Monday, January 11th, 2009, 7:30 PM
Author Leonard Pitt Presents Slides from his New Book,
Paris Postcards: The Golden Age
Once again, the indefatigable Paris-lover and author Leonard Pitt regales us, this time with a book of images from his favorite city. He writes:
"In the 1960's the booksellers along the Seine sold old postcards of the city literally by the millions for ten centimes apiece. That's one penny US.
I bought a few of these cards and brought them with me to California when I settled here in 1970. Only then did I begin looking at my small collection
nostalgically and wished that I had bought more. When I returned to Paris in 1975 I rushed down to the Seine expecting to buy handfuls of great
postcards at bargain prices. Oops, too late. Their cost had skyrocketed. The French had gotten into their nostalgia too and postcards had become
big business. Not to be daunted I've gone on collecting through the years, finding bargains here and there. Here is a sample of my favorites. Enjoy!"
Rue des Bourdonnais
Leonard Pitt was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1941. After high school he attended The Art Center School in Los Angeles and at age twenty got
a lucrative job in an advertising agency as a graphic designer. Staring into a creative dead end he quit his job and traveled to Europe. He landed
in Paris in 1963 and took a few mime classes with Etienne Decroux. After a few days he was hooked. He spent four years with Decroux and seven
years in Paris.
He returned to the United States in 1970 and settled in Berkeley, California, where he opened a school of physical theatre, attracting students from
around the world. Leonard's one-man shows have received critical acclaim. He has performed and taught at theatres and festivals throughout the
United States, in Europe, Brazil, New Zealand, and Australia.
In 1973 he attended a concert of Balinese dance and music. Turning to his friend before the curtain went up, he whispered, "If this is boring, let's
leave in the middle." Stunned by what he saw, he closed his school and traveled to Bali to study mask theatre. While there he performed with the
Balinese in their village and temple festivals. He returned to Bali in 1978 to study mask carving.
In 1986 he co-founded Life On The Water, a contemporary theatre in San Francisco presenting new work.
In 1991, Leonard created Eco-Rap, an environmental education program combining ecology and rap music as a way to educate inner city youth about
urgent social issues.
In 2002, Leonard's Paris guide, Promenades Dans le Paris Disparu was published in Paris. The book has gone on to become a bestseller. It
came out in English in 2006 as Walks Through Lost Paris. 2006 also saw the publication of A Small Moment of Great Illumination,
Leonard's book about the 17th century Anglo-Irish healer Valentine Greatrakes. His second book on Paris came out in Paris in October 2008.
Most recently he and James Donlon have opened The Flying Actor Studio in San Francisco offering classes in all aspects of physical theatre.
Leonard lives in Berkeley, California. More information at www.leonardpitt.com
January 25, 2010
Authors Lyzette Wanzer and Jeanne Powell
Lyzette Wanzer is a native New Yorker currently residing in San Francisco. Her stories have appeared in Tampa Review, Illumen,
Specs, Pleiades, West Wind Review, Philament, Iris: A Journal About Women, Apalachee Review, Bryant Literary Review, artisan,
a journal of craft, Curious Rooms, AIM Magazine, and Gender On Our Minds. She is a winner in the southeast region’s 2005 Porter
Fleming Writing Competition, in the short fiction category. She was named a 2004 Fulbright Finalist in Literature, and was a 2004
finalist in the National League of American Pen Women’s literature grant competition. In 2003 she won $1000 in a National Scholarship
essay contest sponsored by the Mensa Education and Research Foundation. She has received writing residencies at the Blue Mountain
Center and Kimmel Harding Center for the Arts. In 2007 and 2009, she produced literary event panels at the Main branch of the San
Francisco Public Library. Ms. Wanzer has presented her work at the Popular & American Culture Association (CA), 20th Century
Languages and Literature (KY), Sigma Tau Delta (OR), the College English Association (TX), and Women, Gender and Sexuality (CA),
and (dis)junctions: Malappropriation Nation (CA) conferences.
Jeanne Powell writes poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. A performer, teacher, critic, producer of literary events, publisher, spoken word
host, community advocate, idea consultant, she also created Living Treasures project - raised funds and recruited editors in order
to publish the works of four poetic elders, published in 2005 by Meridien PressWorks.
M. Powell created and hosted three spoken word series in San Francisco between 1994 and 2004 -- the award-winning Celebration
of the Word (ten years), Poetry at the Cosmo, and Word Dancing. The Word Dancing series was re-created in a new venue from 2007
Her books include "My Own Silence" (poetry, flash fiction and haiku), 2006, Meridien PressWorks, "Word Dancing," (poetry, flash
fiction, 21 collages), 2008/2009, Beatitude Press.
In 2009, Jeanne Powell has read her poetry and prose at these venues:
Frank Bette Cultural Center in Alameda, Blogtalk Radio on the Internet, CityArts Gallery in Point Arena, Silk Road Restaurant at
Jack London Square in Oakland, West End Cafe in San Rafael, Priya Restaurant in Berkeley, Cafe Azul in Santa Rosa, Books &
Bookshelves, Poetry at Dalva, Trinity Poetry Series at the Abbot Courtyard in Sonoma, Rebecca's Books in Berkeley.