Richard Beban, author of poetry collections What the Heart Weighs (Red Hen Press 2004) and Young Girl Eating a Bird (Red Hen Press 2006), turned to poetry in 1993 after spending more than thirty years as a journalist, and then a television and screen writer.
Beban's poetry has appeared in more than fifty periodicals and literary websites, and in seventeen national anthologies in the US and Britain, and he has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He has been a featured reader at more than 150 venues, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Berkeley's late, lamented Cody's Books, and Shakespeare & Company in Paris, France.
Beban, his wife poet and novelist Kaaren Kitchell, and three other poets organized and ran one of Los Angeles' most successful weekly reading series, at Venice's Rose Cafe from 1997 to early 2000. He and Kitchell also produced the 2003 Freshwater Marsh Ecopoetry Celebration at Playa Vista, California, a five-hour celebration of the new freshwater marsh constructed to help restore Ballona Wetlands.
Beban and Kitchell, both graduates of the MFA in creative writing program at Antioch University, Los Angeles, co-authored Living Mythically, a non-fiction manuscript on mythology. They also host monthly poetry and fiction writing workshops in their living room in Playa del Rey, California.
Young Girl Eating A Bird
Publication Date: March 1, 2006
OUT OF PRINT
In this poignant collection of poems, Richard Beban conveys the world around him in a brilliantly real and lyrically beautiful light. He writes of different perspectives and relationships, doing so with humor and warmth, leaving a memorable impression long after the final page has been turned.
What The Heart Weighs
Publication Date: March 1, 2004
OUT OF PRINT
“Richard Beban’s poems in What the Heart Weighs touch a wide range of subjects–family memories, lovers past and present, travel and experiences in other countries, and even a supermarket cart, a fruitfly, the beautiful body of a dead seal, even a lady who is carried into the sky by the pigeons she feeds. Beban’s energetic voice can be just as varied, witty, provocative, casual, serious, nostalgic. Two remarkable sections are my favorites–the title section, “What the Heart Weighs,” and the engaging poems in “Talking to Birds.” Many fine poems in this book have called me back for a second reading, a third, a fourth.”—Pattiann Rogers
“Beban’s distinguished poems throb with energy and irony. He loves to communicate with birds, and I’m sure they enjoy his poems, so close they are to bird-speech, lyrical and musical.”—Carolyn Kizer
“Richard Beban is a nostalgic vagabond of history, literature and family. He may be gazing through a Paris drizzle at the sluggish Seine, lost in the catacombs or in an Egyptian tomb, in his grandmother’s back yard, or dancing with Li Po in the shadow of a shadow of drowning with the moon in his arms. The word is concise, the emotion tense and transparent. A fresh eye to his cosmos, well tamed, his interior vision and pen are a lovely gift to the reader.” —Willis Barnstone