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Fire and Mud: Poetry Readings, Events Mark Anniversaries

January 9, 2019

Thirteen months ago, fire raged in Ventura County, and then the fire roared its way into Santa Barbara, setting the stage for destructive floods.

Today, Weds Jan. 9 is the one year anniversary of the debris flow in Montecito that took the lives of 23 people, destroyed hundreds of homes, and impacted countless businesses and workers.

As our community recovers, we grieve for our losses and we are grateful for what remains, and for the first responders who gave their all, and to those whose continuing efforts have helped those in need.

Just because the fire is out doesn’t mean it’s over. Many people are not on their feet. Housing is expensive and the market is tight — and that has had a trickle down effect to everyone, not just those who lost their homes.

Watch: Rep. Carbajal reflects on the one year anniversary of the 1/9 Debris Flow

Unbelievably, today, on the anniversary, the President “tweeted that he will direct FEMA to stop providing resources to wildfire victims in California. Instead of offering his support and modeling leadership, he’s threatening families that have lost homes and loved ones,” writes Rep. Carbajal in an email that also acknowledges the need “to address climate change, which our firefighters and experts agree is directly contributing to the increasingly devastating wildfires in California.”

Tonight, Wednesday, January 9, 2019 from 6:30-8:30 pm, all community members are invited to a walk of remembrance starting at Lower Manning Park with a short program leading into a candlelit processional down San Ysidro Road and ending at All Saints-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church. People will start assembling at Lower Manning Park at 6:00 pm with a program to begin at 6:30 pm. The walk is estimated to be 15-25 minutes. Shuttles will be available to transport community members to and from Lower Manning Park and other designated sites in Montecito starting at 5:30pm.

Flameless candles will be available prior to the event and can be picked up at designated locations and will be made available at the park prior to the walk.

The remembrance event will conclude with a bell ceremony and a cup of soup at All Saints-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church, 83 Eucalyptus Lane, Santa Barbara, CA 93108.

This event is for everyone in the community. By providing the space in which to honor our collective experiences, it is the hope of the committee that our community will share a night of healing, hope and light with one another. For more information, please call: (805) 514-0191.

Parking and Shuttle Details: Parking spaces at Lower Manning Park will be reserved for those with Disabled Person Parking Placards and for pick up and drop off of community members with limited mobility. All attendees are strongly encouraged to park in the designated parking lots and take a shuttle to and from the event.  Shuttles will be available during the processional for those unable or uncomfortable to walk. Return shuttling to parking lots will be available throughout the evening once the program in the park has concluded.
Download Shuttle Schedule here: View program here:

Join us this Saturday, Jan. 12, at 3pm at the Museum of Ventura County for the “Fire & Mud Poetry Reading.” organized, hosted and curated Phil Taggart (Ventura County Poet Laureate), Enid Osborn (Santa Barbara Poet Laureate) and Ricardo Means Ybarra (Malibu Poet Laureate) who invited poets to participate by stating that “In less than a year our community has had two incredibly destructive fires and a tragic flood/mudslide.  Our communities came together in recovery to house, heal and rebuild. We’re looking for poems about the fires and floods to be read at this event.”

I submitted the performance poem that Rasika Mathur and I co-created for the Opus Archives grant funded performance at the Lobero Theater in Santa Barbara but it was declined because it was too long. Instead, they chose a shorter poem of mine.

There’s actually going to be two readings, one of Saturday and one next Thursday.

Saturday, January 12 at 3pm – Fire and Mud reading 1  – Museum of Ventura County
100 E. Main Street – Ventura  hosts: Phil Taggart, Paul Willis, Ellen Reich and Paul Willis
Saturday readers:
Russell Stockard, Gwendolyn Alley, Vincent Mowrey, Erin Garcia, Jennifer Leonardo, 
Friday Gretchen, Charles Spink, Elizabeth Kuelbs, Amada Irma Pérez, Laura Reece Hogan
Alexandra “Ali” Peetz, Sandra Knapp, Ann Buxie, S. Asher Sund, Sara Volle, Doug Knott
Florence Weinberger, Richard Jarrette, Gudrun Bortman, Jennifer Kelley, John Robertson, 
Carol Smith, Raïna Manuel-Parsi, Paula C Lowe, Amy Tomhave, Christine Kravetz
Becky Sanvictores, Ariel Fintushel, Natalie D-Napoleon
Fire and Mud reading 2 – Thursday, January 24
EP Foster Library in the Topping Room 
poetry every Thursday at 7:30pm
651 E. Main Street – Ventura
host:  Phil Taggart, Enid Osborn and Ricardo Means Ybarra
Thursday readers:
Marsha de la O, Susan Suntree, Laura Muñoz-Larbig, Adele Menichell, Conor Adam Logan
Danielle Brown, M. Jedediah Smith, Mark Fargo, Peg Quinn, Robin Burrows, Gregory Franklin Huyette
Eliot Jacobson, Cie Gumucio, Teresa Giovati Archer, Bonnie Goldenberg, John Beroud, Tim Tipton, 
Marcy Wingard, Robert Chianese, Elaine Alarcon, Judy Oberlander, Kimbrough Ernest, Susan Florence
Chris Spangenberg, Katie Ingram, Reynold Akison
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