Posted by: wordrunner | September 1, 2019

September 1, 2019

Dear Literary Folk,

Geri DigiornoSonoma County Poet Laureate Emerita Geri Digiorno is celebrating her recent move with a grand book sale. Please help support one of Sonoma County’s literary treasures by calling her daughter, Michelle Baynes, to learn how you can purchase books from Geri’s extensive art and literary collection. 707 326 3773

Reading at Pepperwood Preserve Saturday, September 7
Sonoma County Poet Laureate Maya Khosla will host a reading featuring three Sonoma-based poets: Forrest Gander, winner of the 2019 Pulitzer Prize, Greg Mahrer and Kathleen Winter. The reading will begin at 4 PM at the Preserve’s Dwight Center at Pepperwood Preserve.


Many of you know about Maya’s Legacy Project, and this reading will be part of the series. Feel free to arrive a few minutes early to enjoy the view and the refreshments. The Dwight Center is surrounded by grasslands, oak woodlands and conifers that have experienced phenomenal regeneration since the 2017 fires.

Maya will also be reading at Aqus Café with Camille Norton on Monday, September 2 at 6:16 PM, and on Saturday, September 14, at 2:00 PM, she will conduct poetry writing exercises, share writing tools, and read from her work. Northwest Santa Rosa Library, 150 Coddingtown Ctr., Santa Rosa.

Reading Series at Penngrove Market
On Sunday, September 8, 8:00 PM, check out the Penngrove Market Reading Series with featured readers Tom Walsh, Sheila Bare, and Claire Hennessy. Open mic to follow. Anyone can sign up for the open mic upon arrival, and as many people will read as time allows. Please limit your reading to five minutes. All genres welcome.Location: 10070 Main Street, Penngrove.

Marianne RogoffExploring Narrative Medicine
Starting on September 10, and running for 4 consecutive Tuesdays, Marianne Rogoff will present “Writing to Release: Narrative Medicine.” Workshops will be held at 6-7:30 p.m Petaluma Arts Center, 230 Lakeville Street, Petaluma. See Workshops page for details.

Printing, Print Making, and Book Art
This month, three workshops will offer writers a chance to learn how to bring words and visual design together, as well as how to present words as art. The first of these is on Saturday, September 14, 1:00-5:00 p.m. Letterpress Fundamentals, With Eric Johnson (Iota Press). North Bay Letterpress Arts, 925-D Gravenstein Hwy South, Sebastopol. The second is on Saturday, September 28, 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Monoprinting: Lasting Impressions, with Jami Taback. Monoprints incorporate craft(wo)manship, painting and printmaking. And the third is on Sunday, September 29, 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. The Portfolio Album, with Derek Bacchus. If you’d like to make a beautiful book that allows you to showcase individual pieces of art, or a collection of photographs, this portfolio album is the perfect way to instantly assemble your work — the album’s unique spine pockets allow you to slip in your work with ease.

Find out more about these workshops on the calendar page.

GoFundMe for the Petaluma Poetry Walk
Petaluma Poetry WalkThe Annual Petaluma Poetry Walk is coming up on Sunday, September 15 with a great line-up of venues and readers, including many Sonoma County folk: Forrest Gander, Maya Khosla, Iris Dunkle, Bill Greenwood, Barbara Quick, Phyllis Meshulam, Raphael Block, and many more! For the complete list of the day’s readers, times, and locations, visit the Walk’s website

While you’re there, consider making a donation to help support the Poetry Walk by visiting the GoFundMe Campaign or by mailing a check or money order to: P.O. Box 526, Petaluma, CA 94953. 

Special thanks to Kevin Pryne for setting up the GoFundMe account, and to The Sitting Room, which has generously offered to be the nonprofit sponsor for this fundraising campaign.


“Holding Hands in the Dark”: 100 Thousand Poets for Change Reading September 29
(Feature provided by Susan Lamont)

This year is the 9th annual 100 Thousand Poets for Change reading. This year’s theme – my theme, there is no international theme – is “Holding Hands in the Dark” —the value of community and the sharing of our artistic gifts in dark times. As a friend says, we’re active in the struggle to preserve life on Earth, but whether we succeed or fail, let’s rise or fall holding hands. We need each other.

This year’s reading will be on Sunday, September 29th, 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. Like last year’s reading, it will be held in my backyard (2214 Creekside Rd.) in Santa Rosa with light refreshments (contributions welcome). Last year we had a lovely, relaxed sharing and such an experience feels important in times like these.

If you would like to read (poem, story, nonfiction) — your work or someone else’s — play a piece of music or display a piece of artwork, just let me know. I’ll let folks know what their allotted reading time is once I know how many readers there are. I am hoping to record the event.


Calls for Submission
My co-editor, Jo-Anne Rosen, maintains our “Calls for Submission” page on the Literary Update, which is quite extensive. I encourage you to check it out. If you have a call for submissions or a contest of interest to Sonoma County writers, send it to

Here are three I recommend this month:


Poem for September






September Tomatoes

by Karina Borowicz

The whiskey stink of rot has settled
in the garden, and a burst of fruit flies rises
when I touch the dying tomato plants.
Still, the claws of tiny yellow blossoms
flail in the air as I pull the vines up by the roots
and toss them in the compost.
It feels cruel. Something in me isn’t ready
to let go of summer so easily. To destroy
what I’ve carefully cultivated all these months.
Those pale flowers might still have time to fruit.
My great-grandmother sang with the girls of her village
as they pulled the flax. Songs so old
and so tied to the season that the very sound
seemed to turn the weather.

Karina BorowiczKarina Borowicz was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts. She earned a BA in history and Russian from the University of Massachusetts and an MFA from the University of New Hampshire. Borowicz spent five years teaching English in Russia and Lithuania, and has translated poetry from Russian and French. Her first collection of poetry, The Bees Are Waiting (2012), won the Marick Press Poetry Prize, the Eric Hoffer Award for Poetry, the First Horizon Award, and was named a Must-Read by the Massachusetts Center for the Book. Her second book, Proof (2014), won the Codhill Poetry Award and was a finalist for the National Poetry Series and the Nightboat Press Poetry Prize. Borowicz lives with her family in the Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts.


Terry Ehret
Sonoma County Literary Update Co-editor


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