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.

Friday, January 11, 2008


For those who were wondering what it must have been like to have their power go out during Friday the fourth’s massive storm, they might have entered into the frozen lair of the SPC where they might have seen Barbara Jane Reyes and Oscar Bermeo both sporting the latest in scarf chic, not so much out of a sense of fashion as a matter of guarding against the cold.

As the audience waited for several of its members to arrive fashionably late, it was treated to an open mic warm-up with Rebecca Morrison, who previewed a few pieces at the reading in tribute to Scottish poet Robert Burns at The Book Collector on Friday January 25th. She read “I’m Not Going to Bring Them Calmly”followed by a poem of her own that ticked off a litany of one-line desires entitled “What I Want for Christmas.”

Jim Michael, introduced as a “codeswitching extraordinaire,” read a piece that employed rapid fire Spanish alongside of deep forays into English.

Art Mantecon then introduced Barbara Jane Reyes through one of his signature introductory poems, and Reyes took her place in front of stand. She started off reading the opening piece from her recent book Poeta in San Francisco from Tinfish Press entitled “State of Emergency.”

The next piece that she read was the opening piece from the [orient] section of the book, which has as its epigram “El Camino Real ends here.” from Alejandro Murguia’s “16th and Valencia.” It starts out: “Consider this procession:”

She skipped ahead in the [orient] section of the book to read “[objet d’art: exhibition of beauty in art loft victorian claw tub]”

Reyes reflected on why the United States had found The Philippines so useful during Vietnam in “[why choose pilipinas]” and then again in “[why choose pilipinas, remix]” which employed rhetoric from a mail-order bride website advertising women from the Philippines.

Back to “San Francisco,” she read “[palabras y notas para el viajero]” then ”plasa del burguesía americano/iglesia de los immigrantes pobres” [1:00]

The next trip was to j-town” on bus 38. Then to “c-town.” Then to “m-town.”

Shortly thereafter we arrived at “calle de comidas exóticas”up to “calle del consejo prático”over to “calle dos morenos” finally back to “calle de oscuridad.” [1:47]

She ended her sampling of Poeta in San Francisco with


she laid down
on the tracks.
brown girl – maybe
seventeen, sparkly

shoelaces, all that
was left, girlfriend
wasn’t doin no drugs.
just gave up is all.

the morning paper
reported a suicide —
filipina crack whore,
nothing to live for.

Reyes ended the night with a few pieces from her upcoming manuscript entitled Diwata which is the Tagalog term for “muse.”

The first piece was “ “The Bamboo’s Insomnia” [0:21] and afterwards “The Genesis of We, Cleaved”, inspired by Filipino creation stories and the persistence of an “Eve” figure who kept creeping into her consciousness.

Finally, there was “ “Polyglot Incantation.” [1:02]

Oscar Bermeo started reading from his chapbook Anywhere Avenue after confessing that he had only started writing poetry when he turned 31. He said he was working up to a full-length manuscript by completing a small project like the chapbook. He announced that the poems he would be reading would essentially be from his follow-up to Anywhere Avenue perhaps Anywhere Avenue 2 he added half-jokingly; then he started off by reading a poem of the great Octavio Paz.

His first poem was entitled “Political Theory” and “The God of the Near Miss”; then “Unsolved Crimes Perpetrated by Invisible Men as Reported by an Unreliable Witness” and “ “Restoration No.6.” [1:12]

He then read, “Everywhere I See My Pop’s Face” and “This Wednesday” [1:01] and ended with “Ode to a White Boy.”

The husband and wife team of Oscar and Barbara stayed to chat and sign books afterwards, cheerfully passing on their observations about the world before they left and went out to their car to get warm.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Request for Submissions (Poetry Now)

this is a good time to submit your poems to Sacramento Poetry Center's Poetry Now. we publish about 12 poems a month and accept about 40% of those submitted. i prefer to receive submitted poems via email, in the text of your email or attached in word .doc, and with a little information about the author. email your poems to my email address: grahampoet@aol.com

note: contest poems are sent to the center @

1719 25th Street,
Sacramento,CA 95816,

do not send contest entries to my email address.

the contest is coming up - so be sure to enter some poems soon and include appropriate fees ($4.00 per poem)!

January Literary Events for Sacramento

3 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.

5 Saturday
All are invited to Escritores del Nuevo Sol’s writing workshop and
potluck. 11am. at La Raza Galeria Posada, 1024 22nd Street,
Sacramento. For info call Graciela Ramirez, 456-5323 or
joannpen@comcast.net. Website: www.escritoresdelnuevosol.com
Special Reading at Luna’s - Songs for Maya hosted by B.L.
Kennedy, Featuring Litany with Miles Miniaci, Mario Ellis Hill,
Vincent Cobalt, Robert Lozano & Others

7 Monday
Sacramento Poetry Center presents Barbara Jane Reyes and
Oscar Bermeo. Art Mantecon hosts - at HQ for the Arts - 1719
25th Street. 7:30pm

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

9 Wednesday
Dr. Andy’s Poetry and Technology Hour, host Andy Jones, 5pm,
KDVS-90.3 FM or subscribe to podcast at www.kdvs.org.

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

11 Friday
Isis Bazaar presents Candy, Taifa Jamari and Bene' Bailey.
(Candy's CD Release Party for Embrace).
Second Fridays from 8 to 10pm, 122 “I” Street in Old Sacramento.

12 Saturday
Culture Collection presents Random Abiladeze, hip-hop artist
Izreal, vocalist Carla Fleming and Khiry Malik Moore. Second
Saturdays from 2 to 4pm. 6391 Riverside Blvd in Greenhaven.

14 Monday
Sacramento Poetry Center presents a reading by Emmanuel
Sigauke. Hosted by Tim Kahl. HQ for the Arts - 1719 25th Street.

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

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

17 Thursday
Poetry Unplugged at Luna’s Café. 8pm. hosted by Frank Andrick.

19 Saturday
Underground Poetry Series presents LaRue and Yoke Breaker
plus open mic. 7-9pm, $3.00. Underground Books, 2814 35th
Street (35th and Broadway).

21 Monday
Sacramento Poetry Center presents Michael Cluff and Michael
Garbarini. Hosted by Rebecca Morrison. HQ for the Arts - 1719
25th Street. 7:30pm

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

23 Wednesday
Dr. Andy’s Poetry and Technology Hour, host Andy Jones, 5pm,
KDVS-90.3 FM or subscribe to podcast at www.kdvs.org.

24 Thursday
Poetry Unplugged at Luna’s Café. 8pm. hosted by B.L. Kennedy.
Free. Features: Suzanne Roberts, Charlene Ungstad,
Noel Kroeplin

26 Saturday
“The Show” Poetry Series features Kafiah from Phoenix, Khiry
Malik Moore and Candy. 7:00 to 9:00pm. All ages are welcome.
Cost: $5.00 2863 35th Street off 35th and Broadway. Contact:
(916) 208-POET.

28 Monday
Sacramento Poetry Center features Frank Graham. Hosted by
Bob Stanley. HQ for the Arts 7:30pm

29 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

Thursday, January 03, 2008

SANDRA McPHERSON at SPC on Dec. 10, 2007

Sandra McPherson came once again to the Sacramento Poetry Center to lend her specific brand of light to the proceedings at 1719 25th Street in Sacramento.

She mentioned that she had dedicated her latest book entitled Expectation Days to three women, two of whom were in the audience: Susan Kelly-DeWitt and Pamela Moore Schneider.

The first poem she read from Expectation Days (“Grouse”) was brought about by “bird parties” that go on in her house while she sleeps.

She went on to read “A Ghazal for my Students” from A Visit to Civilization

McPherson turned to a poem from early in her career, from her first book in the mid-60s when she was 23 and pregnant and working in the defense industry in Seattle. The poem was called “The Names of Things.”

McPherson recalled watching a scene from An Officer and a Gentleman as it was being filmed and remembered how Louis Gossett Jr. asked the crowd to be quiet. The poem “An Officer and Gentleman in a Small Heroic Order” was an homage to that moment and other memories.

She then asked for water and went on to read from her series of Virtue Studies which grew out of her collecting old schoolgirl samplers. The first one she read was called “Virtue Study: The Happy Hour,” and it was dedicated to the many years of reading Chinese and Japanese drinking poems.

The second one was dedicated to the Sacramento Blues Society. It was entitled “Virtue Study: Blues society” In it the main figure is a person in a wheelchair who is attempting to dance.

What followed next were bereavement poems. The first one was “Bereavement: Leaving the Radio On all Night for Comapny“ which led her to mention the memorial benefit that the SPC put on for her late husband Walter Pavlich in 2002. The next one was “Bereavement: 1919” in which she alludes to “asafoetida,” a substance that was given for its calming effect, but McPherson noted that on Wikipedia a reference was made to its capacity for attracting catfish.

The next piece was called “The Fox” in memory of Walter Pavlich, and it was written 19 years before his passing.

McPherson ended with a piece that she said will “make nobody weep.” It was a collection of haiku inspired by her friend Chef who drove her to the reading.

          “Disgusting, the chef who has only 7 cookbooks. I could roll around naked in 600.”