Posted by: wordrunner | June 2, 2013

June 2, 2013

Dear Literary Folk,

Summer weather is already upon us, and the summer literary season, too. I know many of us have travel plans, but there’s still a lot going on close to home: workshops, readings, conferences, and retreats. The calendar is brimming with literary to-do’s; here are some I’m highlighting this month.

Happy Birthday to the Sitting Room!
sittingroom-collageFirst, let’s celebrate one of the premier literary communities in Sonoma County, the Sitting Room, which is celebrating its birthday on Sunday, June 9, 2-5 PM. Karen Petersen and JJ. Wilson are the visionary women who started the Sitting Room as a nonprofit, privately funded community library back in 1981. Quietly, diligently, they’ve fostered a fantastic reading library and archives; promoted the work of local, national, and international authors; especially women, provided a home for workshops, reading groups, and events; and celebrated the community of writers with annual thematic publications. So come on out! Refreshments will be provided. For details, check the Calendar Page

Summer Conferences
9th Annual Pt. Reyes Writing Retreat with Susan Bono and Patti Trimble (June 7-9),
Mendocino Coast Writers Conference (July 25-27)
Napa Valley Writer’s Conference (July 28-August 2).

The conference registrations may be closed, but check to see about readings or craft lectures that may be open to the public. For more information, check the Conference Page:

Summer Workshops
Local writers will be offering one-day or weekly workshops this summer. Among these are Dan Coshnear, Marlene Cullen, Susan Bono, Tom Mariani, Nancy Long, Clara Rosemarda, and may more. Check out the Workshop Page for all the offerings:

The Sonoma County Book Festival Needs Your Support
The annual Sonoma County Book Festival will be moving to a new location, Santa Rosa Junior College, and collaborating on programming with Copperfield’s Books. The festival will have a different format, but promises to provide a stellar list of authors and panelists. Please support the Book Festival in this very important interim year. The Festival has launched a Love Your Fest campaign on Kickstarter to raise money for an executive director to make this year’s Festival in September at the courtyard at Santa Rosa Junior College happen. Here’s the link you can use to make your donation. Any amount will be appreciated.

Thank you, Jo-Anne!
I also want to send a special thanks to my co-editor, Jo-Anne Rosen, who does such a terrific job keeping the website up to date, and makes sure the monthly update gets out to you all in a timely way, even when I’m behind schedule. Jo-Anne’s WordRunner Press is an important part of our local publishing world, and we’re grateful for her work there, too.

For those who regularly announce their workshops, readings, or services here, a donation of $10 to $20/year is requested to keep the update and its website going. Donations from regular readers are welcome, too. For details contact the editor Jo-Anne Rosen at

Wales Writer’s Workshop and Literary Travel

walesI will be taking a group of writers on a literary travel-tour of Wales, July 25-August 9. We’ll be focusing on Dylan Thomas and Gerard Manley Hopkins, but with plenty of time to take in the natural and historical beauty of the Welsh world. We’ll also be there for the annual music, poetry, and arts festival, known as the Eisteddfod. If you’re interested in being a part of future travel-writing adventures, check the website at

Note: This means I’ll be away when it’s time to put together the August Literary Update, but Jo-Anne may be able to step in, as she so often does.

galway-kinnellI’ve been thinking a lot about a line from Galway Kinnell’s poem “St. Francis and the Sow’: “For everything flowers,  from within, of self-blessing.” Here’s the whole poem to go along with that sweet note for June. Here’s a link to hear Kinnell reading this poem:

Terry Ehret
Literary Update Co-editor

Saint Francis And The Sow

The bud
stands for all things,
even for those things that don’t flower,
for everything flowers, from within, of self-blessing;
though sometimes it is necessary
to reteach a thing its loveliness,
to put a hand on its brow
of the flower
and retell it in words and in touch
it is lovely
until it flowers again from within, of self-blessing;
as Saint Francis
put his hand on the creased forehead
of the sow, and told her in words and in touch
blessings of earth on the sow, and the sow
began remembering all down her thick length,
from the earthen snout all the way
through the fodder and slops to the spiritual curl of the tail,
from the hard spininess spiked out from the spine
down through the great broken heart
to the blue milken dreaminess spurting and shuddering
from the fourteen teats into the fourteen mouths sucking and blowing beneath
the long, perfect loveliness of sow.

© 1980 by Galway Kinnell
Online Source:

P.S. To download a pdf version of most of the pages in this website, click here.


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