Salinas Poet Laureate James B. Golden Performs at NSHS

James B. Golden  photo courtesy of Alexis Rhone Fancher

Living in Salinas, the home of John Steinbeck, rocks on so many levels! James Golden, the Poet Laureate of Salinas, came to our theatre to perform selections from his new book, Bull, and chat with our Theatre Arts and English classes.

Golden won the 2012 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work – Poetry, for Afro Clouds & Nappy Rain. His writing has been recognized by the National Steinbeck Center as a “phenomenal work of art”.

Here’s an interview with James from Monterey Herald’s Go Magazine.  He talks about his latest book, Bull and answers some questions about his writing process and what it means to be a poet. There’s a YouTube clip where you can hear him perform as well.

Culture Weekly currently features four poems from Bull. Below, is a personal favorite since I live close to Moss Landing. Have a read:


A giant log sits beneath my butt
the sun squints my eyes
and the buzz of a sounding horn
pierces the lapping waves.

Two dogs traipse the shore
chasing seagulls through wind.
Brown children splash water in
parent eyes, singing lullabies
in Spanish.

My Vans flood with sand
turn Black brown.

This is what humanity is made of.
One with the Pacific.

We live, multiply, and die
as the shore surely hides us
in the sunset.

Our feet aren’t meant for shoes.

–James B. Golden

It’s nice when the poet is on the premise and gives permission to put his stuff on our NSHS Theatre site!

James B. Golden is performing Friday, April 25th @ 6 pm in Sherwood Hall to celebrate his book launch and signing of “Bull: The Journey of a Freedom Icon.” Theatre students: this free performance counts for your theatre review, so consider going if you have a chance!

Tell us!

Have a read over the rest of the poems and tell us which one you liked the best and why. Be sure to tell us the title!

photo courtesy of Alexis Rhone Fancher

Categories: NSHS, Performances

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34 replies

  1. I liked “What Follows A Rain” because the language that he uses really shows his effort in describing sadness in a very eloquent way.

  2. My favorite poem was Moss Landing Beach! He really capture the feel of nature and I felt as if I could picture the scenery in my mind!

  3. I liked the poem “What Follows A Rain (Bobbie)” by James B. Golden because it talks about love, life, and death. I think it’s really emotional and meaningful. And I like the imagery it gives off from the words.

  4. My favorite poem by James B. Golden was the one about his dreadlocks because he used a lot of detail.

  5. I really liked “Moss Landing Beach”. The way he describes his surroundings and gives a meaning to it really is amazing. I also liked the last sentence.

  6. I liked the poem about “Moss Landing” because he used a lot of details to describe his surroundings and feeling that I could actually picture it in my head.

  7. My favorite poem that i read was “Moss Landing Beach” by James B Golden because i love going to the beach and the poem just makes me think im sitting on the beach!

  8. One of the poems I enjoyed was the one about his dreadlocks, because it felt like I was there experiencing it while he explained it to the class.

  9. The best poem was Moss Landing Beach because James talks about humanity and nature, and he also adds a lot of small details of the things happening around him.

  10. The poem I liked from James B. Golden was “What Follows a Rain.” The reason for liking this poem is actually the last stanza that says, “Life alone is nothing a string less piano, an empty teacup. Grief comes like an idiot, sits on the other side of a rain.” This for some reason I relate to very much I guess that’s why I liked it so much.

  11. I enjoyed Golden’s “What Follows A Rain” the most not just because of its great portrayal of the sadness of homesickness but also because of its usage of a haiku.

  12. I liked the poem “Moss Landing Beach” the most because he uses very descriptive details and vivid imagery and that helps to imagine how the setting looked when he wrote that.

  13. I loved “Moss Landing Beach” he really uses a lot of imagery in his writings. It flows and your mind creates a pictures so you understand everything in the poem.

  14. I really enjoyed the poets, the poem I liked the poem about dread locks by James B. Golden because I found it kind of funny and he had a lot of confidence performing. I forgot the other poets name but I think his raps were pretty creative and moving.

  15. My favorite poem was Moss Landing Beach by James B. Golden, because it gives a lot of description with great details.

  16. I liked “What Follows A Rain” because the words he used express a lot of feelings and you can tell he put effort in to portraying a certain sadness.

  17. I was personally fascinated by “Moss Landing Beach” since it gives a sense of freedom. My favorite line is “…Our feet were not meant for shoes.”

  18. My favorite poem by James B. Golden was the one he read to us about his hair and how a women touched his hair. The way he uses so many fascinating words to describe how he felt is awesome. His poems make you want to read more and more.

  19. One of the poems that I enjoyed reading was Memphis it it used so much details. I could picture it in my mind.

  20. I liked “Moss Landing Beach” because it’s very descriptive with the word choices he puts in and if you were to close your eyes and just listen to the poem you would feel like you actually there.

  21. I really love the “Moss Landing Beach” poem because Golden uses a lot of imagery to describe what is happening to him at that moment. Even though his language is really easy to understand it has a lot more meaning then just the simple text. With Golden giving us all of these descriptions we as readers can kind of imangine the beach in our own minds.

  22. I really enjoy reading his poems, they all capture my interest, but I would say that Afro Clouds & Nappy Rain is probably my favorite book. The reason is because the events that he describes actually occurred, yet he managed to incorporate a sense of humor. His imagery and the detail in which he writes is a skill that truly amazes me.

  23. I think my favorite poem was the one that is dedicated to Salinas. While reading the poem, you can visualize the different sights around town and I enjoyed listening to him read this poem.

  24. I really enjoyed the poem “Moss Landing Beach”. He described it very well that I could picture myself there, the poem was very cool and it amazed me how it had deeper meaning in the end of the poem.

  25. I liked “Moss Landing Beach” because the poem is descriptive. I am able to visualize everything he is seeing and saying in his poem.

  26. I liked the Afro clouds and nappy rain poem because even though it was something that actually happened, the way he created the poem gave it a humor sense to it. It kept my attention and made me laugh.

  27. I also liked “Moss Landing Beach” because the descriptions make you feel like you are actually there. Also, I go to Moss Landing occasionally.

  28. I enjoyed “Moss Landing Beach.” The amount of imagery, mostly depicting the scenery of the beach, really helped to create your own perception of how it might have looked.

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