TOPANGA MESSENGER -- October 23, 2003

"Idlers' Reading at Beyond Baroque, Nov. 9"

by Pablo Capra
Artwork by Norton Wisdom

Ten Lower Topangans will read from their book Idlers of the Bamboo Grove: Poetry from Lower Topanga Canyon at Beyond Baroque on Sunday, November 9, at 4 p.m.. Their poetry celebrates the idyllic bohemian lifestyle of their community and laments the prospect of being evicted from their homes by State Parks, who bought Lower Topanga in 2001.

The title of the book comes from a group formed by eighth century Chinese poet Li Po, called the "Six Idlers of the Bamboo Grove." Lower Topanga poets related to the name because of the bamboo arundo that characterize their neighborhood, and because arundo, a "non-native" plant, is also being uprooted by State Parks.

Their multi-media reading will include live music, a slide show by Topanga photographer David Blattel, and performance painting by former Lower Topanga resident Norton Wisdom.

It will also feature a new addition to the group, former Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band lyricist Herb Bermann, looking back one year after being relocated from his home in Lower Topanga.

Idlers of the Bamboo Grove is on sale in Topanga at Howell-Green Fine Art Gallery, Lobal Orning, and the Elder Tree. For other locations, see

Beyond Baroque is located at 681 Venice Blvd., between Lincoln Blvd. and Main St., in Venice. Admission is free for members, $5 for students/seniors, and $7 for the general public. For reservations or information call (310) 822-3006.

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