Posted by: wordrunner | August 1, 2012

August 1, 2012

Dear Literary Folk,

It’s the peak of summer now and the Sonoma literary scene is as lively as ever, with book launches, workshops and readings, ranging from the 100 Thousand Poets for Change at Gaia’s Garden Restaurant in Santa Rosa on Friday, August 3 to the Speakeasy Literary Salon at Aqus Cafe in Petaluma, Wednesday, August 29. Be sure to check out the details on our calendar and workshop pages, and put them on YOUR calendar.

We’ll be warming up for the big show in September, the Sonoma County Book Festival (on September 22) with a benefit fundraiser on Sunday, August 5 at Windrush Farm.

Don’t forget the ongoing groups/open mic listings. West Side Stories has a new location at Sonoma Valley Portworks in Petaluma on the first Wednesday of the month. There are two poetry slams, one on the first Sunday (North Bay Poetry Slam at Hop Monk Tavern, Sebastopol) and the other on the first Thursday (Sonoma County Poetry Slams, Video Haven, Santa Rosa) of the month.

Bill Vartnaw has much more to say about poetry readings in August and the Petaluma Poetry Walk in September in the Poet Laureate’s News.

A message from Terry Ehret follows.

Susan AdamsThe Sonoma County literary community lost one of its beloved members last month, Susan Adams, an inspiring and relentlessly creative spirit, if ever there was one. She passed away after a struggle with cancer on July 19, 2012. The following appeared in her obituary, printed in the Reading Eagle (Susan was born in Reading, Pennsylvania):

“Susan was an amazingly talented artist, most well-known for her watercolor, though she excelled in many other paint mediums as well as being an accomplished pianist and a wonderful poet. She was truly a Renaissance woman who over the span of her life achieved a professional level in landscaping, drywall finishing, animation and art instruction. Her true love was painting, which has been her profession for 20 years. Of all her many achievements, Susan would say that the accomplishment in which she takes the most pride is the raising of her son, Joe. Susan touched so many lives with her love, strength and positive energy. She will be an inspiration to all who were blessed to have had her in their lives.”

There will be a celebration of her life on Sunday, August 12th from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at her home at 5055 Bodega Ave, Petaluma.

William StaffordWilliam Stafford wrote the poem below about a month before he died. Naomi Shihab Nye, wrote, “In our time there has been no poet who revived human hearts and spirits more convincingly than William Stafford. There has been no one who gave more courage to a journey with words, and silence, and an awakened life.”

I chose this poem in memory of Susan Adams. Next month, we will feature one of Susan’s poems.

The Way It Is

There is a thread you follow. It goes among
things that change. But it doesn’t change.
People wonder about what things you are pursuing.
You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for others to see.
While you hold it you can’t get lost.
Tragedies happen; people get hurt
or die; and you suffer and get old.
Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.
But you don’t ever let go of the thread.

— William Stafford


Terry will present “Poetry and Painting: A Workshop on Ekphrasis” on Thursday, August 2 at Sonoma Valley Museum of Art. (See the calendar for more info.)

You may download a pdf of most of the pages on this site, updated August 1, 2012.

Jo-Anne Rosen
Sonoma County Literary Update Co-editor


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