The Update welcomes announcements of interest to the Sonoma County literary community. Send text only (no attachments or PDFs please) by noon on the last day of the month to: firstname.lastname@example.org. No workshops, classes or readings, please. (Those are posted on the calendar or workshops pages.)
WTAW Press Inaugural Chapbooks
WTAW Press has published its inaugural chapbooks, February 8, 2017. All four limited edition chapbooks are available on the website at www.wtawpress.org/news. Interviews with chapbook authors Jenny Wu and Amelie Prusik may be read at www.wtawpress.org/author-interviews. WTAW Press has also announced its first full-length titles to be published September 8, 2017. Submissions will open for the 2017 reading period on June 15. To learn more about WTAW Press and stay up on current developments, sign up for the newsletter at http://eepurl.com/bOfwf5. WTAW Press is a 501(c)nonprofit based in Santa Rosa, the publishing arm of Why There Are Words, a national neighborhood of reading series founded in 2010 in Sausalito with branches in New York City, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Austin, and Portland (with more to come in 2018). www.whytherearewords.com
A Message for Sonoma County Poets and Writers
Poet Christopher Soto is researching the life of Sonoma poet Paul Mariah. He’s been working with the Poetry Foundation and they have created a page for Paul’s bio. Some of you may remember Paul as a gentle, kind and energetic soul who often read at the Russian River Writer’s Guild in Sebastopol. He was generous with advice and support. Paul created one of the first gay presses, Manroot, in the 70s. Christopher is also in process of finding a home for Mariah’s work, and has possibly found one at Brown University.
Any of you who have any of Paul Mariah’s works, or if you have any reminiscences, or any other information that might add to the archive at Brown or the Poetry Foundation page, please do contact Christopher at email@example.com
Littoral Press Poetry Prize
Sonoma County poet Carol Ciavonne’s poem “The Bird Life” has won the Littoral Press Poetry Prize, judged by Troy Jollimore. Suzanne Maxson of Sebastopol received an honorable mention for her poem “Movement.” The prize is 50 broadsides by Lisa Rappoport, a book artist and letterpress printer who has sponsored this contest for nine years. http://littoralpress.com/web/current-events/
Sonoma County author places 2nd in EVVY Literary Contest
Charles Markee’s 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. See http://cipabooks.com/cipa-evvy-awards. EVVY is a nickname for Evelyn Kaye, the woman who founded CIPA.
Juniper Prize awarded to Sonoma County author Joan Frank
University of Massachusetts Press’ Juniper Prize for the Novel has been awarded to Sonoma County author Joan Frank for her novel All the News I Need. Joan Frank is the author of five books of fiction and a book of collected essays. Her novel Make It Stay won the Dana Portfolio Award. Her story collection, In Envy Country, won the Richard Sullivan Prize, the Gold ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Award, and was named a finalist for the California Book Award. Frank’s essay collection, Because You Have To: A Writing Life, won the Silver ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Award.
Sonoma County Poet Honored
Donna Emerson will read her winning poem “First Day of Kindergarten and Eleven Years Later,” on February 6th at the annual Allen Ginsburg 2015 awards ceremony at the Poetry Center in Paterson, New Jersey.
Sonoma County Poetry Out Loud Contest
On February 15, 2016, the 10th annual Sonoma County Poetry Out Loud competition took place at the elegant Glaser Center in Santa Rosa. POL is a nationwide poetry recitation program for high school students. It’s implemented first at the classroom level, then school-wide, county-wide, state-wide contests take place. It works much like a spelling bee, and winners eventually progress to the Nationals and compete with other champions from all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
Every year our county-wide contest becomes more expert and competitive. This year’s winner is Melissa Lozano of Rancho Cotate High. There was actually a tie for first place in terms of raw scores. When that occurs, we look at the “overall performance” score. Shea Dorrell of Piner High School came in just one point behind, using that metric. Our third place winner was Arthur Timpe of El Molino and fourth was Victoria Ward of Maria Carrillo.
By the time this goes to press, the statewide competition will have already taken place. But if you would like a taste of this rich experience, consider coming to Word Temple on March 26. Dana Gioia, our new California Poet Laureate and founder of POL during his leadership of the National Endowment for the Arts, will be presenting, accompanied by two of our county finalists!
The schools involved this year are: Analy, Casa Grande, Creekside, El Molino, Elsie Allen, Maria Carrillo, Montgomery, Piner, Rancho Cotate, Rincon Valley Christian, Roseland Collegiate Prep, Roseland University Prep, Santa Rosa, Sonoma Academy and Tech High.