Posted by: wordrunner | January 3, 2011

Literary Update for January 2011

Dear Literary Folk,

Sonoma County Literary Update (logo)As we begin a new year together, I would like to thank Tim Nonn and Jo-Anne Rosen for rising to the task of keeping our Sonoma County Literary Update running as an ongoing resource and community bulletin board. When Tim stepped down in October, Jo-Anne took on the job of sending the monthly e-newsletter to all of you. At the same time, she has been posting information, announcements, and calendar updates on a regular basis, so the Sonoma County Literary Update blog-site remains current.

Our Sonoma County Poet Laureate, Gwynn O’Gara, has been delivering a monthly update since September, featured on its own page on the blog. It’s been wonderful to have her poems and thoughts as part of the ongoing conversation.

The Literary Update continues to build a directory of Sonoma County Writers. So far, 25 writers are listed. But, of course, our county has many more writers not yet featured there. 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

When I think of all of those special, dedicated people in the county who have started and run workshops, reading series, organized contests, put on benefit readings, and in general enriched our literary lives, I feel very lucky to live in this community. I’m sure you all do, too! Special thanks to Katherine Hastings and her WordTemple poetry reading series and radio program; JJ Wilson and Karen Peterson for their work producing the Sonoma County Book Festival, and for directing the Sitting Room Library for 30 years; Margie Helm for coordinating the El Dia de los Muertos events;Toni Wilkes and Greg Randall for hosting the Londonberry Salon; Phyllis Meshulam, area coordinator for the California Poets in the Schools; Linda Galetta at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts; Clara Rosemarda and others who keep the Writers Sampler Series going; Susan Bono and Tiny Lights; John Moran at the Sonoma Arts Council; Nancy Long and Geri Digiorno for their work with the Readers’ Theater, Petaluma Poetry Walk, and People, Places, and Poetry monthly meetings; Marlene Cullen for the Petaluma Forum and her work with the Redwood Writers; Juanita Martin for organizing and hosting many literary events, and who was just appointed Fairfield’s first Poet Laureate; Beatriz Lagos, Sher and John Christian, Cynthia Helen Beecher, Ed Coletti, Vilma Ginzberg, Gor Yaswen, Georgette G. deBlois,Eric Johnson, Guy Biederman, and all the rest who provide a place for writers to gather and share their work.

I hope you all will continue to use the blog-site to check on calendar events, to post and read the news from around the county, and to discover ways to connect with other writers and writing groups for support. Here are a few I’d like to especially recognize and encourage you to check out. The links for more information are included here and on the Literary Update’s blog-site as well.

State-wide and National
California Poets in the Schools:
Poetry Flash:
Poets & Writers, Inc:
Poetry Out Loud:

North County
Center Literary Cafe reading and open-mic series: contact: Cynthia Helen Beecher,
Healdsburg Literary Guild:

West County
Writers Sampler at Sebastopol Center for the Arts:

Central County
Redwood Writers:
People, Places and Poetry Discussion Group:  contact Nancy Long at or Geri DiGiorno at
Poetry Azul Reading Series: contact Ed Colletti at
Petaluma Writers’ Forum and Jumpstart Writing Workshops:
Unitarian Universalist Congregation Santa Rosa (UUCSR) Writers:

East County
Random Acts (Sonoma monthly open-mic):
UniverSoul Reading Series: contact Juanita Martin at

We’re lucky to live in such a vibrant literary community. Thank you all for being an essential part of this. Keep the e-mail ( close at hand whenever you have an announcement to contribute. And keep checking the blog for our regular monthly posts and more frequent updates:

A poem for the New Year

Welcoming a Child in the Limantour Dunes
by Robert Bly

for Micah

Thinking of a child soon to be born, I hunch down among friendly sand grains…. The sand grains love a worried man– they love whatever lives without force, a young girl who looks out over her life, alone, with no map, no horse, a white dress on. The sand grains love whatever is not rushing blindly forward, the mole blinking at the door of his crumbly mole Vatican, and the salmon far out at sea that senses in its gills the Oregon waters crashing down. Something loves even this planet, abandoned here at the edge of the galaxy, and loves the child who floats inside the Pacific of the womb, near the walls, feeling the breakers roaring.

from What have I ever lost by dying?: Collected prose poems. Harper Collins Publishers, 1992. Reprinted in The Place That Inhabits Us, Sixteen Rivers Press, 2010.

Terry Ehret, co-editor

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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