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Richard Benbrook Cartoon
By Richard Benbrook (1948-2017)
In loving Memory.

 

Schedule
September 17, 2017

11:00 AM
Seed Bank
199 Petaluma Blvd., No. (at Washington St.)

Seed Bank

Gregory Mahrer’s work has been published or is forthcoming in The New England ReviewThe Indiana Review, Green Mountains Review, Volt, Colorado Review and elsewhere. In 2014 his poem,  Refrain, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and received a special mention. His new collection, A Provisional Map of the Lost Continent won the POL Prize from Fordham University Press was published in the Spring of 2016. He lives and works in rural Northern California and Baja California Sur, Mexico.

Erin Rodoni is the author of Body, in Good Light (Sixteen Rivers Press, 2017) and A Landscape for Loss, which won the 2016 Stevens Manuscript Prize sponsored by the National Federation of State Poetry Societies and is forthcoming later this year. Her work has appeared in Best New Poets, Colorado ReviewCimarron ReviewDrunken Boat,
Ninth Letter
, and Verse Daily, among others. Her poems have also been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and honored with an Intro Journals Award from AWP. She currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and two young daughters.

Gillian Wegener has had poetry published in SpillwayPackinghouse ReviewIn Posse, and Sow’s Ear. She is the author of Lifting One Foot, Lifting the Other (In the Grove Press, 2001), The Opposite of Clairvoyance, (Sixteen Rivers Press, 2008), and her newest collection This Sweet Haphazard (Sixteen Rivers Press, 2017). Wegener was awarded top honors in the 2006 and 2007 Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Prize and was awarded the Zocalo Public Square Poetry Prize for poems of place in 2015. A junior high teacher, she lives in Modesto where she coordinates and hosts the monthly 2nd Tuesday Reading Series, served as the poet laureate for the City of Modesto from 2012-2016, teaches creative to girls in juvenile detention, and is founding president of the nonprofit Modesto-Stanislaus Poetry Center.

12:00 Noon
Riverfront Art Gallery
132 Petaluma Blvd., No.

Riverfront Art Gallery

Born in Argentina, Beatriz Lagos has lived in Petaluma since 1976. She holds diplomas from Buenos Aires, SSU, UC Berkeley, and Cambridge. Retired from teaching Spanish/Argentine Literature and History at SRJC, Berkeley, Santa Cruz and SSU, she has read at universities and literary academies since 1977 as well as received invitations to The World Congress of Poets. Six collections of her poetry were published in Spain and Mexico. Her two collections in English, The Great Petaluma Mill and Love and Wine Poems, are sold out. She has been nominated for the Poet Laureate of Sonoma County three times.

For twenty-six years, Gwynn O’Gara taught with California Poets in the Schools. She served as Sonoma County Poet Laureate, 2010 through 2011. Her poems have appeared in Spoon River Poetry ReviewCalyxThe Evansville Review, and the collections Pillow BookHow Luminous the WildflowersLost OrchardSisters Born, Sisters FoundWorld of Change, and the Beatitude Silver and Golden Anniversary Anthologies. Her books include Snake Woman Poems and the chapbooks Fixer-Upper from d-press, Winter at Green Haven from WordTemple Press, and Sea Cradles, published in collaboration with the Occidental Center for the Arts Gallery. On blessed occasions, she recites ecstatic poetry with Rumi’s Caravan.

Bill Vartnaw, Sonoma County Poet Laureate Emeritus (2012-13), was born and raised in Petaluma. He is the publisher of Taurean Horn Press, an independent poetry press started in San Francisco and celebrating its 43rd year. He is the author of two books of poetry, In Concern: for Angels (THP, 1984); Suburbs of my Childhood (Beatitude Press, 2009) & 3 chapbooks, If You Should Die A Fool, You Will No Less Wiser for It (THP, 1976)Postcards (Round Barn Press, 2009) & Finnish-American Poetry by Rauhala, Vartnaw and Hagelberg (United Finnish Brotherhood, 2010). He has assisted Geri Digiorno with Petaluma Poetry Walk since 1999.

1:00 PM
Cultivate
5 Petaluma Blvd., So., Suite D

Geri Digiorno is founder and director of the Petaluma Poetry Walk going into its 22nd year. She was Poet Laureate of Sonoma County (2006-2007). Recent books are White Lipstick (Red Hen Press, 2005) and Rosetta Mary (dPress, 2007). Digiorno coordinated the Poetry & Music Series at the Redwood Cafe, Cotati. She is working on a new poetry book called “Bartalk.”

Gregory W. Randall’s first full-length collection, A Cartography of Selves (Conflux Press), was released spring 2017. His chapbook, Double Happiness, was selected by Mark Doty for the 5th Annual Camber Press Chapbook Award. His other chapbooks include Blue Water Views (Finishing Line Press), Uncommon Refrains (The Lives You Touch Publications) and A Room in the Country (Pudding House Press). While Greg studied Literature and Latin at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, classical music and its many forms continue to influence his poetry. Greg owns a financial planning practice and lives with his wife in Santa Rosa, California.

Tom Sharp graduated from Petaluma Senior High School 1970, Sonoma State 1975, and Stanford 1982, worked as a technical writer and programmer for IBM, is a member of Seldovia Village Tribe, sings for the Seattle Peace Chorus, and is the author of numerous books, including Spectacles: A Sampler of Poems and Prose (1997, Taurean Horn Press), and, online at: http://sharpgiving.com: The book of science, First Nations, The Great Ideas, The I Ching, Not Lost Poems, and “’Objectivists’ 1927-1934: A critical history of the work and association of Louis Zukofsky, William Carlos Williams, Charles Resnik, Carl Ramose, Ezra Pound, and George Oppen.

2:00 PM
North Bay Café
25 Petaluma Blvd., So.

Richard Denner, aka Jampa Dorje, born 1941 in Santa Clara, California, was a Berkeley street poet in the 1960s. Living in a wilderness cabin in Alaska, he began printing chapbooks on a hand press with worn fonts of type; there are now over 300 titles in the D Press backlists. Working cowboy on a cattle ranch, tree planter on the slopes of Mount Saint Helens after the blast, longtime proprietor of Four Winds Bookstore & Café in Ellensburg, Washington, Jampa completed a traditional solitary, three-year retreat in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. This wandering poet-printer-yogi now studies at Central Washington University.

Daniel Michael McKenzie: Perhaps, ‘Veni, Vidi, Vici‘ or ‘Lupus non mordent Lupum‘ would be probably apropos. I’m not much for extolling my character and accomplishment. Suffice it to say I’m a Potter, a writer of Epics, and a maker of sweet words concerning the journalistic observations of existence. Anything else I keep to myself as I prefer to advance on living and in the ‘Now’ with my eyes walking on everything. Bios are like a poet explaining his or hers poem for five minutes for a one-minute poem, being raised Indian I’m not concerned with self-perpetuation. The old Tibetan Monk once said to me long ago, “Ah, you understand Impermanence…”

Pat Nolan lives in Monte Rio along the Russian River. His poems, prose, and translations have appeared in literary magazines and anthologies in the US and Canada as well as in Europe and Asia. He is the author of over a dozen books of poetry and two novels. He maintains the poetry blog Parole for the New Black Bart Poetry Society and is co-founder of Nualláin House, Publishers. His serial fiction, Ode To Sunset, is available for perusal at:odetosunset.com. He also edited a collection of haikai no renga entitled Poetry For Sale from Nualláin House Publishers in 2015.

3:00 PM
Copperfield’s Bookstore
140 Kentucky St.

Terry Ehret, author of four collections of poetry, most recently Night Sky Journey, is a founder of Sixteen Rivers Press. From 2004-2006 she served as poet laureate of Sonoma County where she teaches writing. She offers workshops at the Sitting Room, and in the summer, leads travel programs for writers.

Iris Jamahl Dunkle is the current Poet Laureate of Sonoma County, California. Her latest book is There’s a Ghost in this Machine of Air (2015). Her debut collection Gold Passage was chosen for the 2012 Trio Award by Ross Gay. Her third collection Interrupted Geographies will be published later this year. She is currently writing the biography of Charmian Kittredge London, Jack London’s wife. Dunkle teaches at Napa Valley College and is on the staff of the Napa Valley Writers’ Conference.

4:00 PM
Phoenix Theater
201 Washington St.

phoenixtheater

Celebrating the poet David Bro mige (1933-2009) and his poems. David Bromige moved to Sonoma County in 1970 to teach poetry and writing at Sonoma State University. He published over 30 books of poetry and prose, which brought him international recognition and awards. He was Sonoma County’s second poet laureate and his influence on poetry here is profound. More about him can be found at http://epc.buffalo.edu/authors/bromige/.

5:00 PM
Petaluma Historical Library & Museum
20 Fourth St.

Petaluma Museum

Sandra Anfang is an award-winning Northern California teacher, poet, and visual artist. She is the author of four poetry collections and several chapbooks. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals including PoetalkSan Francisco Peace and HopeWest Trestle ReviewThe Tower JournalUnbroken Literary JournalRattle, and Spillway. Her chapbook Looking Glass Heart was published by Finishing Line Press in early 2016. Sandra is the founder and host of the monthly poetry series, Rivertown Poets, in Petaluma, California, and a California Poet/Teacher in the Schools. To write, for her, is to breathe.

Katherine Hastings is the author of three full-length collections, Cloud Fire;  Nighthawks and, most recently, Shakespeare & Stein Walk Into a Bar (Spuyten Duyvil NYC, 2016). Her poems have been published in many anthologies and literary journals, as well as The Book of Forms — A Handbook of Poetics (University Press of New England), Lewis Putnam Turco, Ed. Poet laureate emerita of Sonoma County, CA, Hastings founded the on-going WordTemple Poetry Series in 2006 and has hosted WordTemple on NPR affiliate KRCB FM since 2007. She is editor of Digging Our Poetic Roots — Poems from Sonoma CountyWhat Redwoods Know — Poems from California State Parks and is currently editing Know Me Here — An Anthology of Poetry by Women, to be released in September 2017.

Maya R. Khosla is a wildlife biologist and writer. Her poems have appeared in Chicago Quarterly Review, World Literature Today, Poem, and other journals, collected in Keel Bone (Dorothy Brunsman Award), nominated for Pushcart Prizes by World Literature Today, and featured in films including “Village of Dust, City of Water” (2007 Lion Award, Wildlife Asia Film Festival), and “The Turtle Diaries” Support from Patagonia, Audubon, Fund for Wild Nature, and Environment  Now assisted her in the production of a film about the Wild After Wildfire -based in the Sierra Nevada. The film includes poetry in the voice-over. Her new poetry manuscript, “Song of the Forest After Fire,” has been accepted by Sixteen Rivers Press.

6:00 PM
Aqus Café 
Foundry Wharf, 189 H St.

Raphael Block’s poetry, infused with spirit, speaks to earth’s call for a heartfelt response to our ecological crisis. He authored Songs from a Small Universe (2009), Spangling Darkness (2014), and Strings of Shining Silence: Earth-Love Poems (2017). Raphael’s lived on three continents, mostly living in London, and now in Sebastopol.

David Field is a solo guitar instrumentalist who has a unique, romantic and flowing style with a rare talent to perfectly adapt his classical training to contemporary music. He has performed in venues throughout Northern California and worked closely with Raphael weaving music and poetry for the past three years.

Ed Coletti lives with wife Joyce in Santa Rosa. He is a poet, widely published internationally. Most recent poetry collections are Germs, Viruses & Catechisms (Civil Defense Press, San Francisco, 2013) and The Problem with Breathing (Edwin Smith Publishing, Little Rock, 2015). Ed curates the blog No Money In Poetry.

Justin Coletti, born and raised in Sonoma County, California, is an avid outdoorsman and musician. Most of all, he enjoys singing, playing guitar, and performing with his roots reggae band, Dubtown Dread, which can be seen at some of the popular local venues around the Bay Area.

David Madgalene has authored the gospel tribute showcase “Call Down the Angel,” several books of poetry, two novels and a book of short stories. He’s edited two anthologies of poetry, showcasing Sonoma County poets, and, with Ed Coletti, co-editor of a book of noir championing local writers.

Steve Shain has been playing the string bass since 1963 in Chicago Heights, Illinois. Currently freelancing with poets, dancers, jazzers and improvisers in the Bay Area, Steve accompanies worthies such as Beat legend ruth weiss and Sonoma County favorite Jonah Raskin. Currently, Steve can be heard at www.bassicsewing.com.

Kirk Charles Heydt is a composer multi-instrumentalist with three releases as a leader. He has recorded and performed with Sonny Simmons, Cecil Taylor, Flipper, Hello Kitty On Ice, Carolyn Wonderland, Jesse De Natale, Will Oldham (aka Bonnie Prince Billy) and Nino Moschella.

Susan T. Mashiyama is a Bay Area harp player and singer/songwriter. Her debut album Dance of the Fairies features originals about fairies and other mythological creatures as well as classics. Her second album is of favorite Christmas carols. Susan is the Music Director for the Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists.

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About

GeridiGiornodiPrima photo

Photo of Geri Digiorno
by Diane diPrima

“Her life is the stuff of literary gold, but it would be 50 years before Geri Digiorno would start publishing poetry about it. Since then, Sonoma County’s newest poet laureate has put out three books of her work, including one she hand-stitched herself.

“Her most recent, “White Lipstick” ($12.95, Red Hen Press), was published this year. Digiorno’s spare, direct style has earned the praise of people like California Poet Laureate Al Young, who recommended “White Lipstick” in the literary journal Ploughshares:

“With these pages — sparsely worded, richly lived — Geri Digiorno reminds us how entangled the delicate roots and tendrils of family and ‘individual’ identity can become,” he wrote.”

–SFGate

Poems  by Geri Digiorno

one year later

one year later
I will be living
in a home for
unwed mothers
in Oakland

right there in black and white
I am fifteen years old
standing between
dorothy hardy and
john luhring
jim cancella behind us
in a light suit and tie
a mouth full of teeth
like a cold breeze

joan is wearing a white
two-piece dress
with matching heels
her lips open
marilyn monroe style
albino curls oppose
her bony features
dorothy’s dress
sweeps away behind her
outlining heavy legs
thick brown locks
cut short
surround her dimples

I’m the only one
not smiling
dark blondness falls
across my cheeks
my eyes tumble
to the ground
diploma tightly held
in both hands
***
i’m one of them

i was baptized at sixteen
in my sister mona’s white
two piece bathing suit
and white flannel night gown

laid back onto the water by two men
in alabaster suits
holding my nose
while they prayed over me
pushed me down underneath the coolness
till I came up saved
***

i believe

in my self
light rain
sudden storms
the moon
polenta and sausage
good sex
red sunsets
a perfect martini
the stars
true love
monet’s garden
cracked crab
long baths
soft jazz
walk on the beach
and root beer floats

i believe
in quiet mornings
the ocean
slow dancing
the back of a man’s neck
fred astaire tapping across the screen
the magic of the sacramento delta
stone angels in italian cemeteries
growing your own tomatoes
paul newman’s eyes
that writing poetry is telling the truth
ironing is therapy
kissing is an art
and dusting is a waste of time

(from “White Lipstick” (Red Hen Press, 2005),
© Geri Digiorno)

Petaluma Poetry Walk Links

Articles  About Geri Digiorno – Sonoma County Poet LaureateSFGate,  Press-Democrat

“White Lipstick”  Chapbook – Purchase here.

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