Photographer-poets appearing Friday
Ed Buryn and Max Schwartz could each write a few history books.
The friends have helped preserve the counterculture of the last 30 years as they travel around the world with their pens and cameras to record out-of-the-mainstream events.
On Friday, they’ll perform at the Nevada County Poetry Series at Center for the Arts in Grass Valley.
They also have a joint photography show, “Two Vagabond Photographers,” on display there through February. Pictures were taken in Iraq, Eastern Europe, India and the United States, including a series from the Burning Man Festival in Nevada.
Buryn and Schwartz have crossed paths repeatedly since meeting each other in San Francisco in the ’70s; Buryn’s photos of Schwartz have appeared in articles about Schwartz.
“Both Max and I are very much into humanity and trying to show soulfulness of the human experiences,” Buryn said Tuesday.
“My travel books were guides on how to travel unconventionally in the ’80s,” he said. “I designed my William Blake tarot cards, an example of New Age counterculture in the ’90s, as a tool for creativity for artists.”
Schwartz has read his poetry that addresses racism, prejudice and exploitation in prison yards, stadiums, theaters, libraries, mental institutions, schools, coffeehouses and at international poetry festivals for 30 years.
Photographs he took abroad bring home the realities of poverty and war and the indefatigable human spirit.
“Art can save spirit, art can save some lives,” Schwartz said Tuesday from his Sacramento home.
On Friday, Buryn, 67, will read Valentine’s poems, new works, possibly material from his “Vagabonding in the USA” guidebook, and conclude with an epic poem about the Yuba River.
The Nevada City resident will briefly discuss his views on his censorship experience at the current exhibit. He said that center representatives were uncomfortable with his nudes because children frequently visit the center.
Buryn compromised by moving the nude photos to one area with a barricade and hanging a sign alerting parents. He also covered up a few pictures in the Burning Man series.
“We’ll both focus on the areas we were offended in,” Buryn said.
Schwartz, 61, will talk about the recent defacement of three of his Iraqi faces photographs at the show.
“I’ll run out of time real fast; I have a lot of poetry,” said Schwartz. He will include a poem about America’s involvement in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11.
“It’s a graphic indictment of Sept. 11,” Schwartz said. The poem states that “simple profound karma” from the U.S. government helped bring about the events of that day.
Schwartz will also improvise. He has composed thousands of poems on the spot – spontaneous poetry.
An open mike will be before and after the poets read.
Know and Go
WHAT: Ed Buryn and Max Schwartz
WHEN: Friday at 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: Center for the Arts, 314 W. Main St., Grass Valley
ADMISSION: $7 general and $5 for seniors and students
INFORMATION: 477-4724 or 274-8384
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