Calendar of Coming Features

12/9/19 Becky Bishop White  hosted by Jim

The east coast, the SF Bay Area, and Lake Tahoe are threaded throughout the poetry of Becky Bishop White. An emerging poet, Becky won the 2019 First Prize in the Benicia Love Poetry Contest for her poem, Flying Start, and was Second Place winner for an unpublished poem, Ghost Fleet, at the 2019 Solano County Fair. Becky lives in Benicia with her husband, author James W. White, who is her very best friend.

To try to set a problem right
requires courage. Some might
think to leave or just pout
in silence, but to talk it out
or try for a hug is huge.
You are no longer fugitive
from your best self.
You have broken the spell
that makes you think ‘other.’
But it’s not really another
who aligns with you.
Here is what is true:
The soul who makes peace is nearer
to the person in the mirror.

            © Becky Bishop White
Notice this on Sunday the 15th at BAMPFA 

12/16/19  Andrena Zawinski  hosted by Bruce

Photo Credit: Don Dutra

Andrena Zawinski’s latest poetry collection, Landings, is from Kelsay Books (Hemet, CA). She has published two previous full collections of poetry: Something About (Blue Light Press, San Francisco, CA), a PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award recipient, and Traveling in Reflected Light (Pig Iron Press, Youngstown, O), a Kenneth Patchen competition winner. She has also authored four chapbooks and is editor of Turning a Train of Thought Upside Down: An Anthology of Women’s Poetry (Scarlet Tanager Books, Oakland, CA). Her poems have received accolades for free verse, form, lyricism, spirituality, and social concern. She founded and runs the San Francisco Bay Area Women’s Poetry Salon and is Features Editor at

In Landings, Zawinski presents poems that embrace, in original ways and with deep-rooted emotional power, the worldwide condition of women, immigrants, and the working class alongside an abiding reverence for the natural world. Of this work, Jan Beatty says Zawinski is the necessary voice of the truth teller, speaking trouble among the beauty. Rebecca Foust lauds the collection as a book that offers wisdom and solace and one you will take comfort in reading again and again. Carolyne Wright goes on to say in these Landings, she embraces the richness of human experience and praises the courage of those who go on ‘living as if they could do anything.’
poem recited with images: 

Andrena Zawinski:

Sun spills silver stars of light along rippling summer waves.
A string of pelicans wing the horizon,
light in flight for all their heft.

Children squeal and squirm inside their plastic inflatable.
One slips over the side, feigns drowning, splashing and kicking,
holding onto his crying sister, jumps back in to tickle her side––
all of them then swimming in giggles and smiles in frolic and fun,
family picnicking at the shore, waving from bright beach towels.

Other children, roped onto rafts in flimsy life jackets, float in
from Aleppo across the Aegean away from bombs and bullets
to find a way out, forge a way in, whole families cattled
by smugglers, squeezed in dozens deep. But those who slip
into this dark sea cannot be rescued with innocent teasing and mirth.

A three-year-old washes up onto the beach face down on the sand,
limp body leaden in his father’s arms,
water lapping the wounded shore.

Publication Credit:
Reunion Dallas Review, Vol 6, 2017. Univ. of Texas, Dallas, TX

12/23/19 Aileen Cassinetto hosted by Gary

Aileen Cassinetto is the first Asian-American appointed to the post of Poet Laureate of San Mateo County. Having grown up in the Philippines during Martial Law, she seeks not only to make poetry more accessible to people in their everyday lives, but to advocate for social justice and diversity. Widely anthologized, she is the author of the poetry collections, Traje de Boda andThe Pink House of Purple Yam Preserves & Other Poems, as well as three chapbooks through Moria Books’ acclaimed Locofo series. Aileen is also the publisher of Paloma Press, an independent literary press established in 2016 which has released 17 books to date.

Hate is lead-wrapped

follows a corkscrew path
all 1/25th of a human heart 
to tear apart skin, sinew
bone, prized tissue
rips as it leaves 
a bleeding vessel that is
the weight of someone’s love.

12/30/19 No PE, Happy Holidays host  S Clause 


1/13/2020Paul Jolly hosted by Jim

Paul Jolly was raised in Oakland, and, after a thirty year detour on the East Coast, returned to Berkeley in the summer of 2019.  His poems have appeared in Permafrost, the Columbia Review, and Straylight.  His first book, Why Ice Cream Trucks Play Christmas Songs, was published by Fernwood Press in December of 2018. 

Miracle drugs

Sunlight through clouds, taa-daa!  Trumpet
fanfares in the lab window, refracts
on beakers and test tubes.  Lab
drudges halt their rote to compare

charts with angels.  The apothecary
cleric’s shelf recently held a smatter
of cures: saints’ relics, holy
water, tinctures, unguent.  Now

many shelves hold baskets and baskets,
loaf baskets, fish baskets. 
High church muckety mucks
(mucks at least) preside at drug

trials.  The mucks want crutches
heaved by healed cripples, billion
dollar profits, Nobel prize, handicapped
stickers discarded from cars.  Proof

requires reams of forms.  Check
miracle type: blindness cure,
hemorrhage plug, cripples walk,
or the Lalapalooza: Lazarus alive

post-flatline.  And randomized
samples!  No chocolate sampler
was ever so random.  Did placebo
-takers get prayed at same as druggies? 

Did all the docs carry the same tracts
in their grand round lab coat
pockets?  Did prayer warriors spout
glossolalia in the same dead language?

Was there a between-shifts non sectual
moment of silence at the nurses station
in each clinic?  Identical hymns, time
-release capsules, scriptures, syringes,

Hallmark prayer cards, patches, inhalers,
beads, inhibitors, enzymes, chants,
implants?  Double-blinders want to know:
Was the philanthropist who endowed each hospital

faithish?  Does a buried urn in the arid
land of Genesis hold test results that went
wrong for pharma, papyrus
that proves placebo as helpful as drug? 

1/20/2020 Caroline Goodwin host Bruce

1/27/2020 Dan Lineham hosted by Gary

A longtime professional writer, author, and award-winning poet, Dan Linehan often interweaves nature, current events, and far-flung lands. His poetry has been published widely in books, newspapers, and literary journals, including in The Anthology of Monterey Bay Poets. He is passionate about helping to solve environmental crises through creativity. Dan’s new multimedia serial novel The Princess of the Bottom of the World includes poetry inspired by his travels to Antarctica and Argentina. For more, visit:

by Dan Linehan

Sandra told me about her silver ring.
Her mother had said
            silver has healing powers.
I showed her my silver earring.
I feel like a pirate now.
She has a telescope back in Chile.
This is her last cruise.
She knows magic tricks.
We watched the comet,
            sharing a pair of binoculars.

2/3/2020 Dee Allen host Elaine

African-Italian performance poet based in Oakland, California. Active on the creative writing & Spoken Word tips since the early
1990s. Author of 4 books [ Boneyard, Unwritten Law, Stormwater and Skeletal Black, all from POOR Press ] and 24 anthology appearances [ including Poets 11: 2014, Feather Floating On The Water, Rise, Your Golden Sun Still Shines, What Is Love, The City Is Already Speaking, The Land Lives Forever, Extreme and Civil
Liberties United, edited by ShizuĂ© Seigel ] under his figurative belt so far. Allen’s fifth book, Elohi Unitsi, will be released Earth Day 2020

from Conviction 2 Change Publishing.

2/10/2020 hosted by Jim

2/17/2020  Dennis J. Bernstein hosted by Bruce

Dennis J Bernstein lives in San Francisco. He is the award-winning host/producer of Flashpoints, syndicated on public and community radio stations across the United States. Bernstein is the recipient of many awards for his work, including the 2015 Pillar Award in Broadcast Journalism. In 2009, Pulse Media named him one of the “20 Top Global Media Figures.” Bernstein’s articles and essays have appeared in numerous newspapers and magazines including The New York Times, Denver Post, Philadelphia Enquirer, Newsday, The Nation, Dallas Times Herald, San Francisco Chronicle, Boston Globe, Mother Jones, Village Voice, The Progressive, Vibe Magazine, Spin Magazine, Toronto Globe, Kyoto Journal, Der Spiegel, and many more. Bernstein is the author of Henry Hyde’s Moral Universe, and the co-author of two decks of political trading cards, Friendly Dictators and The S&L Scandal Trading Cards. He founded The Muriel Rukeyser Reading Series in Park Slope Brooklyn, and broadcast it over public and community radio in New York City; the series was named after his friend and mentor, the late poet and biographer, Muriel Rukeyser. Bernstein also produced the first complete live, 35 hour broadcast of James Joyce’s Ulysses in the U.S. at New York’s Bloomsday Bookstore. He is author of the poetry collection Special Ed: Voices from a Hidden Classroom, which won the 2012 Artists Embassy International Literary Cultural Award. His poetry has appeared in The New York Quarterly, The Chimaera, Bat City Review, The Progressive, Texas Observer, ZYZZYVA, Red River Review, and numerous other journals. Alice Walker, Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Color Purple, writes that Special Ed “is art turned to us through the eyes of love.” Carol Smaldino says in The Huffington Post that the poems remind us how “we are all connected to the sorrows as well as to the grandness of being human.” Bernstein’s earliest  poems appeared as a chapbook, Particles of Light, with woodcuts by Stan Kaplan. His artists’ books/plays French Fries and GRRRHHHH: a study of social patterns, co-authored with Warren Lehrer, are considered seminal works in the genre, and are in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Georges Pompidou Centre, and other museums around the world

2/24/2020 hosted by Gary

3/02/2020 Ashia Ajan host Elaine

Ashia Ajani is an emerging Black storyteller hailing from Denver, CO, Queen City of the Plains. She is a graduate of Yale University. She is an Environmental Studies major with a specialization in environmental justice and food rights. Her work confronts Black environments and imaginaries, exploring the legacies of trauma and resistance in diasporic communities. She has been published in Atlas&Alice Magazine, The Journal, Pilgrimage Press, Sage Magazine, Brushfire Literature & Arts, and The Hopper Magazine, among others. She released her first chapbook, We Bleed Like Mango, in October of 2017. Follow her on Instagram: @ashiainbloom and on her website   

Photo cred for the head shot goes to Deanna Nagle ( 

3/9/2020 hosted by Jim

/16/2020 Lynne Barnes host Bruce

3/23/2020 hosted by Gary

3/30/2020 Poetry Expressed Magazine Reading -- all published in our annual on-line mag, are invited to read their work from the magazine.

4/6/2020 host Elaine

4/13/2020 hosted by Jim

4/20/2020 Tony Aldarondo host Bruce

Tony Aldarondo is a Puerto Rican writer, actor and poet. He  humbly admits to falling in love with rhymes from the moment he read Dr. Seuss in the 1970's and heard rap music for the first time in the 1980's. From that moment on...,rhymes have been a apart of his DNA. He has performed in award winning films and major theatres throughout the bay area. He has also toured two seasons with the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, and has taught theatre in after school programs to youth in the inner cities for over a decade. You can catch Tony Aldarondo featuring at many poetry hot spots throughout northern California. Please feel free to enjoy his work at

4/27/2020 hosted by Gary
5/4/2020 host Elaine
5/11/2020 hosted by Jim
5/18/2020 Johanna Ely  host Bruce
5/28/2020 hosted by Gary
6/1/2020 host Elaine
6/8/2020 hosted by Jim
6/15/2020 host Bruce
6/22/2020 hosted by Gary
6/29/2020 Maverick Night, host TBA
7/6/2020 host Elaine
7/13/2020 hosted by Jim
7/20/2020 host Bruce
7/27/2020 hosted by Gary
8/3/2020 host Elaine
8/10/2020 hosted by Jim
8/17/2020 host Bruce
8/24/2020 hosted by Gary
8/31/2020 Maverick Night, host TBA
9/7/2020 host Elaine
9/14/2020 hosted by Jim
9/21/202 David Erdrich host Bruce0
9/28/2020 hosted by Gary
10/5/2020 host Elaine
10/12/2020 hosted by Jim
10/19/2020 host Bruce
10/26/2020 hosted by Gary
11/2/2020 host Elaine
11/9/2020 hosted by Jim
11/16/2020 host Bruce
11/23/2020 hosted by Gary
11/30/2020 Maverick Night, host TBA
12/7/2020 host Elaine
12/14/2020 hosted by Jim
12/21/2020 host Bruce
12/28/2020 hosted by Gary

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