Carol, !PRESENTE! A Report on the Event, by David Joseph


Carol Tarlen,   1943-2004

Carol Tarlen, 1943-2004




The Labor Fest program highlighting Carol’s work came off as quite a success Friday July 10, 2009 at Modern Times book store in San Francisco. Readers included Jeff Goldthorpe, myself, Louise Nayer, Sarah Menefee, Leslie Simon, Nellie Wong, Marcus Duskin, Christy Rodgers, Phyllis Holliday, and Erica Horn, and who am I leaving out? I read “Erasing Borders” from the screen of my laptop from the file of the manuscript of “Fire: Collected Poems,” as well as my Foreword to the book. Alicia was unable to be there, because she was ill, and Derek was unable to be there, because he was in the middle of a video shoot.

“Carol, presente,” as Christy said, feeling her presence at the event. I thought she could have been with us, but would have had one ear listening to the Giants game at the San Francisco ball park where Jonathan Sanchez pitched a no-hitter, the first in 33 years for the Giants at home, a nearly perfect game except for only one error, with a score of 8 to 0. Sanchez joined a club as the 17th member of the Giants in their 126-year history going back to the 19th century to pitch a no hitter.

Let’s see. What are some of Carol’s books? one book of poetry, or several volumes, depending on how you cut it and slice it. She wrote three books of fiction, “Charity’s No Substitute for Love,” “Letter from an English Prison,” and the next one I’ll be starting on soon tentatively titled “The Terrorists.” She also wrote a children’s book called “Pizza Pete, Jewel Thief Kate, and the Underground City.” Leslie saw me afterward, and she’s still holding out the possibility of a 50-page book or more of poetry published at City College of San Francisco. Jeff will be using the list serve and the blog to promote the possibilities for publication for Carol’s work.


About the Author:  Carol Tarlen had her poetry and prose published in literary journals (Ikon, Exquisite Corpse, The Berkley Poetry Review, Sing Heavenly Muse, Hurricane Alice, Poetry USA) and in three anthologies:  Calling Home: Writings of Working Class Women (Rutgers University Press);Liberating Memory (Rutgers University Press); and For A Living (University of Illinois Press).  In 1994, she was the first place winner in the San Francisco Bay Guardian Poetry Contest.  She was active for many years in labor, peace, and homeless advocacy groups.  Ms Tarlen died in 2004.


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