Ancient World Now:Isis

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Come by the San Francisco Main Library this Thursday & Friday for my Shakespeare Kidquake event. On Thursday from 11:15-noon a 5th grade class does A Midsummer Night’s Dream. On Friday from 3-5 pm, a bunch of teens do Theatre Terminate, my Shakespeare death scenes performance. Stop in to say hi!

“Oh mighty Is-is-is-isssss!” A cool 70’s morning show that I used to watch. Ah, the good old days. Lounging around on a Saturday morning. And guess what! Our 70’s heroine was a teacher who transformed into Isis to fight the forces of evil! Maybe she was my inspiration! “You will soar as the falcon soars!” Except that looks like a raven.

My favorite part of Isis worship is the nilometer, for the waters of the Nile were sacred. In fact, a jug of water from the Nile was included in their rituals, no matter how far from Egypt the devotees were. Nilometers, measured sea levels & were built in port cities around the Mediterranean to determine sea levels. Very cool old school mechanical instrument to open the season of navigation in the spring—and the annual flooding of the Nile River. This flooding was essential for the growing of grain along the banks of the Nile. Egypt was famous in the ancient world for its grain production and was the chief factor in Rome’s subjugation of Egypt. Without Egypt’s grain supply, the Roman empire would have collapsed and mass starvation would have occurred.

The nilometers were made obsolete when the Nile was dammed in the 20th century. Ah, progress….

Here’s our real honest-to-goodness Isis:
Love that headdress!

Litquake 2010

Once again, I’ll be doing a workshop for kids at this year’s Litquake. Kidquake & Teenquake are held at the San Francisco
Public Library’s Main branch at the Civic Center. Here are the deets for my Teenquake event:

Has Shakespeare gone mad? Everybody dies in a tragedy, so join the mayhem in this death scenes workshop.
Check it all out with Gwen Minor at
Here is a challenge for those of you who have done Shakespeare with me. Match each Shakespeare character with his or her final words.

Desdemona “As sweet as balm, as soft as air, as gentle,—O Antony! —Nay, I will take thee too. What should I stay—“
Julius Caesar “O happy dagger! This is thy sheath; there rust, and let me die.”
Romeo “Farewell: commend me to my kind lord: O, farewell!”
Cleopatra “The rest is silence.”
Juliet “Mine & my father’s death come not upon thee, nor thine on me!”
Hamlet “Here’s to my love! O true apothecary! Thy drugs are quick. Thus with a kiss I die.”
Laertes “Et tu, Brute! Then fall, Caesar.”


Grammateus means “writer” in Greek.

Welcome to the blog!

Every season has its events. For the fall, my favorite event is San Francisco’s Litquake. This is Litquake’s 10th anniversary, so plenty of celebratory activities are planned. The eight-day festival culminates in the Lit Crawl, a 6-11 pm walk down Valencia/16th Street area stopping into cafes, bookstores, nightclubs, & even laundromats, to hear the spoken word. An event not to miss, as thousands of literary revelers crowd the Mission. Check out the line-up:

I’ll be doing a Litquake workshop for junior high students on Thursday, October 15th at the Main Library. With helmets and swords I’ll be introducing them to the Trojan War with my very own abbreviated version of The Iliad. By the time they leave the library they will know who was “the face that launched a thousand ships” and the original meaning of Achilles’ heel. Take a look at my book to see the full play used by teachers in their classrooms.

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