Calendar of Coming Features

12/17/2018 Barbara West & Grace Loescher hosted by bruce

Barbara West and Grace Loescher began collaborating last year, when they were 50 and 25 years old respectively.  Barbara works part-time as a nurse, while Grace is a full-time activist for social justice issues in general, homeless youth in particular, and cultivating the arts in all of us.  When Barbara published a book, Grace put out a spoken word CD and enjoyed live audience and social media success, accompanying herself on piano and guitar.  Dec. 17th in Berkeley will be their fifth collaborative performance.  They expect to start off with a lively voice/guitar/washboard duet and then mix it up with a combination of solo and joint pieces.  Topics range from preventing/mourning suicide to an unusual request by a hospice patient, and will include love and other activities of body, mind and spirit.  

Barbara West is the only parent of a 21-year-old son and works as a Wound/Ostomy/Continence Nurse, with prior work in Hospice.  Previous publications include Full of Crow, Brevities, Medusa’s Kitchen, Sacramento Voices, and Davis Shambhala Center Newsletter.  Her first book "...and I felt the simple sweetness of me" was published last year by Cold River Press.  She is currently working on a memoir “Hunger to Help: Sorting Extraordinary Legacies”which explores the tension between Christian/Buddhist directives to “help others” and 12-step Recovery work which directs her to “focus on yourself.”  Thanks to a background in theater, and some time singing with a band, Barbara often recites from memory, usually without a mic, since her voice is plenty loud. She also enjoys windsurfing.


Fly flew
at my

then swerved
past my left
ear like

on his home

including me
the thrill.

12/24/2018 NO PE H A P P Y    H O L I D A Y S hosted by Upta Yu

12/31/2018 NO PE H A P P Y    H O L I D A Y S hosted by Upta Yu

2019 Below (work in progress, not final)
1/7/19 Adel Mendelson host tba

1/14/19 Diane Frank hosted by Jim

Diane Frank is author of Letters from a Sacred Mountain Place: A Journey through the Nepal Himalayas, (Nirala Press, Delhi, India, 2018), with stories, poems and 53 color photographs. She is also author of 7 books of poems, most recently Canon for Bears and Ponderosa Pines (Glass Lyre Press, 2018). Her first novel, Blackberries in the Dream House was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.

About her book:
Walk with Diane Frank, poet and novelist, on a 400 mile trek in the Nepal Himalayas.  With photographs and her beautifully written narrative, she will take you to many Sacred Mountain Places. You will trek on mountain trails around Annapurna, with an ascent of 17,800 feet to Thorong La, and anoint your spirit in the sacred fountains of Muktinath.   You will climb the Everest trail with astounding views of the mountains and go on pilgrimage to Buddhist temples and monasteries.  The rushing water of sacred rivers will sing to your imagination.  With each step of your journey, you will be transformed by the magic of the mountains. 

            Dreams of the Ecliptic

To change a girl into a kite,
            tell her that love is the moon.  

To teach a tree to sing,
            put a harp under its branches.

To change a bowl of dust into a planet,
            paint watercolor rings around the ecliptic.

To change the sky into a dream,
            put a song into a hammock.

To melt an ice cube,
            light a fire under the map of the constellations.

To write a symphony in a major key,
            plant a rainbow under an apple tree.

To create a universe,
            ride on a meteor shower
                        as the archer shoots a path of light
                                    across the sky.

When the sun rises for the first time,
            fill the sky with your singing.

                                                            ~ Diane Frank

1/21/2019 Sharon Coleman & Lisa Rosenberg 

1/28/19 Rose Mark and Larry Beresford hosted by Gary
2/4/19 host tba
2/11/19 Carl Kopman hosted by Jim
2/18/19 Jan Steckel  hosted by Bruce 

Jan Steckel is a former pediatrician who stopped practicing medicine because of chronic pain. Her latest poetry book is Like Flesh Covers Bone (Zeitgeist Press, December 2018). Her poetry book The Horizontal Poet (Zeitgeist Press, 2011) won a 2012 Lambda Literary Award. Her fiction chapbook Mixing Tracks (Gertrude Press, 2009) and poetry chapbook The Underwater Hospital (Zeitgeist Press, 2006) also won awards. Her fiction and poetry have appeared in Scholastic Magazine, Bellevue Literary Review, New Verse News, November 3 Club, Assaracus and elsewhere. Her work has been nominated three times for a Pushcart Prize. She lives in Oakland, California. Her newest book is just out in December, 2018.

2/25/19 Juda Kalamka  hosted by Gary
3/4/19 host tba
3/11/49 hosted by Jim
3/18/19 Lenore Weiss hosted by Bruce

3/25/19 Mary Mackey  hosted by Gary

In The Jaguars That Prowl Our Dreams, Mary Mackey writes of life, death, love, and passion with intensity and grace. Her poems are hugely imaginative and multi-layered. Part One contains forty-eight new poems including twenty-one set in Western Kentucky from 1742 to 1975; and twenty-six unified by an exploration of the tropical jungle outside and within us, plus a surreal and sometimes hallucinatory appreciation of the visionary power of fever. Part Two offers the reader seventy-eight poems drawn from Mackey’s seven previous collections including Sugar Zone, winner of the 2012 Oakland PEN Award for Literary Excellence.

4/1/19 host tba
4/8/19 hosted by Jim
4/15/19 Diane L. Moomey hosted by Bruce
4/22/19 Judy Wells hosted by Gary
4/29/19 Maverick Night host tba
5/6/19 host tba
5/13/19 John Garry hosted by Jim

John R. Garry has made his way across 9 countries by train, plane, automobile and by foot. His poetry is informed by his travels and his work as a licensed clinical psychologist in the community, with our military and in our prison system.
His published works include: 2009’s “Regalos de la Isla: Gifts from the island”, and 2015’s “Lean In: Live from Everywhere”.
His performances are a melodic blend of emotion and deep reflection that will make you think, feel and leave you wanting more.


I literally have a jar marked golf money filled with the wishbones of rotisserie chickens going back to 2015. I carried these from apartment to apartment, across state lines. They sat in storage for 10 months while I traveled the globe. It's a jar full of unused wishes, bones for conjuring new ways to fight off patterns that are ever present.

There is a 4-by-2 bin full of poems next to my bed; a pile of notebooks that, boiled down, are just ink and papyrus, emotional hand cramp manifestos. It's a tupperware bucket of unicorn ideas, flightless thoughts tied down with time and self-deprecation.

There are #revolutionarystew mind dumps on Instagram. It's an exercise in public masturbation that we have allowed as normal – all in the internet ether, the globe's electronic closet – full of porn, socks without matches and shit that no longer fits, but isn't thrown away.

I have 82 bowties in my closet and still my wardrobe is repetitive. I have maintained my weight only so that I do not have to buy more pants. All my sweaters from high school remain with me and, like them, I too go in and out of fashion regularly.

I am a pile of skin and bones, bowties, poetry and unused wishes. I spend more time thinking about what I have yet to let go of than using what I already have, and wondering who will throw out my things when I die.
All the things.

5/20/19 Laura Schulkind  hosted by Bruce
5/29/19 hosted by Gary
6/3/19 host tba
6/12/19 hosted by Jim
6/17/19 Fire & Rain book reading by Lucille Lang Day & Diane Frank hosted by Bruce
6/24/19 Kitty Costello hosted by Gary
7/1/19 host tba
7/8/19 Barbara Atkinson hosted by Jim
Barbara Atkinson identifies as a  bicoastal writer and performer, transplanted a few times between Bucks County PA and Berkeley CA. She is also a scientist, social organizer, and dance enthusiast. After teaching herself to read, she earned a Bachelor of Rhymes degree from kindergarten, her most prized diploma. In the many intervening years, she has written numerous poems (rhyming, metered, both, and neither), short stories, cartoons, songs & song lyrics, tributes in verse, and paraphrases of popular classics. Sometimes this erupts into spoken word, with venues ranging from summer camps to PTA benefits to soccer team family picnics to holiday parties at her workplace and more. 

Barbara's poetry has been occasionally published, beginning with the Nutshell literary magazine of Moorestown Senior High School in New Jersey, then the Penn Women's Literary Magazine in Philadelphia, and most recently in a chapbook entitled "Poets in the Pews" by the First Unitarian Church of Oakland. Retired from a career as an energy-efficiency policy analyst at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, she also published a prolific amount of technical writing. Ms. Atkinson volunteered in Nicaragua from the 1980s through 2000s on solar energy projects, traveled and worked in Central and South America, and composed a few of her poems in Spanish. Her current labor of love is being full-time mom of a teenage daughter, some of whose multiple talents are writing and drama. "Poetry is when the family reunion in your head stops and it's just you talking..."

7/15/19 Robert Coats  hosted by Bruce

Robert Coats has been writing poetry for 40 years.  His work as an environmental scientist takes him outdoors and sometimes provides inspiration and material.  He is drawn to poetry rooted in the West and reflecting a strong sense of place. A native Californian by birth (his great-grandparents having come by covered wagon in 1859), he spent part of his youth in the deciduous forests of Maryland, and the mountains of northeastern Nevada. His poems have appeared in OrionWindfallCanarySong of the San Joaquin, the Pudding House anthology Fresh Water and a full-length book—The Harsh Green World—published in 2015 by Sugartown Publishing.  Awards include first and third prizes in Menlo College’s “Wallace Stevens Where Are You” contest (1998), first prize in the 1994 contest of the American Society on Aging, and first prize in Word Worth’s 2010 poetry contest.  Details of his professional work can be found at


Go to Rock Lake, Plumas country.
Before sunrise, stand
on the slate ledge that juts the lake.
Look to the western shore,
watch sunlight creep down
the red bank of schist.

Now turn east, look up
to the canyon rim
where Jacob’s ladders converge
at a dark hemlock
against the bright sky.

In the moment before
the sun crests the wall
the entire tree--bole,
branches, foliage--
will flash
into silver filigree.

Then the orb’s leading edge
will clear the jagged ridge, shooting
gold deep into liquid indigo
warming your face
flooding you
with light.

                                    --Robert Coats


7/22/19 hosted by Gary
7/29/19 Maverick Night host tba
8/5/19 host tba
8/12/19 hosted by Jim
8/19/19 hosted by Bruce
8/26/19 hosted by Gary 9/2/19
9/2/19 NO PE, BAPC Picnic.
9/9/19 hosted by Jim
9/16/2019 Dennis J. Bernstein hosted by Bruce
9/23/19 hosted by Gary
9/30/19 Maverick Night host tba
10/7/19 host tba
10/14/19 hosted by Jim
10/21/2019 Georgette Howington hosted by Bruce
10/28/19 hosted by Gary
11/4/19 host tba
11/11/19 hosted by Jim
11/19/2019 Joyce Young hosted by Bruce
11/25/19 hosted by Gary
12/2/19 host tba
12/9/19 hosted by Jim
12/16/19 hosted by Bruce
12/23/19 hosted by Gary
12/30/19 Maverick Night host tba

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