at the Poetry Playhouse - 1814 Old Town Rd NW, Albuquerque, NM 87104
Utilizing the creation of his poetic memoir Road Ghosts as model, John will lead participants through a series of exercises designed to explore their own life stories. With brief discussion of some of his influences (Whitman, Kerouac, Olson, Sanders, etc.), John will suggest ways to take poetic memoir beyond the merely confessional and into the realm of document, living history. Finally, we'll consider how reading can "give wings" to one’s life story and place it on the skyway, the bardic path.
John's books "Road Ghosts" and "The Joe Poems: the Continuing Saga of Joe the Poet" will be for sale at discounted rates for those that take this class. Books are NOT required for this class, just as an option.
An unexpected treasure, Road Ghosts is an on-the-ground poetic document of radicalized students coming of age in the late ‘60’s and early ‘70’s. Its clarity of external and internal detail is often startling. Its detached camera eye lucidly documents the process of portent, pretense and Utopian fervor associated with that brief opening in U.S. dissident cultures and the generational clashes inspired by idealism, psychedelics and quest fever. It’s a profound personal essay on being and becoming.
John Roche’s Road Ghosts…well, I’ve never in my life been so vividly time-traveled through the rough and ready scenes of recent U.S. history. Evocation like no one else has ever done, you’re there. Philadelphia, Albuquerque, Berkeley, New York…all centered around the agonies of contemporary U.S. cultural – personal – survival. “But we’re still waiting for Joe the Poet/ waiting for his secret sign and saving word.” (Joe the Poet) What we have here is a re-creation of real America in real time, no messing around with style-games like most contemporary poets, but right between the eyes, almost like an overview film of the last 50-60 years of U.S. agony-culture-history.