Website for Avra Kouffman

Writing:  Communications, Journalism, Performance Poetry, Scholarship.

Please see individual pages for updates.

Zion National Park, Utah (above);
Santa Barbara Botanical Garden, California (below);
It's so beautiful out West, all you have to do is point and snap --

Happy 2018!

It's only Feb and adventures are already in full swing: Had friends visit from
Paris and the East Coast! Happy to show off So Cal's
sunny winter weather!

Visited a truly amazing Hindu mandir, took friends to the Hsi Lai Temple,
planted trees & heard klezmer in Encinitas,
headed to University Synagogue
to hear a
talk on Harassment & Jewish Ethics, participated in the 2nd Annual
Women's March.

Friends from my college theater group have a movie coming out this week!
It's a long way from Ann Arbor to Kerala, but a musical about genetically
modified rice in India is exactly the type of thing we would have done at
R.C. Players and Theater Ooblek, so I really hand it to the guys for staying
together all these decades and making a film with an Oscar-winning cast.
What I want to know is, who has the footage of me as a cowgirl-barmaid
in Danny's student effort, "Hang 'em Really High"?!

2017: Quite an interesting year!  Highlights: Festivals & Gatherings -
The Women's March; Holi Festival of Colors; Bequinox at Joshua Tree;
fairy festivals in Big Bear and Encinitas; Summer Solstice Festival,

Sawdust Festival
, Riverside Festival of Lights

I turned 50 with parties in Manhattan and Laguna. Took long, fun road trips
to Sonoma County and Tucson. Started the year off right hearing poets at
the Poetry Project Marathon. Saw my book in the shelves of Poets House.

Firsts: Tried garlic ice cream in Gilroy, hiked to the top of the Hollywood Sign,
saw a game at Angels Stadium. Not firsts, but fun: Reconnected with old friends, piayed violin for the first time in decades, performed a poem at the Gypsy Den, took belly dance classes, went to the U.S. Open of Surfing for the 13th
consecutive year! Planned gorgeous day trips around So Cal. 

Music: Heard a lot - a big jumble of eras and styles. Much reggae (as usual),
Joseph Arthur at the City Winery, everyone from Stevie Wonder to Andra Day
to Demi Lovato at the
all-star Grammy Tribute to the Bee Gees and One Voice: Somos for Disaster Relief. Nothing like bands on the beach! Saw Sir-Mix-a-Lot
on 4th of July & the Like Totally 80s Festival (which I wrote up here).
Caught a few 80s tribute bands at OC summer fests & danced to 60's-era
surf music from Dean Torrence. Heard
James Intveld at Pamela's backyard bash, Calico at Rancho los Cerritos, Wheeland Bros at the Newland Center,
The Midnight Hollow at NYC's Gramercy. Really enjoyed Klezmer Juice,
Eminent Duo and the other world music performers at the Muck
My friend Mandi & were extras in Jean's fab music video
Been listening to Jamaican rocksteady and '50s-'60s vocal jazz, mainly.

As always, so much that doesn't fit here!

Had fun researching 8 Ways to Volunteer This Summer in Orange County.
Picked oranges for OC Harvest Club and danced with Dare to Dance HB.
Lots of good nonprofits around: A list of OC Organizations

Hiked everywhere. Visited Leo Carrillo Ranch and loved learning how
much he did to help preserve California's natural beauty.

Wandered around scenic spiritual retreats,
like the Wayfarer Chapel,
Trabuco Canyon Monastery and Dai Dang Buddhist Monastery.  
Enjoyed
theosophical study groups and spending time with the
California-via-New York Jewish community at
Chabad.

Have been practicing Pranayama at the Divine Art of Yoga!

2016: Great trip to NYC! Coney Island with family & friends, Manhattan

Saw the Dalai Lama at Westminster's Buddhist Monastery!

2015: USA Today just voted Huntington Beach "Best California Beach"!

H.B. just won Time Magazine's Best Beach in the U.S.!

NYC for the 3rd time this year to celebrate winter holidays.  
Visited Northern California's Sonoma County for the first time and met
more family and friends xo

Poetry lately ~ readings for Poets & Dreamers and the Sadie Girl Press
anthology Then & Now: Conversations with Old Friends
.

I'm having fun co-hosting OC Film History Nature Walks. 
Orange County has been used in films for over 100 years, thanks to its
beautiful natural backdrops. Researching the early films is fascinating.  
Our Film Walk Meetup Pics: Crystal Cove, Newport Back Bay,
north Laguna and south Laguna!

Great Places: L.A. area ~ Topanga State Park & Canyon,
U.S. Open of Surfing, San Clemente's Mother Moon Herb Farm.

Art Exhibit Orange Sunshine and the Mystic Artists,

April 2015 - A very traveling month!  Back to NYC & Woodstock for
a special fundraiser and to Tucson, Arizona to see friends of 20+ years.

March 2015 - Zip lined beautiful Catalina Island on my birthday!!!
& Standup Paddled with Senhoa crew in sunny Huntington Harbour

Worked background on this episode of How to Get Away With Murder.
I'm in the courtroom scenes.

Won Locale Magazine's Outstanding Achievement Award
for my work in their January 2015 issue!  A nice start to the year!

________________________________________________________

ABOUT ME

I live in coastal southern California, land of sunshine, waves and gardens.

For those of you I haven't had the pleasure of meeting,
my name is pronounced AH-vra.

Avra is a female variant of the Hebrew name Avram or Avraham. 
It means Sea Breeze in Greek. 
It's linked with the words aura, atmosphere and breath.

My last name is pronounced (not spelled) Kauffman.

Please browse around; I hope you enjoy the site.

Thanks to Surf City Creative for the lovely menu bar,
logo & initial site setup.