Sluggish in the summer heat? Some cool literary miscellany: WTAW *tomorrow*; Crossroads Poetry 7/21; CORE fundraiser reading 7/30; Family History Writing Contest; John Fox (Poetic Medicine) in Sac 8/24

Dear Writers, Readers and Friends:


Thank you for your patience last week with my missed post. Like many of you, I work more than full time, and most of that work is not at this time connected to my writing life. And so—sometimes sleep wins out over the blog!


I hope summer finds you writing and reading as much as you like. If you want to spice up your literary life, consider participating in one or more of the following happenings.


Be well, and stay very cool!





Why There Are Words

Why There Are Words Literary Reading Series presents “After All”

Why There Are Words Literary Reading Series presents the following readers on the theme After All July 12 at Studio 333 in Sausalito, 7-9pm. $5. Join us as seven authors share stories big and small. It’s why there are words after all!

Lauren Becker is editor of Corium Magazine. Her work has appeared in The Los Angeles Review, Opium, Hobart, Juked and some other nice places. Her collection of short fiction is included in the anthology Shut Up/Look Pretty (Tiny Hardcore Press, 2012). She lives in Oakland, where she hosts the reading series, East Bay on the Brain. She has never been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

Joe Clifford’s work has appeared in Big Bridge, the Connecticut Review, Drunken Boat, Fringe, Opium, Thuglit, Word Riot, and Underground Voices, among others. A collection of short stories, Choice Cuts, and his noir novel Wake the Undertaker will be published by Snubnose Press this year. He is the producer of Lip Service West, a “gritty, real, raw” reading series in Oakland. He has been to jail but never prison.

Sere Prince Halverson is the author of The Underside of Joy (Dutton, January 2012), translated into fifteen languages. She worked as a copywriter and creative director for 20 years while she wrote fiction and raised kids. She and her husband have four children, and live in Northern California.

Joy Lanzendorfer’s work has appeared in Hotel Amerika, Necessary Fiction, Word Riot, Salon, the San Francisco Chronicle, Entrepreneur, Bust, and others. She completed an MA in Creative Writing at San Francisco State University, where she served on the editorial board for Fourteen Hills. Her chapbook The End of the World as I Know It won runner-up for the Michael Rubin Chapbook Award at SFSU. For the last five years, she has been a judge in the Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards. She just completed her first novel.

Ericka Lutz is the author of the recently published novel The Edge of Maybe. Her seven non-fiction books include On the Go with Baby and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Stepparenting, and her short fiction and creative non-fiction have appeared in numerous books, anthologies, and journals, including Literary Mama, Because I Love Her, Paris: A Love Story, and Green Mountains Review. She won the Boston Fiction Festival in 2006 with her story “Deer Story,” and was a two-time fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Her full-length solo show “A Widow’s To-Do List” is in development. She teaches writing at U.C. Berkeley. She is currently writing a second novel based in Oakland about family ties… but this one has ghosts.

Aimee Phan is the author of The Reeducation of Cherry Truong (St. Martin’s Press, March 2012). Her first book, We Should Never Meet, was awarded the Association for Asian American Studies Book Award in Prose, a Notable Book by the Kiryama Prize in fiction, and a finalist for the Asian American Literary Awards. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, USA Today, and The Oregonian, among others. A 2010 National Endowment of the Arts Creative Writing Fellow, she received her MFA from the University of Iowa, where she won a Maytag Fellowship. She teaches in the MFA Program in Writing and Writing and Literature Program at California College of the Arts.

Eric Sasson’s story collection Margins of Tolerance (Livingston Press, May 2012) was the 2011 Tartt First Fiction Award runner-up. His story “Floating” was a finalist for the Robert Olen Butler prize. Other publication credits include Explosion Proof, BLOOM, Nashville Review, The Puritan, Liquid Imagination, Alligator Juniper, Trans, The Ledge, MARY magazine, and THE2NDHAND, among others. He’s taught fiction writing at the Sackett Street Writers Workshop and lives in Brooklyn.




at the center for contemporary art, sacramento:

Crossroads Poetry Series Pittard and Powell

July 21 / 3:00pm


The Center for Contemporary Art, Sacramento is proud to present Crossroads, a free Saturday afternoon reading series featuring distinctive poetic voices, hosted by Trina Drotar and Sandy Thomas. The series is dedicated to enriching the interplay between literary and visual artists. The third presentation in the series will be held on July 21 with Shawn Pittard and Danyen Powell.


Danyen Powell’s poetry has been included in a variety of publications such as: Brevities, The Poets’Guild, Poetry Depth Quarterly, the Rattlesnake Review, the Sacramento Poetry Anthology and featured in Pudding Magazine. He has also been the facilitator of the Sacramento Poetry Center’s weekly Tuesday night poetry workshop for the past fourteen years. He currently resides with his wife, Betsy, in Davis, California where his son Joel also lives and works in the family construction business.


Shawn Pittard is the author of two chapbook collections of poems, Standing in the River, winner of Tebot Bach’s 2010 Clockwise Chapbook Competition, and These Rivers, from Rattlesnake Press. His poems, essays, and book reviews have appeared in Brevities, the Chrysalis Reader, Confrontation, the North American Review, Poetry Now, Rattlesnake Review, Runes, Spillway, the Web del Sol Review of Books, and elsewhere. He lives with his wife Kathy in Sacramento, California.


Funded in part by the Sacramento

Cultural Arts Award Program of the

Sacramento Community Metropolitan

Arts Commission with support from

the City and County of Sacramento.

center for contemporary art, sacramento

1519 19th Street

Sacramento, CA 95811

916.498.9811 /





Francisco X. Alarcón and William O’Daly  give Benefit Reading for the Chicano Organizing & Research in Education (CORE)


Monday, July 30, 2012; 7:30–9:00 p.m.; Donations welcomed


Sacramento Poetry Center (SPC)


1719 25th Street (between Q St. and R St.)


Sacramento, California 95816


Contact: Paco Marquez Reyes (


Francisco X. Alarcón and William O’Daly will give a reading—in Spanish and English—to benefit CORE, a non-partisan research and advocacy organization that aims to improve the educational environment of all Chicano/Latino students, in all aspects of society, and offer a positive vision for the future. SPC Board of Directors member Paco Marquez Reyes will emcee this fun and important event. O’Daly will be joined by the Chilean poet, Maria Elena B. Mahler, who will read two of her Spanish translations of O’Daly’s poems and several poems of Pablo Neruda’s in the original Spanish, which O’Daly will then read in his English translation. For further information, please visit:




Family History Writing Contest Announced


 Sacramento, California: Root Cellar Sacramento Genealogical Society (RCSGS) is seeking entries for its 2nd annual Family History Writing Contest. The deadline is 1 Aug 2012.


Your family history research discoveries deserve to be shared.  Honor your ancestors by writing about their lives – telling the story of their struggles, perseverance and survival.


Factual articles about family or local history, character sketches, or memoirs will be accepted. Entries should be between 500 and 2000 words in length and submitted electronically only.  The contest is open to the public; membership in RCSGS is not required.


Prizes include a six month subscription to World Edition; Family Tree Maker 2012 software; one year subscription to; admissions to the RCSGS 2013 Spring Seminar featuring guest speaker Thomas MacEntee; and society memberships.  RCSGS thanks and Fold3 for their generous donations.


Contest rules and the three winning stories from last year’s contest are on the RCGS website  Please send inquiries to


Happy writing and good luck.



About Root Cellar Sacramento Genealogical Society

Root Cellar Sacramento Genealogical Society was formed in 1978 to help members with genealogical research through education, publication of information and preservation of records. Society activities include monthly membership meetings and workshops, an annual all-day seminar and Geni-Dig, monthly GeniGram newsletter, The Preserves periodical, and an Extraction Project of original records held at the Center for Sacramento History. The Society also maintains a genealogical library housed at the California State Archives. Find us on our website, blog at, and Facebook. Contact us at


Submitted by Denise Hibsch Richmond

Disclosure: I have been a member of Root Cellar Sacramento Genealogical Society for four years. Currently, I serve as the Publicity Chairperson and member of the Technology Committee. Want to start our family tree? Contact me at




August 24, 2012

Arden Dimick Library, Sacramento, CA    

Sponsored by

The Sacramento Community Group

of The Institute for Noetic Sciences




The Light We Let In


(and a creative way to spread it around!)




A talk and mini-workshop on writing as healer 


and spiritual practice


 Presented by John Fox, CPT  


Friday, August 24, 2012:   7:00 to 9:30pm


Celestial bodies radiate and reflect light:


sun blazes with fire, moon glows with grace.


Through the images and metaphor of poetry, we are stirred inside with an awareness that experiences of light also are accessible inwardly to heal and empower us, to lift us up, to remind us that we take part in that sacred fire, that beautiful grace.


By expressing ourselves through poem-making and by listening to one another in that process — we learn how to feel, intuit and trust these interior moments of radiance and reflection.


John Fox, a friend and frequent visitor to the chapter of Sacramento Community Group of IONS will bring inspiration and useful tools for you to experience this. No previous experience with poetry is necessary.  Anyone interested in how light helps us grow and in the healing potential of the arts is welcome!

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