September 2017 at Sacramento Poetry Center EVENTS:
All events at SPC, 1719 25th St between Q and R, unless otherwise noted.
All events are subject to change.

Monday, September 4th, 6:00pm
Labor of Love Reading
Featuring: Patricia L. Nichol and Jennifer Pickering
Host: Wendy Williams

Monday, September 11th, 6:00pm
Open Board Meeting/Officer Elections

Monday, September 11th, 7:30pm
Rick Robbins, Thomas Mitchell, Albert Garcia
Host: Tim Kahl

Monday, September 18th, 7:30pm
David Watts and Tim Kahl
Host: Penny Kline

Thursday, September 21st, 12:00pm Noon
Third Thursdays in the Central Library
Host: Mary Zeppa and Lawrence Dinkins

Central Library
828 I St.
Sacramento, CA

Monday, September 25th, 7:30pm
Susan Kelly-DeWitt and Kevin Clark
Host: Tim Kahl


With support of RT Metro, and help from 916 INK, Mary Zeppa, Laura Martin, and Angela Tannehill are continuing to put poetry into Sacramento buses! Based on similar programs in New York and Chicago, our program, Poets on Board, features local youth poets and local artists.




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Under 30 Project Protest Poetry Winners


First Place: 

After The Sky Cracked by Stuart L Canton


shards of words fell

through the ringing thunder to smash

windshields of drivers below who swerved

off the road, and some said this was God’s will

as the children cried tears of plastic

that rushed down the black

sewers to oceans; while the dam flooded with

chunks of verbs, greasy

hunks that reached the very brim until

the weight pushed down the spillway and shredded

the cash just under the rock, ripping through

towns and farms hungry for action –

and people on both sides got swept up

and ground by the flow

and somewhere in the storm like a metaphor without translation

I thought I heard the clinging drifting farther


Stuart Canton is 29 years old and spending his last year before thirty in Sacramento where he has just graduated from CSUS, where he won a Bazzanella award for poetry. While lacking the wisdom that comes from being above 30, Stuart has attempted to see beyond his youth and address issues of ecology with his writing, and has explored many methods such as concrete poetry and surrealism. His work has appeared in The American River Review, Calaveras Station Literary Journal, WTF!?, Poetry Now, and other local publications.


Second Place:

Why Wait


The snake opened his eyes up to the sky

and hoped that one day he could be free

His mother appeared and said why so down

who would want to be in the sky, not me.

He grew up big with a wonderful life and home

and often slithered up a hill to meet creatures he hadn’t met

But then his mother appeared and scowled like an angry gnome

and said you’re not old enough yet.

Then one night while looking up to the sky the stars spelled out to him

if you believe then dreams are reality

The snake set out at once to explore the world

and prove to his mother that he had more than enough maturity

The snake from then on followed his dreams and never let anyone tell him to stop for he truly believed the words,

Why wait.


My name is Esti Shapiro and I am eleven years old. I am in the sixth grade at Shalom School and I live with my parents, sister, brother, two dogs, and three chickens. I enjoy playing soccer, piano, and doing gymnastics. My poem is about following your dreams and not letting anybody tell you not to.



President’s Message

After a month away from SPC, I attended the wonderful reading by Patrick Grizzell and Mary B. Moore on August 7. Thanks to Mary Zeppa for making this great evening happen!

I hope you can join Penny Kline and me for the release of the new collection by Mike Owens from Random Lane Press on October 16th at SPC. I’ve been working with Mike for the last two years to finish The Way Back, and we’re proud of this thoughtful book of poems. Mike, who grew up in the Sacramento region, is serving a life sentence in prison, and while he can’t attend, many of his family and friends will be on hand to read from the book and celebrate this new collection of his poems. Profits from the book will help to support Mike’s wife, Maurita, and their three sons. In addition, a percentage of book sales will go to support the Find Your Voice program, a creative writing program for incarcerated youth run by 916 INK. Come and hear the poems, and if you like them, buy the book. I think you’ll find it a strong collection of work. If you’re interested in helping with the marketing of The Way Back, let me know at

Also don’t miss the irrepressible CHARRON SMITH, an MC, DJ, writer, slam poet, spoken word artist, blogger, and a media mogul, along with Marvin Xia, a first generation ABC (American Born Chinese) and aspiring writer and relative newcomer to the Sac poetry slam community will be heating up Hot Poetry in the Park at Fremont Park on August 21, at 7 pm, with open mic to follow. Thanks to Bethanie Humphreys for hosting Hot Poetry in the Park again this summer!

Monday, Sept. 4, Labor Day, 7:30 pm, Jennifer O’Neill Pickering and Pat L. Nichol read their poems focused on labor and more. Come hear poems about jobs and unions. Wear your union t-shirts. Big open mic on theme. Hosted by Wendy Williams.

If you are both a poet and a visual artist, submit to Jennifer Pickering for this year’s Sable and Quill art show and reading. Sable and Quill’s 9th Anniversary is in Jan 2018 at SPC. Send submissions to or get details at




P O E T R Y    N O W

2017 – 3

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Stark Perch
Stark Perch by Jason Shapiro


Feather Dew
Feathew Dew by Jason Shapiro


Ascending at Twilight
Ascending at Twilight by Ali Lichtenstein


Rocky Shore of the Atlantic, Southern Maine
Rocky Shore of the Atlantic, Southern Maine by Ali Lichtenstein


California Landscape - Field and Sand Mine, Monterey Bay
California Landscape: Field and Sand Mine, Monterey Bay by Gillian Wegener


California Landscape - Marina with Paddleboarders, Monterey Bay
California Landscape: Marina with Paddleboarders, Monterey Bay by Gillian Wegener


Belle of Giverny
Belle of Giverny by Bethanie Humphreys


Beetle's Prayer
Beetle’s Prayer by Bethanie Humphreys



P H O T O G R A P H E R  S

Jason Stephen Shapiro hails from a background in theater, photography, and radio. He Served on the American River Review as a fiction editor in 2012 at American River College, and was poetry editor for the Caleveras Station Arts & Literary Journal, before becoming Executive Editor at Sac State and is pursuing his M.A. in creative writing. Jason’s works are published in the ARR, The Gapped Tooth Madness, and Poetry Now.

Ali Lichtenstein uses her camera to capture mood, place, and memories. She taught women/gender studies and writing at Keene State College in New Hampshire before moving to Sacramento in 2014. Ali currently teaches ESL at Sacramento ESL, and multi-genre writing and fiber/mixed media at Women’s Wisdom Art, where she also serves as the Board Chair.

Gillian Wegener lives and writes in California’s Central Valley. She is the author of a chapbook, Lifting One Foot, Lifting the Other (In the Grove Press, 2001), and two full-length collections, The Opposite of Clairvoyance (2008) and This Sweet Haphazard (2017) both from Sixteen Rivers Press. She is the founding president of the Modesto-Stanislaus Poetry Center, and a former poet laureate for the City of Modesto.

Bethanie Humphreys is a writer, editor, and mixed media visual artist. She is also curator for the Sacramento Poetry Center Art Gallery, and hosts Hot Poetry in the Park.  Her poetry and fiction has been published in several literary magazines including Nonbinary Review, Found Poetry Review, American River Review, and Sacramento Voices. Her goal is to further the cross-pollinization of literary and visual arts. See more at:


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