October Meeting Date Changed

Howdy. We would like to remind everybody that the Saturday Writers Forum meeting this month has been moved to the THIRD Saturday, NEXT week, the 21st. This was to accommodate the guest speaker, poet Anna Elkins, who was already booked for the second Saturday. We will resume our normal second Saturday meetings in November. Thank you!
 

Anna’s program will include optional audience participation with writing exercises throughout.

Anna introduces her topic with a quote from Richard R. Nebuhr. Pilgrims are poets who create by taking journeys. She describes her presentation as follows: “What is the difference between see and seek? What is the quest at the heart of the question? This session will explore where writing takes us by delving beneath our surface impressions to the underglimmers, the spirit-aquifers, and the paths of the heart. It is there—deep into the interior roads—where we make pilgrimage to the sacred with our words.”

Anna Elkins is a traveling poet and painter. She earned a BA in art and English and an MFA and Fulbright Fellowship in poetry. Anna has written, painted, and taught on six continents. Her art hangs on walls around the world, and she has published four books, including the poetry collection, The Space Between. Anna lives with her easel and writing desk in the mythical State of Jefferson.

Meanwhile, take a peek at our guest speaker’s website!
Anna Elkins 2MB Crop for print
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Member Poetry: Time with a Pen

Time with a Pen

Marie A Warner

 

Sitting down to collect my thoughts,
To draw out what otherwise I would have not.
Always going… thinking of the next thing to do,
My mind always buzzing but to what end I can’t construe.

 

Weighing out what matters at this stage of life,
Knowing what cleanses me from layers of strife.
Enjoying the discovery that words are a friend,
One that will be with me until the end.

 

To collect them on the page gives me such relief,
It helps my day move forward with a new belief.
One I wouldn’t have ever known if I had not sat down,
And given my pen some time to move around.

 

* written in Redding, CA 9/16
Copyright © 2016
by Marie A Warner
All rights reserved.

A Reading to Remember

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.

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Member Monday: Then Will I Stand by Linda Boyden

Welcome back to Member Monday. Today we feature a poem by Writers Forum member, Linda Boyden. Welcome, Linda.

Then Will I Stand

By Linda Boyden ©2015

Night window, dark,

his profile etched

by the streetlight

he sits, hunched

in the wheelchair

hands clasped on top

of the warrior blanket

of stripes and buffaloes

I bought to ease his chills.

We wait for it to snow

though it is too cold.

We wait together

holding hands

we wait for the inevitable

for his long march to the stars.

Then will I stand,

his blanket around

my shoulders.

Then will I stand

under the myriad of stars

and hunt for his, for him.

Then will the wind bite

my cheeks and fingers.

Then will I bury my tears

in his blanket,

smell his memory,

hear his laughter.

Then will I stand

under the falling snow.

A Note from the Webmaster: If you’re a Writers Forum member in good standing and would like to be featured on Member Monday, please send your submission to writersforumwebmaster@gmail.com. Submissions should be 75-750 words, appropriate for all ages and error free. Please include a short bio, a headshot and any related links. The author retains all rights and gives permission to Writers Forum to publish their submission on the website and/or in the newsletter. Thank you!