Posted by: wordrunner | September 1, 2016

September 1, 2016

Dear Literary Folk,

Welcome to September, the new-year month for all students and academics, and for those who celebrate Rosh Hoshanna and Yon Kippur. Time to don the straw hats and white dresses one last time before Labor Day. And, of course, time to check the literary calendar. It always feels like the start of a new writing year when the Petaluma Poetry Walk rolls around. More about that below.

First, Jo-Anne and I send our hearty congratulations to local authors who have had their work published recently in books or journals. You can discover more on our Sonoma County in Print page ( Special thanks to Ed Coletti, who keeps our announcements of local writers publishing in literary journals up to date.

A tip of the hat to Charles Markee whose middle grade novel Maria’s Beads just took 2nd place as a junior fiction category book in the prestigious Colorado Independent Publisher’s Association (CIPA), 22nd annual EVVY literary contest.

Another hats-off to the Sitting Room, recently featured in the Argus Courier. If you missed it, here’s the link:

Shakespeare & Stein Walk Into a BarWe also send our congratulations to Sonoma County poet laureate emerita Katherine Hastings whose third collection, Shakespeare & Stein Walk Into a Bar (Spuyten Duyvil, NYC) will debut in a book launch at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts. She will be joined by New York poet Lee Slonimsky reading from Consulting with the Swifts — New & Selected Poems and Sonoma County poet Sandra Anfang, author of Looking Glass Heart. The poets will be introduced by Sonoma County poet laureate Iris Jamahl Dunkle. All this happens on Saturday, September 24, 7:00 p.m.

On a sad note, Sonoma County has lost one of its own, poet, short story writer, and teacher Carol Wade Lundberg. Carol taught English and creative writing at Santa Rosa Junior College and in private workshops. She was a talented writer, a kind and thoughtful friend, and an inspiring presence in our literary community. She passed away on August 11 as the Perseid meteors were lighting up the sky. Originally from Wisconsin, Carol lived in Penngrove and authored several books of poetry including Secret Life (1993), Heresies of Love (2000), and most recently, Inciting Riot (2013). One of Carol’s award-winning poems is featured at the end of this post. Scroll down to read that.

In honor of Carol’s life and work, the monthly Rivertown Poets Reading Series in Petaluma will be dedicated to Carol. Series director Sandra Anfang invites us to “bring a poem of Carol’s for open mic, or say a few words about the gifts she leaves behind.” After the open mic, enjoy featured readings by Greg Mahrer and Kathleen Winter. The reading is on Monday, September 5th, 6:15 p.m. at the Aqus Cafe,189 H Street in Petaluma.

Rumi’s Caravan
Sebastopol poet Larry Robinson teams up with fellow poets Doug Von Koss, Barry and Maya Spector, Kay Crista, and Carol Bower Foote for Rumi’s Caravan on Saturday, September 10. Along with a team of musicians, these presenters create “A Poetic Converstion,” by reciting inspirational verse from around the world. Location: 390 27th Street, Oakland, $15 advance/$25 at the door, doors open 6:30 p.m., show 7:00. Details at

Into the Forest by Jean HeglandThe Film Adaptation of Into the Forest makes its Sonoma County Debut
Starting on Friday, September 16 and concluding on Thursday, September 22, there will be daily screenings of Patricia Rozema’s film adaptation of Jean Hegland’s novel, Into the Forest, at the Rialto Cinema, Sebastapol. Q&A conversations with Jean after the Saturday (9/17) 7:10 p.m. and Sunday (9/18) 1:15 p.m. shows.

21st Annual Petaluma Poetry Walk on Its Way
Petalulma Poetry Walk September 18, 2016Once again, downtown Petaluma will be host to a day of poetry readings on Sunday, September 18, starting at the Seed Bank at 11:00 a.m. and ending at Aqus Café from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Here’s a partial list of featured readers: Barbara Brauer, Nina Lindsay, Dave Seter, Ed Mycue, Cathryn Shea, Duane Big Eagle, Kevin Gunn, Juanita Martin, Daniel McKenzie, Al Young, A.D. Winans, Geri Digiorno, Rebecca Foust, Mike Tuggle, Iris Jamahl Dunkle, and more. Emcees include Terry Ehret, Sande Anfang, Carl Macki, Gwynn O’Gara, Phyllis Meshulam and David Magdalene. Venues and reading details at:

Watershed Environmental Poetry Festival
WaterShed.LOGO_21st Annual Watershed Environmental Poetry Festival features will be on Saturday, October 1, at Civic Center Park in downtown Berkeley, one block west from Berkeley BART. Readers include Jane Hirshfield, Alison Hawthorne Deming, Juliana Spahr, Pireeni Sundaralingam, Wes “Scoop” Nisker, and more; California Poets in the Schools students read led by poet-teachers John Oliver Simon and Maureen Hurley; more readings by poet/biologist Maya Khosla, poet Judy Halebsky, former Sonoma County Poet Laureates Katherine Hastings and Bill Vartnaw, and Nevada City eco-poet Chris Olander; We Are Nature Open Mic, (to read, enter lottery on site at noon); with hosts Richard Silberg and Kirk Lumpkin and music by The Barry Finnerty Trio.

Sixteen Rivers Annual Benefit Reading and Anniversary Party
Sixteen Rivers Press is holding its annual benefit on Saturday, October 8, 2016, 3:00-6:00 p.m., featuring poets Ellen Bass and W. S. Di Piero. 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. Tickets are available from Brown Paper Tickets:

Literary Tour and Writing Retreat in Tuscany, June 1-14
In June of 2017, I will lead a two-week literary travel and writing retreat in Tuscany. We’ll explore the city of Florence, using the art, architecture, landscape, and literary history of the city as an inspiration for writing. I plan to include day trips to Fiesole, Siena, San Gimignano, Assisi, as well as an overnight trip to Ravenna. Most days will begin with a writing exercise or will include plein-air writing out in the Tuscan landscape. Besides writing, travelers may choose from among a variety of activities: bike riding in Chianti, musical concerts, and a 3-day pass to the museums and galleries of Florence.

If you’d like more information, check out the website at


Poem for September

published by Calyx Press, Oregon

Eating History
by Carole Wade Lundberg

We know the stories:
The king is dead; long
live the king. And
farther back in time
—if not in evolution—
sons who slay fathers
feast on their hearts
hoping to ingest some
secret power. Each

woman in her secret
heart acknowledges
the corollary: Daughters
of ancient queens
drinking mother’s
power with her blood.

Tragic tales, stuff of
gothic novels, the worst
sort of magical thinking
but take that gothic shovel
and unearth the allegory:
Find yourself at the kitchen
table with your daughter;
note with sudden clarity
how she probes your thoughts,
your history, your motives
like a sleuth uncovering
the crime that is her

life (and which you
have allowed to occur
without clues)

Think also about those
endless conversations
she has had with her
sisters—out of your
hearing certainly, but
fully transcribed by
your intuition—

those conversations
in which they explore
with urgent cruelty
the separate truths
of their history
dissecting, digesting
with words the Mother,
the Father, Life
before singular
and stellar event
of their own births

feeding each other
bits of information
as if the outcome
of some crucial
epiphany depended
upon their ingesting
each scrap.

Remember how even now
when your sisters
come to visit—grey
haired as aging queens
—the litany of succession
begins: “Did you know?”
Did she tell you?”

devouring with each
mouthful of streusel
each bite of tuna
casserole, the particular
rag, bone, hank of hair
that placed us here.


Terry Ehret, co-editor, Sonoma County Literary Update


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