Charles Entrekin was born in 1941 in Birmingham, Alabama, the eldest of six children. He was raised in Birmingham until early childhood, when his mother’s illness caused him to be partially raised in Springville, Alabama, by maternal grandmother Annie Allison (nee Newton). He attended Woodlawn High School in Birmingham. He took his BA in English from Birmingham Southern College in 1964. He left Alabama in 1965 to pursue graduate studies in philosophy at New York University until tragedy forced him home to Alabama to raise young son Demian.
EARLY EDUCATION AND TEACHING
Charles was accepted to Vanderbilt University and brought Demian to Tennessee, but returned to family and Alabama, where he taught pre-school language skills to six year-olds with the Head Start program in Birmingham. He taught set theory to disadvantaged high school graduates in the Upward Bound Program at Stillman College in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, while pursuing his masters’ degree and teaching philosophy to the Engineering program candidates at the University of Alabama. He intended to complete his graduate studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Arriving in California in 1968, he fell in love with the West Coast scene, the Hotel California experience, and the innovation of technology, temporarily suspending his education for a lucrative position at NASA. He completed his MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Montana, teaching composition and literature. He returned to California in 1975 and began the Creative Writing program at John F. Kennedy University (Orinda campus).
Still intrigued with computers and programming, Charles continued consulting and co-founded the Application Group in 1982, implementing work order tracking to manage change control and resource management for Fortune 500 companies. He eventually founded and sold four companies based on the concept of project portfolio management: The Application Group (acquired by ADP, 1994), Application Resources, Inc. (acquired by Renaissance Worldwide, 1996), Convoy (acquired by NEON, 1999), and Innotas (acquired by Planview, 2016).
For twenty-four years, Charles was a founder and managing editor of Berkeley Poets Cooperative and Berkeley Poets Workshop & Press. The story of the Berkeley Poets Workshop & Press was written up as the cover story in the August 29, 1976 issue of the New York Times Magazine. He was the founder, publisher, and editor of Tunnel Road, JFK University’s literary magazine, and a co-founder/advisory board member of Literature Alive!, a non-profit in Nevada County, California. He is the editor of the e-zine Sisyphus, a magazine of literature, philosophy, and culture; author of the blog Rhymes and Ruminations; and managing editor of Hip Pocket Press and Canary. Entrekin is the author of nine books. His most recent works include The Art of Healing, a transformative poetic duet (Poetic Matrix Press, 2016); Portrait of a Romance, a love story in verse (Hip Pocket Press, 2014); The Berkeley Poets Cooperative: A History of the Times, a collection of essays, stories, and poetry (Hip Pocket Press, 2013); Listening: New and Selected Works (Poetic Matrix Press, 2010); and a novel, Red Mountain, Birmingham, Alabama, 1965 (El Leon Literary Arts, 2008).
Charles met first wife Janice Lee Entrekin (nee Kirkpatrick, 1942-1966) in high school in Alabama. They had one child together, son Demian. Charles and second wife, artist Karen Marie Keenen AKA Maggie Entrekin (1945-2014) met at Demian’s preschool in California. They had one child together, Caleb. They separated and divorced in the mid-1980s. Maggie remarried and became the mother of Alexis and stepmother of Ezra Roizen. Charles and third wife, poet Gail Rudd Entrekin, met at the BPW&P workshops, fell in love, and married in 1986. They have two children together, Nathan and Katy, whom they raised with Gail’s son Benjamin Mitchell. Charles and Gail have five grandchildren (and counting). They live in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Charles and Gail founded the Entrekin Foundation in the summer of 1999 to preserve the environment and support the arts.
“The Environment: While the arts are the soul of a culture, the planet itself is its body, and, at the current rate of destruction, that body will not survive the century. We feel strongly that every possible effort must be made immediately to control over-population and the poisoning of our food, our air and our water. To that end, we are interested in funding, more than ever before, those projects which will do the most in the smallest amount of time to mitigate the effects of the current global crisis on wildlife, water supply, clean air, healthy food supply and other crucial parts of our failing ecosystems and increase public awareness of the crisis.
The Arts: It is our belief that the arts are the embodiment of the soul of a culture, that the promotion of writers through funding of their work is essential if our current culture, with its emphasis on technology, on the provocative outcomes of television, film and games, is to have a chance to develop that inner voice and ear that expresses and listens to beauty. It is our belief that this type of support is critical for the health of our culture. To that end we are focusing funding on literary/artistic ventures whose main purpose is to promote the works of quality writers and poets regardless of race, creed, or religion, primarily in our local community.”
Entrekin, Charles, and Entrekin, Gail. The Art of Healing. Madera, CA: Poetic Matrix Press, 2016. ISBN-13: 978-0986060076
Entrekin, Charles. Portrait of a Romance. Orinda: Hip Pocket Press, 2014. ISBN-13: 978-0917658433
Listening. Madera: Poetic Matrix Press, 2010. ISBN-13: 978-0982734353
Red Mountain, Birmingham, Alabama, 1965. Berkeley: El Leon Literary Arts, 2008. ASIN: B0041OSBSY
In This Hour. Berkeley: BPW&P, 1989. ISBN-13: 978-0917658266
Casting for the Cutthroat and Other Poems. Berkeley: BPW&P, 1980. ISBN-13: 978-0917658136
Casting for the Cutthroat. Birmingham: Thunder City Press, 1977. ASIN: B001DQW3WI
All Pieces of a Legacy. Berkeley: BPW&P, 1975. ISBN-13: 978-0917658037
Online: Rhymes & Ruminations, 2014-present
Hip Pocket Press (2002-)
Anderson, Curt. The Occasionist.
Bellm, Dan; Fisk, Molly; Hamer, Forest. Terrain.
Casey, Kirsten. Ex Vivo (Out of the Living Body).
Culbertson, Kim. Songs for a Teenage Nomad.
Dunlap. Keith. Storyland.
Entrekin, Charles, Ed. Berkeley Poets Cooperative: A History of the Times, 2013. ISBN-13: 978-0917658396
Entrekin, Gail Rudd. You Notice the Body.
Entrekin, Gail Rudd, Ed. Sierra Songs & Descants: Poetry & Prose of the Sierra.
Entrekin, Gail Rudd, Ed. Yuba Flows.
Farber, Tom. Truth Be Told.
Fisk, Molly. The More Difficult Beauty.
Grafton, Grace Marie. Jester.
Richards, Marilee. A Common Ancestor.
Smith, John. Even That Indigo.
Canary: A Literary Journal of the Environmental Crisis.
Sisyphus: Essays on Language, Culture & the Arts.
Boston, Bruce. She Comes When You are Leaving.
Covino, Michael. Unfree Associations.
Day, Lucille. Self-Portrait with Hand Microscope.
Dientsfrey, Patricia. Newspaper Stories.
Entrekin, Charles, Ed. Berkeley Poets Cooperative Anthology.
Entrekin, Charles. Casting for the Cutthroat.
Fleischman, Ted. Half a Bottle of Catsup.
Folly, Dennis. Hear my Story.
Frazier, Robert. Perception Barriers.
Hawkins, Bruce. The Ghost of the Buick.
Kandinsky, Carla. Instead of a Camera.
Lee, Gerald Jorge. Dancing at Ground Zero.
Najarian, Peter. Wash Me on Home, Mama.
Ostriker, Alicia. Once More Out of Darkness.
Rudd, Gail. John Danced.
Taksa, Mark. Truant Bathers.
Tulloss, Rod. The Machine Shuts Down.
Woolery, J.D. By Parked Cars.