Coming- Prose in the Afternoon at SPC- Lois Ann Abraham and Anara Guard

Date/Time: November 17th, 4:00-5:30pm
Sacramento Poetry Center 1719 25th Street
Sacramento, CA 95816

  • Lois Ann Abraham is a retired ARC English professor, author of Circus Girl and Other Stories, and Tina Goes to Heaven, a novel. She is presently on the home stretch with her next novel, The Long Art

WOA Open Mic September 28th, 2019 with Frederick Foote and Todd Boyd plus Open Mic’er s

Frederick Foote
todd boyd
andy, Charles, Cheryl, Donella, Jennifer,lynette
michelle, pat s, rose ann, Shannon, susan, vicki

Frederick Foote

Since 2014 Frederick has published over two- hundred stories and poems including literary, science fiction, fables, and horror genres. Frederick has published two short story collections, For the Sake of Soul, (2015) and, Crossroads Encounters, (2016). Frederick hosts the Prose and Poetry Meet Up group and is a member of the INK writers workshop and is currently preparing a short story collection manuscript

Todd Boyd

I survived as a carpenter, railroad worker, and a social studies teacher before I retired for good, so I am no longer tied down to the wage industrial complex tracks, like Sweet Sue, like sweet sue used to.

I define myself as an agnostically oriented spiritual believer in Hope and second, third, and fourth chances because there’s no future in believing only in your own fallibility, no matter how much attention/notoriety you get nor how smart you are.

I’ve been taken on some long rides down life’s road and I’ve driven some too.

Nowadays I write, get to make things up, and continue to try my literary hand as a self-published author, internet radio host, blogging, making some visual art, hosting both writing and open mic events, working on another novel, and enjoying whatever sports my body will let me do.

Self-published author of one novel (Marat, Untrue Loves, four chapbooks-(Shark Poems and Caroline’s Adeline Street and Other Poems), one book of short stories, (Allred’s Short Stories), one journal of personal history (The Election of 2012- A Year of Living Inside the Definition of Insanity). Most of these titles can be found on Amazon for practically nothing.

Some of my work can be found at and at my blog-

WOA Open Mic August, 2019 with Carol Lynn, Jennifer, Taylor, and Sue

carol lynn Jennifer o pickering
taylor graham sue crisp

Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas 

Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas lives in the Sierra Foothills. She is a nine-time Pushcart nominee and a seven-time Best of the Net nominee. In 2012 she was the winner on the Red Ochre Chapbook Contest, with her manuscript, ‘Before I Go to Sleep.’ She is the author of numerous books and has had hundreds of poems published in\print journals and online, including War, Literature and the Arts, and The Yale Journal of Humanities and Medicine. In 2018 her poem ‘A Mall in California’ took 2nd place for the Jack Kerouac Poetry Prize. Her work has appeared in international publications as well as several anthologies across the U.S. In 2019 her chapbook An Ode to Hope in the Midst of Pandemonium was a finalist in the Eric Hoffer Book Awards.  She was recently the guest speaker at the California Writer’s Club, Sacramento chapter. She is the Editor-in-Chief for The Orchards Poetry Journal and Co-Editor-in-Chief for the Tule Review. She is a member of the Sacramento Poetry Center Board of Directors, Saratoga Author’s Hall of Fame and according to family lore, she is a direct descendant of Robert Louis Stevenson. 

Jennifer O’Neill Pickering is a literary and visual artist living in California who loves to paint with words. Find her poems and prose featured in publications, literary journals and podcasts. Some of these include Writer’s on the Air, Sacramento VoicesEarth’s Daughters, Yellow Silk, Paddock  Review, Restore and Restory, The Dog With the Old Soul and Tiger’s Eye: A Journal of Poetry. ” Her poem, I Am the Creek” is included in the Sacramento site-specific sculpture, Open Circle. A collection of her poetry, Blooming In Winter is illustrated with ten color plates of her visual art and available on Amazon aNd elsewhere. She is editor of the Sable and Quill: writers who are also visual artists.

Taylor Graham

With her husband, Hatch, Taylor Graham has been a volunteer search-and-rescue dog handler for many years. Retired now from callout, they still train their dogs every week. Taylor served as El Dorado County’s first poet laureate (2016-2018), and continues to help coordinate workshops and readings. Her poems have appeared in The Iowa Review, New York Quarterly, Poetry Now, Sacramento Voices, Tule Review, and elsewhere. She’s included in the anthologies Villanelles (Everyman’s Library) and California Poetry: From the Gold Rush to the Present (Santa Clara University/Heyday Books). Her latest book is Windows of Time and Place (Cold River Press, 2019), a collection of poems written during her tenure as Poet Laureate.

Sue Crisp

Sue Crisp is originally from Bakersfield, California, now a resident of El Dorado County since 1951.  Sue currently resides in Shingle Springs, California.  Sue retired from 25 years of customer service and began writing at age 50, and is still writing.

Franks Place

For those Kurt Cobain fans and historians of another age, here’s an interview from local poet and rock historian Frank Andrick.

Q: What were you up to at the time when you interviewed Kurt?

A: living in SF – dj-ing in clubs such as 3 clicks out in marin, the underground in san francosco and the oasis in san francisco (dj before between live bands) and for bill graham at his wolfgangs club and also at the original fillmore auditorium – also at the time I was writing and interviewing musicians for joy williams ‘artist publications’ we decided to get me published in europe – they paid ahole lot more and it was glossy magazines and also PRAVDA so we qent that route but artists were thrilled to be published in those venues everybody from nirvana to NWA ‘niggers with attitude ‘ loved that aspect. I am very fortunate that thru artist publications and fans of the bands most of those interviews are still available on-line and even translated into various languages.

Q: What was going on musically or culturally in the 90s in SF? Beats still? Hippies?

A: sort of a trough to me … alternative radio was dead or even worse had been co-oppted into ‘the city’ and dumb corporate leadership and research which dellivered the results they wanted and dumbed down the formats even more. It was the last days of big record companies, promo people, and yet a rise in music that most radio except college radio ignored … i’m talking about grunge/punk, indudustrial music, and hard core rap like NWA.

Kurt in SF:

Q: What was it generally like to hang out with Kurt Cobain in SF? At that time, did it strike you that you were hanging out with an icon?

A: like hanging out w/ anyone else that is intelligent, bright, a good conversationalist, sometimes smiliy and kid like sometimes depressed and sad about the state of things. To me … I have never felt I was with an icon with anyone … we just hung out , talked, and smoked pot. We shared writing and talk about some writers … read to each other but I do that w/my friends now. It was like cool people w/ cool bands friends that came to town from time to time. Lucky me got to go to seattle in my A&M record days when everyone was poor and I had an expense account. We had good times

Q: Did Kurt like San Francisco? Did he share any general impressions or talk about what he liked or didn’t like?

A: yeah he liked it a lot – hated the preciousness of some things, loved the history and was interested in sf stories of bands and venues and the ideas of hippies tho unrealized the philosophy of hippies and spiritual growth and evolution. Ideals that were abandoned when hippies became yuppies. But were REAL none-the-less

Q: SF has always been a friendly city to outlaws and weirdos. Did that draw Kurt? Did he fit in?

A: yeah the myth of san francisco freedom was appealing. It was still wide open then. You could be anything you wanted and it was cool. he fit in cuz he did not fit in. all of us found comfortable ‘tribes’

Q: He was at a friend’s party when you interviewed him. Do you remember where in the city that was? Where he stayed or where he ate? Any specifics like that?

A: in sf at a club closed for the occasision lower potero hill … fo.llowing nirvana’s triumphant first headlining at the warfield w/ Hole and Sister Double Happiness . It was also the night following bill graham’s death. For me and my friends ALL the drinks were free and everyone was already drunk by the time we got to the ‘party’ I was supposed to interview kurt earlier but it never happened ( I had a yahct ride w/ champagne and my girlfriend that afternoon) … at the party a drunk kurt yelled at a drunk me that we should do the interview NOW before we became unable to speak. It was a good idea – we founda booth, a pitcher of beer and thats how the interview happened.

SF’s influence on Kurt:

Q: Did Cobain associate at all with any of the SF cultural movements like the Beats? The hippies? Was he drawn to the culture of the city?

A: yes esp. the beats and the mystique about them … the hippies a love and a disapointment – the old punk/new wave culture – crime, the nuns, avengers, flipper, fright wig etc etc and 2nd wave like sister double happiness. He was drawn to city lights – I spent some time turning him onto philip lamanta but he was well versed in ginsberg, mr. K, ferlinghetti etc and enjoyed my recordings of said folks. I could see him doing a spoken word w/ sound thing at city lights … his record w/ burro8ughs the spoken word piece ‘the priest they called him’ was just the start … and then he died. Q: In your interview with him, Kurt said that he had few influences, and didn’t want to mention any specifically. But do you know if he had any specific influences?

well I guess I dealt w/ that above but i’ll add

A: extensive knowledge of other for no better word ‘college radio ‘ music. From early punk / new wave such as sex pistols, the slits, the raincoats, stranglers, wire, subway sect, the cure the banshee’s the brit scene … patti smith he loved, television both verlaine and richard hell camps – he knew their history – american stuff is documented all over and he had a keen sense of history and obscurity – back in the days when you could judge peopl e by their record collections … KURT WAS KOOL poetically … patti smith, baudelaire, richrad hell, rimbaud and burroughs is what we read to each other but our time was still limited … I do sometimes wonder what a conversation would be like now … sooo much more knowledge.

Kurt’s influence on SF:

Q: You said in your interview that there was a huge fervor when Nirvana played at the Warfield Theater. Do you know whether Nirvana or grunge music generally had a lasting impact on San Francisco’s music scene?

A: first there are a hell of a lot of nirvana / kurt courtney t-shirts out there – I go to safeway and hear the cure and nirvana playing as store music … and I like it … its subtle but real fuck yeah – we won – also we got cooppted and sold out and burned out and marginalized and icon-o-fied and disssed … yet like the beats, the hippies 1st wave punk new wave and the last wave nirvana/grunge/noise music w/ pop overtones something happened. The what/where/how/magick that was bigger than the outsized personalites bigger than the fashion statements that became meaningless after a time – there was a core an undefinable ‘something’ that a creative unique portal was opened and conciousness moved fwd. Once more. In sf the club live music scene … its just not the same,

we also had GREAT underground press and support from zines w/ one edition to Punk Globe, Search and Destroy, Research, and even BAM Magazine and the dailys were fairly open to new ideas. I remember open and accepting and also snobby and too trendy for its own good. And all that was good. Also very important gay lesbian, omni-sexual, leather punk, suburban kid, outre artists body sculpturists,, jeans and sport jacket, bowiesque thin white suits, street urchins … everybody was in as long as you were out… inclusionists w/out trying. Thats honest and real and that was Nirvana too. Beautiful and the scars too.

This is awesome Frank! All these details are so fascinating. I just have three quick follow-up questions that came to mind:

Q- You mentioned that you shared writing, talked about writers, and read read to each other. Did this happen at the party when you interviewed him? Or at a later time? Did you talk to him more than once? Also I remember you saying one time you had Kurt’s diaries and Courtney Love ended up getting them and publishing them–or something like that. Is that something you can talk about? 

A- had alot of contact w/ kurt — a friend was the national merch sub pop person and another friend the national radio promotion person. both were friends of kurt. so i saw nirvana probably a dozen times between seattle and san francisco … it was still possible to just talk to people back in those days … so we knew and could joke w/ each other. all those prior to the show at the warfield which was ironically the last time i saw kurt and talked to him. 

nirvana used to play this club on divisidero called  the du-viz to some people. oh i forgot i dj-d there a couple of times too but i think my friend and radio co-hort  ‘The Germ’ was there … so kurt DID have stomach probs and after soundchecks would come to my house on oak st and rest out smoke pot and relax and be close to the venue for showtime. another friend of ours, the doctor who signed off on the death certificate, dr. nick lived there also as my roommate, so he was already among friends at our house. The best di-vis show i remember w/ nirvana was nirvana mud honey and tad as the bill. rockin’ 

the diaries were note books he would pull out of his knapsack — lined ruler paper like grade school w/ thoughts, poems, drawings, journal enteries etc.  i saw and knew about them so after his death i asked my friends at geffen records about them — i wanted to publish them. kurt had expressed upon many an occasison he would rather head a publishing co. of alternative writers than just be another rock and roll rich guy w/ his own private record label. i uuuh seconded that idea … so geffen talked to courtney (this is the very short version) and she said they did not exist … i insisted even after i moved to france … then she said they did exist but she had no idea where they were .. i insisted … then she found them but could not deal w/ it emotionally … i insisted and said ‘let me do it – i’ll go thru it and do the work — courtney ‘dropped’ the idea as too difficult shelved it … 2 years later rosemary carroll (jim carroll’s x-wife and executor of the jim estate) in her capacity as the attorney for kurt, nirvana and courtney at the time got courtney a 4 and a half million dollar deal for those ‘diaries’  … so … sooo … well the packaging all the notebooks together original size hard bound looks and reads great … so thats my story and i’m … 

wow … ok … a bit longer than i thought…hope this answers your questions and works for you.


July 27th, 2019 WOA Open Mic and Featured Reader Recordings w/ Bethanie Humphreys, Heather Judy, Jeanine Stevens and Renee Marie

Here’s the July 27th, 2019 Featured Reading by Bethanie Humphreys and Heather Judy, Rene Marie and Jeanine Stevens

Bethanie Humphreys Heather Judy
Renee Marie Jeanine Stevens

Here are the Open Mic’ers from July 27th, 2019 Writers On the Air.

Aeisha, Carol Lynn, Gena, Jennifer, Laura, Lynette, Mike, Shannon, Susan, Tj, Tom, Todd, Vicki

Part 1 Aeisha carol lynn gena Jennifer laura lynette
Part 2 mike Shannon susan tj tom todd vicki

Bio: For more information about our July Featured Readers , Read below.

Bethanie Humphreys is a writer, editor, and mixed-media visual artist. Her poetry, short fiction, and art have appeared in various publications in the U.S. and U.K. including: ArtemisNonbinary ReviewThe Found Poetry Review, American River Review, and Sacramento Voices.   She serves as board member for the Sacramento Poetry Center and co-curator for the SPC Art Gallery. She was Editor-in-Chief of the 2015 American River Review, and is currently Associate Editor for Tule Review.

She is a Squaw Valley Community of Writers Poetry Workshop Alumni, has a Bachelors in Spanish from CSU, Sacramento, and a Creative Writing Certificate in Literary Publishing from American River College. She is also a California Certified Naturalist, and certified in the Amherst Writer’s and Artists Method.

Her chapbook, Dendrochronology, was published by Finishing Line Press in June, 2019, and is available for $14.99.

Bethanie’s Sample Poem:

I think I dreamed we were birds

Yardstick ruler strapped

across our shoulders

feathers dyed jewel-tones

taped in streamer-fashion

along measurements

that no longer matter


Heather Judy is a poet and artist living in Sacramento. She earned her MFA in Poetry from Mills College in 2009. Before attending Mills, she received her BA in English from CSU, Sacramento where she won the 2005 Bazzanella Award for first place in poetry. Her poems have appeared in Tule Review, The California Quarterly, Flatmancrooked’s Thin Volume of Contemporary Poetry, and others. She is a Sacramento Poetry Center board member, an Associate Editor and Art Director for Tule Review, and co-curates for the Sacramento Poetry Center Art Gallery. Her chapbook, Inosculation, was a semi-finalist for the CutBank Chapbook Contest in 2018.

Heather’s Sample Poem:


They danced in the street, bare breastbones, crouching,

aprons nestled low. She held her lover, wing

lifted, right arm round lover’s waist, palm resting in

her smallness. They danced in blood, a banner hung

behind them: Puedo bailar. Black hightops sung

against dove stone, sandals treading hymns. Young

heads bowed, eyes, closed, brows together, no sin

between them. Nectar drips and shifts, bodies glint.

They dance in sheets, bare breasts, bones clinging,

open, nestled low, lovers folding into wings.


Jeanine Stevens is the author of Limberlost and Inheritor (Future Cycle Press) and Sailing on Milkweed (Cherry Grove Collections). Her latest chapbook, Citadels, was published by Folded Word Press, 2019. Winner of the MacGuffin Poet Hunt, The Ekphrasis Prize, Mendocino Coast Writer’s Conference, and WOMR Cape Cod Community Radio National Poetry Award. Jeanine studied poetry at U.C. Davis and California State University, Sacramento. Poems have been published in Evansville Review, Forge, Chiron Review, Pearl, Stoneboat, Connecticut River Review, Verse Wisconsin, The Curator and North Dakota Quarterly. She also enjoys Romanian folk dance and working with collage. Jeanine is Professor Emeritus at American River College having taughtAnthropology, Psychology and Women’s Studies for thirty two years.

Jeanine’s Sample Poem:

New Delhi

She is the brick wall that defines her,

the thin arms under the sari.

She is the madras pattern

of marigold orange and olive green.

She is the littered ground,

the ground scattered with bricks and refuse.

One brick is her table. She entertains

simply. There are no spoons,

only hands to mix grains and river water.

The street is her open window,

her furniture, the battered chair tipped

on its side, a cupboard of sorts for bent pans.

She is the smoke stained wall

and crouches under a large sign

in English, “Choice Shampoo.”

She is the big toe that grips the ground.

Nearby, are bits of denim,

foreign labels, and one bright, upright yellow pear.

Back straight, she does not slouch,

looks directly at the camera in a half smile.

She is the pierced diamond

carried in the side of her nose

and the red spice she holds to mix

with her evening meal. She is

the memory of golden flocks on hilly flanks,

the darkness of things being burnt,

surrounded by things already burnt.

Her only book, a book of matches,

her tablet: the wall, her pen: bits of charcoal.

She doesn’t worry if her seeds

are not planted by the spring equinox.

            ~after a photograph, National Geographic

Bethanie will have copies of her new book-Dendrochronology

Members of Writers On the Air Meetup are encouraged to RSVP (Yes or No).
Please go to for more information.
Recordings made during the open mic are played on 96.5 LP-FM radio on Mondays, 7am-8am.
The Writers On the Air Show podcast can be heard at Itunes/IConnect Podcast, either at the website or as a subscriber.

WOA Open Mic with Storytellers Sue Hobbs, Suzi Byrd, and Poet Mary Zeppa

Here’s the reading from our features on June 22nd, 2019 – Storyteller(s) Sue Hobbs, Suzi Byrd, and poet Mary Zeppa.

sue hobbs suzi byrd mary zeppa

Here’s some info about the Features:
Sue Hobbs The title of my story is “The Jam.” Here is a little bit about me: I am a tenure track professor at Sacramento State University in the Child Development Program. I am a member of the Citizen Band Potawatomi, which is a Native American tribe with headquarters in Shawnee, Oklahoma. My Potawatomi name is Shishib’kwe (pronounced she -she- buh- kway). It means Duck Woman. I have two daughters and four grandchildren (one was just born on May 8).

Suzi Byrd I work at Sacramento State as administrative support staff. I have two degrees, one in biological sciences and one in art studio. Neither of which I use professionally. I live in Sacramento with my two daughters.

Mary Zeppa is a singer and lyricist as well as a poet and literary journalist, has been active in the Sacramento Poetry Center (SPC) since 1981. Zeppa served as Co-Editor of Poet News from 1984-1995 and was a founding Editor (1993) of The Tule Review. She currently serves as co-host of the Third Thursday in the Sacramento Room series and as SPC’s Archivist Emeritus

A selection of recorded readings by Sacramento area writers