Always obsessed with the written and spoken word, Ted worked ten
years for the Sacramento Union as theatre, film and music
critic in the late '60’s and '70’s. He was the co-founder of the
Sacramento Actors Theater, which toured as a performance
art/theater group. Ted established Wild River Press in 1980; his
Now For A Limited Time Only was its first book. In 1993
Ted, Bradley Mason Hamlin, Gary Aposhian, Robert Berry, Gene
Black and B.L. Kennedy co-op published Voices From the Pit.
The last Wild River Press book, Blind Alleycats Dream Jazz
by Charles Curtis Blackwell, came out that same year. In 1994
Ted’s Kiss of Death Press published Welcome To Hell, a
100-page anthology of 33 regional poets.
In 1995 Ted co-founded and co-edited the journal, Urban
Voices That Matter, and co-directed the performance poetry
group that not only pioneered bringing the best regional poets
to festival audiences, but brought performance poetry and hip
hop together on stage at a major festival: The Urban Voices
stage at the Heritage Festival in 1997.
In addition to performing with the Screaming Pygmy Orchestra,
Ted has performed at numerous music festivals from Bear Valley
to Davis to Santa Rosa; at the first Lord Buckley Festival of
Poetry and Music at the Miners Foundry in Nevada City in 1997;
the 1998 Lord Buckley Festival in Sonora and in Grass Valley;
and at the First Annual Sacramento International Poetry Festival
at California State University, Sacramento in 1997, to name a
few. He was the 1997 Valley Series Slam Champion in Davis, and
runner-up at the Monster Poetry Slam in Grass Valley in 1998.
Poetry venues have always been a joy for Ted, whether hosting or
reading, since establishing his first poetry venue, The Looking
Glass, in the '60’s. Ted has been involved with venues for more
than 40 years, including Terry Moore’s Tower Books series and
most recently co-hosting for Joe Montoya’s Poetry Unplugged
series at Luna’s Café.
Ted has read his poetry just about everywhere: colleges, high
schools, libraries, benefits, special events, poetry venues,
on-air at radio stations throughout California, and he has been
featured in video productions, television appearances and film.
As far as the printed word, Ted is most proud that he has been
published in The Rolling Stone (1985), but he also
sincerely appreciates the other many literary journal and
chapbook publishers who have published his work.
Ted is currently lying low, writing and living happily in Fair
Oaks with his wife, Marilynn, and the Jazzy Cat.
Ted Finn Poems
—what happens when you're 50?
I overhear a woman in her 20s asking
a young man in the 3 a.m. diner.
he doesn't answer the question,
but I know what her question is saying,
by 50 you should know what you're doing,
have a place in the world as certain as death.
I’m past 50 and I have no such place.
reading the menu I can't decide what to buy,
all the stuff they're saying I can't live without—
I know I don’t need
the clutter, the distraction or the disillusion.
those brief moments
when I am free of the seduction of things
I open to what feeds me.
ALL POETS SHOULD COME WITH WARNING LABELS
all slick dancers,
all smooth romancers,
should come with warning labels
not to be removed
under penalty of law.
somebody should declare
a national state of affairs.
issue an all-points bulletin.
lock the windows and doors,
the women and children.
I know the sheep aren’t safe.