Chestertown, MD, April 3, 2007 — California-based poet Jim Natal will present a reading in the Sophie Kerr Room at Washington College's Miller Library on Thursday, April 5, at 4:30 p.m.
Natal, a Chicago native who came to Los Angeles by way of Santa Fe, is one of Southern California's most active poetry presenters. He curated and hosted the Poem.X and Rose Café poetry series in Santa Monica for more than 10 years and helped establish and coordinate Antioch University's multi-genre L.A. Writers Series. He also runs and teaches poetry workshops, including the Plein Air Poetry outdoor writing workshops coordinated through Joshua Tree National Park.
Natal's first full-length collection, In the Bee Trees (Archer Books, 2000), was a finalist for the Pen Center USA and Publishers' Marketing Association Ben Franklin Awards. A second collection, Talking Back to the Rocks, was published by Archer Books in 2003.
His poetry has been published, reviewed or is forthcoming in Bellingham Review, Runes, Pool, Reed, The Paterson Literary Review, Poetry International andThe Los Angeles Review, among other journals.
Natal's work also has appeared in many anthologies: Chance of a Ghost, Mischief, Caprice and Other Poetic Strategies, Blue Arc, Beyond Forgetting: Poetry and Prose About Alzheimer's Disease, Open Windows, So Luminous the Wildflowers, What Have You Lost?and Fresh Water.
Along with readings at the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival in New Jersey and a number of universities, Natal has been a featured poet at dozens of California venues, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art's Writers in Focus series, the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, and the Santa Barbara, Long Beach and San Luis Obispo Poetry Festivals.
A creative executive for the National Football League's Publishing Division for 25 years, Natal received his M.F.A. in creative writing from Antioch University in 2005. With his wife, graphic designer and book artist Tania Baban, he founded Conflux Press in 2004, specializing in custom trade books and handmade chapbooks, art books and broadsides. Along with private poetry workshops, he teaches creative writing at New Roads Middle School in Santa Monica.
Natal's April 5 reading at Washington College is presented by the Sophie Kerr Committee. Admission is free and open to the public; a booksigning will follow.