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Dear Literary Folk,
It’s a Twilight Zone Kind of World Right Now
As ungrounded as many of us feel in the first weeks of Trump’s presidency, there are many ways we can stay engaged, stand together, and make our voices heard. Write your state and federal representatives, stand together with others when protesting or resisting is necessary, and consider adding your name to the document “It Won’t Happen Here”: a call to the officials of Sonoma County to protect the community from discriminatory orders and laws. You can find out more at this link: www.facebook.com/ItWontHappenHere/?ref=py_c.
If the recent events have inspired you to write, New York Times op-ed writer Nicholas Kristof is calling for Trump poems in any form as part of a Trump Poetry Contest. Here’s the link for that. There are already more than 1,500 poems posted.
Kristof explains his purpose: “I’d like to invite readers to submit their poems about Donald Trump and his administration. My hope is that the entries will be good enough that I can weave together a column of the best ones. That means that short poems are best, so that I can use several. I’m fine with anything from haiku to limericks, just no epics. The poems can rhyme or not, as you prefer, but they do have to be your own work, and your submission means that you agree to let me publish them in The Times.”
Celebrate Diversity with 100 Thousand Poets for Change
Closer to home, Sunday, February 26, 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. 100 Thousand Poets for Change Celebrates Sonoma County’s Diversity. As the Trump administration seeks to turn us against each other, we will celebrate the diversity of communities in Sonoma County and stand in support of each other! Gaia’s Garden Restaurant.
Jo-Anne Rosen’s Selected Fiction
Co-editor of the Literary Update, Jo-Anne Rosen, will be reading Tuesday, February 28, 6:00 p.m. Copperfield’s Books and Redwood Writers Spotlight on Fiction: In What They Don’t Know: Selected Fiction, Rosen probes the lies and secrets—the “fictions”—of a surprising cast of characters, from bewildered adolescents to elderly lovers. Presented with humor, dignity, and a keen, dispassionate eye, the actors in these 18 beautiful, often sad stories carry with them complex histories of desire and pain, always longing for what they can’t (or shouldn’t) have. At Copperfield’s Montgomery Village, 775 Village Court, Santa Rosa.
February is Poetry Out Loud Month
Poetry Out Loud’s county-wide high school poetry recitation contest is scheduled for Monday, February 13, 6:30–9:30 p.m. The schools involved this year are Analy, Casa Grande, Creekside, El Molino, Elsie Allen, Healdsburg, Maria Carrillo, Piner, Rancho Cotate, Roseland University Prep, Santa Rosa, Sonoma Academy and Tech High. The event is FREE, and will be held at the Glaser Center in Santa Rosa. Sonoma County has always had a fabulous line-up of students for this event. It’s an evening of inspiration and hope.
Other Literary Highlights
For a short month, we have lots of other events coming up. Here are some that caught my eye.
Rivertown Poets will feature a poet-and-musician duo, award-winning poet Diane Frank and cellist Erik Ievins. Open mic will follow the features, with a limit of three minutes per reader. Monday, February 6, 6:15 p.m.
Marc Bojanowski, bestselling author and Santa Rosa native, will present his second book, Journeyman, a visceral, muscular, and exquisitely crafted state-of-the-nation novel about an itinerant carpenter who rediscovers the magnitude of finding home. Wednesday, February 15, 7:00 p.m. Copperfield’s Montgomery Village.
And to the south in Marin County, Marin Poetry Center features Sixteen Rivers poets Gerald Fleming, One, and Lynne Knight, Again. Falkirk Cultural Center, Thursday, February 16, 7:30 p.m. Jerry and Lynne are long-time members of Sixteen Rivers Press.
Details about these and many other February events on our Calendar Page.
If you are not to become a monster,
you must care what they think.
If you care what they think,
how will you not hate them,
and so become a monster
of the opposite kind? From where then
is love to come—love for your enemy
that is the way of liberty?
From forgiveness. Forgiven, they go
free of you, and you of them;
they are to you as sunlight
on a green branch. You must not
think of them again, except
as monsters like yourself,
pitiable because unforgiving.
Wendell Berry, “Enemies” from Entries: Poems. Copyright © 1994 by Wendell Berry.
Source: Indivisible: Poems for Social Justice (Norwood House Press, 2013)
Co-editor, Sonoma County Literary Update