Sonoma County Writers Published in 2013
Bill Amatneek—Acoustic Stories
Bill Amatneek’s book, Acoustic Stories: Pickin’ for the Prez and Other Unamplified Tales, has been honored with the silver Book-of-the-Year award in the Performing Arts & Music category by Foreword Reviews. See https://indiefab.forewordreviews.com/books/acoustic-stories. A limited edition of 1,000 cloth-bound copies, numbered and signed on the colophon, Acoustic Stories was published by Vineyards Press on October 15, 2013.
Donna Emerson—Following Hay
Following Hay is a book about where we come from. What we attach to as children, as adults. What we hang onto, what we let go of. What we have to leave. What remains. Here, there are rural roots. Extended family, assembled around a farm. Around music. You can smell the horse, the hay, feel ‘where the brush sucks down to the pump,’ ‘the hay poked through my pants.’ You hear a piano or two. You will notice what passes through three generations. Here are relationships that extend life, others that frighten, stifle, scare away. What endures?
Leah Maines, publisher and writer, says: “Following Hay astonishes with passion and is gratifying to read.”
Terry Ehret, says “With her photographer’s eye, Emerson invites the reader to see, as if for the first time, what is extraordinary even in the most familiar…she also listens, deeply and intently, to her subject, whether it is a landscape, a memory, or one of those unforgettable souls she has counseled…it is with a listening heart that the reader feels with her a wonder at the courage she has witnessed, and inspiration at the truth she captures.”
Please see www.donnaemerson.com for ongoing reading times and locations.
Maryann Schacht—Pan, the Trickster: in poetry and life
Maryann Schacht’s Pan: The Trickster is infused with tenderness, compassion, poignancy, and hard truths. She begins with a caution, “beware all human encounters the path of Pan…hides in the green of unknowing.” These are poems written from a life fully examined. This lovely collection contains a quiet call to care for each other and the the earth we inhabit. The poet reminds us “memories fade to sepia …adventures retreat to recall” and most importantly “to relish the warm and one last swim of summer.”
— Les Bernstein, author of Borderland and Naked Little Creatures (Finishing Line Press)
Maryann Schacht’s new collection of poems is a treasury of reflection, observation, and wisdom. Her poetic style fits her purpose: spare, clean, and incisive as a bullet for power, delicately descriptive and lyrical for remembrance. She has a fine musical ear for words and a casual relationship with rhyme, surprising us at times, without intruding. But mostly you will marvel at this poet’s way with words and phrasing, always so right they feel effortless. Her introductory poem, Pan’s Path, sets the tone and expectations for this collection: her acquiescence to fate’s mischievous and vital role in her full and many-faceted life.
Published by McCaa Press. and available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
Ed Coletti—Germs, Viruses, and Catechisms
“Ed Coletti is at the top of his form in Germs, Viruses, and Catechisms, a collection of irreverent, sacrilegious verse that might become infectious, and that could become a kind of contemporary catechism. Playful and punning, satirical and lyrical, political and whimsical, Coletti’s brave new book brings together Crazy Horse and Joe Gallo, Columbus and George Bush. The lists are funny; the imagery of war and torture is absolutely wild. There are surprises here, too, as in “Hypatia of Alexandria,” a wild and wonderful poem that offers a heretical heroine for our own crazy, brave times.”
— Jonah Raskin, author of The Radical Jack London and Rock ‘n’ Roll Women, Portraits of a Generation.
CDP Pocketbooks, 2013, 6 x 4.5 inches, 56 pages
Available on Amazon
Published in April 2013 (10th Anniversary edition): A lifelong vow. A Catholic priest with questions. A penitent woman with a secret past. A jealous friend. The fourth in this lover’s knot? God. Now back in print for the 10th Anniversary Edition.
Available on Amazon: Tongues of Angels
a novel by Julia Park Tracey
Gail King—Hello Life
The poems in Gail King’s Hello Life achieve their freshness in the particularity of experience. The poet surrenders herself to the moment and tenders that subtle cognition as a delighted welcome to life. The ease of her expression in dealing with the everyday communicates an uncommon wisdom. The poems present, through playful understatement and sly humor, the immediacy of spontaneous impressions.
December 2013 ~ $16.00 ~ 64 pages ~ Paper ~ ISBN 978-0-9840310-3-0
For more information about Gail King, Nualláin House, Publishers, and how to order, please go to nuallainhousepublishers.com
Jean Wong—Sleeping with the Gods
In Sleeping with the Gods, gods such as Mercury, Venus, Zeus etc. step from the shadows of history and take on a contemporary persona. Human steeped in folly and delusion never emerge unscathed when dealing with these savvy, treacherous immortals. These stories explore the nexus where myth intersects with ordinary life and are humorous, insightful, sexy, and profound.
Available on Barnes and Nobles, Amazon, etc. Go to http://lijeanwong.blogspot.com/ for more information.
Katherine Hastings’ second full-length collection of poems, Nighthawks, will be released by Spuyten Duyvil NYC in January 2014. The book can be ordered directly from Spuyten Duyvil (www.spuytenduyvil.net/nighthawks.html).
“If there’s such a thing as fierce Buddhism, Katherine Hastings’ Nighthawks finds it. Here is nature in minutely observed, embroidered detail, juxtaposed with terse and stark observations keyed from Rexroth’s ‘holiness of the real.’ Hastings is unafraid: she writes fearlessly of subjects such as the slaughter of children at an elementary school in Connecticut, the death of a young black man in a subway station, and opens a brave and unblinking lens on a lover’s cancer. In backdrop, though, always: the steadiness of nature flourishing: brilliant colors amid the unanswered questions.”
— Gerald Fleming
Marylu Downing—Tales from the West Pole
Memoir with illustrations by the author. With a messy love life in the forest, days spent watching out for widow makers or falling down art-filled rabbit holes, western Sonoma County writer and artist Marylu Downing uses images and stories to capture a Brigadoon-like place before it disappears. In the process, she pins a new destination to the map: The West Pole. Available mid-November, 2013. Naked Lady Publications, $14. ISBN: 978-0615892160.
Julia Park Tracey (editor)—Reaching for the Moon: More Diaries of a Roaring Twenties Teen
Doris Bailey Murphy was a 50-year resident of Occidental, CA, and she left her diaries to Julia Park Tracey, her great-niece. Reaching for the Moon: More Diaries of a Roaring Twenties Teen (1927-1929) contains Doris’s true-life adventures as she flirts with boys, sneaks sips of whiskey and bets on racehorses—breaking rules and hearts along the way. In Portland, Oregon, she’s the belle of the ball, enjoying the attention of several handsome gents. In Arizona, she rides a wild strawberry roan, winning races and kissing cowboys. From hospital wards and petting parties to rodeos and boarding school, this older, more complex Doris faces the dawning of the Depression and her own emergence as a young adult with even more humor, passion and love of life than she showed in her earlier diaries. Readers of all ages will relate to her pursuit of true love, freedom and adventure in her own time and on her own terms.
Reaching for the Moon is the second in the Doris Diaries series edited by Julia Park Tracey. Read more at www.thedorisdiaries.com. Available online, at Copperfield’s, and can be ordered from any bookstore via Ingram.
C.T. Markee—Book Two of Otherworld Tales: Demon Invasion
Voices from nowhere, an impossible accident and mysterious footprints in the snow disrupt a snowboarding trip and send Irish, Streak and Frost, in search of their missing friend, Huff. The friends find an Otherworld Kingdom inside Mt. Shasta where they learn the King of Demons plans to invade Earth. But why was Huff kidnapped? And how will Irish be able to resist the demon’s temptations and use his mind-merge to save mankind?
Redwood Writers 2013 Anthology: Beyond Boundaries
The stories, poems, essays and memoirs anthologized in Beyond Boundaries take their inspiration from the theme of emancipation. Produced solely by the members of Redwood Writers, these collected works reflect our quest for freedom, the tyrannies large and small we strive to overcome, and the rush of exhilaration that liberty brings.
John P. Abbott, editor
Published by Redwood Writers, 2013. ISBN: 978-1491087534.
298 pages, perfect bound, 6 x 9 inches. $12.00
This book may be purchased at: www.createspace.com/4375998
Linda Loveland Reid— Something in Stone
Does a lifetime of friendship prepare one for the truth, no matter how startling? Five dynamic, funny and amazing women wrangle over their foibles about sex, jobs, politics, and love while being confronted with death and one overriding mystery. Thirty-five years ago one of their friends walked into the ocean. Now these women will gather at Dillon Beach in a beach house they have mysteriously inherited from the mother of their dead friend.
“Linda Loveland Reid writes a sardonic, witty and deeply disturbing story, full of desire, ambition, and the love/hate relationships that develop among a group of people who, as Robert Frost wrote, make a ‘home’ for one another so that… ‘when you have to go there, they have to take you in.’” (Sonja Bedford, librarian emeritus)
Sonoma County Writing Practice — Foot Notes
Margaret Caminsky-Shapiro and Sonoma County Writing Practice have published their second Anthology, FOOT NOTES which showcases the writing of 51 of Margaret’s students. Cost is $12.00. It is available for purchase at Copperfields in Montgomery Village, Corrick’s in downtown Santa Rosa, Many Rivers Books and Tea in Sebastopol and Made Local Marketplace on 5th Street in Santa Rosa. Or purchase directly from Margaret Caminsky-Shapiro at email@example.com.
H. B. Reid—The Concert: The Diary of Count Frederigo Alfieri (an historical novel)
“For all of the exciting twists and turns in this richly imagined world of high art and high crime, you will remember most the characters, as tender as they are treacherous. The Concert, Reid’s latest novel is a vacation to an Italian villa, but much more, a chance to inhabit the mind of a man uniquely unencumbered yet uniquely burdened, a man who has a habit of listening to his heart.”
— Dan Coshnear, Occupy & Other Love Stories
Hank Mattimore — Figuring It Out As I Go Along: Thoughts on Kids and The God Within Us
Hank Mattimore’s teachers have come from all walks of life but none more important than the children he has mentored. Amazed by the innate spirituality of children, he finds himself challenged to become more in touch with his own higher power. A former newspaper columnist and spiritual writer, Mattimore finds the presence of God in the ordinary things of daily life from the yearning of a foster child for the dad he never had, to the sound of waves lapping against the shore and the magic of a stranger’s kindness. He takes his inspiration not as much from the dogmas of organized religion as from the miracles of everyday life. It is here, in the present and in the faces of children that we find the God of loveliness.
Patrick Fanning — Infidels Abroad: a Novel of Mark Twain & John Singer Sargent in an Alternate California
In 1879 Mark Twain meets the young painter John Singer Sargent aboard a steamer from the Sandwich Islands to San Francisco. But it is not our San Francisco, our California, or our 1879. In this universe, everything south of the Russian River is an independent Spanish-speaking country called Alta California. Everything north of the river is Rossland, ruled by Imperial Russia. These powerful states are flush with Sierra gold, while the United States is just a weak neighbor on the other side of the Mississippi. Mark Twain is supplementing the meager royalties from Tom Sawyer by lecturing on “Our Fellow Savages of the Sandwich Islands.” John Singer Sargent tours with him, sketching and painting the sights and trying to get a portrait commission from Twain. Told in the first person voices of Twain and Sargent, illustrated with their sketches, paintings and photos, this is a tale about friendship, ideology, culture clash, and what it means to be an artist. Art Works Press. ISBN 978-1-300-19873-4.
Penelope la Montagne’s Jigsaw Heart is a chapbook of poems published by Finishing Line Press, 2012. Penelope lives on the bank of the Russian River in Northern California. She claims to have learned everything she knows about life from watching the river, not pushing, not holding back. She is Poet Laureate Emerita of the small town in which she lives and is a California Poet in the Schools.
Katherine Hastings — Cloud Fire
How refreshing to come across a book like Katherine Hastings’ marvelous Cloud Fire, rich and verdant in formal experiment and range. Mixing lyrics, narratives, curses, blessings, spells, and unabashed love poems, the work is hard-won and honest, generous and rigorous. In poem after poem Katherine Hastings casts her ever-vigilant, observing eye, sharp as it is poignant. Her deepest concern seems our perilous locale and planet: “My city whose streams are rock doves and parrots, whose bright arm is a spring board for love and suicides,” and yet “we breathe here better than anywhere, distressed.” — Gillian Conoley
Lovely … it’s your veiled history. — Lawrence Ferlinghetti
TO ORDER: www.spuytenduyvil.net/poetry/cloudfire.html. Also available at amazon.com
Katherine Hastings is the host of WordTemple on NPR affiliate KRCB FM and curator of the WordTemple Poetry Series in Sonoma County