Conejo Valley Poet Ariel Fintushel says, “Check out The Wall of Welcome!
Conejo Valley Poet Ariel Fintushel is a multimedia poet/artist working out of Los Angeles. She edits the literary magazine The WVoice and runs a creative writing workshop called Films & Poetry across LA in shelters and for women and girls, and curates an annual retreat for artists and writers in Joshua Tree called The Joshua Tree Experiential Arts & Writing Retreat. She has an MFA from SF State and has taught at colleges from San Francisco to New York City. Her writing has been published by Huffington Post, Zaum, Baltimore University’s Welter, The A3 Review, and elsewhere. CONTACT: medreamintoo @ gmail .com
- Hand-make a book of my poetry on a letterpress machine
- Complete anthology from The Joshua Tree Experiential Arts & Writing Retreat
- Host readings
- Curate another annual retreat
- Make a multidisciplinary work including my comics (and prose?)
- Make some smaller chapbooks to hand out/sell at reading events
- Make a series of broadsides with wood or linocuts for myself and those I admire who are interested! Do you want me to make a broadside for you??
I was born in Rochester, NY in 1986 on May 30th during the Lilac Festival – to Eliot Fintushel and Noelle Oxenhandler. My parents met at the Rochester Zen Center where my mother used gardening to allure my father as he strolled past her house making his way to daily mediation. My grandmother Rose Fintushel used to warn him, “When you walk, don’t look at the clouds or a car will run you over.” If not for that, perhaps he never would have looked down to see my mother and later procreate, an act which, at least one of the times, culminated in my existence.
My father was a hippy who hitch-hiked cross-country in the 60’s and 70’s living in communes and smoking cigarettes; he even met Art Spieglman and once talked him down from a frightening acid trip. Eventually, he became a mime then a science fiction writer. My mother teaches at Sonoma State University in the literature department focusing on memoir and the personal essay. We moved to California when I was five to live at the Sonoma Mountain Zen Center and though that was short lived, it is because of that destination I grew up in Glen Ellen, California aka “The Wine Country.”
On my own, I have meditated with Dharma Punx Meditation at Spirit Rock with Noah Levine, in San Francisco with Gene, and also with Josh Korda in New York City. I am interested in Angel City Zen here in Los Angeles and also Lost Coin Zen in the Bay Area, but do not currently have a regular meditation practice, although I do regularly sit upon and fluff my zafu.
I am writing here about meditation and Buddhism because that is where my interest in poetry was borne, from talking with my parents about their koan work, reading the dhammapadda, thinking about nonduality, and a deep desire to upturn hierarchy at all costs for the bodhisattva is everyone from mosquito to president just the same.
*To be continued…