Island Arts

Recently Alameda’s poetry and music community gathered at C’era Una Volta restaurant on July 6 to say a final good-bye to nationally known beat poet and musician Jimmy V. Lyons. 

Local film maker Jeff Giordano screened a new documentary about Lyons’ life and work entitled, Searching for Jimmy Lyons. Lyons was a “national treasure” who spent most of his life in Alameda. He was a prolific poet and writer as well as a songwriter and musician. His most famous song, “Listen Lonely Girl,” was recorded by Johnny Mathis, and climbed to the top of the charts when it was produced. 

Youth troupe to present Little Shop of Horrors

Talented Alameda teens will titillate audiences with a tale of love, murder and botany this week with their performance of Little Shop of Horrors, that weird science musical featuring a hapless nobody, Seymour, who finds fame and love while nurturing a bloodthirsty plant (shown above in a performance by the American University in Cairo). Who will be the first victim to sate the plant’s appetite? The sadistic dentist? His ditzy girlfriend? The paternal but dismissive flower shop owner? Or Seymour himself?  

The Alameda Island Poets monthly poetry reading will feature poetry broadcasters and Benicia poets: Nina Serrano, Thomas Stanton, poet laureate; Johanna Ely, poet laureate emeritus; poet, painter and musician Sam Morse and legendary Beat Poet QR Hand on Wednesday, July 3, from 7 to 9 p.m. The reading will be held at the Frank Bette Center for the Arts, 1601 Paru St. Hosted by Nanette Deetz and Alameda Poet Laureate, Cathy Dana, the event features light refreshments followed by an open mic. Admission is by donation.

The rotating shows at the Frank Bette Center for the Arts have themes and artists submit work they feel reflects that theme. This time, with the title Surface Tension, the show’s theme references: inertia, forces of nature, resistance, undercurrents, speaking the unspoken, justice, honor, courage and opposite attraction.

Registration for the 2019 Summer Reading Program at the Alameda Free Library is now open. Created to encourage reading as well as life-long learning, this eight-week program is open to everyone from birth through adult.

Like last year, registration and the tracking of reading and activity completion will take place online, enabling anyone to take part in the program from home, on a mobile device, or by using the computers at the library. All three library branches will have a supply of physical game boards available to those who prefer them.