Posted by: wordrunner | July 2, 2011

Literary Update: July 2011

Sonoma County Literary Update (logo)It’s summer at last, time to kick back with a book and a glass of something cool under the shade of an oak, the redwoods or your beach umbrella.

Summertime offers Sonoma County an abundance of literary events — twelve Bibliophoria-sponsored workshops, demonstrations and readings in July alone, including workshops on letter press, writing and book-folding for teens, and creating childrens’ books, and a book camp for kids (see the calendar from July 5 through 26).

Summer Sunday Backyard Readings in Petaluma (every 2nd Sunday during the summer unless it rains) are open mics without the mic for poetry, essays, short plays or scenes, comedy, music, or anything creative. The next backyard reading is July 10 (see calendar for details).

And be sure to check out the Ongoing Writers’ Groups and Open Mic Readings page for the usual suspects. Something’s on tap every day of the week. Most of these events are free. Of note: Terry Ehret will be back from Ireland to read at the Healdsburg Literary Salon’s Third Sunday Salon on July 17 (followed by an open mic).

If you’re going, you’ve already signed up for the two writers’ conferences this summer in Napa and Mendocino. Closest to home, the Napa Valley Writers’ Conference, July 24-29, also offers daytime lectures and evening readings to the public, without full conference registration. Students with current ID are admitted free. See the calendar for details or go to

The Mendocino Coast Writers’ Conference takes place July 28-30 in Fort Bragg ( Among the conference faculty who will be presenting readings open to the public is Norma Watkins, whose just published memoir The Last Resort: Taking the Mississippi Cure (University Press of Mississippi) is my personal summer reading recommendation (

Remember to visit our website: The Sonoma County Literary Update website is updated every few days at We encourage you to visit these pages frequently for breaking news. If you have a workshop, event, contest, newly published book or call for submission to announce to the Sonoma County literary community, you may send it at any time and it will be posted on the site. Email announcements to

Call for submissions: Wordrunner Electronic Chapbooks is looking for short fiction for the fall echapbook, themed “mini-anthology” — one to three stories per author will be published. No fee to submit. Submissions are open July 1 through August 21. See for details.

I’ll close with a poem by Paul Sohar that reminds me of the euphoric suddenness of summer.

Jo-Anne Rosen
Sonoma County Literary Update Co-editor

Being and Its Skin

So what if I stumble,
drunk on the first draft of air
slurped directly from the sky?
And crawl on all fours
to the other edge of the peak?
In the vast space below
I don’t even bother to seek out the house
I left behind.
Maybe I’ll go back down there
maybe I won’t,
it doesn’t matter now.
At the top it feels good to know
there’s nowhere else to go, just stand. And stand still.
Still like the air that goes nowhere
even when tugged by a restless wind.
The rocks don’t move and neither does the sky.
They are all in the right place
and they are what they were meant to be.
And I am where I wanted to be
and what I was meant to be.
To go back down would consume
the substance of being;
to rise any higher would
quench being into nothingness.

(from The Wayward Orchard, at



%d bloggers like this: