LEFT COAST WRITERS LITERARY SALON: Charles Entrekin, Founder of The Berkeley Poets Cooperative, Managing Editor of Hip Pocket Press and Editor of The Berkeley Poets Cooperative: A History of the Times
Charles Entrekin, Founder of The Berkeley Poets Cooperative (1968-1991) is going to talk about the importance of groups and organizations such as BPW&P. These poets and writers of BPW&P were writing about and living in tumultuous times in Berkeley when universities were under attack and free speech was in question, when the byword of the culture rang out, “Question authority.” It was an amazing period in history; when everything seemed possible. Looking back on times like this and on groups like BPW&P, can help and inspire new groups of poets and writers to maybe show a little of the optimism that sometimes seems lost. We, at Left Coast Writers, count Charles and The Berkeley Poets Cooperative as one of our major sources of inspiration.
Charles Entrekin was born in 1941 in Birmingham, Alabama,. He took his BA in English from Birmingham Southern College, in 1964. He left Birmingham in 1965 and lived in various states (New York , Tennessee, Alabama, and Montana) while pursuing advanced degrees in philosophy and creative writing. Arriving in California in 1969, he fell in love with the West Coast scene and the Hotel California experience. He now lives in Berkeley with his wife, poet, Gail Rudd Entrekin.
Charles has taught at almost every educational level. He taught pre-school language skills to six-year-olds with he Head Start program in Birmingham, Alabama; taught introduction to set theory to disadvantaged high school graduates with the Upward Bound Program in Tuscaloosa, Alabama; taught composition, English literature, creative writing, philosophy at the college level, and was the founder of the Creative Writing Program at John F. Kennedy University’s Orinda, California campus.
For 24 years, Charles was the managing editor of The Berkeley Poets Cooperative and The Berkeley Poets Workshop & Press. The story of the Berkeley Poets Workshop & Press was written up as the cover story in the August 29, 1976 issue of the New York Times Magazine. The Managing Editor of Hip Pocket Press (www.hippocketpress.com), Charles is also the author of: Listening: New and Selected Works, Poetic Matrix Press, 2010; In This Hour, a collection of poems, BPW&P, 1990; Casting For The Cutthroat & Other Poems, BPW&P, 1986; Casting For The Cutthroat, Thunder City Press, 1978, Birmingham, Alabama; All Pieces Of A Legacy, BPW&P, 1975, Berkeley, CA.
Charles’s novel, Red Mountain, Birmingham, Alabama, 1965, was published in May of 2008, by El Leon Literary Arts www.elleonliteraryarts.org