Monday, November 18, 2019

Dave Holt Features Nov 25th

11/25/19 Dave Holt hosted by Gary

Dave Holt, born in Toronto of Irish/English and Ojibwe Indian ancestry, moved to California as an aspiring songwriter, then graduated from SF State University’s Creative Writing program (B.A. ‘93, M.A. ‘95). He’s won several poetry prizes, including a Literary/Cultural Arts award for his book Voyages to Ancestral Islands, and is included in several anthologies, most notably, Red Indian Road West: Native American Poetry from California; Fire and Rain: Ecopoetry of CaliforniaThe Wild, Marin Poetry Center Anthology 2019, and Descansos: Words from the Wayside, where his poem received a Pushcart Prize nomination. Also a musician & composer, he sometimes performs his poetry with Ojibwe drum or keyboard.

Bering Strait, Dakota Pipeline Straitjacket

I come from ice and snow, winter memories
carry me, crossing tundra to a new land.
Fleets of dugout canoes floated us through kelp forest.
Bass, crabs, otters fed us,
this history etched in our hearts like petroglyphs
pecked in stone by our native artists.
This new Turtle Island formed by Skywoman
and before then, he who descended to Earth
as if by a rope dropped through Bugonagiizhig,
“Hole in the Sky,” the seven sisters, the Pleiades.

A different people followed Giiwedin’anung,
North Pole star, brought trade goods from the south,
taught us their friendship songs,
gave us the three sisters: corn, beans, squash,
traded for gifts of the north, obsidian, copper, beaver furs.
They shared their strange stories of origin and creation,
here on this land, where they emerged like ants
from an anthill, from an underground world
into the fourth world of pueblos and mesas,
and Spanish soldiers offering Bibles.

We nodded, knowing that what we were hearing was sacred.
Like us, they came from the Star People
who gave us seven sacred laws, affirmed our place
in the sacred hoop, and another non-heavenly origin
in the land across the water, beyond snows and ice flows,
back in time where we were given stewardship of the earth.
Of the four races, the white race became guardians
of the fire, the spark at the center of things.

Carried here across the Bering Strait, to where our fight
for protection of the water has earned us pepper spray,
guard dog attacks, jail cells, federal prison sentences.
Of what crime, against who, have we been accused? 

Monday, November 11, 2019

Joyce Young Features 11/18

11/18/2019 Joyce Young hosted by Bruce

Joyce E. Young is the author of How it Happens, published by Nomadic Press. Her writing has been nominated for both a Pushcart and a California Book Award
and has appeared in Smith Alumnae Quarterly, WORDPEACE, riverbabble, The New Poets of the American West, and elsewhere. She has received grants from the California Arts Council, the Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation and Writers on Site residency program at the Oakland Museum and Oakland Public Library through
Poets & Writers, Inc. Joyce has been awarded residencies at Virginia Center for
the Creative Arts, Hedgebrook, Soapstone and Vermont Studio Center. She works as a Writing Consultant at John F. Kennedy University, teaches writing privately, and is currently at work writing poetry, essays, and Parallel Journey, a novel.
Joyce maintains regular Yoga and Chi Gung practice and is a semi-retired Afro
Cuban folkloric and modern dancer. She keeps lots of music in her life,
particularly Jazz, Salsa, Reggae, Samba, and combinations of notes that defy

category. In reality, though, she really doesn’t like to assign categories for music.


Like angels are supposed to
You don’t do it because
you want to be good,
get candy, or ice cream

You do it because you love
And forgetting all else
You tend to her or him,
watching, waiting, praying
for life, health, the best
for that person or persons

you love

Monday, November 4, 2019

Bruce Fessenden Features 11/11/19

11/11/19 Bruce Fessenden hosted by Jim

Bruce lives in Berkeley and is co-owner of Fessenden Firewood with his partner Christine.  He has been deeply immersed in the natural world his entire life through the activities of backpacking, climbing and skiing.  A book of his poems —“Crimson Coat” — was published in 2014 by Goldenstone Press.  Pieces of Bruce’s writings have appeared in a MoonShine Star Co. anthology called “What is Love”, and also in Richard Grossinger’s book “2013”.  A second volume of poems, titled “Bones” will be published shortly.


My Mothers’ Mother was a gentle woman
    I remember her deep set, brown eyes.
She had a hearing aid, like a little microphone
    all that was available in the 50s.
She had her hearing aid as long as I can remember
    her hearing impaired by typhoid fever
    is the story I was told.

An uneducated woman living in a rooming house
    as a boy I felt we were connected close.
Two quiet souls, filled with empty time
    and the occasional unfriendly ghost.
When in high school, I’d drive
    her to her solitary room
    in my fathers’ forest green sports car.
He never gave her a single penny
    he was blind in so many ways.

Often I wonder why a few rise up
    while the others struggle and fall.
Hands of the clock easily seen
    but the inner gears remain hidden.
I’ve heard it said
    broken ones of this world sacrifice themselves
    discarded fruit enriching the soil.
She liked menthol cigarretes and dime store crime novels.
Who was the kindly elementary school teacher
    who taught her how to read?
Welfare checks and food stamps, TV in the lobby
    Bathroom and showers at the end of the hall.

The last forty years of her life
    spent in that solitary room
    with her paperbacks, her cigarretes, her silence.
For the forgotten ones, its almost a blessing
    to be so broken, and disassociated from their grief.
She lived her life a little bit stunned
    in that way we are so much alike.
There was not a single instance her entire life
    where my father realized
    that she actually existed.

Its october now, my favorite time of year
    angle of the sun so sublime.
I don’t even have a photo of her
    my memory of her face grows hazy in my mind.
Too many people never find their place
    punch the clock, ground up for fodder.
A choir sings sweetly
    from the other side of the horizon
    I stand tall and take the next step.

Monday, October 28, 2019

K.R Morrison Features 11/4

11/4/19  K.R Morrison  host Elaine

Black & White Photographs by Michelle Kilfeather
When she’s not drumming in two feminist rock bands, K.R. Morrison teaches English Literature and Creative Writing to high school students at Galileo in San Francisco, CA.

Morrison recently featured on Bay Area’s podcast, Storied: San Francisco about being an educator, musician, and writer in a city that’s rapidly changing. She has featured for many curations throughout the Bay Area, most recently Bay Area Generations, Naked Bulb, and Red Light Lit. Apart from reading her poetry at art events in Los Angeles and New Orleans last summer, Morrison featured for curations in New York in June, 2019. Published by Switchback and Quiet Lightning, Haight Ashbury Literary Journal as well as New York’s Gasconade Review selected Morrison as their feature for their most recent publications. She’s currently searching for a publisher for her chapbook, “Cauldrons,” while working on a larger poetry collection entitled, “From Her Wrist.” Once the manuscript is finished, she hopes to have it published by a press that reflects the priorities she voices in her writing.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Grace Grafton Features 10/28

10/28/19 Grace Grafton hosted by Gary

Grace Marie Grafton's most recent book is LENS from Unsolicited Press. It features poems inspired by California artists, 1853-2010. She is the author of six previous collections of poetry. Zero won the 2000 Poetic Matrix Chapbook contest. Visiting Sisters is a collection inspired by the artwork of contemporary women. Other Clues consists of experimental prose poems. A chapbook, Chrysanthemum Oratorio, plays with language and concept. Whimsy, Reticence & Laud, also from Poetic Matrix, explores the sonnet form. Jester, from Hip Pocket Press, features surreal persona poems.
Ms. Grafton taught for many years in the California Poets In The Schools program, for which she was awarded twelve California Arts Council grants. She was named Teacher of the Year by the River Of Words annual student poetry contest co-sponsored by Robert Hass, United States Poet Laureate.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Georgette Howington Feartures 10/21

10/21/2019 Georgette Howington hosted by Bruce

Georgette Howington is a UC Davis California Naturalist of the Mt. Diablo Region.  Her poems are published in Iodine, Sleet, Poeming Pigeons, Sacred Grounds, among others.  Her poems placed at the North American Women’s Music Festival, Ina Coolbrith Poetry Contests and the Benicia Love Poem Contest 2018.  As a horticulturist, her niche is Backyard Habitat and secondary-cavity nesters.  She is a County Coordinator and the Assistant State Program Director for the California Bluebird Recovery Program ( and an activist in the conservation community in the SF Bay Area for over 30 years.  Georgette is also a published garden and environmental writer.  

“It Bears Noting the Wolf Moon”
   By Georgette Howington

When the ancient tongue of sage,
wormwood and rosemary drops
below whispers, we can trust them
to tend us.  The dry deep-rooted tangle
of cosmos and sunflowers stretches
the attention offering an unobstructed
view of the blue and vast winter world.

January exhales.

And the Wolf Moon yawns in a white
glow of a frost biting night, while the
garden leaps into the season with a
shiver.  How soft the earth is after
a first rain and how nothing listens
better than a quiet moment when
tendrils of silence leave room for

(Sacred Grounds Anthology, 2019)

Monday, October 14, 2019

Sunday, 10/20, at 2pm,Julia Vinogad Book Release Party

Sunday, 10/20, at 2pm,
Zeigeist Press will hold a Julia Vinograd Book Release Party 
at Himalayan Flavors.
Zeitgeist Press is very excited to present two new Julia Vinograd books with a celebration at Himalayan Flavors. Publisher Bruce Isaacson has put together "A Symphony for Broken Instruments", a seminal collection of selected works along with a big section of previously unpublished poems. Never before has such a tour de force of Vinograd’s work been together in one volume, which is 384 pages in total, including art by Deborah Vinograd and Chris Trian. At the same event, editor Deborah Fruchey presents "Our Lady of Telegraph Avenue", the new tribute anthology of poems to, for, and about Julia Vinograd by a slew of friends and local writers.
Please join us for a festive afternoon celebrating the life and work of this remarkable woman who energized and shaped the poetry of the SF Bay Area for over fifty years.
Zeitgeist Press Presents:
Julia Vinograd Release Party – New Book and Tribute Anthology with Bruce Isaacson presenting "A Symphony for Broken Instruments: Selected and New Works by Julia Vinograd" and
Deborah Fruchey presenting the Julia Vinograd tribute anthology "Our Lady of Telegraph Avenue"
with readings from both volumes
Hosted by Bruce Isaacson, event is free of charge (except for restaurant purchases) and books for sale at a one-time discount
Julia Vinograd, the popular poet identified with the streets of Berkeley, California, published 70 books during her life (1943-2018). She was raised in Pasadena and Berkeley, where her mother was a poet and English Professor. Her father was announced to win a Nobel Prize in Biochemistry but passed away before the award. Julia earned a B.A. at U.C. Berkeley and an M.F.A. at the famed Iowa Writer’s Workshop at the University of Iowa. She won an American Book award from the Before Columbus Foundation, a Pushcart Prize, and a “Lifetime Achievement Award as Berkeley’s unofficial Poet Laureate.” She was also famed as the Bubble Lady for her love of blowing soap bubbles for children on Telegraph Avenue. This book represents a life’s work of Street Poems that are accessible, charming, and deeply human.

Monday, October 7, 2019

Lucy Lang Day & Diane Frank Fire & Rain book reading 10/14/19

10/14/19  Lucy Lang Day and Diane Frank hosted by bruce
 Fire & Rain book reading 

Lucille Lang Day’s latest book is Fire and Rain: Ecopoetry of California, an anthology she coedited. She is also the author of ten poetry collections and chapbooks, most recentlyBecoming an Ancestor and Dreaming of Sunflowers: Museum Poems; the coeditor of Red Indian Road West: Native American Poetry from California; and the author of two children’s books, Chain Letter and The Rainbow Zoo, and a memoir, Married at Fourteen: A True Story. Her poems, essays, and short stories have appeared widely in magazines and anthologies, and her many honors include the Joseph Henry Jackson Award in Literature, the Blue Light Poetry Prize, two PEN Oakland – Josephine Miles Literary Awards, and nine Pushcart nominations. She is the founder and director of Scarlet Tanager Books.


Rust-colored ladybugs, clustered like grapes,
mate on horsetails that wave by a creek,
where silvery salmon spawn and leap
when the sandbar breaks at the gate to the sea.

The ladybugs have come hundreds of miles,
from valley to coast, for this singles bash.
The females are choosy:  they twiddle the males,
seeking appendages padded with fat.

And all around—high in redwood burls,
on elk-clover leaves, and in the rich soil—
the meaning of life is to stroke and prod
under a humpbacked moon, dissolving in fog.

From Fire and Rain: Ecopoetry of California (Scarlet Tanager Books, 2018)

Diane Frank is author of seven books of poems, two novels, and a photo memoir of her 400 mile trek in the Nepal Himalayas, Letters from a Sacred Mountain Place (Nirala Publishing, 2018). Her new book of poems, Canon for Bears and Ponderosa Pines, was published by Glass Lyre Press in 2018.Blackberries in the Dream House, her first novel, won the Chelson Award for Fiction and was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.  Diane lives in SanFrancisco, where she dances, plays cello in the Golden Gate Symphony, and creates her life as an art form. She teaches at San Francisco State University and Dominican University.

A poem from Fire and Rain:

            In the Mendocino Woodlands

He walks into the forest
where trees are burning
finding his path in the silence.

Woodpecker, memory, larkspur
in the night of burning.

His eyes ask me to wait,
to keep the connection inside
the silent place where I find
pebbles of intuition, rose quartz.

In the morning, lupines on the trail
to the cliff where the giant trillium blooms,
kelp and seals swimming beyond
the tide pools below.

I run through Indian paintbrush,
milk maids, cinquefoil,
climbing the path where he finds me.

And what is love?
A fire walk initiation
from the ocean through a cathedral of trees,
fuchsia, wild grape, sudden
blue streaks on the wing of a moth
stellar jay wanting to fly free.

                        Diane Frank

Monday, September 30, 2019

Tom Stanton, Poet Laureate of Benicia Features 10/7/2019

10/7/19 Tom Stanton host Elaine

Thomas Eric Stanton [American, 1947– ]). Is primarily known as a California Surrealist. His works engage many mediums, and often emphasizes the aspects of 'Performance'. He has produced books of poetry, and his Paintings are included in many public, private, and museum collections. He lives and works in Benicia, California. He is the current Poet Laureate of Benicia, California 

Monday, September 23, 2019

9/30/19 Maverick Night :  STORY TELLING hosted by Gary

Bring your stories in any format -- Poems -- Prose -- Ad libitum -- Pictures & Dialogue


Monday, September 16, 2019

Sandra Anfang Features 9/23/2019

9/23/19 Sandra Anfang  hosted by Gary

Sandra Anfang is a poet, teacher, and visual artist. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals, including San Francisco Peace and HopeUnbroken Literary Journal, Rattle, and Spillway. Her chapbook, Looking Glass Heart, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2016. Road Worrier: Poems of the Inner and Outer Landscape (Finishing Line Press, 2018) followed. A full-length collection, Xylem Highway, was released in March, 2019 from Main Street Rag. Sandra was nominated for a Best Short Fictions award and a Pushcart Prize. She is founder of the monthly series, Rivertown Poets, in Petaluma, California, and a California Poet/Teacher in the Schools. 

Core Samples

At the Nevada mining museum
our seven-year old has a chokehold on my arm
timid at first, his tentative eyes—
as if searching for rattlers—
sweep the iron-incensed bunker 
before they lock on the rows of core samples.
He pronounces the name
which doesn’t quite fit in his mouth
carves new grooves on his tongue.
The desiccated docent
voice bald as his quarry explains 
how cylindrical drills drone deep into stone
probe Earth's mantle
yielding smooth columns, pygmy pillars 
relics of a place where dinosaurs 
once cut their terrible teeth.
Drawn in, my child dons a scholar’s mask.
This is proof of something real
a piece of the fossil record
truer than anything I can give him
a staff to wrap his brain’s heart around
bed of rock his feet can trust 
no ephemera in this metamorphic floor.

I flash on the day I could finally read most anything 
the skeleton key of my brain cracking the code
translating the thatch of storefront signs
the irony of the missing “i” in “realty”
my hopeful eyes pleading with my mother:
can we bring some home? 
At five I knew we were already fresh out.

Sandra Anfang