Post-turkey/tofurkey delights, beginning with: Mary Mackey and Michael Spurgeon TONIGHT at SPC

Dearest Writers, Readers and Friends:

As I took some time away to recharge and to celebrate Thanksgiving, I reflected on how important our local literary community is to me. By “literary,” I mean all things having to do with creative expression through writing, reading and listening to words and stories. I am so full of gratitude for all of us here in Sacramento, Davis and the Valley who love and support these as essential activities that should be available and inviting to all.

It’s my ongoing pleasure to bring you just a bit of our region’s literary news, once each week (or so) throughout the year. There are so many opportunities to engage with literature in our community these days that I don’t even come close to keeping up with them all. And that, my friends, is another reason to be thankful.

Here’s a little appetizer for this week, with another post to come. Yours in writing,




Mary Mackey and Michael Spurgeon
Monday, Nov. 26 at 7:30 PM
1719 25th Street
Host: Tim Kahl

Mary Mackey was born in Indianapolis, Indiana. After receiving her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of Michigan, she moved to California to become Professor of English and Writer-in-Residence at California State University, Sacramento (CSUS). She is married to Angus Wright, CSUS Emeritus Professor of Environmental Studies, with whom she frequently travels to Brazil. Mackey’s published works include six volumes of poetry (Split Ends, One Night Stand, Skin Deep, The Dear Dance of Eros, Breaking the Fever, and Sugar Zone); a short novel (Immersion—the first novel published by a Second Wave feminist press); and twelve other novels (McCarthy’s List, Doubleday; The Last Warrior Queen, Putnam; A Grand Passion, Simon & Schuster; Season of Shadows, Bantam; The Kindness of Strangers, Simon & Schuster;The Year The Horses Came, Harper San Francisco; The Horses at the Gate, Harper San Francisco; The Fires of Spring, Penguin, The Stand In, Kensington Books; Sweet Revenge, Kensington Books; The Notorious Mrs. Winston, Berkley Books; andThe Widow’s War, Berkley books.)  Her two comic novels (The Stand In and Sweet Revenge) were written under the pen name “Kate Clemens.” Mackey, an Emeritus Professor of English, retired from California State University in 2008.

Walking Upside Down on the Other Side of the World

Quando falamos nesta cidade perdida
when we speak in this lost city
our words bubble out of our mouths
like the orações/prayers of drowned children
through air so hot and green      it holds us
in suspension like bottled glass

here perto deste grande rio/ near this great river
on the edge of this great forest of stumps
anaconda clouds glide over us like sinuous birds
and the throats of lovers fill with mud and black water

here you can get anyone killed for $50
by the jagunços in cowboy boots and aviator glasses
who sit in the bars nursing cold beers

here iron ore is sucked out of
the earth like blood      and a section
of bamboo filled with
gold dust will buy you a quick death

in this Anopheles democracy of sudden disasters
mosquitoes spread malaria equally to everyone
garimpeiros, caboclos, assassins,
colonels who ride in air conditioned cars
babies who sleep in hammocks

here the dead speak the words
the living are afraid to utter
and each kiss       given in fear
is as swift as the tongue of a bat
probing a flower.

Michael Spurgeon has authored two chapbooks of poetry, Valente’s Delicate Wrist and Prosthetic Breath & Other Poems. His poems have appeared in journals such as The North American Review, Sonora Review, The Packinghouse Review, and several others. He has lived and traveled extensively in Mexico and was residing in Chiapas during the 1994 Zapatista uprising. Set against the dramatic events of that conflict, his first novel, Compadres, is currently under consideration with several publishers. A tenured professor at American River College, Michael is the faculty adviser to the American River Review, American River College’s highly acclaimed undergraduate literary and art magazine.

Coming Events at SPC and Elsewhere:

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

Poets Gallery [November]: Bob Girasek (acrylic/oil painter)

December 3 [Bob Stanley]: American River Review
Thurs. December 6 [Frank Dixon Graham] Alan Williamson and Jeanne Foster
December 10 [Emmanuel Sigauke]: Mira Loma high School’s “Prisms”
December 17 [Rebecca Moos]: All open mic Italian Christmas Party
December 20 [Mary Zeppa and Lawrence Dinkins] Poetry at the Central Library, 828 I Street, 12 noon
December 24 [Tim Kahl]: No Reading
December 31 [Frank Graham]: Happy New Year’s 2013 Reading for the Benefit of SPC” with Bob Stanley on banjo. 7-9 PM.

Poets Gallery [December]: Milton Bowens


January 7 [Bob]: Edythe Schwartz Book Release reading
January 14 [Emmanuel]: David Iribarne and others
January 21 [Rebecca]: Milton Bowens
January 28 [Tim]: Laura Wetherington and Jared Stanley

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