Looking for Poets


The Writers Forum encourages folks to find a local writers group for support in your writing endeavors. Our last monthly meeting was devoted to examining writers groups: how to find them, how to get the most out of them, and common mistakes with writers groups. You can find some local groups, or form your own group, by clicking on the ‘Critique Groups‘ button above. Here is a request by one local poetry group looking to add members.

Please remember that each group is a voluntary gathering of writers. Writers Forum does not monitor each group, and none of the groups are official extensions of the Writers Forum. Therefore, Writers Forum does not endorse any individual writers groups.

The Seventh Sense Poetry Group was formed in Redding in 1981 when seven women answered a newspaper notice entitled “Closet Poets, Come on Out!” and out they came with their shoe-boxes of poems and other writings; the kind of box that each would grab, along with family photos, in case of fire or flood.

The name “Seventh Sense” created itself when we noticed something important was lacking when one of us couldn’t attend our weekly, writing “session.”  We finally realized that the seven of together created another “sense” beyond our recognized five senses and even beyond the sixth sense many of us possess. Together we formed a “Seventh Sense” hence the name.

Each week we would gather at someone’s home, take out our writing tablets (made out of paper), be given a “title” and then have 20 minutes or so to write, ending up with seven different perspectives of the same title.

The titles were thought up by our Title Lady (me) and over the years, we’ve been challenged (good for the brain) by the titles:  Mojave Telephone Booth, The Back of Grandpa’s Neck, I’ll Plant Flowers, The Night the Moon Fell Down, That Far-Away Look, Bessie’s Bra, The Poet With No Readers and on and on.

Another unique part of us writing together was that no critiques could be offered unless someone asked for it. No one did. We could go home and clean up the messy lines and scratched-in changes on our paper but the essence of what flowed out of us in those 20 minutes or so, remained intact, uncluttered by praise (although we didn’t object to it) nor by a disapproving eyebrow (we turned our eyes away).

Now, 35 years later, only four of the original seven remain but we still call ourselves the Seventh Sense Poetry Group out of respect and love for the original group; everyone’s still together in our hearts. We stopped our writing sessions for several years because life sent us in too many directions but just recently we started writing again, this time once a month.  In spite of being called “elderly” we’ve found out that amusing and amazing stories and poetry still fly out of our shriveling brains and we’ll probably all be together until we’re not.

If you are interested in coming to our next meeting, Nov. 5th (Sat.) at 10:30, send me an e-mail at itsamejan@hotmail.com and type Seventh Sense in the subject line and I’ll send driving directions to our meeting place.


Jan Saremi, Title Lady

A Reading to Remember

Group 2

The venue was perfect as seven local poets gathered to read selections from their writings on Friday, August 19 at the Old City Hall downtown.

Old City Hall

I had missed an earlier reading the previous Friday due to a cold. I still had the cold on this Friday, but I was determined to hear at least a few of the poets read. Once there, I was so drawn in by the depth and passion of the readings that I was there until the end.

Continue reading

Upcoming Readings

Local poets will be reading from their work tonight at the Old City Hall downtown, from 7:30-9:00. This event is free.

Also, the Poet Laureate of the United States, Juan Felipe Herrera, will be speaking at Shasta College on Wednesday, September 7 at 7:00 PM. This event will also be free.

Lunch With a Poet

Guest piece from Writers Forum Newsletter Editor George T. Parker.

20160721_120323Yesterday’s lunchtime visit with California’s Poet Laureate was time well spent. Several Writers Forum members were in attendance, along with an audience of about fifty or sixty, to hear Dana Gioia (pronounced JOY-ya) recite pieces from his latest book 99 Poems: New & Selected, and to explain his views on writing poetry for everybody.

Gioia’s ambition as Poet Laureate,as well as during his tenure as the Chairman for the National Endowment for the Arts from 2003-2009, is to take poetry out of academia and make it available for everybody. He insists that poetry is in the interests of ordinary people, not just English majors at universities, and as evidence, he points out the enormous popularity of such poetic forms as hip hop, rap, and cowboy poetry.

Gioia was interviewed by Nathan Solis at the Redding Record Searchlight. You can find the interview here.

Gioia reminded us of the charm of recited poetry. Words on a page take on a new life when spoken. For example, the first stanza of his poem ‘Finding a Box of Family Letters’ reads:

The dead say little in their letters

they haven’t said before.

We find no secrets, and yet

how different every sentence sounds

heard across the years.

Now listen to the same piece recited:


Hearing the words brings the piece to life, and helps to teach us how to read and hear other poetry. Learning poetry can only help to enhance our other writing, as well, teaching us meter and cadence of the language. Poetry can also teach us how to refine the language of our other writing.

Find a poet you like, and learn!


Reminder: Literary Event Today

Here’s a reminder:

The Redding Public Library will host a reading and Q&A with the current Poet Laureate of California, Dana Gioia (pronounced JOY-a) today from 12:00-1:30.

Dana will read from his latest book, 99 Poems: New & Selected. Dana will also discuss literacy, and there will be a time for questions from the audience.

Dana spent the first fifteen years of his writing career writing at night around his day job as an executive at General Foods. In 2002, George W. Bush appointed Dana as Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. As Chairman of the NEA, Dana developed several new modernizing initiatives, including Shakespeare in American Communities, Poetry Out Loud, and Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience. Operation Homecoming collected writings from US troops and their families and published them in an anthology, which became the basis for an Academy award-nominated documentary by the same name.

Dana was appointed Poet Laureate of California by Governor Edmund G. Brown in December, 2015.

Come spend a memorable lunch hour celebrating words at the Redding Public Library.

Did anybody ever check out Dana’s book? I never made it back to the library.




Member Monday: Poetry by Larry Solberg

Today’s Member Monday features a pair of poems written by Larry Solberg. Larry read them at the last Read Around.

If you read at the Read Around and would like to see your piece on the website and in the newsletter but did not give us a copy yet, please send them to writersforumeditor@gmail.com .

Thank you.


Larry Solberg

The Voice of a Parent

(Who has Lost a Child)

Upon the Sea of Life

I carried a soul in its tiny boat

To the shores of the Sea of Life.

The spirit sailed its growing bark

On The Waters both light and dark.


With energy it would float

O’er that Lake with meaning rife

Until it could make its mark

Upon the Waters of Strife.


And ever as I watched The Lake

To see the way the soul would take

I heard a note with meaning rife

(A message that cut like a knife.)

The wind above The Waters wrote.


I’ll review the life that soul bore

Whose raft to the dock draws near.

T’will sail The Sea of Life no  more.

I hold its essence most dear.


In my mind is now forever locked

The voyage of that ship now docked.

I’ll review the journey that boat took,

And see the soul’s shining look.


My soul will hold that soul most dear.


I Would a Sailor Poet Be

A sea of sound engulfed me

Just the Other day

It most carried me away

For I would a sailor poet be,

An endless sound to my sea.


And for freight a thought or two.

Misty thoughts for which I’d expound

Words would shower off my tongue,

A deluge for expectant ears.

All the while those memes would

Swim in that endless pond

While waiting proud masses to respond.