Julia Vinograd was a poet. Perhaps you haven’t heard of her, which is all the shame. Ken Rosenthal plans to change that with his forthcoming documentary.
Julia Vinograd: Between Spirit and Stone is an in-progress documentary about iconic Berkeley street poet Julia Vinograd, who emerged from the 1960’s Free Speech Movement fighting state oppression with bubbles instead of bricks. Eccentric and indomitable, often subsisting on one meal a day, the “Bubble Lady of Telegraph Avenue” pushed through poverty and polio to produce more than 70 volumes of poetry, winning an American Book Award, a Pushcart Prize, and Berkeley’s first Lifetime Achievement Award. A lifelong champion of marginalized people and an enduring symbol of nonviolent resistance through art, Vinograd’s untold story of fearless determination is presented through the vivid historical prisms of Berkeley’s People’s Park movement, the 1980’s post-Beat Bay Area literary scene, and her own witty, incisive, deeply humane poetry.
Julia Vinograd’s poetry and unique brand of bubble-blowing activism profiles a divisive time in our past that reflects our present political climate. As historically silenced communities speak up within an increasingly diverse and inclusive United States, it is essential to tell the stories of artists like Vinograd, who did not feel limited by her disabilities. She wrote from the rare perspective of an artist surviving on the same economic and cultural margins as the itinerant and disenfranchised subjects of her verse. Julia’s story of indefatigable artistry and unabashed nonconformity highlight the creative potential that can emerge from difference, and asks all viewers to consider how difference is intrinsic to our humanity.
We encourage you to support the making of this movie by donating to this worthy project. You will see more news about this project in the coming months. As female writers and poets, we see the past leaving women behind while celebrating the men of the era. This movie seeks to change our perception about who was making a difference. It also shows the impact a single poet can have on an entire community. Julia was many things, but at the end of the day, Julia was a poet.
Please visit the website to learn more.