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.


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Sunday, May 27, 2007

JULIA CONNOR at SACRAMENTO CITY COLLEGE



Julia Connor arrived at Sacramento City College in Lillard Hall and planted herself among the red chairs there like a gentian among the geraniums.

Connor, who is currently Sacramento's Poet Laureate but who has also taught at Naropa and studied with Robert Duncan, kicked things off by reading from “Making the Good,”her first attempt to put together a collection. Connor shared that, looking back, maybe she wasn’t ready to put a collection together at that point but that she was nevertheless delighted to be asked to do so. The poem she read was called “Epiphany” and it invoked the image of a risen scorpion, which according to the tenets of alchemy is the eagle.

From the same collection, she read “The Place of Dark Blue Flowers.”

She then read a section from a book called “Canto for the Birds,” whose origin was a zigzagging trip through the Sacramento Valley to Arizona with her husband. They were accompanied on that trip by a book Connor had received from State Parks and Recreation that showed all the preserves in the Central Valley. Also along on the trip was a book written by 14th Century alchemist Giordano Bruno, which Connor read aloud while her husband drove.

After this poem was read, Connor entertained a question from an audience member who asked her why she was so interested in alchemy in her poems. To which, Connor replied, “It’s like chemistry with a sense of humor.”She said she was also drawn to alchemy because, unlike chemistry, things still had powers. She also mentioned how alchemy also had correspondences between things, connections that allow one to connect in a substantive way with a larger world of objects. She mentioned that this kind of connection enlivens people in a way that chemistry cannot approach.

The next poem that Connor read was called “Hearth,”and it was derived from an incident relating to her two older sisters, one who is 12 years older, the other who is 14 years older. This was followed by “At Tommy Dollard’s House,” a poem about coming to terms with the impulse of male violence.

Connor then switched to reading from a series of prose poems. The first one was called, “Relations,” and it focused on her lifelong fascination with the shape of a mouth and how that shape informed the kind of person one might be, the kind of mental landscape one inhabited. This was followed by “The Theory of Snow”is a meditation on a winter scene that allows the speaker to acknowledge her own loneliness and her bitterness, which she then roots in “the clearing of a man.”

Nest up was “The Visiting Room,” a powerful story about an inmate struggling with his life-long grief for an early mistake he had made.

Finally, Connor ended with one of her signature pieces, “One February Eve on the Six O’ Clock News.”

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Alan Williamson at Bistro 33



In the dimly lit Bistro 33 in Davis, Andy Jones and Brad Henderson (aka Beau Hamel) emerged as hosts for a reading by poet/critic Alan Williamson.

Brad started off the evening by reading “Tonight, my friend, Joe Wenderoth, & I Are Watching UFC on Pay-per-view & We Don't Give a Rip What Our Colleagues at UC Davis Think” dedicated to Joe Wenderoth and inspired by a trip to the Squaw Valley Writer’s Conference where there was a wrestling camp running concurrently with the writer’s conference. The piece chronicled Henderson’s past as a championship high school and college wrestler, and it included a Freudian slip where one of the intense male-on-male scenes that, as Andy Jones later quipped, got a little “brokeback.”

Andy then read two poems that come from his “A Poem a Day in the Month of May” catalog, which has found Andy looking to increase his poetry production in May. The first was entitled “Ascension.”The second was called “Pre-history of the Teenager,” and it featured enough adult content to render it unreadable to his daughter Geneva.

Alan Williamson, in one of his rare public readings in Davis, then took to the podium and read Small College, All Male, Early 1960’s from his book Res Publica.

Then he read “Fallings From Us, Vanishings,”which took its title from Wordsworth’s “Intimations Ode.” He followed that poem with a poem by Gary Snyder from Danger on Peaks called “One Day in Late Summer.”

He then read “Fantasia on a Medieval Latin Poem,” and he ended with a new work that is, as yet, unpublished. It was a piece that was a study of a koan and one’s struggles to come to a conclusion with the paradox contained within a koan. One arrives at a conclusion not through intellect. The koan in question was this: does a door have buddha nature or not? The response to this was “mu” which could mean “no” in everyday usage or in another, higher meaning: unask this question as it poses a false dichotomy. The poem was entitled “Empty Sky,” and Alan Williamson read excerpts from it.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Sacramento Literary Calendar for May 2007

1 Tuesday
Sacramento Poetry Center.
Poetry Workshop. 7:30 pm. Free.
Hart Senior Center. 27th & J.
Facilitated by Danyen Powell. (530) 756-6228.
Bring 15-20 copies of your one-page poem.

The Moore Time for Poetry TV series presents
Slam poet Chaz from Los Angeles.
Cablecast on channel 17, Comcast Cable @ 5 am.

3 Thursday
Poetry Unplugged @ Luna's.
Featured Poets: TBA. Open mic after.
1414 16th Street. 8 pm. Free.
Hosted by Mario Ellis Hill.
lunascafe.com

4 Friday
All are invited to Escritores del Nuevo Sol's_Evening of Short Stories. Presenting writer's
include Juan Carillo, Dr. Fausto Avendano,
Minerva Daniel, Graciela B. Ramirez, and others.
@ La Raza Galeria Posada, 7:30 pm.
Charge: $5 or as you can afford.
1024 22nd Street. For info. call Graciela Ramirez @
456-5323 or JoAnn Anglin

5 Saturday
Escritores del Nuevo Sol's writing group workshop and potluck.
11 am @ La Raza Galeria Posada. 1024 22nd St.
Bring up to 3 pages of your work to read if you wish.
For more info. call Graciela Ramirez @ (916) 456-5323 or
JoAnn Anglin

6 Sunday
PoemSpirits featuring guest reader Rhony Bhopia, published
author and founder of ShiluS Publications. Co-host Tom Goff
will present the work of Rabindranath Tagore,1913 Nobel
Laureate. Free and open to the public; open mic after.
Light refreshments provided. Bring a favorite poem to share,
yours or another's. @ UUSS 2425 Sierra Boulevard. uuss.org
Contact: Tom Goff or Nora Staklis: 481-3312 or JoAnn Anglin

7 Monday
Sacramento Poetry Center.
Board of Directors Meeting.
All are welcome to attend.
1719 25th Street. _5:45-7 pm.
Sacramento Poetry Center.
Presents American River College writing class w/David Merson.
HQ for the Arts. 7:30 pm. Free.
1719 25th Street.
Hosted by Bob Stanley.

8 Tuesday
Sacramento Poetry Center.
Poetry Workshop. 7:30 pm. Free.
Hart Senior Center, 27th & J.
Facilitated by Danyen Powell. (530) 756-6228.
Bring 15-20 copies of your one-page poem.
Bistro 33 Poetry Series.
8:30 pm. Open mic after. Free.
Historic Davis City Hall, 226 F Street.

9 Wednesday
Dr. Andy's Poetry and Technology Hour.
5 pm. Hosted by Andy Jones.
KDVS90.3FM

10 Thursday
Poetry Unplugged @ Luna's.
Featured Poets: TBA. Open mic after.
1414 16th Street. 8 pm. Free.
Hosted by Geoffrey Neill.
lunascafe.com

14 Monday
Sacramento Poetry Center.
Presents CSUS creative writing class.
HQ for the Arts. 7:30 pm. Free.
1719 25th Street.
Hosted by Bob Stanley and Indigo Moor.

15 Tuesday
Sacramento Poetry Center.
Poetry Workshop. 7:30 pm. Free.
Hart Senior Center. 27th & J.
Facilitated by Danyen Powell. (530) 756-6228.
Bring 15-20 copies of your one-page poem.

The Moore Time for Poetry TV series presents
Slam poet Chaz from Los Angeles.
Cablecast on channel 17, Comcast Cable @ 5 am.

17 Thursday
Poetry Unplugged @ Luna's.
Featured Poets: TBA. Open mic after.
1414 16th Street. 8 pm. Free.
Hosted by frank andrick.
lunascafe.com

19 Saturday
Underground Poetry Center.
Featuring Sean Miller, Bill Carr & Layla Holmes.
7-9 pm @ Underground Books.
2814 35th Street. $3.00
Hosted by Terry Moore.

20 Sunday
Third Sunday Writing Group.
Free creative writing workshop.
10th & U, Sacramento. 1-3 pm.
Contact Nancy Walker for more info. @
oolalaparee03@yahoo.com

21 Monday
Sacramento Poetry Center.
Presents a poetry reading by Nancy Walker to
celebrate The Third Sunday Writers' Group 13th Anniversary.
Also includes readings by Rebecca Morrison, Joe & Susan Finkleman,
Theresa McCourt, Kimberly White, JoAnn Anglin, Pearl Stein Stelinsky & others.
HQ for the Arts. 7:30 pm. Free.
1719 25th Street.
Hosted by Rebecca Morrison.

22 Tuesday
Sacramento Poetry Center.
Poetry Workshop. 7:30 pm. Free.
Hart Senior Center, 27th & J.
Facilitated by Danyen Powell. (530) 756-6228.
Bring 15-20 copies of your one-page poem.

Bistro 33 Poetry Series.
8:30 pm. Open mic after. Free.
Historic Davis City Hall, 226 F Street.

23 Wednesday
Dr. Andy's Poetry and Technology Hour.
5 pm. Hosted by Andy Jones.
KDVS90.3FM

24 Thursday
Poetry Unplugged @ Luna's.
Featured Poets: TBA. Open mic after.
1414 16th Street. 8 pm. Free.
Hosted by B.L. Kennedy.
lunascafe.com

26 Saturday
"The Show" Poetry Series.
9 pm. Wo'se Community Center.
2863 35th Street.
Info. T. Mo at (916) 455-POET.

28 Monday
Sacramento Poetry Center.
Presents William O'Daly (Night of Translation).
HQ for the Arts. 7:30 pm. Free.
1719 25th Street.
Hosted by Tim Kahl.
[CANCELED. Rescheduled for this Fall]

29 Tuesday
Sacramento Poetry Center.
Poetry Workshop. 7:30 pm. Free.
Hart Senior Center, 27th & J.
Facilitated by Danyen Powell. (530) 756-6228.
Bring 15-20 copies of your one-page poem.

31 Thursday
Poetry Unplugged @ Luna's.
Featured Poets: TBA. Open mic after.
1414 16th Street. 8 pm. Free.
Hosted by TBA.
lunascafe.com

BEN LERNER—MAYDAY at UC Davis

In Voorhies Hall Ben Lerner appeared before the faithful UC Davis crowd to read from his most recent book Angle of Yaw. The crowd was quiet and attentive as they listened to Joshua Clover kick off the evening, in honor of Mayday, with a rendition of Allen Ginsberg’s “Kral Majales,” who read the piece with a decidedly understated “I am the King of May” compared to a gleeful exuberance one imagines attached to the youthful Ginsberg cavorting through Czechoslovakia during the year of the Prague Spring.

Then Ben Lerner took to the stage and offered to the denizens of that dimly lit room several pieces from Angle of Yaw and a new poem that was still in progress, still under revision. He started off the evening with “Begetting Stadia,” an homage to football stadiums and the the age of the spectacle. Then he read several selections of prose poems from Angle of Yaw. Finally, he read a new piece that he prefaced as being untitled and unfinished. Then lowering our expectations for it even more, he described what he saw as the movement and technique in the poem, both of which he expected the audience to be underwhelmed by. However, in my opinion, the new poem was the highlight of the evening. It seemed to be read with more conviction and attention, perhaps because he is still in the middle of the heat of this poem. If this last piece is any indication of the body of Lerner’s works to come, we have a lot to look forward to with this exceptional young talent.