Cynthia Linville, Karin Erickson, Katy Brown, Catherine Fraga, and Lytton Bell

Cynthia Linville, Karin Erickson, Katy Brown,

Catherine Fraga, and Lytton Bell

Monday May 12, 2014 at 7:30 PM
1719 25th Street
Host: Bob Stanley


Cynthia Linville‘s work has appeared in many publications and several anthologies. Her new book of collected poems, Out of Reach, is available for pre-order from, to be released June 2014. Her first collection, The Lost Thing, was released in 2012. Linville has taught in the English Department at California State University, Sacramento since 2000 and has served as Managing Editor of Convergence: an online journal of poetry and art ( since 2008. A music aficionado with a theater background, she is often out and about supporting the arts in the San Francisco Bay Area and in her hometown of Sacramento where she is very active in the poetry scene.


Karin Erickson is a freelance writer and editor from Sacramento who also facilitates creative writing workshops through the Davis Art Center. Her poetry, creative nonfiction, and short stories have appeared in several Sacramento and Bay Area literary journals and zines, including The Walrus, Tule Review, Rattlesnake Press’s WTF, and Soul of the Narrator.


The camera lens holds you in unexpected snow
Your face raised to this gift of storm clouds
with arms outstretched and lifted

Clothes not woven for winter
make you small, but too bright
to be swallowed by drifts that have
already taken the earth and trees

The shutter release waits for my finger
to freeze you in this space for eternity

But I am also waiting

For the footprints you left behind
to tell me if they are leaving or leading

Previously published in Convergence

Katy Brown

Poet and photographer, Katy Brown, whose work frequently appears on Medusa’s Kitchen Blogspot and Convergence, has won awards in The Ina Coolbrith Circle, The Berkeley Poets’ Dinner, and The International Dance Poetry Competition. Her poetry has been in Brevaties, Rattlesnake Review, The Song of San Joaquin, Poetalk, Persimmon Tree, and Harpstrings, as well as in several anthologies such as Sacramento Voices, Entering, and Fog and Woodsmoke. Other writing credits include, automobile humor, greeting cards, a multiple-ending book, a poetry workbook, and a series of short mysteries for young readers.

Poetry in the Time of Drought

It’s been a bad year to grow sonnets—
even the hothouse stanzas can’t force rhyme;
and villanelles languish, all watery and pale.

Tercets won’t blossom into haiku;
quatrains careen in uneven rows;
sonnets lack form and inspiration—

couplets deny heroism;
limericks aren’t funny;
leggy villanelles stagger around, themeless.

Even free verse seems incarcerated.
All varieties suffer in this garden of verse.
It’s been an especially hard year for sonnets.

We’ve sprayed for clichés, pruned the commas,
carefully dug-out all the adverbs;
but even unrhymed villanelles lack taste.

Poets rhapsodize about the weather,
ignoring how quickly it can change.
It’s been a horrid year for sonnets
and villanelles grow spiteful and deranged.

previously published in Quill and Parchment

Catherine Fraga

Catherine Fraga’s poetry has been widely published in many literary publications, and she was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Catherine was awarded a writing residency in January, 2008, on the island of Flores, in the Azores. Her collection, Running away with Gary, the Mattress Salesman, is published by Poet’s Corner Press.


Everyone asks
how was it
alone in the woods
at a friend’s cabin
mid January
no running water
three freezing nights.

They want stories:
a deer spotting
snow piled pristine to the window sills
car wheels spinning crazily on icy roads
or maybe

a neighbor from up the hill
appears on the porch
in a soft, worn-down flannel shirt
smells like pine and promise
brings me water
chops wood, kindling chips flying
stays for a glass of red
leaves the bouquet of forest on the sheets.

I want the same tale
without deer or snow or wheels churning
just a neighbor,
stopping by.

Lytton Bell

Lytton Bell has published five books: A Path before Winter (1998), The Book of Chaps (2002), Nectar (2011), Poetica Erotica, Volume One (2012), and Body Image (2013), won seven poetry contests and has been the featured reader at many California literary venues. Her work has appeared in over five dozen publications. As a teenager, Lytton won a scholarship to the Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Arts, where she studied with Deb Burnham and the late Len Roberts. Lytton graduated magna cum laude from Bryn Mawr College. Email her at

Mile High Life

Soon the mile high club was no longer enough
Their lovemaking tumbled out onto the runway
It climbed aboard a luggage trolley brimming with overstuffed bags
It emerged to startled gasps on a conveyor belt in baggage claim
After a brief taxi ride, it was spotted bobbing on a barge in the Seine
It continued on a half-deserted train steaming through lush farmlands
and propped itself in the hushed doorways of an Austrian village
a light fog sprinkling the cobblestones with dew
It spun onto the dark oak dining table
of the Count of Lichtenstein’s palace
knocking over three golden candelabras
and accidentally kicking a roasted suckling pig to the floor
It spilled into the public fountains of Vatican City
and clambered all the way up onto the altar of the Basilica
a tangle of arms, moans, feet, fingers, teeth and hair
(until the security guards came)
At last it sauntered into an open meadow near a brown creek
and lay down under a bright gray sky
The rain was shocked – yet could not look away

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