At best, the inclusion of "Word Craft" in Craft Forward is a conceptual stretch, but possible. Unfortunately, neither speaker tied the content of their presentations to the audience of makers or the theme Craft Forward. It could have been great, to make words relevant to an art and craft audience -- an opportunity lost. Nevertheless, Paul Flores was a discovery worth finding, . . . keep reading.
Patricia Powell is an author. Her lecture titled, "Language and Desire and the Discipline of Art" was the first speaker in Session 7, Word Craft. She professed in her short introduction that she wants her text to be healing by combining the study of energy, medicine and shamanism. This lecture completely missed the mark.
After describing the characters in her book, "Me Dying Trial," she proceeded to read directly from the book. It may be a common practice for authors to read from their books, but I think it is a TERRIBLE IDEA unless the author has a magical voice to craft her words. It didn't happen.
If you want to read her book, here is a review of the book. Below are her other books.
The next speaker was Paul Flores. He was much more entertaining. In fact, that is what he is - an entertainer. Enjoy the video excerpts below, they are well worth the time to listen carefully to his use of words.
He opened his lecture by stepping away from the podium and speaking from a standing mike. That one foot step changes the speaker's relationship with the audience. It was an amazing relief. Most of the speakers at Craft Forward hung onto that podium like it was a life raft.
This video above is provided by emiko oye. Filmed at Craft Forward Symposium.
This same poem performed at Craft Forward can also be viewed here in a more formal rendition: "Liquid Bar". Watch it online.
Below is another video of Paul Flores recorded by emiko oye at Craft Forward about "Spanglish".
A large part of his poetry and style is influenced by his Hispanic background. By watching these videos and the video link on his MySpace page, you can acquire your own perspective.
Background about the speakers (below).
Patricia Powell is an associate professor of English at Mills College and author of "Me Dying Trial" and "A Small Gathering of Bones" (Beacon Press, 2003), "The Pagoda" (Harcourt, 1999), and "The Fullness of Everything" (Peepal Tree Press, 2009).
Excerpts from her novels have been widely anthologized and she has lectured and led creative writing workshops in literary venues both nationally and internationally.
Paul Flores is local to the San Francisco Bay Area. It would definitely be interesting to go to one of his performances. Here is a link to his MySpace page so you can find out if he is performing in your area. There is another video on his MySpace page showing him perform "Brown Dream."