Tom Petty: Poet Rock Star

 

 

 

 

 

 

All day long this this beautiful song by Tom Petty has been playing in my head.

“Learning To Fly”

Well I started out down a dirty road
Started out all alone
And the sun went down as I crossed the hill
And the town lit up, the world got still

I’m learning to fly, but I ain’t got wings
Coming down is the hardest thing

Well the good ol’ days may not return
And the rocks might melt and the sea may burn

Well some say life will beat you down
Break your heart, steal your crown
So I’ve started out for God knows where
I guess I’ll know when I get there

I’m learning to fly, around the clouds
But what goes up must come down

Tom Petty, who died last Monday, was not only one of the great rock muscians of our time, but a great poet as well, whose simple elegant words soared even without music but with them could take you places you never knew were inside you. That’s what poetry does. We often forget that poems were once sung, and whether we sing them on a stage or simply read them aloud with our whole heart and soul, it’s all the same. And till the end of his days, Tom did just that.

Tom and his band The Heartbreakers were on their 40th Anniversary Tour this year, and Josie and I were hoping to get tickets. Alas, it was not to be. We were fortunate, however, to have heard him back when he and his band once toured with Bob Dylan. It was a night of pure magic. I will never forget watching and listening to these two gifted musicians and lyricists on the same stage as they played each other’s memorable songs and displayed their mutual admiration. And I don’t think his good friend Bob would care one bit if I said that Tom was truly his equal as a songwriter.

I think this post by Ani Bundel beautifully captures how many of us feel today and provides a good starting point for celebrating and keeping alive the memory of Tom Petty. Rock on, Tom!   Tom Petty Lyrics to keep his legacy alive

 

Emily Dickinson Puppet Show

There were so many memorable events at the recent Tucson Festival of Books. I wanted to share this delightful performance by my local poet friend Jeanne Missey Osgood, a fellow docent at the University of Arizona Poetry Center. She has now memorized a hundred of Emily Dickinson’s poems – a feat which astounds me. I can’t even memorize one of my own poems. Jeanne seamlessly recites Dickinson’s words through her charming puppet, bringing this beloved poet (and her dog) to life on the stage. Bravo, Jeanne!

My First Booth

There I was, all alone, with just the power of my personality and my six published books, to fill that 10 x 10 foot booth for two whole days at the Tucson Festival of Books this past weekend. Fortunately for me, I had plenty of good company.

Award-winning author/illustrator Rita Goldner came by on Saturday morning to speak about her beautiful book Orangutan: A Day in the Rainforest Canopy and to demonstrate how to draw an orangutan’s head. 

There was also my alternate ego The Absurd Naturalist, who gave a brief reading of his essays “The Well-Equipped Naturalist” and “Ten Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Garden.” Like my new hat band?

 

 

 

Best of all were the many readers and book lovers and people who simply dropped by to say hello and wish me well. Turns out, I was never alone. Why, I even made a few sales. Thanks to all for making this first booth of The Twaronite Zone an event to long remember.

For those who couldn’t make it or are now maybe having second thoughts about not buying one of my books, you can still go to my online store above and purchase signed copies (or unsigned copies, if you prefer).

Explore New Worlds of Imagination

This banner for our booth #477 (The Twaronite Zone) at the Tucson Festival of Books says it all. If you’re in the area, please join us for a weekend of literary fun for the whole family. The festival will be held on the beautiful sunny mall of the University of Arizona, on March 11 and 12, from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm.

We have a number of activities planned, including a drawing demonstration by award-winning illustrator Rita Goldner, author of the picture book Orangutan: A Day in the Rainforest Canopy, readings by Gene Twaronite from his children’s book Dragon Daily News: Stories of Imagination for Children of All Ages and his first book of poetry Trash Picker on Mars as well as a visit from the Absurd Naturalist, fully equipped and dressed for a day in the field.

For those who can’t make it, you can purchase signed copies of my six books in my online store. Just click on store to enter.

As many of you have noticed, for personal reasons I am no longer on Facebook or Twitter. I would be much obliged if you would pass along this link to anyone who might be interested in following my writing.

Tucson Festival of Books

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Tucson Festival of Books is now the third largest in the country. tucson festival of books  If you’re in town March 11 or 12, please join me in Booth 477 (The Twaronite Zone) on the sunny University of Arizona mall.

We have a number of events planned. On Saturday, from 10:30 am to 11:30 am, award-winning author and illustrator Rita Goldner will give a brief description of her new book Orangutan: A Day in the Rainforest Canopy and how it came to be, then lead an exercise on sketching a simple orangutan head. For young and old, age 4 to adult. Copies of her book will be available for purchase and signing.

Of course, I will also be doing some readings and performances from my six published books, including an appearance by the Absurd Naturalist himself, in full costume.

If you know anyone who’s visiting here that weekend and loves books, please pass along the word. The Tucson Festival of Books is our biggest event of the year and one not to be missed.

 

Poetry Center Docent

I am now an offical docent for the University of Arizona Poetry Center – one of only three buildings in the U.S. dedicated to poetry. It houses one of the most comprehensive contemporary collections in the country, and it’s all free and open to the public. It also hosts readings from poets from around the world. I will be giving tours, leading poetry discussions, and writing blog posts. I am so proud of my city Tucson for its support of literature. Read more about it here  http://poetry.arizona.edu/visit/about-poetry-center

Anthropologie

Radio Interview (Dragon Daily News)

I was recently interviewed on Green Knees, a radio show for children on KSFR in Santa Fe, during which I read three stories from my book Dragon Daily News. For those who live near Santa Fe, you can listen to it live on Saturday morning, April 30, from 7-8, on KSFR 101.1 FM • KSFR.org  or you can hear it at this link (first couple of minutes are devoted to Louis Armstrong theme song)DDN-kindlecover3-1https://www.dropbox.com/s/iudiju9ca4x12m1/GK160430%20Side%20A.wav?dl=0  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tucson Festival of Books

I will be one of 450 authors at the upcoming Tucson Festival of Books  http://tucsonfestivalofbooks.org/  It will be held on Saturday, March 14, and Sunday, March 15, 2015 on the beautiful University of Arizona campus in Tucson, Arizona. The Festival enters its seventh year as the fourth largest literary event in the country attracting over 450 authors and over 130,000 participants during the weekend. All proceeds from the Festival are donated to local non-profit organizations that support improved literacy in Southern Arizona…more than $1,050,000 has been donated since the Festival began in 2009.

Please join me on Sunday, March 15, from 10:15 to 12:30, at my booth in Authors Pavilion West, located at the west end of the Main Mall, where I will be signing books and greeting the reading public. Copies of all my book titles will be available for sale.

 

Join me at Cottonwood Public Library

I’ll be doing a presentation of my book Dragon Daily News for the Summer Reading Program  at Cottonwood Public Library in Cottonwood, AZ, on Wednesday,  June 25, at    1 pm. The public is invited to attend this free event. Read more here:   http://cottonwoodaz/news/Author%20Gene%20Twaronite%20at%20Library%20June%2025%202014.pdf