• 35th Anniversary Reading
    October 18 at 4:30 PM 1719 25th Street
  • SPC at the California Capital Book Festival
    Oct. 25 and Oct. 26 11 AM to 4 PM at the Convention Center Hosts: Phillip Larrea, Nancy Aidé Gonzalez, Geoffrey Neill, Lawrence Dinkins
  • Dennis Schmitz and James DenBoer
    December 8 at 7:30 PM 1719 25th Street
  • Real Poets
    Sacramento Poetry Center's Real Poets program pairs trained poet mentors with at-risk youth to write original poems about their lives.
  • MATTHEW ZAPRUDER reads SCHWINN

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Bonnie Wai-Lee Kwong and Viet Lê

Monday, Oct. 20 at 7:30 PM
SPC at 1719 25th Street
Host: Rebecca Morrison

bonniekwong copy

Bonnie Wai-Lee Kwong is a multi-media poet and software developer. She has lived in nine states and two continents. Writing is a way for her to traverse seen and unseen geographies. She has a B.A. with Honors in Comparative Literature (Japanese and English) from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Her book-length poetry manuscript, Ravel, has been listed as a finalist for the White Pine Press Poetry Award and the New Rivers Press Many Voices Project. Her poem “Cartographies” was nominated for a 2014 Pushcart Prize. Ravel is to be published as a poetry collection in early 2015.

Cartographies

i.
Encase a globe in a cylinder,
illuminate from within, watch
continents cast shadows
on a curved wall: intimate
where the wall is tangent,
the rest, variously distorted.

ii.
datum:   a touch
of sunlight
on the back    of my   hand

iii.
Though the imperial scale of a map
offers direct proportion, the length
of this coastline will grow
if I measure every volute:
inbite, rock, grain of sand…
Tell me, roughly, how far apart we are.
We will find each other on faint trails.

iv.
White crowned sparrows
cry wit wit as I draw near.
I would have mistaken
their alarm for song
had I not eavesdropped earlier.
I search for a scale
to notate their whistle.

v.
Feather boa kelp, bull whip kelp,
green pin cushion, surf grass, sea lettuce,
Turkish towel, sea palm, and scouring pad algae
know nothing of the names we give them.
Some drift.  Others vie for rock
as nations dispute islands in open sea:
Senkaku/  Tiao   Yu  Tai
Nansha/ Spratlys / Cijin/  Truong Sa /  Kalayaan

vi.
I watch a woman write calligraphy
on the floor of a Luoyang square:
strokes evaporate within steps.
What’s left is breath.
vii.
Metacarpals, metatarsals,
femur, tibia, fibula, anvil—
bones nominally distinct;
joints, fulcrums of logic.
Surgeons run scalpels
along specified striae:
sartorius, soleus,
latissimus dorsi…
Lovers do not delineate
the smooth gradient
from neck to shoulder,
heel to ankle, waist to thigh.
viii.
Flatten an orange peel with care:
insert slits at regular intervals;
carve an icosahedron, perhaps;
tear, unfold, compress.
Show the flattened peel to someone
who has never seen an orange.
What lies in the stolen dimension?

ix.

Earth    throws its bulge
outward,                 spinning.
While   words coalesce,
Earth  fissures,
liquefies,
slides
into itself.

What is your name, again?
x.
Don’t stop here—
blue startle,
this photo   graph
of Earth,
skin,
flesh,
ingress.

by Bonnie Wai-Lee Kwong

viethongkong

Viẹt Lê is an artist, writer and curator. He received his M.F.A. from the University of California, Irvine, and his Ph.D. from the University of Southern California. He is an Assistant Professor at the California College of the Arts in the Visual Studies Program. He has been published in magazines: asia critique; Crab Orchard Review; Art Journal; and the anthologies: Writing from the Perfume River; Strange Cargo; The Spaces Between Us; among others. Lê has received fellowships from Fulbright-Hays (Việt Nam), William Joiner Center, Civitella Ranieri Foundation (Italy), Fine Arts Work Center (USA), Art Matters Foundation, and PEN Center USA. His poetry collection was a 2013 Crab Orchard Review First Book Award Semi-Finalist. Lê’s artwork has been exhibited internationally and his writing has been translated into Khmer, Italian, Vietnamese, German and Korean. vietle.net.

Haunting

Ghosts are not what you imagine,
they don’t take forms, inhabit their dispossessed,
aren’t recognizable, nor loved.

Not the naked girl burning burning bones,
concave skin running running sweating Napalm glory
screaming in your memory
(Do I look like her? She’s still alive, you know);

not the grass and wire and skeletal piles,
Tuol Sleng, clumps of dirt, weeds, night forests, bright fires;
not the small teeth, high cheekbones

black gun blasting VC—

none of these things.

The afterlife
of trauma, the image’s aura: stereotypical, stereoscopic,
grainy black and white—atomic, indelible, spectral.

I have been looking for the uncanny
in daylight, afraid of the dark’s secrets (the night

mother was raped on the way to Thailand,
years before my birth; she never told me,
I always knew). Marrow guided, I have been searching
for glimpses, hunting for my parents’ ghosts
in imaginary countries.

Haunting is mute, barely
perceptible, your breath’s heave and sigh.

It comes as this: small coincidences, signs,
a candle flaring at noon, obscure headlines, blood
in water, slight chills.

by Việt Hô Lê

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Robin Becker

October 10, 2014

Robin Becker Monday October 13, 2014 at 7:30 PM 1719 25th Street Host: Emmanuel Sigauke Robin Becker, Liberal Arts Research Professor of English and Women’s Studies at the Pennsylvania State University, is the author of seven poetry collections, including Domain of Perfect Affection, The Horse Fair, Giacometti’s Dog, and All-American Girl, winner of the Lambda […]

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Ethnic Theater Workshop

October 3, 2014
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Lauren Camp and Lisa Gluskin Stonestreet

September 25, 2014

Lauren Camp and Lisa Gluskin Stonestreet Monday, September 29 at 7:30 PM SPC at 1719 25th Street Host: Tim Kahl Lauren Camp is the author of two volumes of poetry, most recently The Dailiness (Edwin E. Smith, 2013), winner of the National Federation of Presswomen 2014 Poetry Book Prize and a World Literature Today “Editor’s […]

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Josh Weil and Valerie Fioravanti

September 18, 2014

Josh Weil and Valerie Fioravanti Monday, Sept. 22 at 7:30 PM SPC at 1719 25th Street Host: Tim Kahl Josh Weil is the author of the novel The Great Glass Sea, from Grove Atlantic, and the novella collection The New Valley (Grove Atlantic, 2009). A New York Times Editors Choice, The New Valley won the […]

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McKinley Park Poets: Andy Anderson, Robin Aurelius, Mary McGrath, Michele Beyer

September 12, 2014

  McKinley Park Poets featuring Andy Anderson, Robin Aurelius, Mary McGrath and Michele Beyer Monday, Sept. 15 at 7:30 PM 1719 25th Street at Sacramento Poetry Center Host: Rebecca Morrison   Robin Aurelius: Love Boat entertainer with Mary, tongue in cheek, crack-up humor, hoarder but has every imaginable tool as a great neighbor, cleans everyone’s […]

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Carol Louise Moon, Cathy Love Murphy, and Patricia L. Nichol

September 5, 2014

Carol Louise Moon, Cathy Love Murphy, and Patricia L. Nichol Monday Sept. 8 at 7:30 PM 1719 25th Street Host: Bethanie Humphries Carol Louise Moon, award-winning poet and Simulated Client Actor has been published in Convergence Online, Late Peaches, Suisun Valley Review, Song of the San Joaquin and is a regular contributor to MEDUSA’s KITCHEN […]

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Contemporary Poetry Class Moves to Alliance Française (next door to SPC)

September 2, 2014

Frank Graham’s Contemporary Poetry Class, which normally meets at the SPC, will be meeting next door in Alliance Française during the month of September. If you wish to drop in for a class, request a seat from Frank by Sunday evening. Although space is limited and the class is an ongoing class of regulars, you […]

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JenJustJen and Jenilynn Davison

August 28, 2014
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Mary Mackey and Lee Rossi

August 21, 2014

Mary Mackey and Lee Rossi Monday, August 25, 2014 at 7:30 PM 1719 25th Street Host: Tim Kahl   Mary Mackey is a Professor Emeritus of English at California State University, Sacramento. She is the author of 13 novels and 7 collections of poetry including Travelers With No Ticket Home (Marsh Hawk Press 2014) and […]

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