President’s Message – Poetry Month 2017

Thanks to Ana Castillo for coming to SPC and leading a well-attended workshop to kick off poetry month. And thanks to Nancy Gonzalez for getting Ana here two years in a row! This seems like a tradition well worth repeating.

Congratulations and thanks to Stan Forbes at the Avid Reader – now at the corner of 20th and Broadway – for hosting our Mosaic of Voices series. SPC members, consider checking out the new store – same good people, but more books, better parking!

Many thanks to Linda Collins, who has decided to leave SPC board of directors after nearly a decade of volunteer work: she has served as Membership Coordinator, Editor of Tule Review, and has been a generally clear-eyed supporter of poets and poetry in Sacramento! Most recently Linda managed SPC’s High School Poetry Contest, and she’s helped with dozens of events and projects over the last decade. Linda’s a big part of Sacramento’s poetry scene, and she says she’ll still be writing and reading around town. She definitely deserves a break after all her volunteer work!

Thanks to Laura Martin and the Soft-Offs for organizing and entertaining the crowd at their fifth annual fundraiser for SPC. This year they raised over $300 at a rollicking Saturday night of their inimitable Moetry! Thanks also to Jan Haag, who hosted the evening. The Soft-Offs, led by guitarist Chris Musci, create a rich fabric of music – from free jazz to pop to country – to adorn Laura’s amazing poetry-stories. Good times for a good cause.

Thanks to Rhony Bhopla, too, who helped bring a remarkable duo to SPC for a different kind of poetry-music collaboration in March. Archana Venkatesan and Sikkil Gurucharan performed a remarkable collaboration of live vocal Carnatic music and ancient South Indian poetry. Those who were lucky enough to attend that night saw and heard a unique blend of artistry. We were honored to be there for their world premiere, and hope someday for a reprise! Thanks to reader Archana, who teaches at UC Davis, and vocalist Sikkil, for his unparalleled sound!

It’s been a few months now, but we’re still basking in the glow of Sacramento Poet Laureate Indigo Moor’s big night at California Stage. Thanks to Penny Kline for hosting and organizing, Ray Tatar for sharing the space, bassist Gerry Pineda for musical accompaniment, Jeff Knorr, and yes, Lemony Snicket for joining Indigo on stage. Indigo orchestrated a wonderful evening – it was a great launch to what will no doubt be three eventful years of his laureateship!

Note that SPC’s Hot Poetry in the Park begins in June – on the third Monday of each month (June 19, July 17, August 21) our readings will be in Fremont Park! Bethanie Humphreys hosts this popular outdoor reading. Bring blankets or chairs – there’s strength in numbers!

Tim Kahl has once again assembled a great lineup of poets for our annual SPC Poetry Conference, Saturday April 29 from 10 to 4pm. Please see information below and join us that day if you can. If you can’t come to the whole thing, come when you can! Six renowned poets will share their poetry, their process, and their insights. Come and write!

And don’t forget Thursday, May 4 – the Big Day of Giving – Sacramento’s all day online fundraising drive. You can go online and donate to SPC (or many other nonprofit groups), and the funds are incrementally matched by SRCF – last year there was about a 15% match, and SPC earned over $4000 all together. This year our goal is $5,000, so we’re starting to let people know now. I’d tell you that I’m getting ready to open up my checkbook, but it’s an online event, so it’s really my credit card! Oh, and my banjo case, too – there will be a party at SPC from 5:30 to 8:30, with music by Extra Innings Band. Come one, come all!

That’s it for now – thanks to all of you for reading Poetry Now!