Friday, December 03, 2010

Lots to Do—

Well, you said to shop 'til we dropped...

—Patricia Hickerson, Davis

and your gifts
yes, all of them
un till you are spent


Is that legal? You’ll note that Pat fudged a little in her last line of the above cinquain. Legal? No—but Cinquain Queen Adelaide Craipsey is dead, and there are no prowling Cinquain Police that I know of… Thanks, Pat, for the SOW shopping poem, and thanks, Carol Louise, for those seven-thingies we've been doing lately (see below). By the way, watch for a Rattlesnake Press chapbook from Patricia Hickerson in February, entitled Dawn and Dirty.

Lots of opportunities out there, even during the holiday season. Gillian Wegener from Modesto writes:

•••NEW YEAR’S POETRY CHALLENGE: For thirty days, starting on Dec. 10, Gillian will send out one prompt a day to anyone who signs up via email. The challenge is to write a poem a day, or maybe one poem a week, or maybe just one poem—whatever is do-able for you. Contact her at if you want to play along.

•••If you know a teenager who likes to memorize and recite poetry, or one who thinks the idea of that is not completely repulsive, Poetry Out Loud is on its way. This is a competition for high-school-aged students that takes place on the County Level in February. If a student wins that, he or she is eligible to go on to the State Competition and, if successful there, they can go to the National Competition where they might win a $20,000 prize! So, if you know dramatically-oriented high school students who might be interested, please have them contact their high school English teacher or for more information.

Submissions Opportunities:
•••The inaugural issue of Snail Mail Review is still accepting submissions this month. If you haven’t already sent in poems, don’t miss this opportunity. You can check out their page on FaceBook.

•••Song of the San Joaquin is now accepting submissions for their upcoming issue: For past issues, to go Their submission deadline is December 15.

•••Be sure to check our Up-Coming Deadlines page under our SNAKE ON A ROD on the b-board for more submissions opportunities, including the following:

Deadline: January 15
$2000 each and publication in Crazyhorse

Enter online or by mail. Up to twenty-five pages of fiction or up to three poems (up to 10 pages total of poetry). Reading fee of $16 per manuscript includes a subscription to Crazyhorse.

For complete guidelines and instructions:

Deadline: January 15
Current Theme:  Influences

Seeking to publish poetry, short fiction, personal narratives and art that speak to the theme. We accept simultaneous submissions; please notify us if your work is accepted elsewhere. To see our future themes, visit All work should be submitted via our online submission manager:

Deadline: January 1

Rainbow Crow Press is currently seeking finely crafted, imaginative poems for an anthology of poetry based on traditional fairy tales:

Workshop opportunities (see the Workshops page under our SNAKE ON A ROD for more):

•••Mon. (12/6) and Mon. (2/7), 6:30-8:30pm: The Well of Poems led by Kirk Ridgeway, UU Church of Davis Library, 27074 Patwin Rd., Davis. Free; open to all. This is an opportunity for a deepening conversation about poems meaningful to your life. Each person will bring a poem (or two), read the poem, relate any story associated with the poem, and reflect on the poem’s significance to their life story. This can be ANY poem, yours or someone else’s. The intent is to invoke a dialogue through the power of poetry and perhaps provide each other with some greater understanding and appreciation of the human journey. Open to poets and non-poets. There will be no critiquing or writing poems, but you may bring ten copies of the poem you present (no longer than one page). Register: Send name and contact information to: or (530) 753-2581 x104.

Facilitator Kirk Ridgeway (530-231-5679, is a worship associate at UUCD.  In Pleasanton, he was co-chair of the Annual Poetry, Prose & Arts Festival, was Poet Laureate, and values the oral poetic tradition.

•••Poetry and Translation Workshop, UC Davis Extension, Sacramento: William O’Daly will be teaching the poetry and translation workshop at UCD Extension’s Downtown Center, beginning on Tuesday, February 1, at 6pm.  The course will run for eight weeks every Tuesday evening, and is described as follows: “Improve your ability to write and translate poems that are effective and compelling, by examining the elements that distinguish poetry from prose.  Participants will workshop personal poetry projects and/or poetry translation projects in each session and make revisions based on critiques.  In the context of composing poems and poems in translation, lectures and discussions will cover image, metaphor, and symbolism; mechanics, such as line endings, and pacing, rhythm, and sound; ways of meaning and poetic forms.  Participants will explore these topics in published examples intended to propel the poet toward discovery, breakthrough, and ultimately toward publication.” Learn more and sign up here:

•••CREATIVE NONFICTION (in Davis), taught by Rae Gouriand on Sundays, January 9-April 24: A weekly, year-round workshop that she’s been running for the past seven years, and which reads creative nonfiction and practices workshopping in a way that is generous, supportive, and focused on the writer’s goals, in order to take home a wide variety of writing exercises to fuel the writers during the week. Many in this workshop joined years ago and have used its structure to develop book-length projects, but the group is also open to writers who’d like to find support for exploring their possibilities as writers one piece at a time (including those who identify as poets, dramatists, and/or fiction writers, since the concerns of the essay reach the concerns of all genres). Please note: those who register for this workshop will have the opportunity to register for a private dinner and conversation with essayist Brenda Miller on 5/1.

Section I: 7-9pm (priority will be given to returning writers)
Section II: 4-6pm
Course fee: $300 during early bird registration before 12/12, $325 after 12/12
(There will also be a couple of books to buy, announced with your confirmation.)
To register, write to Rae at and request the registration form for Creative Nonfiction in Davis.

•••CREATIVE NONFICTION (in Sacramento), taught by Rae Gouirand on Wednesday nights, January 12-April 27, 7-9pm: A parallel section of Rae’s private creative nonfiction workshop in Sacramento at the Sacramento Poetry Center. The workshop will operate in exactly the same fashion as the Davis group, reading works designed to inspire a sense of possibility, workshop new pieces produced by members of the group, and use writing exercises to stretch approaches to the page. The only difference is that they meet at the Sacramento Poetry Center space each week. This group is open to those already writing creative nonfiction as well as those who have different or little previous writing. Those who register for this workshop will also have an opportunity to register for the event with Brenda Miller on 5/1.
Course fee: $350 during early bird registration before 12/12, $375 after 12/12
(There will also be a couple of books to buy, announced with your confirmation.)
To register, write to rae at and request the registration form for Creative Nonfiction in Sacramento.


—Carol Louise Moon, Sacramento

For you, my lover and my
Friend, a fern of Maiden Hair.
Fair maiden made of light green hair,
Feathered fronds of fan-shaped leaves;
Fineness of its thin, dark stems.
Famed maiden name of maidenhood
Formed in misty woodland wood.


—Carol Louise Moon

Close of day.  Close of day—you
Close beside me.  I in my
Chair—you in your crib, your crib
Cradled in starlight.  So now,
Climb the stair of your dreams; sleep
Contently.  I promise that
Chanticleer crows tomorrow.


—Carol Louise Moon

Lepidoptera, “wing scales” give this
Lovely flying creature colored wings.
Look again at the slender
Long antennae, svelte body.  Look
Lustfully into her eyes, this
Lady painted red, brown and black
Like her suitor, the Red Admiral.


—Carol Louise Moon

Brown-feathered stout-
Bodied, lives among the tules.
Blowing winds pummel this candle-
Bird.  But unmoving, he points his
Bill upward to blend with the reeds,
Being unnoticed as he sways and
Bends with the breeze.


Today's LittleNip:

"I'd like to be a writer," said Henry, "if I was certain there was money in it. These things are always a gamble. Maybe I'll raise show dogs instead."

—Stephen Dobyns