Strictly East  poetry past the Caldecott tunnel


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        SPECIAL ITEMS----Too Late to Print:

Hello fellow writers (and lovers of good writing),

After months of lackluster offerings in the year that was supposed to be normal but clearly wasn’t, we are have a fall of (relative) literary abundance. Here’s what’s happening in Livermore’s literary scene in November (and beyond):

  1. 1OPEN MIC CHAOS. First off, let me apologize for the chaos that engulfed what I was expecting to be a wonderful in-person reunion. Apparently I was more vague in last month’s newsletter than I remembered. (In my head, I was determined to re-open!) Based on the number of emails I received, there was plenty of confusion. To add to this, I thought I had worked everything out with the owner of Pennyweight Brewing, but when I showed up, the Livermore High School jazz band was unexpectedly playing in the parking lot (!!) and parents and friends were everywhere. On top of the noise and commotion, at least one waitress told people that the open mic had been cancelled. Still not sure why that happened. I know some of you showed up and left. Four of us managed to find each other in the chaos and hung out in the beer garden, catching up. If you wanted to attend and didn’t for whatever reason, I am truly sorry for the mix-up.

  2. 2THE HIDDEN HEART.  As I mentioned last month, I’m conducting several art/poetry workshops to gather feedback for the City’s cultural arts plan. The Hidden Heart involves creating a short poem and then rolling the poem into simple yet beautiful paper beads. Add additional beads and you have a wonderful bracelet or necklace that showcases the beads you made with the poem hidden inside. You have two more opportunities to participate in this fun yet meaningful project. I’ll be at the Rincon Library on Friday, 11/19, 3-5 p.m., and at Hagemann Ranch on Sunday, 11/28, 1-4 p.m. See the flyer below for more details.

  3. 3DON’T FORGET YOUR FEEDBACK. Even if you can’t attend a Hidden Heart event, use the QR code (or this link) to complete the short survey on what you envision for cultural arts. Your feedback will help determine how the City invests in art for the next decade. You do not need to be a Livermore resident to participate. EVERYONE SHOULD DO THIS!!

  4. 4WRITING WORKSHOP.  Barbara Flores is teaching another online class for both fiction and nonfiction writers. How to Write a Book features an easy-to-follow text, Save the Cat Writes a Novel, which deals with story structure. Class is taught via zoom on Thursdays from 5 to 7:30 p.m. and costs $146 for Livermore residents or $160 for non-residents. Sponsored by LARPD, the class runs from November 11 to December 23, 2021. Call 925-373-5700 for more information.

  5. 5DOUBLE TAKE EKPHRASTIC EVENT AT BANKHEAD. It was on, then it was off. Now it’s back on—just delayed a bit. (Welcome to art programming in 2021.) Anne Giancola and I are collaborating once again to bring Double Take: Art and Literature Side by Side to the Bankhead Theater from January 6 to March 31, 2022. More details to follow, but for now we need your poetry, micro flash fiction and nonfiction (Wild Vine Writers, I’m looking at you) or hybrid works of 250 words or less that pair with a piece of art. Whatever you write, it needs to easily fit onto a single page. If interested in participating, please send an email to with Double Take in the subject line. 

  6. 6TEEN POET OF THE MONTH. If you know a Livermore teen, ask them if they’ve heard of the Teen Poet of the Month Program. If not, have them contact for more information.

  7. 7IT RETURNS AT LAST. The Whistlestop Writers Open Mic officially rolls back into town after more than a year virtual. We are moving from Swirl to the Pennyweight Brewing Company, 2455 Railroad Avenue (near the parking garage and the intersection of Railroad and First St). Due to Thanksgiving, our final open mic of the year will happen on Wednesday, December 1, at 7 p.m. If it’s warm enough, we will be outside in the beer garden (aka the deck) so please dress accordingly. Can’t wait to see your smiling faces in person once again.

  8. 8Anyone have a book coming out? Let me know and I’ll include it in a future newsletter.

Wishing you a creative and productive autumn.

All the best,

Cynthia Patton

Livermore Poet Laureate

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