Tag Archives: Rose Shannon

An Evening of Selections from ARCANA: The Tarot Poetry Anthology

Editor’s note: Happy New Year! You can expect a variety of blog posts in 2016, including essays from Arcana: the Tarot Poetry Anthology contributors, a new letter series, and much more. This month, Tanya Joyce generously offered to review the first Bay Area reading for the anthology. Without further ado, I turn the blog over to her.

Tanya Joyce

Tanya Joyce

Review by Tanya Joyce

ARCANA: The Tarot Poetry Anthology, edited by Marjorie Jensen, was the focus of a recent gathering at Oakland’s Liminal writing studio. The event featured selections from the anthology read by Martha Villa, Rose Shannon, and Tanya Joyce. Marjorie Jensen introduced the evening, contributed her own poetry to the mix, and commented on the origins of the anthology.

Marjorie’s goal was an international volume of contributions with diverse perspectives. I was surprised to learn that the one volume Marjorie found similar to what she planned was Tarot Haiku, a book I edited with contributions from San Francisco’s Thursday Night Tarot discussion group. New ground is being broken here!

Martha Villa

Martha Villa

As the evening at Liminal unfolded, Rose Shannon’s powerful warmth came through her poems from ARCANA. Martha Villa had an especially noteworthy sense of focus, evident in both her poetry and the intent way she listened to others.

Marjorie designed the evening to include both poetry reading and an opportunity for tarot card reading. The potential for involving everyone in this way encouraged free form conversation. The varied ambiance extended to refreshments, two Liminal cats, and one visiting baby. I mention all this as an example of an effect tarot images have in bringing people together. Jason Lotterhand, who founded The Thursday Night Tarot in 1950, liked to say that tarot works by encouraging people to check their egos at the door.

“You don’t have to think about it,” Jason would say. “And don’t worry, you get your ego back when you go home.” A tarot-oriented event in progress tends to produce intensified focus. At The Thursday Night Tarot, cats have been known to touch enlarged tarot images with their paws and noses. The cats at Liminal sauntered and sprinted as Marjorie spoke. One was caught on camera! Later, the cats entertained the humans by cavorting at the edge of a loft area.

Liminal cat and Marjorie

Liminal cat and Marjorie

Tarot enthusiasts may have been put in mind of the cat at the feet of the Queen of Wands in the widely known Smith-Waite tarot deck or the powerful lion being encouraged to roar in the Case-Parke deck Strength card from Builders of the Adytum.

Babies (rare but memorable members of tarot groups) were represented at the ARCANA evening by a little one looking outward with the openness of children in the tarot Sun card. Interestingly, in the way tarot images have of evoking thought, the Queen of Wands and the Sun cards both show sunflowers, reminding us of lions as cultural emblems of heat and fire and encouraging our minds to further evocative explorations.

Rose Shannon

Rose Shannon

The reading at Liminal may be the start of reaching out through the arts to create an expanded tarot consciousness. Meditative images from all traditions empower people to see experience from varied standpoints. Multiple vistas carry differing charges. What is this way one day may appear that way tomorrow. It is not a case of “true and false” or “correct and incorrect.” When 78 cards cover all the possibilities, each one must contain many facets.

The diversity of poetry in ARCANA presents exactly this kind of varied direction. Combined with contributors’ biographies in the volume, the book itself is a journey in the realm of what we experience additional to our five senses.

The evening at Liminal brought tarot into an ambiance of dynamic interaction between audience and presenters, between listening to tarot poetry and perceiving a mix of card reading and poetry reading. We look forward to more events from Marjorie Jensen and ARCANA contributors.

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Even if you couldn’t make it to the event, you can still hear some contributors read their poems from the book in the Listening Corner.

And you can purchase Arcana: the Tarot Poetry Anthology on the publisher’s website.

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Tarot Poetry Reading in Oakland

On November 18th from 6-8pm, there will be a reading for Arcana: the Tarot Poetry Anthology at the Liminal Center in Oakland. Local Bay Area poets Tanya Joyce, Nancy P. Davenport, Martha Villa, Rose Shannon, and editor Marjorie Jensen will read their work from the book. Before the poetry readings, there will be time to get your Tarot cards read by Tanya, Martha, Rose, and Marjorie. You can purchase copies of the anthology and other goodies by the readers at the event.

11039706_10153124792497246_2250547902683577879_oTanya Joyce is an experienced teacher, painter, and poet. She has led weekly gatherings of The Thursday Night Tarot since 1999. Tanya has taught at The Fleming Museum of the University of Vermont, the M. H. deYoung Memorial Museum Art School in San Francisco, The Palo Alto Cultural Center, and at San Francisco State University (then College). Currently, she teaches privately and at The Pinole Art Center in Pinole, California. Tanya reads poetry regularly at Salons for Our Imagination in San Rafael, Ca. She is currently working on a retelling in English of Semion Mirkin’s Presenting Pan, with Mirkin’s original drawings and poetry in Russian. Visit her website at: http://www.tanyajoyce.com

four-eyesNancy P. Davenport’s poems have appeared in The Burning Grape, Mountain Gazette, The Bicycle Review, Haight-Ashbury Literary Journal, The Lilliput Review, Blue Fifth Review, Poetry Quarterly, Red Fez, Full of Crow, MAYDAY, City Lit Rag, I am not a Silent Poet, The Lake, and Yellow Chair Review. She’s had poems included in three anthologies, including Under Cover, Sparring with Beatnik Ghosts, and the newly released Arcana / The Tarot Poetry Anthology. Nancy’s chapbook, La Brizna, was published in May, 2014; she is currently working on her second book, Smoked Glass. She was born and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Screen Shot 2014-10-23 at 12.22.08 AMMartha Villa is a fourth generation intuitive and professional Tarot reader for over 30 years. She incorporates the Tarot as a powerful tool in her life coaching practice “A Different Approach” (www.adifferentapproach.info). Martha is currently creating her own Tarot deck along with many other projects that are focused on spiritual and personal growth. She is a photographer and her work can be seen on her website: www.MarthaVillaPhotography.com. Martha is also a Reiki practitioner, minister and published writer. She finds the Tarot to be a huge contribution to the process of clarity and direction. Her proactive intuitive life coaching combined with Tarot wisdom brings individuals to a deeper understanding of their life purpose. This work is what Martha holds deeply as her contribution in this life time.

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Rose Shannon learned tarot from her mom, and is a lifelong divination enthusiast. She sings, does magick, and sometimes writes things down. She lives in San Francisco, CA., with her two teenage children. 

 

 

 

 

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Marjorie Jensen is a writer, bibliophile, and Tarot reader. She studied intersections of writing and magic during her graduate program at Mills College. Since completing her Master’s degree, she has taught (Tarot) poetry and prose workshops at U.C. Berkeley. Marjorie has edited several literary publications (such as 580 Split), her articles about Tarot have been published in a few magazines, and she is a contributor to Spiral Nature

 

Liminal: a Feminist Writing Space is located at 3037 38th Ave. in Oakland, California. More information about the venue can be found on Liminal’s Facebook page and website.

If you can’t make it to the event, you can hear poets from around the world read their work from the book in the Listening Corner, and purchase copies of the anthology on the publisher’s website.