I've been working on my M.F.A. in Creative Writing the past two years— and this month I've finished my thesis. It's a novel inspired by my teenage years in The Red Tide— and later, the International Socialists— which culminated in my inglorious expulsion at the ripe old age of 18.
The Red Tide was the world's longest-running, and certainly most outrageous, high school underground newspaper, which was well-known in Los Angeles, the Bay Area, and Detroit. But perhaps the best way to describe The Red Tide to you is to reprint our masthead:
It came— flooding the schools, crushing everything that stood in its way, leaving in its wake a trial of destruction, havoc, rebellion. It razed classrooms, flinging textbooks to the winds, screaming out of turn, leaving foul stains on the desks, ripping the flags from their poles.
It caught scores of students, sweeping them onward in its headlong course, trapping them in the whirlpool of its frenzy. Administrators reeled, choking on its noxious reek as it tore their offices asunder. Cut slips, tardy slips, suspension notices, bad conduct notices, report cards— all were swept away in its churning mist.
It was… the RED TIDE.
This month, it's my pleasure, (and also my thesis requirement!) to share selections from my new manuscript in a public reading, on Friday, August 17, at 7PM at Modern Times Bookstore in San Francisco.
I'll also be reading some of my father Bill Bright's poetry that it especially apt at this occasion.
Bill died last October, but August is his birthday month. He was the first person who took me to poetry readings, and introduced me to my greatest influences. He was as active in his poetry as I was in revolutionary politics in the 1970s, and I think you'll enjoy hearing them both together. I know he would've!
Modern Times is my "touchstone" bookstore in San Francisco, which has been the vanguard literary hot spot for both progressive and sexual politics since 1971, the same year The Red Tide was founded. I'm honored to have them host this event, and they have a nice reading room to gather in.
Location and directions: Link.
I imagine we'll have a pretty intimate affair, as this is short notice and there'll be no publicity other than my blog notice here, and my personal invitations. I look forward to seeing you!