Poets On Deck Playing Cards

Poets on deck

A project of the Sacramento Poet Laureate Program supported by the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission.

Poets On Deck is a deck of playing cards that celebrates the evolution of the Sacramento poetry scene. With regrettable omissions all of the poets featured on the cards were active in the creation and solidification of the poetry scene in Sacramento spanning the years roughly from the late 1960’s to the very early 1980’s.  The joker cards are “wild” and feature supporters active ‘behind the scenes’ that made these early efforts possible.  Along with a portrait of a poet, each card features an excerpt of a different poet’s poem to provide you with a sense of what can be created with just a few well chosen words. It is a celebration of our language and the power it holds.

This project was conceived by 2005-08 Sacramento Poet Laureate, Julia Connor. Its goal is to pay homage to these early, first-wave area poets, and to engage and encourage literary awareness. This project has been a long time in the making. In the summer of 2006, an advisory committee was formed to select the 52 poets to be featured on the cards. The Poet Laureate Committee then selected excerpts by each poet. The hand-drawn likeness of each of the poets featured on the cards was rendered by artist Suzanne Johnson.

deck of playing cards that celebrates the evolution of the Sacramento poetry scene. With regrettable omissions all of the poets featured on the cards were active in the creation and solidification of the poetry scene in Sacramento spanning the years roughly from the late 1960’s to the very early 1980’s.  The joker cards are “wild” and feature supporters active ‘behind the scenes’ that made these early efforts possible.

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The finished product is available for sale at the locations below:

Crocker Art Museum Gift Shop
216 O Street, Sacramento
916.808.7000Art Foundry Gallery
1021 R Street, Sacramento
916.444.2787Time Tested Books
1114 21st Street, Sacramento

Book Collector
1008 24th Street, Sacramento

California Museum for History, Women and the Arts
1020 O Street, Sacramento
(916) 653-7524

Below are short biographies of the poets and the poetry supporters (jokers) in alphabetical order. The portrait artist’s bio is at the end.

Gene Avery (Ace of Clubs)
Poem excerpt from an untitled poem; courtesy of Poet News, March 1988
GENE AVERY has published nine novels, including 2-Story Pad and RED-HEAD WOMAN. His performance poetry includes NEBulous Stucco Thang and Screaming Pygmy Orchestra. He’s performed with a number of bands; as saxophonist with the Dutch Falconi Orchestra, he was a major contributor, co-writing many of the band’s signature tunes. He won a Sammies award for Jazz Player of the Year, 1996.

JoAnn Anglin (5 of Diamonds)
Poem excerpt from “Women poets write of quilts”; courtesy of the author
JoANN ANGLIN writes poems about humans, in nature and otherwise, and has been a poet in the schools.  She is active with Los Escritores del Nuevo Sol/Writers of the New Sun. Her poems have appeared in Poetry Now, The Pagan Muse, and 100 Poems about Sacramento. She has read her work at a variety of local and regional venues.

Gene Black (Ace of Spaces)
Poem excerpt from “Trench Warfare as a Relationship Metaphor”; c ourtesy of Barking At Shadows: Canine cantos and other poems, Coast Daylight Special Editions, 1991
GENE BLACK (1948-1993) helped found WordJam™ in downtown Sacramento. Gene’s gift was helping new poets understand, interpret, and express their thoughts.  In giving people the courage to find their voices, he nurtured hundreds of poets—many of whom are still active in this region. Gene’s poems have been published in anthologies, journals, and newspapers. His poetry was included in the In Lak’Esh exhibit, 1991. He generously shared his talent and poetry. His name and readings became known throughout the West Coast, from Monterey to Seattle.

Douglas Blazek (Jack of Diamonds)
Poem excerpt from “Chloe’s Bookstore”;courtesy of the author
DOUGLAS BLAZEK published work for 40 years: APR, Poetry, New Directions, The Nation, Zyzzyva: hundreds more. Dozen books. Anthologies include The Sixties Reader (Penguin). Edited Olé magazine/Open Skull books. Published Lifshin’s first book, Bukowski’s first book of prose, plus a book by Levy. Taught in CSUS Creative Arts Department. Bibliography by Denboer (2003). Last 25 years years refining life’s work, now to be published.

Jane Blue (5 of Spades)
Poem excerpt from “Reading Li Ch’ing-Chao”; c ourtesy of Now that I am in the Light I see, Konocti Books, September 1996
One of JANE BLUE’s first publications was in Annie Menebroker and Joyce Odam’s mimeo mag, Wine Rings. She was an editor for the broadside magazine Hard Pressed, where Doug Blazek taught her to use the letterpress.  An original member of the Sacramento Poetry Center, she edited Tule Review for four years. She continues to publish in national and international magazines.

Luke Breit (4 of Spades)
Poem excerpt from “Frustration”; courtesy of Unintended Lessons, QED Press, 2000
LUKE BREIT is the author of five books of poetry and a novel, The Tumultuous Times of Jesus in the 21st Century.  His most recent book of poems is Unintended Lessons, published in 2000, a Small Press “Pick of the Month.”

Arthur Butler (Jack of Spades)
Poem excerpt from “poppy”; courtesy of Quercus Review, Modesto Junior College
ARTHUR BUTLER is a self proclaimed poet, performance artist, and musician and says ‘Minstrel’ is the word that describes him best.

Janet Carncross Chandler (10 of Spades)
Poem excerpt from “New Generation of Warriors”; courtesy of Community Endeavor, Nevada City, 1991
JANET CARNCROSS CHANDLER (1910-1995) delighted in poetry. She spent the 21 years after retiring from a career as a social worker sharing with her readers and fellow poets (or aspiring poets) the meanings and feelings she found abundant in “juicy and tender” life. She authored three books, Flight of the Wild Goose (1989), Why Flowers Bloom (1993), and Time to Love (1995). Janet died in 1995 but would have loved Poets on Deck.

Julia Connor (9 of Spades)
Poem excerpt from “Chartres”; courtesy of Tule Review, Winter 2007
JULIA CONNOR is Sacramento Poet Laureate 2005-2008. She has published one full collection and numerous chapbooks. She teaches Writing Workshops and Master Classes throughout the west as well as Sacramento. For more information visit www.juliaconnor.com

Tom Crawford (2 of Hearts)
Poem excerpt from “Valentines Candy”; courtesy of The Temple on Monday, Eastern Washington University Press, 2001
TOM CRAWFORD was born in Flint, Michigan in 1939. Not a good year for Europe. He wanted to be a fighter pilot but instead, became first a closet poet—that went on ‘til he was twenty-six—then with Dennis Schmitz’s encouragement—(he was Sacramento City College’s resident poet and teacher extraordinaire) he came out. Still out and versifying.

Charles Curtis-Blackwell (Queen of Spades)
Poem excerpt from “The Fear of the Third Rail in the Month of June”; courtesy of Rivers, vol. 1; number 5, Sacramento Poetry Center, Summer 1993, edited by Patricia Canterbury
CHARLES CURTIS-BLACKWELL is a community organizer with cultural arts programs in Washington D.C. and California. He’s penned several plays, poems, short stories, novels and lyrics, which have been published nationally and internationally. Notable publications include The Fiery Responses to Love Callings (book), and Is the Color of Mississippi, Mud (play). He’s been featured in African Community, a magazine published by internationally renowned writer, Chinua Achebe.

Patricia D’Alessandro (King of Spades)
Poem excerpt from “Fuerza Laboral”; courtesy of The Sacramento Anthology: One Hundred Poems, Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission, 2001
PATRICIA D’ALESSANDRO, essayist/ poet/ artist, has published a Memoir, six poetry collections, and is working on her seventh collection to be published in 2008. A Sacramento cultural arts activist for 15 years, she received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors in March, 2007. Currently residing in the Coachella Valley, she hosts the Barnes & Noble Palm Desert/ Westfield’s “Valley Voices of the Muse” monthly poetry series.

Victoria Dalkey (2 of Clubs)
Poem excerpt from “Clunie Pool”; courtesy of In the Absence of Silver, Rattlesnake Press
VICTORIA DALKEY is the author of two chapbooks: Twenty-Nine Poems (Red Wing Press) and In the Absence of Silver (Rattlesnake Press). Her poems have appeared in Abraxas, bakunin, Birmingham Poetry Review, Cimarron Review, Tule Review and The Sacramento Anthology: One hundred Poems. A Sacramento native, she is the long-time art critic for The Sacramento Bee.

C.B. Davis (Jack of Clubs)
Poem excerpt from “Free This Poem”; courtesy of Landing Signals: An Anthology of Sacramento Poets, Trill Press/Sacramento Poetry Center, 1985
C.B. DAVIS served as Sacramento Area Coordinator for California Poets in the Schools, 1978-1984, and was one of the original editors of Hard Pressed. Davis performed his poems and jazz with his group Other Men, as well as Eugene Redmond’s diverse ensembles, and read his works alongside many other famous poets including Jack Grapes, John Oliver Simon, and Marge Piercy.

Quinton Duval (3 of Diamonds)
Poem excerpt from “Beloved”; courtesy of Joe’s Rain, Cedar House Books, 2005
QUINTON DUVAL has lived in the Sacramento area since 1964.  He studied poetry at CSUS with Dennis Schmitz and at the University of Montana with Richard Hugo.  His books are Guerilla Letters, Dinner Music, Joe’s Rain and Among Summer Pines.  He is the publisher of Red Wing Press, which produces quality chapbooks of fiction and poetry.

Ted Finn (Ace of Diamonds)
Poem excerpt from “If Only We Are Just Slowly Dying”; courtesy of clan of the dog, No. 1, rebirth
TED FINN became active in the local poetry scene in the early ’60’s; he ran the Looking Glass located where the Sacramento Community Center is now. In the ’70’s he established Wild River Press. Ted is the author of numerous chapbooks and books, including Damn the Eternal War (2008 for Rattlesnake Press).

Phil Goldvarg (7 of Spades)
Poem excerpt from “the eagle is not down”; courtesy of Poems for All, No. 362, April 2004
PHIL GOLDVARG (1934–2004) was a poet, activist, humanitarian and an advocate for the poor and underprivileged.  He marched with the farm workers and other causes; he gave his all in the halls of the social service agency where he worked for 30 years as a social worker.  Phil was a kind and gentle soul who valued his family, friends and the world he lived in even if it wasn’t perfect.  His poetry was powerful, confrontational and thought-provoking and reflected his view of the injustices of the world and his community. Que Viva Phil.

Patrick Grizzel (8 of Clubs)
Poem excerpt from “Words in a Dream”; courtesy of Menotaure Into Night, Limited Ed.
PATRICK GRIZZELL is a poet, songwriter and visual artist.  He is a founding member and former director of the Sacramento Poetry Center.  His collections of poems include Dark Music, Menotaure Into Night (with painter Jimi Suzuki) and the forthcoming 13 Poems from Rattlesnake Press. He performs original music solo and with his band, Junkyard Burlesque.

Dianna Henning (2 of Diamonds)
Poem excerpt from “The Joy Whistler”; courtesy of The Sacramento Anthology: One hundred Poems, Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission, 2001
DIANNA HENNING was awarded a California Council for the Humanities Grant and will be working with Native Americans—Maidu, Pitt River and Paiute—writing their stories. She read through Poets & Writers for National Poetry Month ’08, and spearheaded a creative writing festival at Lassen College for National Poetry Month. She most recently published in Hawai’i Pacific Review’s, the Best of the Decade, 1998 to 2007 Anthology; Poetry International; Leaves by Night, Flowers by Day; Seattle Review and Ginosko. She was nominated by Hawai’i Pacific Review for a Pushcart Prize ’06.

Inés Hernandez-Avila (King of Diamonds)
Poem excerpt from “Espejos”; courtesy of the author
INÉS HERNANDEZ-AVILA (Nez Perce and Tejana) is Professor of Native American Studies and Director of the Chicana/Latina Research Center at the UC Davis.  She is a poet, a cultural worker, and a member of the National Caucus of the Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers.  She has been a writer in residence at Centrum in Port Townsend, WA, and at the Headlands Center for the Arts.  She has published her poetry widely.

Be Davison Herrera (10 of Clubs)
Poem excerpt from “#43 Remembering the 100-Year Flood”; courtesy of The Sacramento Anthology: One hundred Poems, Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission, 2001
BE DAVISON HERRERA, b. 1942, The Hague, Virginia, USA, Milky Way Galaxy. My gratitude to my family and other teachers, especially friends from the five great cultures of Sacramento: African, Asian, Euro-Brit, Chicano/Latino and Indigenous Native American who have encouraged me in the practice of Literary, Performing and Visual Arts as a peaceful pursuit of truth, laughter and justice with publications, grants, awards and election to the Sacramento International Poetry Hall of Fame.

Ben Hiatt (9 of Diamonds)
Poem excerpt from “A Solitary Tribute to the Hermit of Bald Mountain”; courtesy of Landing Signals: An Anthology of Sacramento Poets, Trill Press/Sacramento Poetry Center, 1985
BEN HIATT (1942-2007) was known as the Poetry Man to hundreds of preschool to senior citizen students; Ben began writing in high school and continued until there were no more words in June 2007. Ben shared his poetry and other writing around the world and helped others to do so by holding open readings and printing many mimeo and then offset press ‘little mags’ and poetry books.

Kathryn Hohlwein (Ace of Hearts)
Poem excerpt from “Orchard VII”; courtesy of Orchard, Michigan Bar Press
KATHRYN HOHLWEIN is a retired Professor in English and the Humanities from CSUS, where she taught Creative Writing, Modern Poetry, and Homer. She has, since retirement, created a non-profit organization called The Readers of Homer, Inc., which produces all-day or all-night audience participation readings of Homer’s Illiad or Odyessy.  She has read in Greece; in October, 2008 she produced a reading in Egypt.

Peter Keat (Joker)
Proprietor of Time Tested Books on 21st Street in Sacramento, Mr, Keat has been active across a broad spectrum of Sacramento’s civic development. During the early years leading up to the founding of the Sacramento Poetry Center he graciously made his book store available for readings, including for several years, an annual celebration of Bloomsday with a marathon reading of James Joyce’s Ulysses.

Susan Kelly-DeWitt (6 of Clubs)
Poem excerpt from “Maples”; courtesy of A Camellia for Judy, Frith Press, 1998
SUSAN KELLY-DeWITT is the author of The Fortunate Islands and eight small press collections. She has been the program director for the Sacramento Poetry Center and for the Women’s Wisdom Project. She has won a number of awards for her work, including a Wallace Stegner Fellowship; her poetry has also been featured on Writer’s Almanac and Verse Daily.

Jeanie Keltner (7 of Clubs)
Poem excerpt from “L’Envoi”; courtesy of The Ballads of the Big California Woman, Avon, 1982
JEANIE KELTNER wrote her first poem at age 6: “Why must there be war?” Academic achievements drove the muse underground until some 30 years later when an agonizing breakup opened the cellar door and she wrote The Ballads of the Big California Woman. More poems came in the next years but then painting and politics (Iran Contra) pushed the muse out the door again.

B. L. Kennedy (6 of Spades)
Poem excerpt from “12”; courtesy of So Bein’ with You Alone on Rooftops, Big City Books, 1992
B. L. KENNEDY  is an Actor, Dramatist, Filmmaker,Poet, Painter, Singer, and Writer. He’s the author of 26 collections of poetry. He has an M.F.A. in Writing and Poeticsfrom the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University, Masters Degrees in Performance Poetry and Creative Writing from CSUS and a B.A. Degree in English Literature from CSUS. He is the Reviewer and Interviewer in Residence for Rattlesnake Review, for which he writes a column, the 418 Buzz. Kennedy is internationally recognized for his writings and picture poems. He’s produced three major Poetry Marathons and has hosted more than 900 poetry readings across the country. He is a host for Luna’s Café’s Poetry Unplugged reading series. He is currently working on a biography of Cleveland poet d.a.levy.

Art Luna (Joker)
ART LUNA, owner of the literary landmark known as Luna’s Café on 16th Street has been a steadfast friend to poetry, hosting readings and welcoming literary events of every description for many years.

Kathleen Lynch (10 of Hearts)
Poem excerpt from “Neither”; courtesy of Spoon River Poetry Review
KATHLEEN LYNCH is the author of Hinge (Black Zinnias national poetry prize), and chapbooks How to Build an Owl (Select Poet Series prize, Small Poetry Press); No Spring Chicken, (White Eagle Coffee Store Press award); Alterations of Rising (Small Poetry Press Select Poet Series); Kathleen Lynch-Greatest Hits (Pudding House Publications). She conducts workshops and is a freelance editor. www.kathleenlynch.com

Mary Mackey (8 of Hearts)
Poem excerpt from “NET Surfing 2:00 A.M.”; courtesy of www.marymackey.com
MARY MACKEY is Professor Emeritus of English at CSUS and author of five collections of poetry, including Breaking the Fever (Marsh Hawk Press). She has also published fourteen novels, including The Year The Horses Came (HarperCollins) and The Fortune Hunter’s Wife (Putnam, fall 2009.) Her works have been translated into eleven foreign languages. To contact her, please visit her webpage at www.marymackey.com

Sandra McPherson (4 of Clubs)
Poem excerpt from “Pregnancy”; courtesy of The Spaces Between Birds, Wesleyan, 1996
ANDRA McPHERSON, a native of San Jose, taught English at the UC Davis from 1985 to 2008.  Her ten full-sized collections of poetry were published by Ecco, Wesleyan, Indiana, and Illinois. Her Swan Scythe Press published 25 books by other poets. Expectation Days is her newest book.

Ann Menebroker (9 of Hearts)
Poem excerpt from “Sexual Sobriety”; courtesy of Trying For The Ten Ring, Mt. Aukum Press, 2000
ANN MENEBROKER was born in 1936 in Washington D.C. She has lived in Sacramento, California since the early 1950s. Among her poetry accomplishments are over 20 chapbooks and books of her work, editing a small poetry publication, co-editing another, and judging poetry. She has her poetry published in broadsides, postcards, and poetry anthologies, including The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry.

Burnett and Mimi Miller (Jokers)
BURNETT AND MIMI MILLER have for many years been stalwart pillars of the arts scene in Sacramento. They have supported poetry in many ways, most especially by making their home available to SPC for its annual Fundraiser.

Tom Miner (5 of Hearts)
Poem excerpt from “Psalm for My Daughters”; courtesy of Poetry Now, vol. 10, No. 12, Dec. 2004
TOM MINER has published three poetry collections:  North of Everything, Me, Wag, and Patriot Dreams. With his wife, Elisabeth, he edited and published the poetry quarterly Pinchpenny for nine years in the 1980’s, while he also wrote a poetry review column for The Sacramento Bee. He lives with his wife and two daughters in Sacramento, where he teaches writing at Sacramento City College.

José Montoya (7 of Hearts)
Poem excerpt from “Albert Camus’ Roach-Clip or Sysiphus Con Muleta”; courtesy of In Formation: Twenty Years of Joda, Chusma House Publications, 1992
JOSÉ MONTOYA is the third Sacramento Poet Laureate (2002-2004). An art professor at CSUS for 27 years, José is an educator, poet, painter, musician and activist. He founded the nationally recognized CSUS Barrio Arts Program and co-founded the Rebel Chicano Art Front, aka Royal Chicano Air Force. He’s the author of three collections of poetry; his paintings are exhibited around the world.

Mary Moore (3 of Hearts)
Poem excerpt from “Lament in Four Parts”; courtesy of The Book of Snow, Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 1998
MARY MOORE teaches Renaissance poetry and plays at Marshall University, Huntington, West Virginia. Sacramento’s poetry and art scene from the 70’s to 90’s grounded, nurtured, taught, and helped form her.  She has one book, The Book of Snow  (Cleveland State U., 1998); recent poems in Prairie Schooner; Kestrel; Sow’s Ear Review; Coal, a Poetry Anthology, and scholarly work on the Renaissance in print.

Jim Normington (Queen of Hearts)
untitled poem; courtesy of Alone on an Inlet, Red Chrysanthemum, 1982
JIM NORMINGTON was born in Sacramento in 1952. Editor / publisher of Alcaeus Review in Sacramento 1973-1976. Books include Alone on an Inlet (1982), Animal Spells (1985), Montages for a New Millenium (1989), Tell Me (1995), Book of Blues (2000). Translations include Selected Poems of Alfonsina Storni (White Pine Press, 1987) and Selected Poems of Efrain Huerta (Curbstone Press, 2000). Awards include SMAC Emerging Artist Award (1996), SMAC Community Arts Award (1997), SMAC Wilkerson Fellowship Arts Award (2000).

Joyce Odam (3 of Clubs)
Poem excerpt from “Mind Wandering”; courtesy of Calliope, Vol. 3, No. 2, Spring/Summer 1990
JOYCE ODAM’s poetry explores relationships—the subjective—the observational—the purely imagined. She believes that reading poetry best teaches how to write it, to sharpen the way you observe, look more closely at life with a defining eye. Poetry takes us to the inner depths of emotion and imagination where the creative need is greatest. At eighty-four, Joyce values poetry as a credible response to life.

Noel Peattie (King of Hearts)
Poem excerpt from “Real Things”; courtesy of Tule Review, Spring 1993
NOEL PEATTIE (1932-2006) focused much of his poetry on rural life in the Capay Valley in California. A gentle and authentic voice for the region, he wrote of its rhythms and shadings with pride, candor, and sensitivity. Among his published works are Western Skyline, In the Dome of St. Laurence Meteor, King Humble’s Grave, Sweetwater Ranch, and The Testimony of Doves.

Mike Pulley (8 of Diamonds)
Poem excerpt from “Dr. Noon”; courtesy of Cosumnes River Journal, 2007
MIKE PULLEY is an award-winning poet and investigative journalist who spent thirty years in Sacramento. For five years, he hosted some of the city’s most notable readings. He completed his own share of exceptionally dramatic, poetic performances in Sacramento’s cafes, galleries and bookstores, often in collaboration with local musicians. Pulley now teaches English at Clemson University in South Carolina.

Graciela Ramírez (6 of Hearts)
Poem excerpt from “Sacraztlán”; courtesy of Voices of the New Sun: Songs and Stories / Voces del Nuevo Sol: Cantos y Cuentos
GRACIELA B. RAMÍREZ writes poetry not as a career but as a lifestyle. She was coordinator of Escritores del Nuevo Sol (Writers of the New Sun) for 11 years. She has 2 unpublished books of poetry in Spanish:  Sacraztlán, Una Epica Chicana (History of the Chicanos at California State University, Sacramento) and Poemas Buenos, Malos y Regulares (Good, Bad and So,So Poems).

Eugene Redmond (King of Clubs)
Poem excerpt from “A Kwansaba for Mother Richie”; courtesy of Sentinel Poetry (Online) #40, The International Journal of Poetry & Graphics
EUGENE REDMOND was rewarded (by elders) during childhood for having a flair for words, and seriously wrote poetry & playlets as an adult. Blues/jazz, hymns, gospel, R&B & tall tales inundated him, meshing with formal training in Euro-American lit & love of African poetic rhythms. His path to retirement: advancing poetry through books, anthologies, community workshops & journals . . . professorships, fellowships & a Pushcart Prize.

Carmela Ruby (10 of Diamonds)
Poem excerpt from “A Small Brown Pig”; courtesy of Poet News, June, 1992
CARMELA RUBY learned to write out of listening. Drawing out words. Prizes and publication are gratifying but she focuses equally on providing opportunities for others to express themselves: coordinating the Sacramento Poetry Center’s weekly workshops; conducting poetry sessions at Loaves and Fishes that culminated in a traveling exhibit titled “Streets by Streetpeople”; establishing annual poetry readings at the Library of Alexandria in Egypt. More plans are coming. Poetry helps us bloom!

Tom Schmidt (Queen of Clubs)
Poem excerpt from “In the Garden”; courtesy of Gill, John, ed., New American and Canadian Poetry, Beacon Press, 1971
TOM SCHMIDT is a James T. Phelan Award winner with poems in the anthologies A Geography of Poets; For Neruda, For Chile; and New American & Canadian Poetry.  While he has focused on playing clarinet since the ’80’s, writing has risen up in the past few years, and he has a recent story in Nerve Cowboy.

Dennis Schmitz (Jack of Hearts)
Poem excerpt from “To The Reader”; courtesy of Goodwill, Inc.,The Ecco Press, 1975
DENNIS SCHMITZ is the author of seven books of poetry, including The Truth Squad (Copper Canyon Press, 2002). He has received numerous awards for his work, including the Shelley Memorial Award, two Pushcart Prizes, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. He taught for more than thirty years at CSUS and served as Poet Laureate of Sacramento.

Hannah Stein (4 of Diamonds)
Poem excerpt from “Anniversary”; courtesy of Earthlight, LaQuesta Press, 2000
HANNAH STEIN, who lives in Davis, CA, was born in Brooklyn and grew up in New York State.  Her poetry appears widely, in such journals as Nimrod, American Literary Review, Poetry Flash, Prairie Schooner, and Hunger Mountain. Her books include a collection, Earthlight, and chapbooks Schools of Flying Fish and Greatest Hits. She teaches poetry workshops at the Davis Art Center.

Geoffrey Stockdale (7 of Diamonds)
Poem excerpt from “Tirade”; courtesy of Mt. Aukum Press, 1986
GEOFFREY STOCKDALE’S mother recited poetry.  At 11, in 1963, Winn Starr introduced him to Annie Menebroker; she said he should write. At 14 he snuck in the back door at The Eye to listen.  In 1982 he finally began writing his own.  Michael Pulley induced him to read at a Ben Hiatt series in 1986.  He joined WordJam with Gene Black in 1991.

Ronald Tanaka (4 of Hearts)
Poem excerpt from “Sactown Civic Boy”; courtesy of The Sacramento Anthology: One hundred Poems, Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission, 2001
RONALD TANAKA (1944-2007) was an English professor at CSUS over 30 years. He attended Pomona College and UC Berkeley and held a Ph.D. in Linguistics, Philosophy of Language, and 17th century British Literature. He’s the author of Systems Models for Literary Macro-theory, Shido, The Way of Poetry, Scenes From a Country Tea Room and The Shino Suite. The Shino Suite won a Before Columbus Foundation American Book Award in 1982.

Gary Thompson (5 of Clubs)
Poem excerpt from “Kootenai Creek”; courtesy of As for Living, Red Wing Press, 1995
GARY THOMPSON graduated from El Camino High and CSUS, where he studied with Dennis Schmitz, Molly Irwin, Charles Gregory and many other generous teachers. His publications include Hold Fast, As For Living, On John Muir’s Trail, and To The Archaeologist Who Finds Us.  He lives on San Juan Island and skippers an old trawler named Keats.

Theresa Vinciguerra (8 of Spades)
Poem excerpt from “24th & Mermaid”; courtesy of FM 11/81 (l 1-41/2)
THERESA VINCIGUERRA is the founder of the Sacramento Poetry Center (aka Poet Tree, Inc.), and served as its Director from 1979 – 1984. On its Board from 1984 – 1985, she administered Landing Signals with Victoria Dalkey. She holds a B.A. in English from UC Irvine, and M.A. in English from CSUS. She raised 4 children and currently works as a technical writer.

D. R. Wagner (9 of Clubs)
Poem excerpt from “The Way the Country Moves”; courtesy of Cruising at the limit: selected poems 1968-78, Duck Down
D. R. WAGNER has published over 20 chapbooks of poetry since 1966.  He was founder and editor of press today, Niagara Falls, NY and The Runcible Spoon., Sacramento, CA.  His work has been translated into many languages.  He is also a visual artist and a singer-songwriter and performed music and exhibited his work internationally for many years.  He moved to Sacramento in 1966 and has been part of the poetry scene here since then. He is a lecturer in Design at UC Davis since 1989 and also teaches Design at CSUS.

Todd Walton (Queen of Diamonds)
Poem excerpt from “I Wanted To Be A Poet”; courtesy of the author
TODD WALTON is a poet, musician, fiction writer, and gardener. He lives in Mendocino with his wife Marcia, a cellist. Todd has published five novels and many short stories. His recent works include Buddha in a Teacup: tales of enlightenment and When Light Is Your Garden. His novels Under the Table Books and The Sexual Friend will be published in 2009.

Phil Weidman (2 of Spades)
Poem excerpt from “Trout”; courtesy of Landing Signals: An Anthology of Sacramento Poets, Trill Press/Sacramento Poetry Center, 1985
PHIL WEIDMAN is the author of eight books of poetry, including Sixes (The Runcible Spoon, 1968) and Time Enough (Mt. Aukum Press, 2003). His poetry has appeared in periodicals as varied as American Bard, Hearse, Scree, Olé, Stance, Pinch Penny, Poetry Now, Red Cedar Review, Caprice, Sure, The Wormwood Review, Nerve Cowboy, Pearl, Chiron Review and Rattlesnake Review. His work has also appeared in two anthologies, Revolutionary Poetry (New York, 1972) and Landing Signals (Sacramento, 1985).

Viola Weinberg (3 of Spades)
Poem excerpt from “Sacra Del Centro”; courtesy of Landing Signals: An Anthology of Sacramento Poets, Trill Press/Sacramento Poetry Center, 1985
VIOLA WEINBERG was appointed (with Dennis Schmitz) as the first of Sacramento’s Poets Laureate in 2001.  As Laureate, she promoted literature and literacy in city and county schools and libraries for two years while hosting workplace poetry readings in venues like the California Franchise Tax Board, the Sacramento County Building employee break room, and on National Public Radio airwaves.

Mary Zeppa (6 of Diamonds)
Poem excerpt from “A Living Will”; courtesy of Tule Review, 1993
MARY ZEPPA, active in the Sacramento Poetry Center since 1981, served two years as Executive Director and ten years as a Co-Editor of Poet News. Zeppa, a founding editor of The Tule Review, is the author of two chapbooks of poems, Little Ship of Blessing (Poets Corner Press, 2002) and The Battered Bride Overture, (Rattlesnake Press, 2005).

Portrait Artist

Suzanne Johnson
As a child, SUZANNE JOHNSON was an avid reader interested in literature. In time, her interest shifted toward drawing. She feels fortunate to have come to the attention of an excellent teacher, Fred Dalkey, who supported she interest in realism and portraiture. She began attending poetry readings, where she was able to draw from life with anonymity, as everyone was otherwise engaged.  She loved the atmosphere of readings and became friends with many poets. She worked with the Sacramento Poetry Center, eventually serving on the Board of Directors.


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