Posted by: literaryfolk | November 1, 2010

Literary Update for November 1, 2010

Sonoma County Literary Update (logo)Dear Literary Folk,

As many of you already know, Tim Nonn, who took over in August as the editor of the e-mail newsletter version of the Sonoma County Literary Update, has had to step down. I’d like to thank Tim for helping out with the important transition of the Update from my solo project to a community collaboration.

Jo-Anne Rosen has been keeping the website up-to date–a truly heroic task. We’re very lucky to have her expertise.

The support committee for the Literary Update will be meeting sometime soon to decide how to proceed with the monthly e-mail version that currently goes out to over 300 of you. We’ll let you know when that meeting will be scheduled, in case you’d like to be part of the conversation. In the meantime, feel free to e-mail your comments or suggestions to

Special Thanks

October was a rich and amazing month in our literary community. I want to send a special thank-you to those who worked behind the scenes to create what’s worth hurrahing about.

The Dia de los Muertos events around the  county, and especially in Petaluma brought together folk for dancing, sugar skulls, art, altars, and, of course, poetry. A big thank you to Margie Helm for her tireless coordination of twenty different programs and events. And a huge thanks to Juanita Martin for coordinating this year’s Poetry of Remembrance Community Reading at the Petaluma Art Center. Thanks also to all who read and participated.  Click here to see some of the photos of the events.

The Redwood Writers put on a fabulous Poetry Evening and day-long Writers’ Conference this past weekend. Many thanks to Linda Loveland Reid, Jeane Sloane, Marlene Cullen, Anna Manwaring, and so many others who put together a program of workshops and speakers to support writers of all genres. If you don’t know about the Redwood Writers, click here to check them out on their website. It’s a terrific resource.

The Sebastopol Center for the Arts offered this fall a great series of Writers’ Sampler Workshops. These have concluded for the fall, but they are truly one of the best bargains around for some of the best workshops you’ll find anywhere on the art and craft of writing. SCA offers a diverse array of classes year-round, in addition to the Writers’ Sampler. Click here to see what’s coming up. And if  you’re looking for a place to offer a workshop, check them out!

Directory of Sonoma County Writers

The Literary Update continues to build a directory of Sonoma County Writers. If you are interested in being listed, send the material you would like included: e.g., photo (jpg), 100-word bio, web and/or blog links, and contact information. E-mail to

Sixteen Rivers Call for Submissions

Sixteen Rivers Press is looking for poetry chapbook manuscripts by poets 40 and under for a new chapbook competition. First prize is $1,ooo and publication in 2012.

This is also the time when Sixteen Rivers is accepting book-length poetry manuscripts from San Francisco Bay Area poets who are interested in becoming members of this publishing collective.

Details for both the chapbook competition and our manuscript submission guidelines are included in the Calls for Submission section of the Literary Update, but you can also find the details by clicking here.

Wordrunner Electronic Chapbooks Call for Submissions

Submissions are open for the December MEMOIR/PERSONAL NARRATIVE echapbook through November 21, 2010. No fee to submit. Payment: $65. See the Calls for Submission section of the Literary Update or for detailed guidelines and 2011 submission and publication schedule.

Holiday Discount for The Place That Inhabits Us: Poems of the San Francisco Bay Watershed

If you missed the chance to buy a copy of this beautiful anthology last spring, now’s the perfect time to place your order. Regularly $20, The Place That Inhabits Us is available for $15.00 until December 15. It features poets from all over the world, writing about the San Francisco Bay Area. Some of those poets live right here in Sonoma County. If you’re interested, e-mail me at, and I’ll tell you how to order your copy at the discount price (tax, shipping and handling included). To learn more about the anthology, click here.

A November Poem

And finally, here’s a poem for the season called “Thanks,” by W. S. Merwin. Originally published in 1998, the poem is a powerful cry of “yes!” in a dark time. It’s still a dark time.

with the night falling we are saying thank you
we are stopping on the bridges to bow for the railings
we are running out of the glass rooms
with our mouths full of food to look at the sky
and say thank you
we are standing by the water looking out
in different directions.

back from a series of hospitals back from a mugging
after funerals we are saying thank you
after the news of the dead
whether or not we knew them we are saying thank you
looking up from tables we are saying thank you
in a culture up to its chin in shame
living in the stench it has chosen we are saying thank you
over telephones we are saying thank you
in doorways and in the backs of cars and in elevators
remembering wars and the police at the back door
and the beatings on stairs we are saying thank you
in the banks that use us we are saying thank you
with the crooks in office with the rich and fashionable
unchanged we go on saying thank you thank you

with the animals dying around us
our lost feelings we are saying thank you
with the forests falling faster than the minutes
of our lives we are saying thank you
with the words going out like cells of a brain
with the cities growing over us like the earth
we are saying thank you faster and faster
with nobody listening we are saying thank you
we are saying thank you and waving
dark though it is

From the Rain in the Trees, by W.S. Merwin, copyright© 1998 by W.S. Merwin.

Literary Update Co-editor Terry Ehret

Click on any of these pages from the menu above to view the rest of the November Literary Update:

Monthly Calendar of Events
County-Wide News (Including News from East, West, and North County)
Poet Laureate’s News
Sonoma County in Print
Local Workshop Teachers and Writing Consultants
Current and Upcoming Workshops
Writers’ Connections
Ongoing Writing Groups and Open Mic Readings
Calls for Submission
Recommended Northern California Journals and Presses
Directory of Sonoma County Writers
How to Send Announcements to the Literary Update
About the Literary Update


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