Logos Books continues the oral tradition of poetry

Through literature, spoken word and good intentions, the Linz family continues to empower the Davis community through poetry at their used bookstore Logos Books.

Tonight, from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m., Logos Books will host a poetry reading by undergraduate students. The event will be informal and aims to promote discussion between attendees and poets.

Susan and Peter Linz founded Logos Books, located at 513 Second St., with all proceeds going directly to charities Save the Children and Doctors Without Borders.

Susan Linz said tonight’s poetry reading will be followed by an informal reception so audience members can “talk shop” about poetry.

“I think that this is an opportunity for the undergrad poets to get there work out in front of a small, sympathetic public,” she said. “It is also an opportunity for people who’ve not come to a reading before to try that out – a win-win, don’t you think?”

The Linzes began this poetry series in November and hope to continue the tradition of sharing poetry with the Davis community outside of the university.

“Part of the goal we have at Logos Books, besides supporting our deserving charities, is to create a space where people can come in and discover new ideas and learn in a venue that is removed from the university campus,” Linz said.

But perhaps the most difficult part of having these events is getting student participation and community involvement.

Pamela Orebaugh, a senior English major, believes that poetry events are vital to keeping the community alive, but half the battle is getting the word out that these events exist.

“I think that events like these are the hallmark and shining glory of universities and university towns like Davis,” Orebaugh said. “Poetry readings like this one at Logos or the ones at Bistro 33 and the arboretum are important to the artistic and intellectual community thriving. The biggest problem is, obviously, getting students to attend. It’s a great resource and people who truly appreciate the poetry and events like these will always find a way to go and keep poetry a living experience.”

This will be the second year in which the store, which sells used and out-of-hand books, has been a part of the local community. By transforming into a conducive venue for poetry, Logos Books aims to continue the oral tradition of poetry.

Last February, Logos Books hosted its second poetry reading with published authors Katherine Hastings and author Hannah Stein. Hastings, author of Updraft and founder of the Word Temple Poetry Series in Sonoma County, was attracted to Logos Books’ charity basis.

“Their generous spirits permeate the store with good vibes. It’s definitely a feel-good place,” Hastings said. “Reading poetry to an audience brings poetry into the air as an oral art form. When I read a poem out loud, I try to stay within that poem, to tap into the original passion that brought it into existence in the first place, rather than worry about what people may be thinking of it.”

Along with Hastings, Stein read her poetry at Logos Books with a great sense of connection between the poet and the listener.

“Logos Books made my poetry reading on Feb. 24 a complete pleasure from beginning to end,” Stein said. “Sharing one’s poetry gives value to language and the imagination. It creates links between readers and writers that enlarge their world, and ignite new ideas. The bookshop is cozy and comfortable, with good acoustics, a delightful welcoming ambiance, and best of all, the sense that books, reading, readers and writers are important.”

In November of last year, Logos Books held its first poetry reading with the works of the late Quinton Duval. Susan Phelan, who was a friend of Duval, read his poetry in his stead.

“Having a place like Logos Books support poetry readings matters a great deal to writers and the community,” Phelan said. “Poetry belongs in public places. We need as many opportunities to hear writers as we can find.”

For more information about future events hosted by Logos Books, go logosbooks.wordpress.com.

UYEN CAO can be reached at arts@theaggie.org.

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