Posted by: wordrunner | October 1, 2015

October 1, 2015

Dear Literary Folk,

Geri Digioro HonoredGeri Digiorno Honored at Petaluma Poetry Walk
Geri Digiorno Big thanks to Geri Digiorno, Bill and Bridget Vartnaw, Michelle Baynes, and a cast of dedicated volunteers for last month’s 20th Annual Petaluma Poetry Walk. Petaluma Mayor David Glass was on hand at the Apple Box to honor Geri for her contributions to the county’s literary arts with a city proclamation. Her ingenuity and leadership as creator, founder, and director of the Walk has given us all a great gift, and the Sonoma County literary community salutes you!

Special Feature: Off the Page
My co-editor, Jo-Anne Rosen, and I invite members of the Sonoma County Literary Community to help us create the monthly posts. If you’d like to take on a month’s full post or offer a “featurette” (150 words) about a writing group, reading venue, or upcoming event, please send your contribution along to me at

Last month we asked, and Hillary Moore answered with this month’s feature of Off the Page. Hilary Moore is one of the group’s founders. She directs, acts, and writes. Before joining Readers Theater she performed as a stage and Improv. actor.


Off the Page

Jeff Savage, Pat Hayes, Hilary Moore, Lynne Hollander, Spencer Sherman

Off the Page is a newish [since 2013] Readers Theater group in Sonoma County, dedicated to showcasing works of local writers performed by local actors.  All kinds of writing comprise our shows: poems, essays, narratives, plays, memoirs, sketches, songs.

The performances can be gleaned from any type of writing. There is usually no set. Some pieces are slightly scripted to allow for presentation by multiple actors.

The performance style is sometimes called “dramatic reading” [the Actors are sometimes called Readers] It’s acting from the waist up…though the actor stays mostly in one place, the acting is dynamic. We perform a wide range of material: comic, tragic, dark, light, and beautiful.

Our new 2016 show, “Turning Points,” will be on Fridays, Jan 22 & 29 at Mockingbird Books, Sebastopol, and Saturdays, Jan.23 & 30 at Church of the Oaks, Cotati. Tickets are $10 at the door.

Writers: Sandra Anfang, Sheila Bender, Susan Bono, Sher Christian, Robert Feuer, Craig Harris, James Howe, Lynn Millar, Susanna Solomon, Susan Starbird, Michelle Wing

Actors: Pat Hayes, Lynne Hollander, Hilary Moore, Jeff Savage, Spencer Sherman

Please visit our facebook page, Off the Page Readers Theater or contact director Hilary Moore:

Here’s a poem inspired by our theme:

Turning Points
by Hilary Susan Moore

Sometimes we see
them coming
but often
they are
only in retrospect
Sometimes they are
the results
of choices we make
but often
they are
choices that make us
However they come
they matter
They turn us in
new directions
They find us on
new paths
They shape the journey

Digging Our Poetic Roots — Poems from Sonoma County

If you missed the first two spectacular readings from Digging Our Poetic Roots, you have another chance on Thursday, October 15, 7:00 p.m. This is the anthology conceived and edited by our Poet Laureate Katherine Hastings, featuring writers from across the county. The event will be at Healdsburg Center for the Arts, 130 Plaza Street, Healdsburg.

Jean Heglund, Still TimeHealdsburg’s Jean Hegland Has a New Book and a New Film!
Into the Forest,
the story of two sisters struggling to survive after the collapse of technological society, has been adapted to the big screen. Directed by Patricia Rozema, the film stars Ellen Page (who also serves as co-producer) and Evan Rachel Wood. The film premiered at the Toronto Film Festival last month. And on Sunday, October 18, 1:00 p.m. Jean Hegland will read from her new novel, Still Time, at Book Passage (51 Tamal Vista Blvd. Corte Madera).

Larry Robinson’s New Collection of Poems
LarryRobinson-with-coverFor years, many of us have been enjoying the daily e-mail poems sent to us by Sebastopol poet Larry Robinson. Larry is a proponent of the oral tradition as well, hosting oral poetry salons and participating in the Rumi’s Caravan events. Now Larry has a new book: Roll Away the Stone, featuring 40 poems written over the past 20 years. The book is available on Amazon.

Let Us Help You Celebrate Your Publications!
Do you have a new book or poem, story, essay or review recently published? Send us your publishing news, and we’ll feature it on our Sonoma County in Pring page:

Matthew Zapruder and Dean Young—Exclusive Bay Area Reading
Author Dean Young, Austin, TxZapruderSixteen Rivers Press invites you all to join us on Saturday, October 17, to celebrate the sixteenth anniversary of our founding with a reading by Dean Young and Matthew Zapruder. Tickets are priced at four levels, beginning at $25, and proceeds will go to the support of Sixteen Rivers Press and the publication of our books. The event goes from 3 to 6 p.m.

The benefit will help sponsor the publication of new books and launch a national first book contest, named for the poet Carolyn Kizer, one of our advisors, who passed away last October. Tickets are available from Brown Paper Tickets. Here’s the link to order your ticket:

For a list of all the calendar events across the county and beyond, visit the Calendar Page:

Nominations for Sonoma County Poet Laureate
The Sonoma County Poet Laureate Selection Committee is seeking nominations for our 2016-18 Poet Laureate. Candidates must be residents of Sonoma County, whose poetry manifests a high degree of excellence, who have produced a critically acclaimed body of work, and who have demonstrated a commitment to the literary arts in Sonoma County. If you know someone you’d like to nominate, or if you’d like to be considered for this prestigious post, we welcome your nominations. Nominations must be received via email by October 31, 2015. If you have questions, contact Linda Galletta at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts:

Previous Poets Laureate of Sonoma County:
Don Emblen, 2000-2001
David Bromige, 2002-2003
Terry Ehret, 2004–2005
Geri Digiorno, 2006-2007
Mike Tuggle, 2008-2009
Gwynn O’Gara, 2010–2011
Bill Vartnaw, 2012-2013

Poem for October
Special thanks to Larry Robinson for this poem-of-the-day, by Rainer Maria Rilke.


The leaves are falling, falling as if from far up,
as if orchards were dying high in space.
Each leaf falls as if it were motioning “no.”

And tonight the heavy earth is falling
away from all other stars in the loneliness.

We’re all falling. This hand here is falling.
And look at the other one. It’s in them all.

And yet there is Someone, whose hands
infinitely calm, are holding up all this falling.

– Rainer Maria Rilke
(Translated by Robert Bly)

Terry Ehret, co-editor
Sonoma County Literary Update


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