Posted by: wordrunner | December 1, 2019

December 2019

Call for Nominations for Sonoma County Poet Laureate

Opens December 1, 2019


Dear Literary Folk,

The Sebastopol Center for the Arts and the Poet Laureate Selection Committee invite you to send us nominations for the Sonoma County’s 11th Poet Laureate 2020-21.

The Poet Laureate is a Sonoma County resident who has demonstrated a commitment to the literary arts in the County. The Poet Laureate often participates in official ceremonies and readings and receives a $1,000 stipend.

If you know someone you’d like to nominate, or if you’d like to be considered for this prestigious post, you can find information about requirements and application instructions on the Sebastopol Center for the Arts website at

All nominees will be considered for the position. The new Poet Laureate will be announced in March, and the new term will begin in April, 2020.

Maya KhoslaMaya Khosla, our current Poet Laureate, has brought her passion for habitat restoration science to her position as Sonoma County’s literary ambassador. In the aftermath of the recent wildfires, Maya’s work has helped educate the public about how natural environments and human communities recover after devastating disasters. The readings and projects she has sponsored across the county in our communities and schools have also offered healing and solace to those affected by the fires. Check her monthly PoetLaureate’s News page on this website:

Bill Vartnaw, Katherine Hastings, Iris Dunckle

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
Katherine Hastings, 2014-15
Iris Dunkle, 2016-17
Maya Khosla, current Poet Laureate


Creativity Workshops for Kids 9-14

Three Raven Gate, Brian R. MartensBrian Martens is teaching a one-day class in creativity for kids age 9 to 14 at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts (SCA) on Dec. 3, 2019, from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Brian’s first book of poetry is entitled Three Raven Gate: Haiku and Other Poems. Brian will use the haiku form in his class as an example of creativity and challenge the kids to write a few and discuss them. He will also break the kids into small groups and challenge them to come up with some creative ideas they can present to the other groups.

If you have any kids ages 9 -14 in your family including grandkids, or know of some friends’ kids who might be interested, please contact Julie at the SCA at 707-823-1511, and she can help you with registration.

You can also bring kids the day of the class and register them at that time. If you choose to do that, you should arrive at SCA no later that 3:15 p.m. to complete the registration. The class cost $47.50. SCA is located at 282 S High St.


Creative Writing Classes at Santa Rosa Junior College

Many of you know of my plans to retire from SRJC in 2021. SRJC has offered me a chance to teach English 4ABC, a multi-genre, multi-level creative writing class in the

Spring Semester 2020. I would love to have you join me for this!

This class meets on Friday morning, 9-noon, so I will not be offering my usual Friday writing workshop at the Sitting Room.

You can register at this link:

If you need help with the registration process, you can talk to someone in Admissions and Records at (707) 527-4685.

English 4ABC: Creative Writing with Terry Ehret
Fridays, 9am to noon, January 17 through May 22, 2020
Santa Rosa Junior College
1501 Mendocino Avenue, 1614 Emeritus
Sections 4278, 4281, 4286

3 Units ($138)

In this Creative Writing class, open to beginning and experienced writers, we will cover various styles and techniques in imaginative literature: poetry, fiction, memoir, voice and dialogue. In class, we will begin with some playful loosening-up exercises, examine how both traditional and experimental writers have approached their craft, and discuss the students’ own writing in a supportive workshop format. Out of class, students will keep a writing journal, attend readings of local and visiting writers, and create a personal portfolio of their work. Guest writers will be invited share their creative process and experience with the class

Other Creative Writing Classes are available at the Junior College. Check here for days/times/instructors:


December Memoir Writing Workshops

4 Friday Mornings beginning December 6, 11:00 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Alchemy of Memory: Creative Writing As Spiritual Practice with Clara Rosemarda. Fee $160. Email or call for address: 707-567-7117 or Details on Workshops page.

Sunday, December 8, 2:00–4:30 p.m. Writing About Family: The Craft of Memoir, Dorothy Rice. Redwood Writers Club monthly meeting in the Empire Room at the Flamingo Resort & Spa, 2777 Fourth Street, Santa Rosa. Cost: $5 for members, $10 for nonmembers. Details:


Two Holiday Literary Favorites

Two Holiday Classics: A Christmas Memory / A Child's Christmas in WalesCelebrating their 10th Year! Petaluma Readers Theater presents A Christmas Memory and A Child’s Christmas in Wales.

Petaluma Historical Library & Museum
20 Fourth Street, Petaluma

$15 Museum members, $18 nonmembers. Tickets Available here.

Petaluma Arts Center
Thursday December 12 & Friday December 13 @ 7pm
Tickets available through the Center. Click here.


Sixteen Rivers Press Announces Call for Manuscripts

As of November 1, Sixteen Rivers Press is open to submissions for full-length poetry manuscripts.

The press is on a three-year production cycle. A manuscript accepted in this cycle would be published in April 2022.

Before you submit, read the guidelines on the Submissions page.


Poem for December

The times are nightfall, look, their light grows less
by Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889)

hopkins_0The times are nightfall, look, their light grows less; The times are winter, watch, a world undone: They waste, they wither worse; they as they run Or bring more or more blazon man’s distress. And I not help. Nor word now of success: All is from wreck, here, there, to rescue one— Work which to see scarce so much as begun Makes welcome death, does dear forgetfulness.  Or what is else? There is your world within. There rid the dragons, root out there the sin. Your will is law in that small commonwealth…


Terry Ehret
Sonoma County Literary Update co-editor


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