Southern California, Antidote for Night is a heartbreak lyric, a corrido, a love song to California's city lights and far-flung outskirts the San Diego backcountry, the Central Valley, the Inland Empire, and the Mojave Desert. Marsha de la O's voice is a kind of free jazz, musically rich with LA noir and the vastness of metropolitan Southern California. 

Marsha de la O's Black Hope won the New Issues Prize from the University of Western Michigan and an Editor's Choice Award. She has taught Spanish-speaking children in Los Angeles and Ventura County for thirty years.

Phil Taggart in Rick Sings offers us an eyewitness, heart witness report from the edges. He gives voice to his mentally ill brother who is both his responsibility and his guide on a journey through the past and into the restricted urban spaces where those with mental illness are allowed. His intense poems, both sorrowing and redemptive, are made with such care and skill that they become openings to almost invisible lives. Phil ignites small flames that flicker against the larger dark... cigarettes, disinfectant, urine/ and the songs of each room/ bleed into the hall... The rhythmic power of the poems leads us into that hard won place where suffering and confusion meet mystery. - Mary Kay Rummel, Ventura County Poet Laureate *** Philip Levine believed that fake language makes bad poems. There is no fake language in Phil Taggart's compelling collection of poems, Rick Sings.

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