Petaluma Poetry Walk

Geri Digiorno, founder, in her kitchen

Thanks to everyone for a 2022 happy event!

Sept. 18, 2022 Schedule

Hotel Petaluma—11 AM—205 Kentucky St.

Terry Ehret, a writer, teacher, and translator, has published four collections of poetry, most recently “Night Sky Journey (Kelly’s Cove Press, 2011),” and has co- translated two volumes of poems by Mexican poet Ulalume Gonzáles de León. She is a founding member of Sixteen Rivers Press, and from 2004–2006, she served as the poet laureate of Sonoma County.

Nancy J. Morales, a first-generation American of Puerto Rican parents, has degrees from Rutgers College, Adelphi University, and Teachers College at Columbia University. Currently she is a board member for the Northern California Chapter of the Fulbright Alumni Association. She teaches Spanish to private clients and is co-translator of Plagios/Plagiarisms, Volumes One and Two.

Patrick Cahill’s poetry collection, “The Machinery of Sleep,” was selected by Sixteen Rivers Press for publication in the spring of 2020. His prose and poems have appeared in over forty journals. He is a cofounder and editor of Ambush Review, a San Francisco–based literary and arts journal. He lives in San Francisco.

Eliot Schain’s books include “American Romance” from Zeitgeist Press and “Westering Angels” from Small Poetry Press. His collection, “The Distant Sound,” was published in 2020 by Sixteen Rivers. He has served as program director for the Poetry Society of America, has taught high school, and now works as a psychotherapist. He lives in Berkeley, California, with his wife, Mary.

Gerald Fleming’s most recent collection is “The Bastard and the Bishop (Hanging Loose Press, 2021).” Other titles include “The Choreographer,” “Night of Pure Breathing,” “Swimmer Climbing onto Shore,” and three books for teachers. From 1995 to 2000, Fleming edited the magazine Barnabe Mountain Review, and in 2020, “The Collected Poetry and Prose of Lawrence Fixel (Sixteen Rivers Press).

Dane Cervine’s recent books include “The World is God’s Language,” published by Sixteen Rivers Press in 2021; “Earth Is a Fickle Dancer (Main Street Rag);” and “The Gateless Gate – Polishing the Moon Sword (Saddle Road Press).” Previous poetry books include “Kung Fu of the Dark Father,” “How Therapists Dance,” “The Jeweled Net of Indra,” and “What a Father Dreams.”

Artaluma—Noon—145 Keller St.

Jack Crimmins’ poetry is concerned with people, landscape, spirit. Jack’s books are “Kit Fox Blues,” with an intro by Diane di Prima; published by di Prima’s press, Eidolon Editions; “The Rust Life”, an abstract experimental long poem; and “Dancing In The Sun Room.” His latest publication is a letterpress chapbook, “Next 78 Miles.” As a licensed psychotherapist, Jack has worked at Juvenile Hall, and a kids’ outpatient clinic and probation camp for Sonoma County Health Services. He lives in Santa Rosa.

Elizabeth Herron, current Poet Laureate of Sonoma County, is a four-time Pushcart Prize nominee; has been short/long-listed for the Anhinga-Robert Dana Prize for Poetry; the Comstock Annual Poetry Prize and the Frontier’s Industry Prize. She is the author of 6 chapbooks, 2 full collections of poetry (another forthcoming), and a book of fiction. She publishes in Reflections, Canary, and Free State Review.

David Rollison grew up in Southern California with working-class parents. He moved to San Francisco in the late summer of 1963, with his friend, Ivan Ulz–the singer/songwriter–to attend San Francisco State University. They lived on Russian Hill, just above North Beach. By 1966, he found himself in San Francisco’s Haight Ashbury. He still participates in a poetry writing workshop group started by Jack Gilbert in the 1960s and conducted–in those days–on Oak Street in the Haight Panhandle area. After 42 years of teaching poetry, first in Santa Maria, California, and then Marin County, he is retired, living on the edge of San Pablo Bay where it intersects the Petaluma River. He and his wife walk the Bayland wetlands every morning, in the morning mist, along with the egrets, the coyotes, the Canada geese, the quail, the turkeys, the deer, and the red wings. Sometimes, in the afternoon, he can write a poem. You can find his collection, “Ghost Poems and Wetland Ballads” at or;”And This Poem is a Dance” from Longship Press or

Life On Earth Art—1:00 PM— 8 Fourth St.

Nancy Cavers Dougherty is the author of four chapbooks: “Heaven is in Truckee,” “Tape Recorder On,” “Memory In Salt,” “Levee Town and Silk,” a collaborative work. Her love of the creative arts goes back to her childhood in Massachusetts. She continues today with explorations of the interweaving of music, visual arts, and the written word. Nancy has an MPA in Public Administration from Sonoma State University.

Most recently she served for two years on the Civil Grand Jury of Sonoma County. She is an advocate for local programs in the arts and human services in Sonoma County.

Phyllis Meshulam is Poet Laureate emerita of Sonoma County, California, serving from May 2020 to July 2022. She’s the author of “Land of My Father’s War,” winner of an Artists Embassy International Prize, and four other titles. She taught with California Poets in the Schools from 2000 to spring 2021 when she retired.

Cathryn Shea’s poetry collection is “Genealogy Lesson for the Laity (Unsolicited Press, 2020);” her chapbooks include: “Backpack Full of Leaves” and “It’s Raining Lullabies.” A Best of the Net nominee, her poetry has appeared in Poet Lore, New Orleans Review, Tar River, Gargoyle, and elsewhere. Cathryn served as editor for “Marin Poetry Center Anthology.” See

Helen Putnam Plaza—2:00 PM

Dorianne Laux’s sixth collection, Only As the Day is Long: New and Selected Poems was named a finalist for the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. Her fifth collection, The Book of Men, was awarded The Paterson Prize. Her fourth book of poems, Facts About the Moon, won The Oregon Book Award and was short-listed for the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize. Laux is also the author of Awake; What We Carry, a finalist for the National Book Critic’s Circle Award; Smoke; as well as a fine small press edition, The Book of Women. She is the co-author of the celebrated text The Poet’s Companion: A Guide to the Pleasures of Writing Poetry. She has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts and has been a Pushcart Prize winner.

Joseph Millar’s first collection of poems, “Overtime,” was a finalist for the 2001 Oregon Book Award. His second collection, “Fortune,” appeared in 2007, followed by a third, “Blue Rust,” in 2012. “Kingdom” was released in early 2017, and his latest collection, “Dark Harvest, New and Selected Poems,” was released in 2021.

Millar grew up in Pennsylvania and attended Johns Hopkins University before spending 30 years in the San Francisco Bay area working at a variety of jobs, from telephone repairman to commercial fisherman. It would be two decades before he returned to poetry. His work—-stark, clean, unsparing-—records the narrative of a life fully lived among fathers, sons, brothers, daughters, weddings, and divorce. He has won fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as a Pushcart Prize.

Copperfield’s—3 PM—140 Kentucky St.

The 12th Annual Berkeley Poetry Festival honored Avotcja with its Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014. She received the Reginald Lockett Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015 and the Adelle Foley Award for writers whose work has improved lives in their communities in 2018 from PEN Oakland. She is celebrating the expanded edition of her With Every Step I Take 2. For a larger bio or list of her awards & what she is up to see, see her website,

David Madgalene is a Sonoma County writer. He has volunteered at the Poetry Walk for many years. David will be accompanied by longtime Sonoma County musician Steve Shain.

Stephen Meadows is a Californian poet with roots in both the Ohlone and the pioneer soil of his home state. He was born and raised on the Monterey Bay of Central California and received his secondary education at U.C. Santa Barbara, U.C. Santa Cruz, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree; and went on to earn a Master’s Degree at San Francisco State University. Stephen has published poems in anthologies and collections nationwide. The Sounds of Rattles and Clappers from the University of Arizona Press; The Dirt is Red Here from Heyday Books; and his first book also from Heyday, Releasing the Days. Stephen is included in: Fire and Rain: Ecopoetry of California from Scarlet Tanager Books, edited by Lucille Lang Day and Ruth Nolan; and Red Indian Road West, also from the same press.

In addition, his poems can be found on the spoken word CD “Red Smoke Dawn Wind” with background music by David Blonski; as well as appearing on the CD from Mignon Geli, entitled “Under the Buffalo Sun”. He is excited to announce his upcoming publication Winter Work by Nomadic Press that will be released on November 19, 2022.

Phoenix Theater—4 PM–201 Washington St.

A Celebration of the life and work of Geri Digiorno, Sonoma County Poet Laureate emerita and founder of the Petaluma Poetry Walk, whom we lost since the last time the Walk happened. There will be a reading of Geri’s work: a few poems about Geri from many of Geri’s friends and associates. There will also be some surprises from Geri’s daughter, Michelle Baynes.

Petaluma Historical Museum–5 PM–20 Fourth St.

Sandra Anfang is an award-winning poet, editor, and poetry teacher. She is the author of Looking Glass Heart and Road Worrier (Finishing Line Press, 2016 and 2018) and Xylem Highway (Main Street Rag, 2019) and the founder of Rivertown Poets, a poetry series based in Petaluma. Her work has been widely published and she has a new chapbook due from Kelsay Books in early 2023. During the pandemic, she has completed three more manuscripts. Learn more at

Raphael Block has lived on three continents and now resides happily in Northern California. A long-time meditator, he breathes in wonder at Earth’s and our own rhythmic ebb and flow. He is the author of “Songs from a Small Universe,” “Spangling Darkness,” “Strings of Shining Silence,” and “At This Table;” and a monthly “Earth-Love Newsletter.” To learn more about Raphael please visit his website–, where you can also watch a National Geographic-selected five-minute documentary.

Joyce Jenkins is the longtime editor of Poetry Flash, Literary Review & Calendar ( and director of its programs. Author of “Portal” and “Joy Road,” chapbooks; her poetry has appeared in ZYZZYVA, Ambush Review, Addison Street Anthology: Berkeley’s Poetry Walk, The Place That Inhabits Us: Poems of the San Francisco Watershed, and elsewhere. She received an American Book Award in 1994 and the PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Lifetime Achievement Award 2006; and was honored with the Berkeley Poetry Festival lifetime achievement award, and a day proclaimed in her honor by the City of Berkeley in 2009. Poetry Flash received Litquake’s 2012 Barbary Coast Award.

Aqus Café—6:00-8:00 PM Foundry Wharf 189 H St.

Anthology Reading of The Freedom of New Beginnings, Poems of Witness and Vision from Sonoma County, California Edited by Phyllis Meshulam with Gail King, Gwynn O’Gara, and Terry Ehret.
Many poets who were published in this anthology will read their poems.

This book addresses some of the many challenges our world faces – in poetry. Most of the poets are ones who call or have called Sonoma County, California home – though not all. We were fortunate to obtain permissions from people like Joy Harjo, current poet laureate of the United States. This anthology borrows its sections from Joanna Macy’s Coming Back to Life: The Updated Guide to the Work That Reconnects— “gratitude,” “honoring our pain for the world,” “seeing with new eyes.”

Research shows better health outcomes for people who take time for gratitude. In the “honoring our pain for the world” section, contributors explore our anguish over wildfires, storms, war, racism, corruption, illness, exploited resources and refugees. “Seeing with new eyes,” the third section, re-views foundational texts (myths, Bible stories, etc.) that may have helped create these challenges. But this theme also celebrates beauty in new and ecstatic ways.
The List of readers include: Jon Jackson, Sherrie Lovler, J.D. Langdon, Alexandra Ellen Appel, Maureen Hurley, Ella Wen, Steve Trenam, Rebecca Patrascu, Sandra Anfang, Jodi Hottel, Donna Emerson, Michael Sheffield, Phyllis Meshulam, and Abby Bogolmony.

Thank you for reading this. See you at the Walk!

Translate »