Thompson Peak Workshop Writers host April 23, Words and Music at Artisan Coffee in Janesville

The Thompson Peak Workshop Writers celebrate National Poetry Month with another Words and Music event from 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday, April 23, at Artisan Coffee in Janesville.

Michael Meinert is the featured writer/reader with music performed by The Crocodilians (Tim Keesey, guitar, and Mike Rivas, percussion). The event also features an open mic and possible appearances by the local Poetry Out Loud winners.

The event also offers a Gertrude Stein theme and compositions by the Thompson Peak Workshop Writers who will read works inspired by Stein.

According to a statement from the group, “The event is meant to honor two incredible women no longer with us — Jean Fruehan and Lynn Meinert — both of whom gave so much to Lassen County. Their lives matter.”

Artist biographies
Michael S. Meinert
As summer dawned in 1984, I grabbed my freshly minted BS degree in geology and joined my brother Austin for an adventure to Alaska for the job he already had and for the one I hoped to find. It was purely instinct to scribble thoughts about distance, mountains, rivers, towns, gas prices and people into a small three-ring notebook of lined paper that I found in my duffel bag. After a month of hawking my resume in Anchorage, a large oil exploration company dropped me onto the beach in Nome and put me into a dinghy to board the research ship that would become my home for the next six months. Plying the waters of the Bering Sea and Arctic Ocean through calm and storm, I could hardly contain the thrill of living a National Geographic epiphany. I quickly filled the notebook that became my first journal and have been writing about travel and adventure ever since.

My family traded the crush of Southern California for the open space of Janesville in 1975. Nurtured by the boundless energy and curiosity of my parents, my interest in science and the natural world led me to degrees in geology and hydrogeology and high-school teaching gigs in Samoa, Bolivia and Reno, Nevada. Recently retired, I spend my days pursuing outdoor sports, fixing fence at 8M Ranch, perfecting my Spanish and exploring and reading and writing about this world that continues to amaze me.

The Crocodilians
The Crocodilians have played almost every side show, casino and honky tonk from Westwood to Ravendale over the last 15 years. In fact, the Crocodilians played at Artisan Coffee during their 2010 Honey Lake Valley Tour! Musicians include Tim Keesey (guitar and vocals) and Mike Rivas (percussion).

Tim Keesey
Tim Keesey (rhymes with greasy, not cheesy) has played music since Hector was a pup.  In the 90s he was the bass player for Loviband, described by L.A. Weekly as “psychobilly deathrock” due to their propensity to play traditional Irish and Appalachian murder ballads in a rockabilly-surf style. Tim has mellowed with age like fine cheese. He plays a variety of traditional country, folk and blues covers, as well as his own original compositions.

Michael J. Rivas
I have been a Lassen County local since 1991. About 25 years ago (on a dare), a musical friend challenged me to build a hand drum. Some 85 drums later, “DooVas” hand drums have been bringing rhythm to the Pacific Northwest.  Because I am the creator of these fine Ashiko hand drums, it seemed only fitting that I should also play.  Joining in on any well-organized or impromptu musical venture that requests a backbeat is a joy. Playing with friends, helping the crowd dance or just sharing cadence with others is what the “DooVas” experience is all about. Enjoy the rhythm.