The Scene

Happenings, Events, Gallery of Arts

ruth reiss, Beat Poet, RIP, (photo: web source)

ruth weiss (1928 – 2020), pioneering female beat poet, died: Friday, July 31 at the age of 92 at her cabin near Mendocino, California. (Note lower case spelling of her name was her artistic preference.) Some say the German-born spitfire introduced jazz poetry to San Francisco and even influenced Jack Kerouac, with whom she became close. She was cited in “Breaking the Rule of Cool: Interviewing and Reading Women Beat Writers.” Her most recognized work, “Desert Journal,” was released in 1977. A 2019 documentary about her life was released titled, “Ruth Weiss, the Beat Goddess.”

Exclusive photos from Beat expert, poet, writer Gerald Nicosia—

In June 2011, Gerald Nicosia threw an 83rd birthday party for ruth at the Art House Gallery in Oakland. Gerald reports, “We had a mob there that night. I had a giant birthday cake for ruth with 83 candles on it.”

ruth with her old Mill Valley friend, filmmaker Willo Hausman.(photos: Gerald Nicosia)
“I had a jazz band there that night, and ruth got up and performed some poetry with them. The guy playing the “log” on the far right was ruth’s boyfriend, who died before she did: Paul Blake,” said Gerald Nicosia. (Note this not the Kerouac nephew Blake.)
Happy weiss.

Returning soon for a debut review:

5 years ago, Summer 2015 issue: Grace and Lindy buzz Kansas City in “a NighT in Grace’S ShoeS” by Lindy Krushas. The redux will appear later this year.

ZOOM — the New Scene

Is it real? Literally virtually real. Sensitive Skin Beer Virus Reading #9,” with M.C. Bernard Meisler featuring Circus of the Sun: a novel of San Francisco author J.Macon King, poet Francine Witte and writer Ron Kolm. May 21, 2020. See instant replay here and tune in Thursday nights.

VIRTUAL San Francisco library Online Services from creators Elizabeth Pepin Silva and Lewis Watts.

Happened in June: Friday, 6/19/2020
12:00 – 1:30
A gathering in honor of  Juneteenth and learning about the legendary musicians of the Fillmore Jazz Era. 
Elizabeth Pepin Silva and Lewis Watts will present an illuminating slide show and talk about the new edition of Harlem of the West: The San Francisco Fillmore Jazz Era. Reservations required:

A platform for the Fillmore’s musicians, nightclub owners and residents of the 1940s and 1950s to tell the neighborhood’s history in their own words, as well as feature rarely seen photographs and memorabilia. Co-sponsored by Heyday Books and the Museum of the African Diaspora. 

Social Distancing — The Hip New Scene