Posted by: wordrunner | October 1, 2014

October 1, 2014

Dear Literary Folk,

Sonoma County’s Newly Published Authors
Congratulations to this month’s newly published authors in Sonoma County. See who’s in print at Thanks to Ed Coletti who keeps this page of the Literary Update current with your notices of work you’ve had accepted for publication in literary journals and magazines.

The Walk Rocks!
In September, the Petaluma Poetry Walk once again brought together writers from around the county and beyond for our annual movable feast of words. I am so grateful to the good folk who continue to make this a premiere arts event in the San Francisco Bay Area. Hats off to Geri Digiorno, Michelle Baynes, Nancy Long, Bill and Bridget Vartnaw, David Magdalene, Carl Macki, and many others, including all who read and attended.

More Celebrations
This month, we have several more occasions to celebrate the bright lights in the firmament of Sonoma County’s literary community. TAUREAN HORN PRESS, founded by Bill Vartnaw, is celebrating its 40th anniversary with a reading on October 25 at Coffee Catz. SIXTEEN RIVERS PRESS celebrates its 15th anniversary with a garden party and benefit reading on October 5. LITQUAKE comes to San Rafael with an open mic reading at Rebound Books you’re all invited to participate in. And TINY LIGHTS celebrates 19 years of publication under the creative guidance of Susan Bono with a reading on October 17 at the Occidental Arts Center.

Sixteen Rivers Celebrates 15 Years on Sunday, October 5.
Kay RyanThis month, the Bay Area Poetry Publishing Collective Sixteen Rivers Press celebrates its 15th year with a garden party and reading in a beautiful garden in Marin County, featuring Kay Ryan, Sixteen Rivers advisor and former U.S. poet laureate. The event is this Sunday, October 5, 3-5 PM, with tickets beginning at $25. You can purchase tickets and get driving directions to the event at Brown Paper Ticket Site:

Hello, Goodbye: A Book Launch for Susan Bono and a Tribute to Tiny Lights!
Susan BonoAmong the brightest lights in our literary community is Susan Bono—friend, editor, teacher, and writer extraordinaire! Now, after 19 years as editor and publisher of Tiny Lights, Susan is retiring the personal essay journal she founded in 1995. On October 17, join her in paying tribute to the writers and artists who made Tiny Lights such a guiding beacon. There will be readings by select Tiny Lights authors Dan Coshnear and Clara Rosemarda, and souvenirs of Tiny Lights’ illustrious past. After toasting the end of an era (there will be champagne!), Susan will read from her latest publishing project: What Have We Here—a collection of her own essays about keeping house and finding home. The event is 7:00-9:00 p.m. at the Occidental Center for the Arts, 3850 Doris Murphy Court, Bohemian Hwy at Graton Rd., Occidental. For more info: 707-874-9392 or

The Magic of Mexican Poet Ulalume González De León—Saturday, October 11
Ulalume González De LeónThose of you who were at the Petaluma Seed Bank for the opening reading of the Petaluma Poetry Walk were treated to the debut of a translation project I’ve been working on this past year: a collaboration with two other local poets– John Johnson and Nancy Morales. Celebrated in Mexico and Latin America, González de León’s poetry is not yet known among English-speaking audiences.

Nancy, John, and I would like to extend an invitation to the literary community to hear more about the life and work of Ulalume González de León, and to share with us your thoughts about the place of translation in a writer’s life. The event is on Saturday, October 11 my partners and I will present a bilingual reading from Plagios: The Poetry of Ulalume González de León at the Petaluma Arts Center, 3-5 PM.

Ulalume González de León (1932-2009) was born in Uruguay and became a Mexican citizen in 1948. In the 1960’s and 70’s, she was an inspirational leader of a generation of women writers experimenting with language. Her poetry earned her many awards, including the Xavier Villaurrutia Prize, the Flower of Laura Poetry Prize in 1979 (the Center for International Studies) and Alfonso X Prize. Nobel Laureate Octavio Paz called Ulalume González de León “the best Mexican poet since Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz,” recognizing the visionary quality of her work.

The event is part of a month-long celebration of Mexican culture sponsored by the El Día de los Muertos Committee in conjunction with Petaluma People Services Center, SRJC Petaluma Campus and the Petaluma Arts Center. For more information, visit or like the Facebook page El Día de los Muertos Petaluma.

The Arts Center is located at 230 Lakeville Street, Petaluma, CA, 94952, in the Historic Railroad Station. Admission is free. Light refreshments will be served. Donations to the Art Center are appreciated.

El Día de los MuertosThe annual month-long multi-cultural celebration of El Día de los Muertos, sponsored by the Petaluma Arts Center, begins this Friday, October 3, with an Opening Night Reception for the Exhibition of Traditional and non-traditional altars, collectible posters from Mission Gráfica and fine art curated by Anthony Torres of the Richmond Arts Center. Mini-tienda from The FolkArt Gallery of San Rafael. 6:00-8:30pm. For the full calendar of El Dia de los Muertos events, check out

LitQuake comes to the North Bay on October 11, 2014
Ever since Mark Twain hung out in San Rafael and the Beats cruised the houseboats of Sausalito, San Francisco’s literary greats have had a strong North Bay connection. From 10 Am to 11 PM, Litquake San Rafael features Bay Area writers in this first-ever series of free events along the downtown 4th St. corridor of cafes, restaurants, and shops. There are several opportunities to join in open-mic readings, including at Rebound Bookstore. For details check out

Enough to keep you busy? If not, then check out the calendar and workshops pages to find an event that suits your schedule and your pleasure. Special thanks to Jo-Anne Rosen who keeps these and the entire Literary Update current with your events and announcements.

Thoughts on the Drought
Since January, I’ve been inviting the Literary Update readers to send me their poems, stories, essays, and anecdotes on the drought. I didn’t receive any this month, but please consider send ing me your thoughts on the drought. Photos and artwork, too!

Terry Ehret
Sonoma County Literary Update co-editor

A Poem for October
I’m teaching a workshop at the Sitting Room this fall on the subject of Silence in Poetry. One of the writers participating in the workshop spontaneously recited this poem during our opening discussion of the topic, and later sent me the text. I offer this to you, with thanks to Valerie Marshall.

The Lightest Touch

Good poetry begins with
the lightest touch,
a breeze arriving from nowhere,
a whispered healing arrival,
a word in your ear,
a settling into things,
then like a hand in the dark
it arrests the whole body,
steeling you for revelation.

In the silence that follows
a great line
you can feel Lazarus
deep inside
even the laziest, most deathly afraid
part of you,
lift up his hands and walk toward the light.

— David Whyte
from Everything is Waiting for You
©2003 Many Rivers Press


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