Top header graphic with link to CSUS Home Page california state university, sacramento
Header Graphic
sac state homeuniversity affairspublic affairs
 

   search CSUS
     website


   main news page

media resources graphic
   news releases
   news and events
     archive

   fact & stats
   experts guide
   news by e-mail
   contact news
     services staff


publications graphic
   Capital University
     Journal

   CSUS Bulletin
   Newslink
   CSUS Catalog
   Viewbook (pdf)
   How-to Guide (pdf)

calendars graphic
   events this month
   search events
   academic
   athletics
   commencement

people graphic
   outstanding     
     teachers

   new faces
   in the news
   professional     
     activities

   in memoriam

additional news graphic
   Capital Public Radio
   alumni association
   crime alerts
   construction
   CSU system
   CSU campuses

visitors resources graphic
   ceremonies and     
     visitor relations

   commencement
   CSUS ticket office
   campus directory
   campus tours

contact us graphic
   news services
     staff directory

   submit news
     & events

   feedback

 

February 25, 2003

Filmmaker to share documentary
chronicling local poet’s life

Photo: Chris SimonDirector/producer Chris Simon brings her latest film, about the life of local poet Wilma Elizabeth McDaniel, to the screen during the 11th annual Festival of the Arts, April 3-12 at California State University, Sacramento.

The film, titled Down an Old Road: The Poetic Life of Wilma Elizabeth McDaniel, will be shown at 3 p.m. on April 10 in the University Union Hinde Auditorium. It documents the experiences McDaniel faced as a young woman during the Dust Bowl Migration of the early 1930s.

Although the Dust Bowl included migrants from Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Missouri and other Great Plains states, the migrants were generically known as “Okies,” referring to the approximately 20 percent who were from Oklahoma. The term became a fighting word, with signs saying “No Okies” posted in movie theatres and stores.

Today, visitors to the Central Valley may be surprised to hear people born and raised in California speaking with Oklahoma twangs. The word “Okie” still has a negative connotation, yet many, including McDaniel and singer Merle Haggard, have embraced it. They call themselves Okies to honor the trials they or their parents went through and to honor the heritage that has made an indelible contribution to California’s complex society.

In Down an Old Road, filmmaker Simon intertwines history and poetry to explore McDaniel’s life and vision. Her poems, the core of the film, are illuminated with images from the Dust Bowl and life in rural California today.

“This is a multifaceted jewel of a film,” says poet, novelist and CSUS English professor Mary Mackey. “Ms. Simon has recorded moments in the life and work of poet Wilma Elizabeth McDaniel, catching her considerable lyric power as well as the tradition that inspires her.”

Now in her 80s, McDaniel still writes a poem a day on precious scraps of paper. However, she no longer keeps them in a shoebox under her bed – her poems now appear in publications all over the world.

The event is free and includes a reception with Chris Simon from 4:30 to
6 p.m. in the University Union Lobby Suite.

For more information about the Festival of the Arts, contact the CSUS School of the Arts at (916) 278-ARTS or see the links from the Festival of the Arts news release at www.csus.edu/news. Media assistance is available from CSUS public affairs at (916) 278-6156.

####

 

Bottom bar graphic back to top


California State University, Sacramento • Public Affairs
6000 J Street • Sacramento, CA 95819-6026 • (916) 278-6156 • infodesk@csus.edu