Bodie or Bust

March 1, 2010

Poets of Bodie: JTH

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — nicelledavis @ 1:50 am

JTH will be writing for the voice of the Bodie landscape. Like the desert he is a mystery.


Poets of Bodie: Liberty Heise

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — nicelledavis @ 1:47 am

Liberty Heise’s work can be found in Crate, The Fourth River, Ecopoetics, Phoebe Journal, Grain Magazine, Poetry Motel and others.  Her poem “The dingo falters” was nominated for Best New Poets 2008. Liberty was the co-editor for The Squaw Valley Review (2008 cohort) and graduated with her MA in Creative Writing from Temple University in 2005 Liberty was the recipient of the 2004 SWEA scholarship for her translation in Swedish.  She teaches at The Girls’ School in Austin, Texas.

Poets of Bodie: Kate Gale

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — nicelledavis @ 1:45 am

Dr. KATE GALE is Managing Editor of Red Hen Press, Editor of the Los Angeles Review and President of the American Composers Forum, LA.  She teaches in the Low Residency MFA program at the University of Nebraska in Poetry, Fiction and Creative Non-Fiction. She serves on the boards of A Room of Her Own Foundation, the School of Arts and Humanities of Claremont Graduate University and Poetry Society of America.  She is author of five books of poetry (her most recent, Mating Season, Tupelo Press), a novel Lake of Fire, and six librettos including Rio de Sangre, a libretto for an opera with composer Don Davis.  Her current projects include a co-written non-fiction book entitled Tameka vs. Susie Q, a creative non-fiction book Wild Horses, two new poetry collections, a co-written libretto, Paradises Lost with Ursula K. LeGuin with composer Stephen Taylor and a libretto adapted from Kindred by Octavia Butler with composer Billy Childs, a libretto based on The Inner Circle by T. C. Boyle, based on Dr. Kinsey’s life with composer Daniel Felsenfeld, and a libretto, After the Opera with composer Veronika Krauses. Articles, poems and fiction published in various literary journals and magazines, including: Gargoyle, Oberon, Cimarron Review, Rattle,The Brownstone Review, Georgia Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review,  Black Clock, Northeast Journal, Paterson Literary Review, Quarterly West, Poems & Plays and Eclipse. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and children.


For the project, I am I a crazed mother losing her sons as they go off to war and the town becomes depopulated, strange and blackened against the California skyline.  (In real life I am a crazed mother trying to get my children to move out of the house and regretting making the home such a fuzzy nest.) My writing of poetry and librettos has been somewhat confessional, sometimes persona, and sometimes just sheer narrative in the librettos.

As far as Bodie itself, I have not been there, although I used to visit mining towns in Arizona as a student, somehow in California I haven’t seen anything in twenty years because you have to work so hard to stay indoors, not Yosemite, the Norton Simon, Mono Lake, the Salton Sea, and not this Bodie place… but I will try to see it this summer on one of our road trips.  My favorite ghost town so far has been Tortilla Flats in Arizona  for all the wrong reasons maybe… people who loved me took me there, I don’t know if it is as cool or important as Bodie.

I am glad to be asked for this… I am not an expert on the American West but I am studying and living the human heart, and loss and soul consequences and trying to wonder about strands of connection.  Like Morrison I ask every day about the threads of quilt, and sometimes I think that in the American West, those threads were far riskier.

Poets of Bodie: Steven Frye

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — nicelledavis @ 1:42 am
Steven Frye teaches writing and literature at California State University, Bakersfield.  He has published shorts stories, essays, articles, and reviews in various journals, including The Centennial Review, The Kentucky Review, The South Carolina Review, and The Southern Quarterly, among others.  He is particularly interested in the literature of the frontier, landscape, and the human impulse to violence.

Poets of Bodie: Nicelle Davis

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — nicelledavis @ 1:36 am

Nicelle Davis lives in Southern California with her son J.J. Her poems are forthcoming in Broadsided, Front Range, FuseLit, Moulin Review, The New York Quarterly, Offending Adam, Picture Postcard Press, SLAB, Superficial Flesh, Transcurrent Literary Journal, and others. She’d like to acknowledge her poetry family at the University of California, Riverside and Antelope Valley Community College. She runs a free online poetry workshop at The Bees Knees.


Bodie is a home lost. This loss is preserved in the form of a park; Bodie is the Disneyland of loneliness. What a better place for poems to meet–to ride roller-coasters of  images? I wanted to face the dangers of loneliness head on–but I didn’t want to do it alone–and so I asked these amazing talents to come with me. They agreed to go and so the adventure begins.

I will be writing in the voice of Daniel Horner (first born of Bodie). His greatest desire is to be buried in Bodie, but the ground just won’t have him. He will see the rise and fall of his home. He will be force to walk away from the wreckage he loves more than himself.

Poets of Bodie: Alba Cruz-Hacker

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — nicelledavis @ 1:34 am

Alba Cruz-Hacker is a Dominican-American poet, writer and translator, and the author of No Honey for Wild Beasts (2008).  A Pushcart Prize nominee, she was awarded the 2007 UCR Poet Laureate Prize and the 2007 Tomas Rivera Endowment Poetry Selection.  Her works have been published in the Caribbean, Canada and the US, including Poetry (Senior Editor’s Choice), The Caribbean Writer, Canadian Woman Studies, Gargoyle, Spillway Review, Soundings: A Journal of Exploratory Research and Analysis, Bear Flag Republic:  Prose Poems and Poetics from California and the Encyclopedia of Hispanic-American Literature, among others. She is a McNair Scholar, specializing in the polyrhythmic multi-vocality of Caribbean Literature, and a former Managing Editor of the Pacific Review. She teaches creative writing at UC Riverside and the UCR Palm Desert Graduate Center and is also the Director of Development and Special Projects for the General Consulate of the Dominican Republic in California and the US Western Region. She lives in the mountains of San Bernardino with her husband and children.


I grew up moving around Latin America and later in various US states.  California, however, has been my home for the last twenty years, where I’ve lived in its Northern, Central and Southern regions.  I guess one could say that I straddle borders—and like it!  Liminal spaces hold a special appeal for me.  That’s how I’m thinking of this project about Bodie: an in-between space where what was and what will become will merge by giving imagined voices to ghosts.

For the project, I will be writing in the voice of Aurore Dubois.  She is French Creole; a transplant from Louisiana who escaped a difficult situation back home by marrying the first guy who proposed.  Her husband came to Bodie in search of fortune.  He bought an unproductive gold mine and died soon after, leaving Aurore destitute.  To survive, she turns to prostitution and works for Madame Etienne, one of the reported numerous “houses of ill repute” in Bodie.  Another interesting tidbit about Aurore: she’s a sort of witch (seer), but her gift—inherited from her maternal Mulatta grandmother—is quite capricious, coming and going as it pleases.

Poets of Bodie: Jessi Cramer

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — nicelledavis @ 1:30 am

Jessi Sundell Cramer is a tattoo artist, playwright, screenwriter, poet and all around creative-type.  She has a Masters in screenwriting from UC Riverside and her plays have been performed from Washington DC to Santa Monica, California and points in between.  Critical work is forth-coming in Connotations Press.  Jessi grew up in Wyoming, fluttered about and now lives in Laramie for the time being.

Ghost towns are endlessly fascinating to me and the concept of West-ness has prodded my work for years.  My Bodie persona is a as-yet unnamed young female journalist at the turn of the century.   Raised the eldest of seven daughters on a Pennsylvania dairy farm, she refused to marry three suitors and when The Persistent Suitor became increasingly insistent, she ran away to Philadelphia to follow in the footsteps of her hero, reporter Nelly Bly.   My stubborn-sweet girl supports herself writing interest pieces for magazines and furnishing illustrations for magazines and books.  She came to Bodie to write about the gold rushes and discovered a far bigger freedom than she ever imagined beneath the desert sky.

Poets of Bodie: Ching-In Chen

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — nicelledavis @ 1:02 am

Ching-In Chen has lived in Riverside, California for the last three years (and will be moving this fall to Milwaukee to begin a PhD in Creative Writing).  She hearts street food, the zuihitsu & other “hijacked forms” and gets lost easily.  She is the author of The Heart’s Traffic (Arktoi Books/Red Hen Press).  The daughter of Chinese immigrants, she is a Kundiman, Macondo and Lambda Fellow.   A community organizer, she has worked in the Asian American communities of San Francisco, Oakland, Riverside and Boston.  She is a member of the Save Our Chinatown Committee, a grassroots organization working to preserve the archaelogical heritage of Riverside Chinatown and likes to writes poems using found text and objects.  You can find her at


I’m going to write about the Chinese population of Bodie, which fits one of my general obsessions (coolies).  Also, I think ghosts & buried cities are fascinating & I like to follow their trails.  The book I’m currently working on has a speculative shiny city and its twin as inspiration, the buried city of Riverside Chinatown. I’ve never been to Bodie, but I hope to visit soon in the upcoming months.

Thanks for having me & looking forward to your poems!

Poets of Bodie: Jackie Bang

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — nicelledavis @ 1:01 am

I am Jackie Bang of Bang Excavation. I am looking for answers to Epic Fail. I am a ghost town journalist time-traveler mosaic jigsaw-undercity writer. I intend to write ten taut and intertwined one page prosaic that catch the dead-goldtown of Bodie, as a metaphor for all dead gold-ghosts, and the death of towns in general. My pieces will cover ten year snippets of history from gold rush to desertion. My intent is to the catch the ghosts in the periphery of their stories, dancing in the half light of dusk, between the timbers and mine ceilings, the forgotten rotten spools of thread under abandoned porches. I’m coming for you Bodie.

Poets of Bodie: Maureen Alsop

Filed under: Uncategorized — nicelledavis @ 1:00 am

Maureen Alsop, Ph.D. is the author of Apparition Wren (Main Street Rag), The Diction of Moths (Ghost Road Press, pending) and several chapbooks.  Her most recent poems may be found or are forthcoming at: Kenyon Review, AGNI, Blackbird, Pank, and Born Magazine.


A few years ago on trip to New York City I became obsessed with a Dean & Deluca gold dusted chocolate Buddha. This ephemeral being, I did not taste.  And though I still hanker for the ingestion of ‘mineral light,’   I’m not brazen enough to incarnate gold’s insidious lure. Thus I hitch myself, like the feverish prospectors of 19th century, to the ultimate quest—the desire to touch that gilded reflection of heaven hidden by eleven layers of earth.   The role of the undertaker appeals to me, but not an undertaker embodied by active throng of the village tragedy, nor the miner with his pan and pick-axe, no, but he that dwells with untarnished essence.  If such a thing, beyond the immortal sun, exists in Bodie?

« Newer PostsOlder Posts »

Blog at