County News

County News

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: No workshops, classes or readings, please. (Those are posted on the calendar or workshops pages.) An archive of announcements may be found at:


Reverberations:two—A Visual Conversation

April 9 to May 15

ephkaristic-exhibit-bookEkphrastic poetry is poetry inspired by a work of art. In 2018, Sebastopol Center for the Arts premiered “Reverberations: A Visual Conversation,” an exhibition in which poetry was written in response to pieces of artwork.

Reverberations:two A Visual Conversation reverses this dynamic, asking artists to create a piece of artwork in response to poems. Each artist in the exhibit was given a different poem to respond to.

To be honest, we weren’t quite sure it was going to work. Would it be possible for artists to work with a never-before-seen poem and create new work in the limited time of few months? To our astonishment, more than 200 visual artists responded to our open call, from which 50 were selected. The poets were selected by poet Charlie Pendergast, who encouraged us to do this second Reverberations show.

The resulting collaboration between poetry and visual arts is the focus of Reverberations:two, which will be showing at Sebastopol Center for the Arts from April 9 to May 15.

You are invited to the opening reception: April 9, 2:00-4:00 p.m.

We have created a beautiful companion book (above, right) for the exhibition, which will be available at the SebARTS gallery shop. More details:


Nominations are open for Sonoma County’s 12th Poet Laureate. Deadline: April 15

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 $2,000 stipend payable in yearly $1,000 increments.

Nominations for Poet Laureate require that the poet be a resident of Sonoma County whose poetry manifests a high degree of excellence and who has produced a critically acclaimed body of work. The nominee must also have demonstrated an active commitment to the literary arts in Sonoma County, must propose and perform a project of their own creation, and must agree to participate in official ceremonies and poetry events.

The Sonoma County Poet Laureate is chosen by a distinguished panel with a profound knowledge of, and an active dedication to, the life of poetry in Sonoma County. Members of the Selection Panel represent the five Sonoma County Supervisory Districts, Sonoma State University, Santa Rosa Junior College, and Sonoma County Library. Each member of this panel has a proven passion for poetry and a history of enriching the life of poetry in our community.

Nomination guidelines:


Sonoma County Public Library’s Virtual Tween Writing Club

In this virtual series children’s author Natasha Yim will lead young writers, ages 9-12, in monthly meetings to develop their own stories. Through writing exercises and mini-lessons students will learn the basic elements of story structure, developing characters, and crafting scenes to make their stories come to life!

Advanced registration is required. Please register to receive the Zoom link one hour before the program begins.

March 9 – What Happens? – Plot and Story Structure
April 13 – Finding out the “Why?” – Character Motivations and Plot Twists,
May 11 – Where Does Your Story Take Place? – Mood and Setting
June 8 – When Does Your Story Happen? – Time and Place

Natasha Yim is the author of seven picture books, including Goldy Luck and the Three Pandas, The Rock Maiden, and Mulan’s Lunar New Year. Her latest book, Luna’s Yum Yum Dim Sum was released by Charlesbridge Publishing in December 2020.

More details and registration:


World News, Free with Your Library Card

Read current news with online newspapers and magazines from around the world in dozens of languages!

Sonoma County Library cardholders now have quick and easy access to PressReader, a news resource with more than 7,000 newspapers and magazines to choose from.

PressReader features national and international news from 120 countries in a browsable and visual format that is available for use on any computer or device with a browser and internet access.

With PressReader, you can save and download publications to read later, listen to content out loud, and even have your news translated into a different language. Try it out at:


C&R Press Award for Joan Frank 

Congratulations to Sonoma County author Joan Frank who has received a C&R Press 2021 award for her novel Juniper Street. The prize is $1,000 and and publication.


Two New Book Stores on the Russian River

Russian River Books & Letters is a newly opened bookstore in Guerneville (next to Coffee Bazaar) on Armstrong Woods Rd. Pat Nolan reports it’s a terrific “well-lighted” space with plenty of new titles in all genres. Stay tuned for special events including music, readings, open mics, book clubs, and writing workshops. The proprietor, Michael, is very interested in promoting local authors. He can be reached at or 707-604-7197 Details:

Poet’s Corner Book Store in Duncans Mills, a “charming curated book shop,” is the smallest bookstore in the county. Open since November 2020. Details:


From Page to Film

“Roots in My Garden,” a story published in Sonoma County author Jo Lauer’s book, Returning: A Collection of Stories, is being adapted to film by Reel Freedom Film Company. The film deals with the devastating landmark court case regarding lesbian parenting rights that took place here in Sonoma County.


2021 IPPY Gold Medal for Joan Frank

Where You’re All Going: Four Novellas, by Sonoma County author Joan Frank (Sarabande Books) has won the 2021 Gold Medal for Short Story Fiction from the Independent Publisher Book Awards. This year’s medalists represent 46 U.S. states and seven Canadian provinces with winners also coming from U.K. and Australia, plus New Zealand, Ireland, France, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Switzerland, Jamaica and Malawi. More details at:

Her book is available from Sarabande Books: 


Touchstone Foundation 2020 Distinguished Book Award

Renée Owen’s poetry collection, This One Life (Backbone Press) has been short-listed for a Touchstone Foundation 2020 Distinguished Book Award. Details:


2021 Northern California Book Awards

Sonoma County authors have been nominated for a Northern California Book Award this year for books published in 2020. This year’s nominees include and Joan Frank in Creative Nonfiction (Try to Get Lost: Essays on Travel and Place,  University of New Mexico Press) and John Johnson, Nancy Morales, and Terry Ehret in California Translation in Poetry (Plagios/Plagiarisms, translated from the Spanish of Ulalume Gonzalez de Leon, Sixteen Rivers Press)


Sonoma County Library Offers Express Services

Beginning April 26, the Sonoma County Library is offering in-person Express Services six days a week (plus Sundays at Central Santa Rosa Library). Express Services allows those who have limited access to our online library, or who miss their in-person library experience, to join us in reopening gradually and safely. Eleven regional libraries are open twice a day, for one-hour sessions, at less-than-normal capacity. Reservations are encouraged and are available here.

In-Person Service Schedule:
Monday, Tuesday: 1-2 pm and 5-6 pm
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday: 11 am-12 pm and 3-4 pm
Central Santa Rosa Library will also be open on Sundays from 3-4 pm

As the county moves into higher tiers and more people are vaccinated, library services will continue to expand. We will still offer services online and by telephone. Learn more:


Sonoma County Library’s Free Digital Newsstand

Your Sonoma County Library card unlocks access to the world’s largest digital newsstand? Our digital magazine collection is now on OverDrive and the Libby app (Digital magazines were previously hosted through RBdigital.) Digitally stream popular and new issues of magazines like The New Yorker, The Week Magazine, Us Weekly, New Scientist, Cooks Illustrated, and The Economist.

Explore thousands of current and back magazine issues today


Sonoma County Library Announces Enki: An eBook Platform from Librarians

Expand your eBook experience with Enki! This statewide eBook service contains more than 90,000 eBooks in all areas of fiction and non-fiction, for children, teens, and adults. Enki is a free, open-source eBook platform created by libraries for libraries. It is named after the Sumerian god of mischief, intelligence and creativity. There are never any holds or wait for Enki eBooks.

Enki features:

  • Graphic novels and comics
  • Children’s books
  • Mysteries, romance novels, horror, and thrillers
  • Spanish titles
  • Crafting and gardening reads
  • Classic literature
  • Indie writers
  • Short stories and essays
  • Encyclopedias

Learn more at:



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  1. […] 24. To find out who’s reading and presenting at these events, click on each, or visit the County News page of the Literary Update (printed below in this email). This is the time for nominations for […]

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