Strictly East  poetry past the Caldecott tunnel


Be sure to check this page now and then for any last-minute notices!

        SPECIAL ITEMS----Too Late (or early!) to Print:

California Arts Council accepting recommendations through July 25 for California's advocate for the art of poetry


The official nomination and application process for the next California Poet Laureate is now open. 

Complete details are available at The submission deadline is July 25, 2018. 

Poets may self-nominate, or be nominated by experts in the field of literature.

The role of the California Poet Laureate is to spread the art of poetry from classrooms to boardrooms across the state, to inspire an emerging generation of literary artists and to educate all Californians about the many poets and authors who have influenced our great state through creative literary expression.

The Poet Laureate provides public readings in urban and rural locations across California, educates civic and state leaders about the value of poetry and creative expression, and undertakes a significant cultural project, with one of its goals being to bring poetry to students who might otherwise have little opportunity to be exposed. The Poet Laureate serves for a term of two years upon Senate confirmation, and may serve up to two terms.


Hello fellow writers (and lovers of good writing),

It’s summer! Hope you are staying cool in the heat. Here’s what’s happening this month in the literary arts.

1)  The Livermore Shakespeare Festival is underway. Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Ernest was witty and wonderful. This past weekend, Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale opened. The Festival runs until July 29th, outdoors at Wente Vineyards on Tesla Avenue. Doors open at 6 p.m. and food and wine are available for sale. Show starts at 7:30. Tickets are $25 to $58 at or 925-443-BARD. 

2)  Pints and Poetry happens on Thursday, July 19, 7-9 p.m. at McKay’s Tap House & Beer Garden, 252 Main Street, Pleasanton. Event takes place upstairs. Please arrive early to select beer (or wine). David Douglas hosts.

3)  Poetry at Ravenswood occurs on Sunday, July 22, 5-7 p.m. Featured poets are Aja Couchois Duncan and Erin Rodoni. Duncan is the author of Restless Continent—winner of the 2017 California Book Award—and  Nomenclature, Miigaadiwin, a Forked Tongue. She is of Ojibwe, French, and Scottish descent and has received the Marin Arts Council Award for Literary Arts as well as the James D. Phelan Literary Award. Rodoni is the author of Body, in Good Light and A Landscape for Loss, which won the Stevens Manuscript Prize. Her poems have been included in the Best New Poets anthology, nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and honored with awards from AWP,  Ninth Journal, and the Montreal International Poetry Prize. Don’t miss these fabulous poets. Open mic and book signing follow. Admission $5. Light refreshments served. Cynthia Patton hosts. See flyer below. 

4)  Whistlestop Writers Open Mic rolls back into town Wednesday, July 25th. As always, it’s open to all genres and abilities. The fun starts at 6:45 p.m. at Swirl on the Square, 21 South Livermore Avenue, in downtown Livermore. Join us for great food, great wine, great company, and great writing. If you cant make it, don't stress. Next open mic is August 22nd. Cynthia Patton hosts. 

5)  WRITING COURSE—Barbara Flores is teaching once again. Her class, Telling the Story: Memoir and Fiction Writing, starts Thursday, July 19th, from 7 to 9:30 p.m. at the Robert Livermore Community Center, 4444 East Avenue. The class teaches writing techniques used by pros to turn stories into page-turners. Nonfiction writers also benefit from mastering story-writing skills. Class consists of lecture, writing exercises, and class critiques. Fee includes professional editing of your work. 6 classes, $103. To register call 925 373-5700 or visit For information contact instructor at 

6)  CONGRATULATIONS! Antoinette Foxworthy’s new book, No More, tells the story of Dr. Anita Stone, a respected orthopedic surgeon, who finds herself in an abusive marriage. Fear and embarrassment sap her resolve until, in October 1995, she hears the O.J. Simpson verdict and finds the courage to leave. Toni is mother to four grown daughters (and eight grandchildren!) and has focused on writing since her move to Livermore seven years ago. No More is available on Amazon and Barnes and Nobel. Visit

7)    Anyone else have a book coming out? Let me know and I’ll include it in an upcoming newsletter. 

That’s it! Hope to see you at one or all of these terrific events—with writing in hand (or not). 

Have a wonderful, lit-filled month, 

Cynthia  Patton

Livermore Poet Laureate

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