The Octopus Literary Salon and Babar in Exile are honored to present four authors from Las Vegas, all of whom have been recently published by Zeitgeist Press. Leading the pack is Bruce Isaacson, who established Zeitgeist in order to publish the original Café Babar poets, and who is carrying the spirit of those times into a new era. Along with him we feature three “Honorary Babarians” who come to bend our minds, including poet, actor, and filmmaker Syd Stewart, whose work was selected by the National Endowment for the Arts for their 50th Anniversary; James Norman – musician, part-time lover, heterodoxical historian of the forgotten, and half-assed Buddhist in a concrete monastery; and Heather Lang Cassera, who was named Las Vegas' Best Local Writer by the readers of KNPR’s Desert Companion in 2017. This is a rare appearance by these life-struck out-of-towners, so please come by to see how very much more Las Vegas has going for it than Capitalist excess, and show them what the Bay Area has going in its heart.
With our fabulous open mic, as usual.
Babar in Exile #17: Viva Babar! – New Zeitgeist Press Authors
a revival of the Cafe Babar, Paradise Lounge, and Club Chameleon reading series
and Heather Lang Cassera
Hosted by Richard Loranger and Bruce Isaacson
Thursday, February 14, 2019
free of charge
Octopus Literary Salon
2101 Webster Street
Bruce Isaacson has lived in Oakland, Michoacan, L.A., Las Vegas, Philadelphia, Paris, NYC, and Leningrad. He earned Master’s degrees at Dartmouth College and Brooklyn College. He was one of the poets who worked at the Cafe Babar mid-1980s SF spoken word scene. He is known as the author of a score of books and chapbooks, and as publisher of Zeitgeist Press, with over 100 poetry titles to date (www.Zeitgeist-Press.com) from spoken word legends including David Lerner, Jack Micheline, Joie Cook, Danielle Willis, Eli Coppola, Andy Clausen, and Julia Vinograd. At one of Gregory Corso’s last readings in NYC, Isaacson, detained in the subway, entered late, when Gregory stopped, pointed, and shouted, with glee, “You! You fucker!”
Syd Stewart is a poet, actor and filmmaker. She is the author of two books of poetry, A Rock and A Hard Place (iUniverse, 2010) and Babylon Graffiti (Zeitgeist Press, 2019). Her works are published in the following publications: Obsidian III: Literature in the African Diaspora, African Voices, Zone, The Lasting Joy, America at the Millennium, Signifyin’ Harlem, and Under a Quicksilver Moon. Syd was featured in films Hughes’ Dream Harlem and Everyday People, and has appeared in The New York Times, Variety, and People Magazine. Most recently, Stewart’s work was selected by the National Endowment For The Arts’ 50th Anniversary. Notably, she is a 2017 New York Stage and Film filmmaker fellow and Austin Film Festival Second Rounder and a 2016 semifinalist for Universal Pictures Emerging Writers Program. Stewart is the founder of Better Youth, Inc., a non profit organization (www.betteryouth.org), which uses mentoring and media arts to equip young people with creative confidence. She resides in Los Angeles. Web: www.sydsteword.com Instagram/Twitter: @sydsteword
James Norman assumes the open road would recall his name. Musician, part-time lover—a heterodoxical historian of the forgotten, a half-assed Buddhist in this concrete monastery, a traveling freak show feeding LSD to a higher consciousness—contradictions are the meat on the bones that construct him. James Norman was born to a Navy Man, and the sea never quite left him. His mother was the son of a preacher, though God never quite claimed him. His mountain is too tall for flags anyway. He has lived in cabins surrounded by forests of marijuana, in that steel onion called ship, being tossed across the Atlantic, in tiny houses owned by unscrupulous men chasing the Almighty American Dollar far past the point of no return. He owes everything to the women in his life, starting with Jean. He is a lover of animals (even the human kind.) He hopes you enjoy his musings about Armageddon, though he believes that inevitably we make it out alive to tell our story ourselves. I suppose he believes in the story more than anything else.
Heather Lang Cassera holds an MFA in Poetry with a Certificate in Literary Translation. In 2017 she was named Las Vegas' Best Local Writer or Poet by the readers of KNPR’s Desert Companion. Her poems have been published by or are forthcoming with The Normal School, North American Review, Pleiades, South Dakota Review, and other literary journals, and have been on exhibit in the Nevada Humanities Program Gallery. Heather's recent chapbook, I was the girl with the moon-shaped face, is available through Zeitgeist Press. She curated Legs of Tumbleweeds, Wings of Lace, an anthology of literature by Nevada women, funded by the Nevada Arts Council and National Endowment for the Arts. Heather also serves as World Literature Editor and book reviewer for The Literary Review, Faculty Advisor for 300 Days of Sun, and Co-Publisher for Tolsun Books. At Nevada State College, Heather teaches Composition, Professional Writing, World Literature, and more. www.heatherlang.cassera.net