TONIGHT at SPC: Denise Lichtig, co-winner of Quinton Duval Chapbook Contest, with Catherine French


I have had the pleasure of hearing reading some of Denise Lichtig’s work, and I think you won’t want to miss the launch of her Quinton Duval Chapbook Contest co-winning book TONIGHT at SPC. Lichtig will read alongside Catherine French.



Sacramento Poetry Center Presents

Catherine French and Denise Lichtig (Lichtig is co-winner of the Quinton Duval Chapbook contest)
Monday, August 13, 2012 at 7:30 PM
1719 25th Street
Host: Bob Stanley

Catherine French was born in Mercy Hospital ages ago and grew up in Tomato Town. The first book of poems she bought was 73 Poems by e.e. cummings at Beers Book Store (J Street location) and the last was coincidentally also by e.e. cummings, Poems 1923-1954, also purchased at Beers Book Store (S Street location). She earned an MFA in Arizona and won the James D. Phelan Award from the San Francisco Foundation for manuscript in progress. This manuscript became the book Sideshow, published by University of Nevada Press in 2002. Her work has appeared in The Nation, The Gettysburg Review, The Iowa Review, The Mississippi Review and other journals. She is currently at work on a new poetry collection. She considers the best secret thing about living in the Sacramento area to be the amazing number of high caliber poets located there.

The Evolution of X

The first stroke
is the spine

I’m tired, I’m tired. I’m so tired.

The second stroke is the stay or tie
As with a young tree.

Was I ever young? I’m weary, so weary.

It signifies a cross or peace.
It also stands for danger.

Never known peace. Come to know danger.

It magnifies, multiplies.
It represents a stranger.

And everybody’s a stranger.

It’s a signature for those
unable to write.

Its simple beauty can’t be denied.
There’s its spine, there the tie.
And there, my friends, is danger.

It’s the thing, the hunger
That can’t be named.


It’s the unknown value
Two opposing forces slanting into each other

Now we’re getting somewhere.
Getting to the heart of X.
I think you know it’s broken,
I think you know the cross is a fix.

It’s the forbidden

Could be I’ll never tire of that mystery.

But it’s also chromosome
Such specific information.

So much contradiction in two little lines.
So much insurrection.

Say it –  it’s a hiss.

Like a warning. So you’ve been warned.

Write it – it’s a kiss.

Put those lips together
and know exactly
what excess you’re signing up for.
Do it!
One line, then the other.
Hello, beautiful pornographic genetic destiny,
Hello, beautiful stranger.

— Catherine French

Denise Lichtig lives in Davis, Calif. She has published in Hayden’s Ferry Review, The Antioch Review, The Suisun Review, Dry Heat, and was the Recipient of a Dorland Internship.  She was a Discovery Award semi-finalist and a finalist for the Atlanta Review International Poetry 2012 contest. She is the co-winner of the Quinton Duval Chapbook contest. She is the owner of Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture, and teaches Tai Chi Chuan and meditation.

Mercy Hospital

If the street in front of Mercy Hospital moved more like the Ganges
the slow but consistent line of ash and fume would matter.
Just as the old look through bewilderment
as those in the middle lift their skirts not to touch the dead.
That rush like a cat’s sound would only be an ambulance
the siren too loud for these mirrors,
the yards in trees and buckets of lawns would spill their chairs
and heave into the sun all the lost doll heads
that were buried the years before.
My mother would wave from the other side; I’d see her,
while the other moms smoked pot and wouldn’t look.
Everyone gets helped.

—Denise Lichtig

Coming Events at SPC and Elsewhere:

All events are at Sacramento Poetry Center at 7:30 PM unless noted otherwise. Host name in brackets.

August 16 [Mary Zeppa and Lawrence Dinkins] Poetry at the Central Library, 828 I Street, 12 noon  on hiatus
August 20 [Rebecca Moos]: 7 p.m. (early start time) Hot Poetry in the Park: Michael R. Gorman, at Fremont Park corner of 15th and Q
August 27 [Tim Kahl]: Ewa Chrusciel and Mira Rosenthal

Poets Gallery [August]:

September 3 [Bob Stanley]: Cynthia Linville and Tim Bellows
September 10 [Emmanuel Sigauke]:
September 17 [Rebecca Moos]: the San Francisco Bay Area Women’s Poetry Salon debuts their anthology, Turning a Train of Though Upside Down, edited by Andrena Zawinski. Readings by Tobey Kaplan, Dawn McGuire, Judith Offer, and Nanette Deetz.
September 20 [Mary Zeppa and Lawrence Dinkins] Poetry at the Central Library, 828 I Street, 12 noon
September 24 [Tim Kahl]: Kathleen Winter and Greg Mahrer

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