Posted by: literaryfolk | March 2, 2011

Literary Update for March 1, 2011

Dear Literary Folk,

While the Celtic calendar turned to spring last month, the traditional opening of spring is March 21, so if it still feels a bit like winter–well, it is. Nonetheless, the plum trees are in full bloom around the county, the new grass has sprung up on the hills, and the wild mustard is dancing through the orchards and vineyards.

March’s calendar of events offers a varied array of events, workshops, readings–even an April Fool’s Day Parade to look forward to. Here are a few of the calendar highlights:

Sonoma County writers Gwynne O’Gara, Arthur Doyle, Ransom Stephens, Centa Theresa, Donna Emerson, Ted Calvert,  Abby Bogomolny, Don Hagelberg, David Madgalen, Viola Weinberg, Andrew Mayer and Ed Coletti all have readings coming up this month.

Our friends from Boise, Betty and Ken Rodgers, will be in town in March. Both will be reading at the Center Literary Cafe on Tuesday, March 8, and Ken will be joining Guy Beiderman for a one-day writing seminar called “Endings: on Saturday, March 12.

Bibliophoria has extended its chapbook competition to March 30. The prize is your poetry printed in letterpress by Iota Press.

You can chose to get your ink flowing with workshops presented by The Book Arts Guild, Chester Aaron, Ana Manwaring, Sher Christian,  Marlene Cullen, Stephanie Freele, Penelope LaMontagne, Christine Walker, and Clara Rosemarda.

Starting  March 7, Redwood Writers and Sonoma County Libraries are hosting  a free series of library panels on the Art and Craft of Writing at local libraries. Details at: http://redwoodwriters.org/series-workshop/cwc-branch-events.

Writers Forum of Petaluma gets underway with its spring series on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, with a presentation by  Gordon Warnock. For information on the Writers Forum: www.thewritespot.us

The North Bay Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) is offering a presentation by Pete Masterson on Self-Publishing Children’s Books: the Nuts and Bolts.

Applications are open for the Napa Valley Writers’ Conference July 24-29, whose faculty include Daniel Alarcón, Lan Samantha Chang, Adam Haslett, and Michelle Huneven in fiction, and Jane Hirshfield, Major Jackson, D.A. Powell, and David St. John in poetry. For more information and application details, visit napawritersconf.org.

And finally, Katherine Hastings’s WordTemple spring  reading series is underway. The next reading is in April, but you can always catch the radio broadcasts and podcasts on KRCB 91.1FM at this link: http://krcb.org/wordtemple.

jamesOn March 16 at 7 PM, WordTemple on air presents a special Irish program: Two From Dubliners: recordings of two powerful short stories by James Joyce–“Eveline”, read by Dearbla Molloy, and “A Little Cloud,” read by Brendan Coyle. Joyce’s poem, O It Was Out by Donnycarney is sung by the magnificent tenor Marc Heller. The show will also be sprinkled with some fine Irish-American music, thanks to Mick Moloney and Frank Patterson. Finally, Hastings will announce a poetry reading she will host at the Crossroads Irish-American Festival featuring Sonoma County poet laureate Gwynn O’Gara, Gillian Conoley and Kathleen Lynch.

Now open the pages of the Literary Update, and let the fun begin!

Yours ever,

Terry Ehret

Co-editor, Sonoma County Literary Update

Here’s a poem to shake away the winter, an excerpt from D.H. Lawrence’s “Craving for Spring”

Ah come, come quickly, spring!
come and lift us towards our culmination, we myriads;
we who have never flowered, like patient cactuses.
Come and lift us to our end, to blossom, bring us to our summer
we who are winter-weary in the winter of the of the world.
Come making the chaffinch nests hollow and cosy,
come and soften the willow buds till they are puffed and furred,
then blow them over with gold.
Come and cajole the gawky colt’s-foot flowers.

Come quickly, and vindicate us.
against too much death.
Come quickly, and stir the rotten globe of the world from within,
burst it with germination, with world anew.
Come now, to us, your adherents, who cannot flower from the ice.
All the world gleams with the lilies of death the Unconquerable,
but come, give us our turn.
Enough of the virgins and lilies, of passionate, suffocating perfume of corruption,
no more narcissus perfume, lily harlots, the blades of sensation
piercing the flesh to blossom of death.
Have done, have done with this shuddering, delicious business
of thrilling ruin in the flesh, of pungent passion, of rare, death-edged ecstasy.
Give us our turn, give us a chance, let our hour strike,
O soon, soon!
Let the darkness turn violet with rich dawn.
Let the darkness be warmed, warmed through to a ruddy violet,
incipient purpling towards summer in the world of the heart of man.

Oh, if it be true, and the living darkness of the blood of man is purpling with violets,
if the violets are coming out from under the rack of men, winter-rotten and fallen,
we shall have spring.
Pray not to die on this Pisgah blossoming with violets.
Pray to live through.
If you catch a whiff of violets from the darkness of the shadow of man
it will be spring in the world,
it will be spring in the world of the living;
wonderment organising itself, heralding itself with the violets,
stirring of new seasons.

Ah, do not let me die on the brink of such anticipation!
Worse, let me not deceive myself.

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