This is the text for MEDIA DADA'S MANIFESTO, a video poem by Mike Hazard. It's a true story.
My mother went to Target the other day and when she came home she told my four-year-old daughter where she'd been. "Well, you can't go there any more," said Sonia. My mother asked why not? "Because they bombed all the targets."
I am more and more convinced that war begets war. When we build armaments and fight other nations, we build hostilities. We negate what we pretend to teach our children: Thou shalt not kill.
Think of it. This war must be sanitized. If you and I knew the truth, we might want to stop. I do want it to stop. Stop bombing the targets, whatever they may be.
BLESSED FOR LIFE
A wild-looking man I don’t know
from Adam begged a ride from the PO
to the Dorothy Day Center. He’s jazzed,
jazzed about a Thanksgiving feast.
With a shock of hair like a thundercloud,
he looks like an old Testament prophet.
He got out and paused next to the window.
Standing so I can’t see his face, I was
blessed for life when a rich voice said,
“This world is not altogether bad.”
Hazard is artist in residence at our Center for International Education. Please consider purchase of the book from Red Dragonfly Press.
It’s a collection of poems about people. The writer Freya Manfred writes, “I love the often playful, musical quality which enhances the vital/vivid images of each praise-worthy person. These people are real and the poetry honors them. The poems play off each other well—father, mother, old-timer, uncles—quite wonderful all together in this world, as the book surely lives up to its title.”
Bengt Skoggard writes, "The Whitmanesque humanity shines through. They are simple drops of pure heart.”
365 FRIENDS is inspired by Ko Un who writes a poem about every single person he has met in his life, and William Stafford who tried to write a poem every morning, and Jim Denomie who painted a painting every day during 2005.
Stirred by these models, Mike Hazard has been posting pictures with stories to Facebook every day for 12 years.
To begin every morning thinking good thoughts about a person is a luminous way to start the day.
For 47 years, we have been creating an array of multimedia, multicultural projects for audiences of all ages all over the world. It's a vision of life as a blended family.
One current project is Peace House People. It is a documentary portrait of a year in the life of a homeless shelter. The three-year project will culminate with an exhibition at Franklin Library in February, 2020.
We invite donations to our tax-exempt, nonprofit 501-c-3 organization (EIN 51-0191863). To read all about it, click.
If you prefer to write a check, make it out to The Center for International Education (THE CIE) and mail to:
The Center for International Education
743 Fillmore Street NE
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55413 USA
In addition, members of our board have donated a matching challenge, $2,750. Gifts of all sizes matter. Thank you for your consideration.
Weave of Love is an exhibition that features two artists, Tressa Sularz and Mike Hazard. Tressa makes fiber art. Mike makes camera works. They are happily married and they live a good life making things. Art and life intertwine.
“When I weave, I weave love into every piece,” says Tressa.
“All my pictures are love stories,” says Mike.
Weave of Love will be on exhibit until October 25, 2019, at Homewood Studios Gallery , 2400 Plymouth Avenue North, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55411. Hours for the gallery are Tuesdays 5pm – 9pm, Wednesdays & Fridays 1pm – 6pm, Saturdays 1pm – 4pm. For information, call 612.587.0230.
Mike Hazard has been photographing the Hmong American Farmers Association farm.
There is a video, a book, and a growing collection of photographs.
Having been exhibited at the Minnesota Museum of American Art, the Minnesota State Capitol, Hastings Arts Center, Morrison Gallery at the University of Minnesota, Morris, and Red Wing Arts, the current venue is The Gordon Parks Gallery at Metro State University April 22 – June 27, 2019. Learn more.
Watch the video.
Here is one spread from the book, WE COME FROM THE FLOWER.
Click to see a large chronological collection of pictures.
WHAT TRUTHS ARE SELF-EVIDENT? On the Fourth of July in 1967, some American college students decided to see if people would sign a petition which read, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…"
THE MOVIE AT THE END OF THE WORLD: THOMAS McGRATH is one of seven of our films now in play on public TV in Minnesota.
A MAN WRITES TO A PART OF HIMSELF: ROBERT BLY is another.
A first for a Minnesota filmmaker, a retrospective of seven films by Mike Hazard is playing on public television in Minnesota and North Dakota.
All featuring writers, the seven films in the series are:
A Sampler of Minnesota Poets: Robert Bly, Michael Dennis Browne, Louis Jenkins, James Moore, Margaret Hasse and Phebe Hanson (1975/15:30)
A Man Writes to a Part of Himself: Robert Bly (1978/57:30)
The Movie at the End of the World: Thomas McGrath (1981/56:56)
American Grizzly: Frederick Manfred (1983/28:16)
With Reservations: Jim Northrup (1996/28:42)
Eugene McCarthy: I'm Sorry I was Right (2001/28:35)
Cold Mountain: Han Shan (2009/28:15)
Four of the films have been already nationally telecast on PBS. This may be a record for an independent Minnesota filmmaker.
This lively video was created by all the kindergartners at Hillcrest Community School in Bloomington, Minnesota. Media Mike Hazard directed in concert with the teachers, Amy, Trista, and Ally. The production was made possible by the PTSA.
Mike Hazard was a fiscal year 2012 recipient of an Artist Initiative grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity is funded, in part, by the Minnesota State Legislature from the State’s arts and cultural heritage fund with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008.
A PINT-SIZED CHILD
A pint of raspberries rests
in the lap of a pint-sized child.
Lolling in her stroller, she’s
living in the lap of luxury.
“Don’t eat them,” Mom says,
as the little one begins eating,
too much; we laugh until
we grow red as raspberries.
Free for all, come see ROUND DANCE during the St. Paul Art Crawl, Friday 6-10pm April 27, Saturday 12-8pm April 28, and Sunday 12-5pm April 29, 2011 at Lowertown Lofts, 255 Kellogg Boulevard E, St. Paul.
Born in 1943, Roy Chester McBride began his literary career at Magnolia Colored Elementary School in Magnolia, Arkansas 1948. After learning his abc's and starting to read "Dick and Jane" and other great books of that period, Roy was bitten by the writing bug. Performing the written word was a skill he developed early.
"That voice" for which he is known was frequently invited to recite Bible verses at area churches of various denominations. After World War II was resolved, Roy's family and lots of other families left the South and headed for the booming North.
By way of Chicago and Milwaukee they finally put down roots in Muskegon, Michigan, where his interest for writing was encouraged by his elementary teachers--especially by Mrs. Ruth Anderson who encouraged him to keep his writing in a folder.
"We moved a lot...I don't know what happened to my writing folder." Life went on. Roy wrote stories like "Dick and Jane," only better....
On July 17, 1968, Roy motored out of the Motor City as Detroit began to burn in the riots. He arrived in Minneapolis by chance. While working in the mail room for a magazine, he spent every lunch and break reading. His work colleagues, Macalester College graduates, recommended that he visit Mac and consider applying. Roy did attend Macalester for three years in the early 70's and had a transforming social and academic adventure.
As one of the very few African American students writing poetry and performing, his professors invited him to parties to meet all the touring writers of that time. Roy met LeRoi Jones (now Amiri Baraka), Raymond Patterson, James Wright, Robert Bly, Sonja Sanchez, Etheridge Knight. The poet’s life began.
The poet's life ended in Minneapolis on July 29, 2011.
“All of Roy’s poems are love poems.” Paulette Myers-Rich, artist book maker and publisher of Roy’s book Love Poetry
“He has a buffalo heart.” Maureen Skelly, writer
“He is the pastor of the street poets. He is the John Coltrane, the Miles Davis of poetry, The Love Supreme of poetry.” Kevin O'Rourke, writer
"This is fantastically funky." Chuck Olsen, media maestro
"A beautiful piece: so Roy-like, with circularities and humor and rhythms and open faces and good humor." Margaret Hasse, poet
“Roy is the master of time and spaces.” Louis Alemayehu, poet/Ancestor Energy
“A POET POETS is a vivid video word ride with Roy McBride. A labor of love, I videotaped Roy on the fly starting in 1986. Recordings were made at The Loft, Roy’s famous poetry salons, a poetry in the schools residency, various poetry slams, impromptu poetings, intimate family get-togethers, a theatrical performance with Heart of the Beast Theatre on Lake Street, the print shop of the award-winning artist book maker Paulette Myers-Rich and the poet’s summer home, Dandelion Ranch. I love the joy of Roy.” Mike Hazard, director
Free for all, come see SNAKE PIT in the St. Paul Art Crawl, Friday 6-10pm October 7, Saturday 12-8pm October 8, and Sunday 12-5pm October 9, 2011 at Lowertown Lofts, 255 Kellogg Boulevard E, St. Paul.
Here's one poem:
A SNAKE STICKS OUT IN THE GARDENER’S MEMORY
An Anaconda in the Amazon amazed the man who approached warily.
Sluggish with a deer stuffed in its thirty foot length,
a third out of the water in the jungle, the snake was going nowhere.
The man’s name is Juan. The snake has no name, just “anaconda”.
Juan, who was teaching Spanish to the gardener sharing this story,
said he slipped up close, and touched the enormous serpent,
like Adam touching God in Michelangelo’s Sistine ceiling.
The snake’s eyes opened and closed, aware, unable to move.
Sluggish with the huge image, we ponder it for a moment.
I recite Pablo Neruda for her: “And deep in the huge waters,
the enormous anaconda lies like a circle around the earth,
covered with ceremonies of mud, devouring, religious.”
The gardener has a poetry group yet has never heard of Neruda.
She tells me on a trip into Latin America, I think it was Honduras,
she met a grandmother who upon hearing she liked poetry
walked home, which was a hike longer than an anaconda,
and came back with a gift of a book of her own poems.
Stuffed with the delicacies of life, we can barely move. We blink.
Sunday, May 29, 2011
LIGHT SHOW From dusk to dawn, Northern Spark will illumine the Twin Cities on June 4, 2011.
Co-directed by Mike Hazard and Deb Wallwork, the music is by the internationally renowned pipa player Gao Hong and animations are by John Akre. A project of The Center for International Education, the film has been supported by the Outagamie Foundation, the family of John W. Brower and the Bush Foundation.
Deb Wallwork writes, "Cold Mountain is a rollicking, tasty film filled with poetry, colorful characters, Zen wisdom and witty commentary. The film gives us glimpses of that mysterious--some say crazy, some say enlightened--figure, Han Shan, who left the dusty world to become a hermit and a poet, and in so doing wrote the intimate and inspired lines that speak to us today.”
Mike Hazard adds, "One way to look at the film is to see that literally everyone and everything in the film is channeling the spirit of Han Shan: the Mandarin of Jin Hua, the trickster animations of John Akre, the street singer, the rice thrashers, the Butterfly Woman, the four poetical guides, the monks in the temple kitchen, the bats in the cave, Gao Hong's pipa, even the cicadas compose a richly layered portrait of Cold Mountain."
Hazard and Wallwork are veteran documentary filmmakers with a dozen national releases on PBS between them. Their most recent collaboration, C. BECK, was Grand Prize winner of the Independent Lens Online Shorts Festival produced by ITVS.
A BAT IN HEAVEN
I'm a bat in heaven
today for Halloween.
I want to bless & be
blessed by a bat I killed
like a bat out of hell.
As violence begets violence,
& peace makes peace,
so a little bat came to me
in a dream recently
& gently kissed my elbow.
Grateful as hell,
today for Halloween
I'm a bat in heaven.
THE CASE FOR MASKS
No no, I don't want to know
about some obscure mask
in a natural history museum.
I am not going to believe
any mask moved on its peg
while the other 30 in the case
were stiff as tourists. So what
if you rapped on the glass
and leaped up and down
and you couldn't make it
shake until all on its own,
it was poetry in motion.
No no, I don't want to know.
A CASE FOR MASKS
Told as a kind of argument with myself, this poem is a true story about a visit to the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Literally, it tells a story about a display case for masks and something which happened which I can't for the life of me explain. Metaphorically, it makes a case for how its collection is the unpredictable face a museum shows the world.
"If you look, you will see things," Hazard likes to say. "You have to look to see."