NEW HOST FOR LEFT COAST WRITERS FERRY PLAZA EVENTS Many of you know Elaine Miller Bond, author illustrator of Affimals: Affirmations + Animals. Left Coast Writers is pleased to announce that Elaine will be hosting the Left Coast Writers Ferry Plaza Book Party and Reading series at Book Passage in San Francisco beginning in April. Many thanks to Colette Obrien, our terrific prior emcee. We hope she’ll return to host future events from time to time. Elaine will be emceeing the April Book Party featuring poet Dave Seter, author of Night Duty. Monday, April 12, 2009 || 6pm Book Passage || Ferry Plaza San Francisco || www.bookpassage.com Elaine Miller Bond is the author/illustrator of the book, Affimals: Affirmations + Animals, published in 2009. She took her graduate degree from Cambridge University, England and began her career as a science writer with the University of California Natural Reserve System. Her writing and photography have appeared on the Discovery Channel and in The American Naturalist, The Washington Post, and other popular and scientific media. Her photographs of rare Utah prairie dogs and their behaviors will be published in the upcoming books, Prairie Dogs with White Tails by Dr. John L. Hoogland and Squirrels of the World by Dr. John L. Koprowski. She currently makes her home in California’s San Francisco Bay Area.
For the self-published writers: We just want to share Mary Lou Schram’s encouraging review of Pursuing Happiness from the Writers Digest Self-Published Book Awards: In part: “I was immediately impressed with the conciseness, fluency, energy, and intelligence of the prose. Great dialogue too, dialogue that has the ring of ‘real’ speech. Focused on characters the reader can really care about, this novel does what all the best novels do: it meshes comedy and pathos, like life. The ending is about as good as an ending can get. Simply a wonderful novel – sensitive, intelligent, funny, sad and true.” Of course, we’re delighted because we loved the book too. Some of the best books ever written have never made it into print. For sure. Good work, Mary Lou. Thanks for sharing the news. Self-published writers should definitely check out the Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards. The next entry deadline is May 3, 2010.
As the writers head off to Charleston, for another literary adventure with the Southern Sampler Artists Colony, novelist and travel writer Linda Watanabe McFerrin reflects on Southern vistas. Southern Exposure: On the Palmetto Trail ©2010 by Linda Watanabe McFerrin The size of the snake had grown, in the telling, from the length and breadth of my friend Martha’s arm, to the far more dramatic dimensions of her muscular cousin, Dickie’s. I was at a gathering of the Dabbs clan at one of the old family properties by the Crossroads just east of Black River Swamp in the county of Sumter, South Carolina. Martha and I had been hiking along on the High Hills of Santee Passage of the Palmetto Trail when the large green-brown serpent slithered across our paths and disappeared into the waters of Old Levi Mill Lake. Martha was disturbed; I was ecstatic. I let out a gleeful shriek. The South is intriguing territory. Home of the blues, gumbos, gators, haunts, hollers, swamps and all their quirky inhabitants, it’s also been the stomping grounds of some of my favorite writers—William Faulkner, Flannery O’Connor, Harper Lee, Erskine Caldwell, Alice Walker, even Edgar Allen Poe—sensual, steamy and sometimes scary as hell.
LEFT COAST WRITERS BOOK LAUNCH: Dave Seter, author of Night Duty Monday, April 12, 2010 || 6pm Book Passage || Ferry Plaza San Francisco || www.bookpassage.com National Poetry Month gives us an opportunity to celebrate another new poet! Born in Chicago, the author has lived on both coasts, and currently resides in Sonoma County. He studied creative writing at Princeton University, where he earned his degree in civil engineering. The title poem of the collection was inspired by the author’s first job out of college. As a field engineer, he responded to gas fires and explosions after hours, in the urban center of Newark, New Jersey. The author explains, “That’s where I saw the underworld leak with flame, and where I learned the only ‘boss’ I could stand was Bruce Springsteen.” This chapbook is the author’s first published collection of poetry.
LEFT COAST WRITERS BOOK LAUNCH: Kathryn Ridall, editor of When the Muse Calls: Poems for the Creative Life Saturday, April 10, 2010 || 7pm Book Passage-Corte Madera || 51 Tamal Vista Dr. Corte Madera || www.bookpassage.com Come and celebrate with the muse! For most of her adult life, Kathryn Ridall has worked in the mental health field as a trainer, psychotherapist and university instructor. In her mid-fifties, Calliope, the fiery muse of poetry, paid her an unexpected visit. Since that time, my poems have appeared in many journals and anthologies. The Way of Stones, her first chapbook, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2009. Kathryn Ridall’s new anthology explores nine aspects of the creative life through the poetry of both internationally known and award-winning California poets.Kathryn says, “We may think the luminous muse belongs exclusively to dancers, writers and musicians. Artists may give more vocal homage to their muse but the muse dances through all lives. Mothers and lovers, cowboys and sailors, gardeners and woodworkers—anyone who has ever had a creative passion—will resonate with these poems about nine aspects of life with a muse. CB Follett, Becky Foust, Bill Keener, Kirsten Neff, Prartho Sereno, and Sara Tolchin will read their poems at the launch. With poems by: Anna Akhmatova Robert Bly Leonard Cohen Billy Collins Emily Dickinson Donald Hall Jane Hirshfield Stanley Kunitz Dorianne Laux Denise Levertov Pablo Neruda Rainer Maria Rilke Rumi Gary Snyder and many others
Monday, April 5, 2010 || 7pm || Neeli Cherkovski, Author of From the Canyon Outward Book Passage – Corte Madera 51 Tamal Vista Dr., Corte Madera Inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996, National Poetry Month is now held every April, when publishers, booksellers, literary organizations, libraries, schools and poets around the country band together to celebrate poetry and its vital place in American culture. In honor of National Poetry Month, our April Left Coast Literary Salon Presenter is poet Neeli Chekovski.
©2010 by Cheryl McLaughlin Moguls skier Alex Bilodeau won the first Gold medal for Canada at the Vancouver Olympic Games and credited his older brother who has cerebral palsy. At the last Olympics, American skater Evan Lysacek had a disastrous short program performance that took him out of any contention for a medal. This time he won the Gold medal beating reigning Olympic Champion, Yevgeny Pleshenko. 19-year old figure skater Kim Yu-Na from South Korea carried the hopes of a nation and the heavy expectations of gold as she took the ice and turned in two of the most spectacular performances in the history of Olympic Women’s Figure Skating. So, what does this have to do with writing?
LEFT COAST WRITERS BOOK LAUNCH: Jacqueline Luckett, author of Searching for Tina Turner Saturday, March 13, 2010 || 7pm Book Passage-Corte Madera || 51 Tamal Vista Dr. Corte Madera || www.bookpassage.com As a teenager, Jacqueline enjoyed telling stories to her younger cousins. To this day, they describe her as a master storyteller. So, it wasn’t a surprise to her family when she began writing a novel. She kept diaries, wrote poetry and had stories published in a local newspaper. But Jacqueline put writing aside while attending college. After graduating from California State University, Hayward in sociology, she worked in sales for a major corporation. She married, raised a family and in 1999 took a creative writing class on a dare, from herself, and happily found her love of writing re-ignited. By a lucky coincidence, that same year she discovered the Voices of Our Nations (VONA) writing workshops and participated over the next four years in workshops with Christina Garcia, Danzy Senna, Junot Diaz, Ruth Forman and Terry McMillan. VONA provided a safe haven for a new writer still unsure of her abilities, yet eager to learn. She attributes much of her growth as a writer to the VONA workshops. In 2004, Jacqueline formed the Finish Party (featured in O Magazine, October 2007) along with seven other women writers-of-color. The Finish Party meets monthly to workshop their projects-in-progress. Jacqueline calls these outstanding women her mentors and advisors, her friends and the toughest (and most loving) readers around. The group provides strong support for each other’s writing, good meals, friendship and fun. Jacqueline describes herself as an avid reader and lover of books, excellent cook, aspiring photographer (all the photos on this site were taken by Jacqueline) and world traveler. She lives in Northern California and, though she loves that city and all of the friends she has there, she takes frequent breaks to fly off to foreign destinations. Searching for Tina Turner is her first novel and, as you can imagine, she is thrilled! Lena Harrison Spencer is in her mid-fifties, and the time has come for her to face the hard truths of what it means to have it all and still find oneself unfulfilled. When Lena determines that what she needs is the strength to change directions, Tina Turner becomes the icon from whose story she derives strength, even as everyone else tells her she’s crazy for giving up her cashmere cocoon.