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.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Poetry Bomb with S.A. Griffin - May 31, 2010

Frank hosted S.A. Griffin and the Poetry Bomb tonight at SPC. S.A. is one of the friendliest and most gracious people I've ever met. His wife and son were also present, as were many people from the community. S.A. said at the beginning of the event that tonight was about poetry and that the Poetry Bomb was a way to turn this item from destruction to construction. He's nearing the end of five weeks of touring the country with the bomb and will be in Nevada City tomorrow.

Where did the idea come from? He didn't credit any one thing. He just wanted to put poetry in a bomb. His search began. It wasn't as easy to locate a bomb these day as it had been for the hippies who used to find them in the desert and smoke them, he told a full house. He searched various computer sites, finally locating a bomb on Craigslist on November 3. The guy selling the bomb even delivered it to S.A. The guy, S.A. told us, wanted to meet the buyer and wanted something creative done with it. Well, I think S.A. succeeded. The bomb is gorgeous. He spent a great deal of time telling us about the bomb, which is from the 1970 Vietnam era and was a practice bomb. He left the dents and and dings and scars, including the bullet hole near the top.

He said that he hopes to foster disagreements because "agreements come from disagreements." The bomb holds more than 400 poems (plus ashes from 4 humans and 2 dogs) from all over the world, including some from convicts and ex-convicts and people from different religions. He doesn't see the Poetry Bomb as being anti-war because that is too limiting. He said that there is "nothing more activist that you can do except be a poet."

He talked about the opening of the bomb and that this is The Only Poetry Bomb.

Frank asked what symbolism means to S.A., and he responded that they are very important to him and that the "bomb is one of the most iconic symbols of the 20th century."

Once he finished speaking about the project and the bomb, he had people read either poems that were already in the bomb or poems that they were going to have placed in the bomb. Readers were: John Bell, Frank Dixon-Graham, JoAnn Anglin, Kirk Parker, Trina Drotar, B.L. Kennedy, S.A.'s wife, Lorraine (she read the official Poetry Bomb poem written by Ellyn Maybe, the poet laureate of the Poetry Bomb), Robert Roden, S.A.'s son, Spencer, Strider the Shadow Maker, Genelle Chaconas, Lob Instagon, Allegra Silberstein, and Crawdad Nelson. S.A. will scan and catalog all of the poems from this evening and the sign up list and place them in the bomb.

What will he do with the bomb? Well, suggestions included (rather passionately) the Smithsonian and a website. The project is not about ego. If he had the money, he'd like to send it to space a la Hunter S. Thompson.

S.A. read a selection of poems that were in the bomb and others that were his own. Among those he read were one from Sacramento's own, Annie Mennebroker and a nine-year boy who wrote a poem about his dying grandfather.

He ended the event singing a poem that he had written and given to a musician friend, Carolyn Edwards.

If you want to submit a poem, you may send it to: S.A. Griffin / P.O. Box 29171 / Los Angeles, CA 90029-0171.

Poetry Bomb!

Tonight at the Poetry Center.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Sacramento Poem - Deadline December 1, 2010

Zen Marxist Launderettes - June 14, 2010

The Zen Marxist Launderettes released their first anthology, Wring, on January 17, 2010. They will read from this anthology and talk about their publishing adventure and their writing group at the Sacramento Poetry Center on June 14, 2010.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Big week ahead at SPC - May 31 to June 6

Didn't we have our big event in April?

May 31 Monday - Don't miss S.A. Griffin and the Poetry Bomb
"A great performance poet" - Richard
"Witty, intelligent and approachable" -Tryst
Frank Graham hosts - 7:30 pm on appropriately memorial day
Co-sponsored by Poems-for-all

June 2 Wednesday - Four poets plus open mic at Sacramento Room
Sandy, Sue, Paco, Trina, and ... you.
If you haven't seen the Sacramento Room, that's worth a trip, too
828 I Street

June 5 and 6 Saturday, Sunday R25 Festival
Music, drama, poetry, prizes, and more from noon on
Food by Chita's, Wine from Heritage Oak
Free admission, donations accepted, just drop in and
see the new Frostian fence at 25th and R!

Details below, or above! Come one, come all

R25 Crossroads for Arts & Culture Festival - June 5 and 6, 2010

Join the arts organizations and artists of the R25 Complex as they join together to host the first ever R25 Crossroads for Arts and Culture festival. Free admission for everyone. Bring the family. Children will enjoy puppet shows by El Teatro Espejo on Saturday and Sunday. Art lovers may bid on artwork at Sunday's art auction. On Saturday, music lovers can listen and dance to the sounds of the Christian Dewild Band, Marty Cohen and Sidekicks, and The Streamliners. Poets will read Saturday and Sunday. More music to be enjoyed on Sunday with James Israel Band, Aisle 99, and Puzzletree. On Saturday, Bill Trainor and Children's Network will also present. Vendor booths will offer art, crafts, and food. Open house and opportunities to meet the artists and find out more about the following organziations: Artists Studios, California Stage, Ed Claudio's Actors Workshop of Sacramento, Three Penny Theater, Alliance Francaise de Sacramento, MatrixArts & the PopUp Gallery, On Stage, Sacramento Poetry Center, Wilkerson Theater.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

C.E. Chaffin and Christopher Buckley at SPC - May 24, 2010

I'd like to begin by thanking Tim for bringing C.E. Chaffin and Christopher Buckley together for last night's reading. These two fine poets complemented one another. C.E. mentioned that his work is often considered dark, and if it was a bit on the dark side, Christopher's reading was punctuated with some humor and lightness in the stories he shared between poems.

Jane Austen Book Club at the Central Library

Austen scholar Dr. David Bell will be leading discussions on Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Mansfield Park, Northanger Abbey, and Persuasion. This 12-part series runs from June - November, 2010. The first date is June 13. Not only will Dr. Bell introduce Sense and Sensibility on that date, but Rachel Dodge will also discuss etiquette and customs that are central to Austen's novels and of the Regency era. June 29 will include a discussion led by Dr. Bell and a talk about transportation by Ed Ratcliffe. In July, (11 and 25), Pride and Prejudice will be the focus. Rachel will lead a virtual tour of locales and architecture in Austen's novels. The Sacramento Country Dance Society musicians will play music, and dancers will demonstrate. August (8 and 22) will focus on Emma. Vima de Marchi Micheli will give a presentation on lace and embroidery from the Regency era. As a needleworker and textile artist, I know that I won't miss this opportunity. Vima is a highly skilled needle artist and sought after lecturer on the topic. In September, Mansfield Park (the least read and Dr. Bell's favorite), will be the focus. Soprano Robin Fisher and pianist John Cozza will perform, and local actors will perform scenes. This brings us to the end of September. Books for October and November will be Northanger Abbey and Persuasion. Please visit the Sacramento Public Library website for more information. http://www.saclibrary.org/

Monday, May 24, 2010

S.A Griffin's Poetry Bomb - Monday May 31

Celebrate Memorial Day with a true memorial to the poem, as acclaimed poet, journalist and actor S.A. Griffin brings The Poetry Bomb to SPC.

What's the Poetry Bomb?

"The Poetry Bomb is a former U.S. military practice bomb. The artifact will be completely converted into a beautiful object filled with poetry from around the world. When finished, it will have a primo paint job just as if it were a classic car, complete with pin-striping. It will also have a window or portal that will open and close making it possible to not only see inside of the piece, but to take poems out at performances to read out loud, and to add future submissions." (from the fundraising incubator site Kickstarter)

Griffin is now taking take The Poetry Bomb on tour across the United States. Next stop: Sacramento. Sure, you can check out The Poetry Bomb online, but don't miss this event. Frank Graham hosts on May 31st - 7:30 at SPC.

Wednesday June 2 6pm at the Sacramento Room

Wednesday June 2
6:00 to 7:30 pm

SPC presents Four Poets at the Sacramento Room – plus open mic.
Sacramento Room – Central Library
828 I Street – 2nd floor

Trina Drotar
Paco Marquez
Sandy Thomas
Sue Thomas

Sandy Thomas, a third generation poet, was born in San Francisco. Her poems have appeared in 24th Street Irregular Press, Rattlesnake Review and WTF Quarterly. Her latest chapbook, These Stones, was published by Two Trees Indie Press in 2009. She lives in Sacramento.

Trina Drotar is a poet via fiction, memoir, art, and design. Her writing has been published, or is forthcoming, in Word Riot, Medusa's Kitchen, and Rattle. A clothing designer and artist, Trina has worked as editor of Calaveras Station and is the current editor of Poetry Now. Originally from San Francisco, she has lived in Houston once and Sacramento twice, where she is completing her MA in English - Creative Writing. She spends July in Fresno studying with writers like Carole Maso, Lance Olsen, Rebecca Brown, and Debra DiBlasi.

Sue Thomas is a former newspaper reporter, freelance writer, and advertising copywriter. She taught high school English in Elk Grove for 23 years before retiring, and has taught in Costa Rica, Washington, D.C., and Humboldt State University in Arcata. She was awarded a fellowship to the Vermont Studio Center and was awarded an NEH grant to study the Renaissance in Florence. Sue has been writing poetry for about 20 years.

Paco Marquez, landed in Sacramento from Leon, Mexico a long time ago. Paco received his BA in Philosophy from UC Berkeley and since then has done all kinds of jobs: rental-car, fair housing, library assistant, casino manager. He's been trying his hand at poetry since he was fifteen. Paco is a board member of the Sacramento Poetry Center. As of May 2010, he is in the process of driving from South Carolina to Sacramento, so his biography has many new chapters to be written. This is his first public reading in Sacramento.

Terryl Wheat performs at SPC on May 17, 2010.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Poets on Board Update

Okay, so I haven't been taking the bus as much as I usually do, so I haven't actually seen the placards on RT, but a friend of mine (Marcelo Hernandez) rides the bus, saw a placard, and this is what he said, "ok, so I'm on the bus this morning, I look up and what do I see? a poster for the SPC with a design that looks like painted circles with words in each of them. Pretty cool. :)" Now, I think that's a thumbs up for the Poets on Board placards. If you've seen the placards, please forward your sighting information to PoetryNowEditor@gmail.com. The circles mentioned are the artwork of Mario Uribe, and the words are those of Viola Weinberg. Both the artist and the poet (an artist, too) spoke, as you might recall, about their collaboration on May 3 at the SPC. There are still placards available for sale, including some autographed by Mario and Viola. Inquire at SPC.

Festivals and Poetry

If April was the month for writing conferences in Sacramento and early May brought out college literary journal release parties, then late May and June must be the time for festivals. I attended the SNR Block Party festival on Del Paso today, and while I didn't hear any poets reading, I did see Josh Fernandez and Kel Munger and discussed poetry. I also heard a band, Streamliners, perform. As it turns out, this band will be performing at the R25 Arts Festival scheduled for June 5 and 6 at the 25th and R location. Streamliners is scheduled to perform on Saturday, but there will be events the entire weekend, including poetry readings. All of the arts organizations at the R25 complex will come together and present music, art, poetry readings, puppets, skits, and there will also be vendors. This will be a great time to come and meet poets, artists, actors, and make new friends. In between now and then, if you need more festivals to attend, you might consider these - Pacific Rim Festival in Old Sacramento on May 23, the Jazz Festival over Memorial Day Weekend (but be sure to leave time to attend the Poetry Bomb event at SPC on Monday, May 31), and there will be many other festivals as spring turns into summer.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Carrie Rudzinski at SPC on May 17, 2010

April Ranger at SPC on Monday, May 17

Friday May 21 - Stories on Stage

Check out Stories on Stage -
Sacramento's newest monthly reading series features short fiction read by actors.
This Friday evening May 21st, at SPC - 1719 25th Street.
Hosted by Valerie Fioravanti

Pamela Metzger will read Elise Winn's "Picture Our Mother" and
Victoria Goldblatt will read Megan Harlan's "Minor Goddesses."

Doors open at 7, reading begins at 7:30. $5 Donation

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Festival at R25

Saturday and Sunday, June 5 and 6

Please stop by for the first ever R25 Festival - that's the parking lot where SPC lives at 25th and R - on Saturday June 5th (noon to 8pm) or Sunday, June 6th (noon to 6pm)

There will be artists' booths, live music, an art auction on Sunday, poetry, puppets, some drama performances, something for everyone.

We've been wanting to collaborate with the other organizations in the complex for a long time - this should be a fun weekend of music, art, poetry and more.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

SPC 2010 Poetry Contest

Entry dates:
May 15 through July 15, 2010.

1st place: $100.00
2nd place: $50.00
3rd place: $25.00
Plus ten honorable mentions – $10 gift certificates from The Book Collector.

Christopher Buckley, C. E. Chaffin

Monday Night at the Poetry Center
Monday, May 24, 2010 at 7:30 PM
1719 25th Street (at 25th and R)
- - -

Quinton Duval

In the "Remembrances" section of The Sacramento Bee, these words were written about Quinton Duval.

"A man of elegance, great charm and wit, Quinton could make a song out of anything. He will be missed by all who knew him."

For those of you who have wondered, "there will be no formal service [at his request]. Donations in his name may be made to the Quinton Duval Fund/Sacramento Poetry Center, 1719 25th Street, Sacramento, CA 95816."

My thoughts go to those left behind: his wife (Nancy), brothers (William and John), and sister (Clare), as well as all of the people whose lives were touched from having known Quinton as a friend or mentor, from having read his words, or from having heard him read.

Monday, May 17, 2010

SPC Brown Bag Lunch Series

Third Thursdays
May 20th, Noon
Central Library
828 I Street
Hosted by Mary Zeppa and Lawrence Dinkins
- - -
We are already deep into May, the month in which we traditionally celebrate both Spring (as in dances-around-the-maypole May Day) and Labor (as in International-Workers May Day). Bring your favorite poems (preferably by a writer other than yourself) on the subjects of Spring, Work and/or collective celebration. Think metaphorically as well as literally. Let your mind run free.

Hot Poetry in the Park

Tonight's reading, hosted by Rebecca Morrison, is scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m. at Fremont Park. If it rains, the reading will be relocated to the SPC location at 25th and R.

Tim Z. Hernandez - La Raza Galeria Posada

Tim Z. Hernandez (Skin Tax and Breathing, in Dust) read Friday evening (May 14) at La Raza Galeria Posada. I was unable to attend, but JoAnn Anglin did, and this is what she had to say:

"People laughed more than cried. As 20-plus attendees enjoyed the reading and story telling of Tim Z. Hernandez last night, he [Tim] basked in the warm lights and interest of his audience at La Raza Galeria Posada in Sacramento.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Haiti Benefit - Poetry, Music, Solidarity - 5/15/10

Many thanks to all who helped make the benefit for Haiti a success last night. Loretta Schmitz set the project in motion, and with the help of the Newman Center, Larry Castagnola, Susan Kelly-DeWitt, Sandra Senne, Zoe Kiethley, Manny and Mary, Victoria and Fred, James DenBoer, Richard Hansen, Patrick Grizzell and Brady and Liz - great music! - Dennis Schmitz of course - we raised over $1500 for Partners in Health. All the poets who read were glad to have a chance to read a piece in honor of Quinton Duval, too - he had originally been scheduled to read at the event. Thanks to the SPC board for helping to cover the costs, to all the volunteers, and especially to Loretta for all her good works! If you still want to donate to Partners in Health - and they are doing good work in Haiti - go to www.pih.org

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Hot Poetry in the Park

Monday, May 17, 7pm
Carrie Rudzinski, April Ranger and Terryl Wheat
Host: Rebecca Morrison
Fremont Park
(between 15th and 16th Street and Q and P Street)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Poetry Now - Now available

The current issue of the Sacramento Poetry Center's bi-monthly newsletter is now available for download as an Adobe Acrobat Pdf file. 

Farewell Q

Couldn't really sleep last night - wanted to get to Quinton's poems, see him again in that woefully incomplete way that poems try to negotiate for us. I've loved his book Joe's Rain since I bought it a few years back - "Mockingbird Farewell" is one of my favorite pieces. Here's an excerpt:

You were as musical as
you are plain, your drab colors
make you look dressed for work,
and work is repeating
the greatest hits of others.

Though he bemoans the fallen bird in the poem, he manages to laugh at it, too - it's kind of a combination tribute and roast:

No longer will you devil the cat,
or broken-record me out of
a deep well of sleep and into
another summer day full of your lip.

Quinton's poetry does a lot of things well, he writes of love and loss and nature without sentimentality or artifice: "nothing we could do/could convince the tulips/to stay down where they were." But perhaps the genius of his work is that casual, real voice - "full of your lip," he tells the bird, and "you'll be a smash, old pal." When I read these poems I get a vision of a wistful cowboy blending with a California sophisticate. Big skies, yes, but a good French white wine on the table. In Quinton's poems we see Quinton himself - a lover of life (and Nancy), a man fully realized, passionate, but calm, and always warm and giving. Here are the closing lines from "I Won't Go Back."

Kiss me. Come on over
where the light is soft
and yellow. The rain
on the window, panting
to come inside can forget it.
I'm doing homework tonight.

Whatever dipper that is,
let it keep pouring
starlight down. The geese
we hear but can't see
don't count. Have some more.
Let's not save a thing.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Quinton Duval


I came home from tonight's events to the awful news that Quinton died this afternoon about 4:30.  I'm told he died peacefully, in his sleep. He wasn't in any pain. That's really all I can tell you right now. 

Mary Zeppa

Aid For Haiti

May 15th 

Tonight at the Poetry Center

The Sacramento Poetry Center celebrates the fifth annual performance of !X – The Sacramento City College Ethnic Theatre Workshop. 7:30pm.

Dale "Crawdad" Nelson, Maureen Hurley - May 12 at The Book Collector

Join Rattlesnake Press in celebrating the work of Crawdad Nelson and Maureen Hurley this coming Wednesday, May 12, as Richard Hansen hosts at The Book Collector, 1008 24th St., Sacramento, 7:30pm. - - -

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Literary Journal Season

There is a season for college literary journal releases, and May seems to be the month. Friday afternoon was the release of the 12th annual Calaveras Station, a student run and produced journal by and for CSUS students. I hosted the release event which featured 12 readers in a nearly full space seating 100 people. Books were sold and signatures gathered. Sacramento's own B.L. Kennedy joined others from outside of CSUS to celebrate. On Saturday, SCC hosted its own release of Susurrus. I was unable to attend this event. CRC offers the Cosumnes River Journal, which is scheduled for release this spring. My apologies to those I might have missed. I'd like to hear from people working on the different journals. Please contact me at PoetryNowEditor@gmail.com. Consider supporting these literary journals by attending the releases, looking for the journals, asking for them at our local bookstores, and encouraging the students.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Did you Miss Poets on Board - May 3, 2010?

Viola Weinberg and Mario Uribe spoke to a full house on May 3, 2010 about their collaborative efforts. They met at a party and discussed collaboration, but it didn't actually occur for another two years. Mario painted a series of Buddhist Enso circles, went to a reading given by Viola, and asked her to write poems on the paintings. She wrote a poem of 24 lines to go with the 24 circles Mario had painted. She hesitated to write on the paintings, but Mario assured her that he wanted her to do just that. Viola arranged the paintings as pleased her and wrote the lines of her poem on each painting. It is the final stanza of the poem, Enso, that appears on the 275 placards that are featured on RT buses in SPC's new Poets on Board program.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Tonight at The Sacramento Public Library

The Sacramento Poetry Center presents Stan Zumbiel and Edythe Haendel Schwartz.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Monday, May 10th at the Poetry Center

The Sacramento Poetry Center celebrates the fifth annual performance of !XThe Sacramento City College Ethnic Theatre Workshop.
Monday, May 10 at 7:30pm.
- - -
This year, !X will present "Mis-Education Liberation."
Join us for an inspiring performance by this young and talented ensemble!
Hosted by Emmanuel Sigauke and Bob Stanley.
- - -
The Sacramento City College Ethnic Theatre Workshop integrates various forms of art -- drama, music, dance, poetry, visual art -- with race, ethnic and gender studies. The goals of the TA 454/455 Race & Ethnicity in Performance class and of the Ethnic Theatre Workshop are to: 1) Develop artistic expressions of diverse experiences; 2) Encourage community development through participation in the arts; and 3) Promote educational equity at Sacramento City College.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Tonight at The Poetry Center

Poets on Board with Viola Weinberg and Mario Uribe.

May 5 at the Sacramento Room

May 5 at the Sacramento Room
The Sacramento Poetry Center presents
Edythe Haendel Schwartz and Stan Zumbiel
- - -
Sacramento Room
Central Library, Second floor
828 I Street
- - -