Celebrating over 30 years as an arts organization.

The Center hosts readings, workshops, lectures, and publishes a variety of poetry publications. SPC is located in the R25 Arts Complex located on the corner of R & 25th Streets in midtown Sacramento.

Sacramento Poetry Center memberships support a variety of local poetry programs, publications, readings, and events. Members receive a free subscription to Tule Review and Poetry Now. Please send your check for $30 or more to SPC, 1719 25th St., Sacramento, CA 95816. Fixed incomes are $15.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Thursday, December 06, 2007

ELENI SIKELIANOS at California State University, Sacramento

Eleni Sikelianos appeared at the the library gallery on the CSUS campus on a wet and rainy December night. She flew into Oakland and arrived at CSUS despite an uncooperative car that nearly found itself on a ventilator near Vacaville.

However, the car demonstrated resolve and sputtered across the Yolo Causeway into Sacramento.

After a little bit of a late start, Sikelianos began her reading with selections from The Book of Jon, a hybrid book of memoir, novel and dream narrative. Then she read selections from her forthcoming untitled manuscript, three of which can be heard here: selections from forthcoming manuscript. [2:08]

Eleni Sikelianos holds an imaginary orange as she demonstrates the bilateral symmetry between the physical world and the ideal world

She fielded questions afterwards ranging from persepctive in The California Poem to whether she considers herself prone to bouts of idealism. Then she signed books and was last seen, dry, headed for Peter Grandbois's night class.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


The crowd was waiting, waiting. We were waiting not so much for Godot as for Cervantes. Lorna Dee had taken the Amtrak into Sacramento from the Bay Area and was looking for a way to get from the train station to 1719 25th Street.

She came into The SPACE while the end of the open mic session was starting. Art Mantecon briskly ushered in the evening by bringing out Francisco Alarcon who provided an invocation of the four directions (five, if you count the direction of the person standing next to you). Despite the fact he was about 180 degrees off, the cardinal directions didn’t seem to mind, and the spirits of the ancestors arrived more or less on time.

Alfred Arteaga started off the evening by reading from his long poem entitled “Frozen Accident.” The section he read from this poem was entitled “Nezahualcoyotl in Mictlan” and told of the great philosopher-king from Texcoco descending into hell (like Dante). Then he read a prose piece dedicated to Ireland entitled “Air,” and finally, he read a poem to an Irish lass he had fancied at one time who had gotten her barbs into him.

Lorna Dee Cervantes started off the evening by reading a piece that was dedicated to poet Phil Goldvarg entitled “For My Ancestors Adobed In the Walls of the Santa Barbara Mission.” Cervantes ended the poem with a resounding “A-men” which had a final “d” tacked on to make it “Amend.” Prior to the recitation of the poem, a Chumash song was chanted by Francisco Dominguez, and the song also followed the end of the poem. During the poem Cervantes shook a gourd rattle so vigorously that one of her earrings must have come off. Several of us scoured the floor after the reading, but we were unable to locate it.

She then read another poem for Phil Goldvarg entitled “Poeta de Pueblo” which was followed up by ten one-line poems to America.

Then she read “The News” and a series of what she called “Play Poems.” Each of these short pieces resulted from exercises in the classroom where a word or phrase is drawn from a hat and the poet has 7 minutes to construct a poem after that. The result is read unedited. Of these poetic equivalents to minute rice, she read “Blind Desert Snakes,” “Night Travelers,” “Allis,” “Movement,” “Tiny,” “Fear of Death,” and “Summer ends Too Soon (a poem about a young Chicana poet who hung herself from a tree at the age of twenty).

Cervantes finished off the evening with “Shelling the Pecans” which ended with “how a woman can rip out the heart whole.” Then there was “Nothing Lasts,” a long meditation on landscape and loss.


01 saturday
All are invited to Escritores del Nuevo Sol’s writing
workshop and potluck. 11am. at event will be held
at home of JoAnn Anglin. For directions, call:
916-451-1372 . For info call Graciela Ramirez,
456-5323 or joannpen@comcast.net.

03 Monday
Sacramento Poetry Center presents Alfred
Arteaga and Lorna dee cervantes at The
Space, across the parking lot from HQ for the
Arts. 1719 25th Street. Hosted by Art Mantecon.

4 tuesday
SPC Poetry Workshop, 7:30pm, Hart Senior Center,
27th & J. Bring 15 - 20 copies of your one-page
poem. Info: Danyen, (530) 756-6228

6 thursday
Poetry Unplugged features TBA at Luna’s Café.
Hosted by Mario Ellis Hill. Festivities begin at 8pm
and there will be an open mic as well.

7 friday
The Other Voice presents two outstanding Davis
Poets: Katy Brown and Danyen Powell. We
meet from 7:30 to 9:00 in the library of the Davis
Unitarian Universalist Church located at 47074
Patwin Road. Refreshments and open mike follow
so bring along a poem or two to share.

10 Monday
Sacramento Poetry Center presents a reading by
sAndrA Mcpherson. Hosted by Frank Graham.
7:30pm at HQ for the Arts, 1719 25th Street,
Sacramento. Free.

11 tuesday
SPC Poetry Workshop, 7:30pm, Hart Senior Center,
27th & J. Bring 15 - 20 copies of your one-page
poem. Info: Danyen, (530) 756-6228
Bistro 33 Poetry Series. 8:30 pm Open Mic after.
Bistro 33 in Historic Davis City Hall, 226 “F” Street,
3rd and “F” Streets in Davis.

12 Wednesday
Rattlesnake Press presents Patricia
d’Alessandro at The Book Collector, 1008 24th
St., Sacramento, to celebrate the release of her
new chapbook, Metaphoric Intervals From The
Insanity Of Life. Also appearing will be a littlesnake
broadside, Notes From an Ivory Tower, from Ann
Wehrman, plus a new issue of Rattlesnake Review.
Refreshments and a read-around will follow; bring
your own poems or somebody else’s. 7:30-9 PM,
More info: kathykieth@hotmail.com/.
Dr. Andy’s Poetry and Technology Hour, host Andy
Jones, 5pm, KDVS-90.3 FM or subscribe to podcast
at www.kdvs.org.

14 thursday
Luna’s Poetry Unplugged features TBA. Open mic
before/after. Hosted by Geoffrey Neill. 8pm at Luna’s
Café, 1414 16th Street. Free. Info: 441-3931 or

15 saturday
Underground Poetry Series features Poets cAndy,
isAAc griffin and Bret Freeman plus open
mic. 7-9pm, $3.00. Underground Books, 2814 35th
Street (35th and Broadway).Hosted by La-Rue’ 916-
737-3333. Plus, a FREE spoken word workshop and
open mic. Learn more about: How to read your poem
effectively, How to market yourself and your work,
and more! www.mybmsf.com/terrymoore

17 Monday
Sacramento Poetry Center presents Celtic Women
w/ JeAnine steVens, Brigit sheA truex,
chArLene ungstAd, and others. Hosted by
Rebecca Morrison. HQ for the Arts – 1719 25th
Street. 7:30pm.

18 tuesday
SPC Poetry Workshop, 7:30pm, Hart Senior Center,
27th & J. Bring 15 - 20 copies of your one-page
poem. Info: Danyen, (530) 756-6228

19 Wednesday
Moore time for Poetry, Terry Moore’s Access
Television Show, 9pm, co-host Tyra Moore. Access
Sacramento, Channel 17

20 thursday
Poetry Unplugged at Luna’s Café features
katastrophe from SF - aka rocco kyatatos
- famous international ‘Homo Hop’ star and lyrical
poet. (also a member of the famed original Sister
Spit spoken word group) Plus local Sac wonders
gene Bloom and Barbara Noble. 8pm, Free.

22 saturday
“The Show” Poetry Series features R & B vocalist
Marcia Lewis from Soul II Soul, plus slam
champion from Sacramento he spit fire, and New
York poet tAntrA (www.tantrasmasterwordplay.
com). 7:00 to 9:00pm All ages are welcome. Cost:
$5.00 Note: The Show is on a special date – not
the last Saturday! Wose Community Center Contact:
(916) 208-POET.

24 Monday
Sacramento Poetry Center – no reading

25 tuesday
No SPC Poetry Workshop – Merry Christmas! Don’t
bring 15 - 20 copies of your one-page poem.

27 thursday
Poetry Unplugged at Luna’s Café. 8pm. Free.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

ZAID SHLAH at Sacramento City College Nov. 29, 2007

Zaid Shlah came to visit the Sacramento City College and talked about his love of Arabic culture, poetry in particular. He read several pieces from his book entitled Taqsim [Frontenac, 2006]. Taqsim are short improvisational pieces played on an oud, and the pieces that Shlah read had a feel of meditations by route of stringed instrument. He explained how the cover of the book was a photograph of a favorite uncle who lived in the north of Iraq near Kirkuk, a man who had dedicated himself to Arabic cultural traditions, in particular to the playing of taqsim. For Shlah, there was no other photograph that evoked the spirit of taqsim more than this one.

He read selections from “Taqsim”, followed by ”Afternoon Confession,” “The Reception,” “Arabic Snow,” “Driving Towards Gethsemane,” “Leaving Iraq, Entering Alberta,” and finally, “Asking Iraq to Comply.”

Shlah answered questions after the reading ranging from personal questions to questions about his work. He talked about his tenuos position as an Iraqi-Canadian who now finds himself in California. He also revealed he enjoyed reading his taqsim to an oud accompaniment like one might experience at a salon in Iraq where the poet and the musician are counterpoints to each other.