205 Kentucky St.
Hosted by Terry Ehret.
“Nothing remains / in the old containers,” Barbara Swift Brauer tells us at the end of her stunning second collection, Rain, Like a Thief, an observation of the physical world that serves as a description of the poems themselves. “Brauer speaks to us in a clear, intimate voice: we seem to be listening to a wise friend who is telling the truth,” writes Ellery Akers, author of Practicing the Truth. From winter days when the sun “clicks on like a furnace, clicks off” to the “thin, squeezed twee” of varied thrushes, the natural world is rendered so closely, with such care and delicacy, that the world itself seems transformed. Through lyrically precise and visually evocative language in poem after poem, Brauer reveals to us that in any life, the real thief is time.
Poet Laureate of Sonoma County (2018-2020), Maya Khosla has written a new collection, All the Fires of Wind and Light, inviting readers to find themselves in the wild – even in the most challenging times. Drawing from personal history, ancestry, and from explorations ranging from the Bay of Bengal to the Sierra Nevada, Cascades Mountains and beyond, these poems take readers into worlds that are all but hidden, among “the best-kept secrets of our forests,” and sometimes all but crushed. In moments, her work shows a sudden flare of understanding about the sheer scale of fragmentation, even disappearance. And yet these poems are “fortified by nutrients and hope” in the powers of rejuvenation.
Camille Norton’s first book of poems, Corruption, was a 2004 National Poetry Series winner, published by Harper Perennial in 2005. In A Folio for the Dark, Camille asks us to contemplate the power of reading and writing in an open-source universe in which books as physical objects are disappearing. Some of the poems in A Folio for the Dark are ghostwritten by American characters both famous and obscure. In “Quaker Light,” we encounter the first prisoner of Philadelphia’s notorious Northeastern Penitentiary. Edgar Allen Poe, in the title poem, “A Folio for the Dark,” struggles to compose himself inside the history of his own trauma. These poems are not persona poems in any usual sense. They are imaginary transcriptions, voices overheard during a writer’s own education. They record the traffic between lyricism and materialism.
199 Petaluma Blvd., N.
Hosted by Kevin Pryne.
Terri Glass is a writer of poetry, essays, and haiku. She has taught in the California Poet in the Schools program for 30 years in the Bay area and served as their statewide Director from 2008-2011. Her work has appeared such journals as Birdland Journal, Young Raven’s Literary Review, 50 Haikus, About Place, Fourth River, the San Diego Poetry Annual, and California Quarterly. She is the author of a book of nature poetry, The Song of Yes, a chapbook of haiku, “Birds, Bees, Trees, Love, Hee Hee,” from Finishing Line Press, and an e-book, “The Wild Horse of Haiku: Beauty in a Changing Form,” available on Amazon.
Martin Hickel began writing poetry during high school, where he also took up journalism, eventually founding the Lassen County Times, a weekly newspaper in far Northern California. He assists Sonoma poet Geri Digiorno with the Petaluma Poetry Walk and organized the Marin Poetry Festival and Sunset By the Bay Reading series in Sausalito. He is also a member of the Revolutionary Poets Brigade founded by San Francisco Poet Laureate-Emeritus Jack Hirschman. He has published a dozen chapbooks of mostly free-verse poetry and has work published in a number of anthologies and poetry websites such as the annual Overthrowing Capitalism – Poetry of the Revolutionary Poets Brigade and Canary — a webzine published by Gail and Charles Entrekin.
Erin Rodoni is the author of two poetry collections: Body, in Good Light (Sixteen Rivers Press, 2017) and A Landscape for Loss (NFSPS Press, 2017), winner of the Stevens Award. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Blackbird, Colorado Review, Cimarron Review, Poetry Northwest, Spoon River Poetry Review, and The Adroit Journal, among others. She has been the recipient of an AWP Intro Journals Award, a Ninth Letter Literary Award, the 2017 Montreal International Poetry Prize, and has been included in the Best New Poets anthology.
River Front Cafe
224 “B” St.
Hosted by David Madgalene.
Diane Frank is the author of seven books of poems, two novels, and a photo memoir of her 400-mile trek in the Nepal Himalayas, Letters from a Sacred Mountain Place. Her new book of poems, Canon for Bears and Ponderosa Pines, was published by Glass Lyre Press. Blackberries in the Dream House, her first novel, won the Chelson Award for Fiction and was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Diane lives in San Rafael, where she dances, plays the cello, and creates her life as an art form. She performs with the Golden Gate Symphony in San Francisco. www.dianefrank.net
William Greenwood was born in Arizona and grew up in California. After university he began writing poetry and worked with farmworkers and small farmers, teaching adult education and managing agricultural development projects for 20 years. He continued this work overseas for 25 years, living in Latin America and the Middle East. In the 1970’s he co-founded Green Horse Press, dedicated primarily to the translation of poetry previously unpublished in English; it operated for 10 years. He translated Guatemalan Arqueles Morales and has two chapbooks. The most recent, “Landscape/Cityscape,” was published by Word Temple in 2014. He lives in Sebastopol.
Jeanne Powell is a poet and essayist, with four books in print from Taurean Horn Press and Regent Press. She holds degrees from WSU and USF. She is the founder of Meridien PressWorks™, which published 20 other writers. For ten years she hosted “Celebration of the Word,” a weekly open mic. Jeanne taught in the College Summit, OLLI and Upward Bound programs on college campuses. She is an online cultural critic, reviewing films, plays, and concerts. Jeanne currently facilitates a writers group at Mechanics Institute Library.
North Bay Café
25 Petaluma Blvd., So.
Hosted by Daniel McKenzie (tentative).
A poet and musician community-organizer, Arnoldo García is originally from the deep south of Texas and lives in Oakland. He has been dedicated to writing transformative poetry and community-based culture as part of organizing for human rights and justice. He worked for the National Network for immigrant Rights till 2011 and since then on a restorative justice initiative in Oakland public schools. In 2017, Arnoldo formed a working group called Poets against War & Racism, publishing a chapbook featuring the poet members. He is a member of the Chiapas Support Committee that organizes solidarity with the Zapatistas in a Mexico, an indigenous revolutionary movement. He has helped organize the annual gathering of poets, painters and other artists and musicians called “COMPaRTE: The Emiliano Zapata Community Festival,” now in its fourth year. His writing and artwork is at www.artofthecommune.wordpress.com.
Nina Serrano, at 84, produces community radio programs for KPFA and OZCAT, focused on literature and LatinX cultural affairs. Her publications include among others: a trilogy of poetry books Heart Suite, a novel, Nicaragua Way, a play, “The Story of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg,” as well a translation of The Economic Plan For The Benefit Of The People. All available @estuarypress.com and the Internet.
140 Kentucky St.
Hosted by Gwynn O’Gara.
Poet and fiction writer Maxine Chernoff’s most recent books are Camera (Subito) and the forthcoming Under the Music: Collected Prose Poems (MadHat Press). An NEA fellow in poetry in 2013, she also won the 2009 PEN Translation Award. Longstanding editor of New American Writing and professor at SFSU, she was a visiting writer at the American Academy in Rome in 2016.
Pulitzer Prize-winning Forrest Gander is a poet, writer, translator, and editor of several anthologies of writing from Spain and Mexico. He is celebrated for the richness of his language and his undaunted lyric passion. He is the author of more than a dozen books, including collaborations with notable artists and photographers. Gander’s collection Be With won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and was longlisted for the 2018 National Book Award. The Pulitzer Prize Judges citation calls it, “A collection of elegies that grapple with sudden loss, and the difficulties of expressing grief and yearning for the departed.”
201 Washington St.
Hosted by Iris Dunkle.
Fire and Rain: Ecopoetry of California, edited by Lucille Lang Day and Ruth Nolan, is an anthology of poems about California ecosystems.
Divided into eight sections corresponding to bioregions, the anthology includes the work of 149 poets. Fire and rain are two of the most important factors that shape California ecosystems, and the anthology includes many poems about the effects of fire, rain, and drought throughout the state. Day and Nolan will read with three contributors:
Lucille Lang Day is the award-winning author of ten poetry collections and chapbooks, including “Becoming an Ancestor” and “Dreaming of Sunflowers.” She is also co-editor of the anthology Red Indian Road West and the author of two children’s books and a memoir.
Ruth Nolan, a writer/scholar whose work focuses on California’s deserts, is a professor of creative writing at College of the Desert. Her books include the poetry collection Ruby Mountain, two essay collections, and an anthology of California desert literature.
Susan Cohen has won the Rita Dove Poetry Award, Milton Kessler Memorial Poetry Prize, Literal Latte Prize, and other honors, including the 2015 David Martinson-Meadowhawk Prize from Red Dragonfly Press for her second full-length collection, A Different Wakeful Animal.
Jack Foley is the author of many books of poetry and criticism as well as the two-volume Visions & Affiliations: A California Literary Timeline, Poets and Poetry 1950. His radio show, Cover to Cover, is heard weekly on KPFA. Sangye Land will read with him.
Barbara Quick is an award-winning poet, novelist, and journalist best known for her 2007 novel from HarperCollins, Vivaldi’s Virgins, which is still in print and has been translated into 14 languages worldwide. She and her violist husband live on a small farm outside Cotati.
Petaluma Historical Library & Museum
20 Fourth St.
Hosted by John Johnson.
Phyllis Meshulam is the author of Land of My Father’s War (from Cherry Grove Collections) and several chapbooks. Her work has appeared in magazines from Ars Medica to Teachers & Writers and was performed by “Off the Page” Readers’ Theater during summer 2019. She’s a teacher for California Poets in the Schools and coordinator for Poetry Out Loud. She has been a presenter at the AWP and Split this Rock conferences. Meshulam has an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts.
For CalPoets’ 50th anniversary she edited Poetry Crossing, a joyful collection of lessons and poems.
Phyllis will be appearing with students from Cal Poets and Poetry Out Loud, presenting bilingual poetry in English and Spanish and other languages.
189 H St.
Hosted by David Madgalene.
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 three poetry books, Songs from a Small Universe, Spangling Darkness, Strings of Shining Silence, and a monthly Earth-Love Newsletter. To learn more about Raphael, please visit his website raphaelblock.com where you can also watch a National Geographic-selected, five-minute documentary.
Albert Flynn DeSilver served as Marin County California’s very first Poet Laureate from 2008-2010. He is the author of Letters to Early Street (from La Alameda/University of New Mexico Press), and several other books of poems from The Nonexistent Press, which is the smallest press that never existed. Albert is also the author of the memoir Beamish Boy, which was named a “Best Book of 2012” by Kirkus Reviews. His recent nonfiction book, Writing as a Path to Awakening: A Year to Becoming an Excellent Writer and Living an Awakened Life—based on his popular writing workshops by the same name—was published by Sounds True in 2017. He teaches writing and mindfulness workshops at the 1440 Multiversity, The Omega Institute, The Esalen Institute, Spirit Rock Meditation Center and literary conferences nationally. He lives in Northern California. Poet and visual artist
Maureen Hurley has received grants, awards, and fellowships for poetry, two Sonoma County Community Foundation fellowships, and a Sonoma County Poet Laureate nomination. Maureen teaches poetry and art to kids in the Bay Area through California Poets in the Schools. She is the recipient of California Arts Council multi-artist residency grants for poetry in Sonoma County (2018-19), Alameda County (2015-16, 2017-18), and a visual arts CAC residency through Young Audiences in 2012. She received an Oakland Cultural Arts grant (poetry), and two KQED SPARK artist grants (2005-2009) and eight CAC individual artist grants (one Artist-in-Libraries at Napa State Hospital) in the 1980s and 90s for poetry.
Michael Koch is a San Francisco poet, translator, and visual artist whose Jamaican-Slavic heritage only partially explains his passion for syncopation and absurdity. His poetry has appeared in dozens of magazines, from Beatitude to Yemassee. His most recent book is Street Theology, from Night Horn Press. He has contributed Spanish translations to City Lights anthologies of both Cuban and Mexican poetry and to the translation review Two Lines and has published translations of French-speaking African poets in Third Rail and elsewhere.
Gail Mitchell: Making a poem is a kind of culling. It is an engagement that lifts me past fear. It is part story-telling, part resistance, part fury. Emmett Till sits under my breast-bone. History shatters my heart. War numbs and pounds at my temples. Caged children, robs me of breath, so I write. It is the only way I can make sense of humanity being inhumane. I received both my BA and my MFA from SFSU in Creative Writing. Bone Songs was published by Taurean Horn Press in 1999.