Posted by: wordrunner | December 1, 2016

December 1, 2016

Dear Literary Folk,

Good morning, AmericaIt seems like a very different world from the one we knew when I composed my last post. Then the times seemed dark, even dire, but the election has shifted something fundamental in our lives. More than ever we need to summon our voices to speak our hopes and our fears. Let our collective music rise to meet the times we are in. In the words of Rumi, “Don’t go back to sleep!”

Send Us Your Thoughts

Through these dry, drought years, I invited you to send the Literary Update your poems and prose on living in the drought. I published one of these each month. We’re not out of the drought yet, although some kind hand of nature has brought us much-needed rain.

Now I invite you to send Jo-Anne and me your poems, short prose, photos, and art on these difficult and worrisome times. Perhaps together we will find a way to rekindle the light.

Joining Voices

Much is going on in our literary community and beyond. Some of you are attending meetings, readings, and rallies to voice your concerns. Others are writing letters to the editor, composing petitions, drafting resolutions to create or reaffirm sanctuary in our cities and on our campuses. Many of you are planning to attend the Million Women March in Washington on January 21st. And some have headed to North Dakota to support the Standing Rock opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline (

All good work. I thank and bless you for it!

When I launched the writing workshop on political poetry back in September, I chose to call it “Singing in Dark Times,” an homage to Bertholt Brecht, who knew a thing or two about the need for artists to be engaged in their times. The calendar for December is rich with literary events, readings, and workshops to keep us singing in the dark times ahead. I’ve selected a few to highlight.

Susan HagenFriday mornings, December 2, 9 and 16, , 11:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m. “Writing as a Healing Practice” Co-Ed drop-in writing circle with author and writing guide Susan Hagen. This gentle, supportive, earth-based healing circle fosters self-awareness and personal growth. Open to all adults. No reservations needed, no writing experience necessary. DROP IN at Sonoma County Healing Academy (SoCoHA), at Gravenstein Station, 6741 Sebastopol Ave., Suite 120, Sebastopol, across from Coffee Catz patio. Suggested donation $20-$40 per session.

xmas-walesFriday, December 9 and Saturday, December 10, 6:30 p.m. Petaluma Readers Theatre benefit for Petaluma Arts Council. Two Holiday Classics: Dylan Thomas’ “A Child’s Christmas in Wales” and “A Christmas Memory” by Truman Capote. Tickets $10-12. Available at Petaluma Arts Council, 230 Lakeville St., Petaluma.

Dunkle-directoryFriday December 9, 7:30 p.m. The Famous Forgotten Women: A reading with Tamam Kahn and Iris Jamahl Dunkle. Edgehill Mansion, Dominican University.

foust-rebeccaSunday, December 11, 2:30-4:30 p.m. Redwood Writers present Rebecca Foust: How Poetry and Prose Practices Nurture Each Other. Flamingo Hotel, 2777 Fourth St, Santa Rosa. The general public is invited, $10. For details, go to

Clara RosemardaSunday, December 18, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. A WINTER’S TALE: A One-Day Writing & Meditation Workshop with Clara Rosemarda. Fee $120 ($95 if registered by December 12th); $50 deposit holds your space. Workshop is held in a comfortable home near Downtown Santa Rosa. Contact Clara: 707-578-2081 or

Poem for December

In closing, I offer you a poem written by Kaitlin Deasy, one of the participants in the political poetry workshop at the Sitting Room this fall.

Terry Ehret
Sonoma County Literary Update Co-Editor


Kaitlin DeasyKaitlin Deasy grew up in Northern California and attended the University of California at Berkeley where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature. She currently resides in Sonoma County and works as a massage therapist. Her poems have appeared in the West Marin Review, West Trestle Review and Wild Violet Literary Journal.

Trump Tower, Las Vegas
Genesis 11

Our multilingual anthem
rises 58 floors in hot air
Nothing is impossible! &
clings to the ceilings —-
only those who look can
see they engineered a
tower without windows
they gave us gilded pools
to wade in while we mou
nt our nakedness, they
took the sun as our priso
ner so we can unknow
night, our soothsayer;
they hide the clock, they
wait until the ceilings beg
in to weep & our babble
becomes rain. Security
locks all exits, tower flood
ing. We hear them say
from the other side of the
walls: you are your own
death.This is the only lang
uage you may share.When
they open the doors
our  bodies  fill  the  streets


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