I’ve worked throughout California as a poet: in colleges, universities, worker camps, migrant education offices, continuation high schools, juvenile halls, prisons, and gifted classrooms.
Who today is willing to say that Texas and California and the remainder of the Southwest would be better off if they were governed by Mexico?
It was clear that the special interest groups in California really wanted the Chinese to be shut out of the country, because that was where the racial tension was the greatest.
Growing up, my grandmother did not want worldly music in the house. Then when I went out to California, I started listening to Spanish music, mostly Mexican music. But were I in Egypt, I would listen to the music of the people, or if I was in Italy, I’d listen to Italian music.
I grew up in northern California in a town called Fairfield, which is kind of exactly between San Francisco and Sacramento, a small suburb. And I’m the youngest of five children.
Well I teach in the History of Consciousness Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz. So that’s my primary work. I lecture on various campuses and in various communities across the country and other parts of the world.
In 1979, I received a phone call from Ansel Adams asking me if I would be willing to consider coming to work for him. I was teaching photography in Southern California at that point.
I went West and took part in the strike of the machinists – the Southern Pacific Railroad, the corporation that swung California by its golden tail, that controlled its legislature, its farmers, its preachers, its workers.
Southern California, where the American Dream came too true.
In California in the early Spring, There are pale yellow mornings, when the mist burns slowly into day, The air stings like Autumn, clarifies like pain – Well, I have dreamed this coast myself.