APRIL 2019
IMPORTANT DATES See more details below

Wednesday, April 10
Dine With Local Authors: five authors read from their new books.
6-8:30 PM
Gaia's Garden, 1899 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa

Sunday, April 14
Redwood Writers Board Meeting 12:30-2:00  Flamingo Hotel
Redwood Writers Author Support 1:00-2:00  Flamingo Hotel
MONTHLY MEETING Working With an Illustrator -- Your Other Half with Sandy Baker
2:00-4:30  Flamingo Hotel

Saturday, April 20
Redwood Writers Academy
CROWDFUNDING with John Sheehy
9:00-11:30 AM  Flamingo Hotel
$30 members; $35 non-members

Saturday, April 20
Redwood Writers Salon
2:00-5:00 PM
at President Roger Lubeck's home in Cloverdale!

Sunday, April 14
2 - 4:30 p.m.
Flamingo Hotel, Empire Room
Working with an Illustrator—
Your Other Half
with Sandy Baker

Even though you wrote a good book, an illustrator can make or break it. Good chemistry and the right price and style equal a potential winner. Sandy Baker, an author and sometimes illustrator, will provide examples of various media and styles of illustrations, discuss how to find the right illustrator, give an example of a simple contract, discuss cost, and show how to work with that artist. This is a basic how-to on finding and working with an illustrator.

Theme: Spring Into the Salon!
2:00-5:00 PM*
* Please note that the time has been changed.

Bring your stories and poems to share.
Readings are five minutes.

RSVP: To Sher Gamard at for registration, readings, directions, and to sign up for our convivial potluck lunch.
CROWDFUNDING with John Sheehy

John Sheehy will share tips and insights from his wildly successful Indiegogo campaign for his new book,  On a River Winding Home: Stories and Visions of the Petaluma River Watershed . The campaign raised 40 percent of their goal, and the book has already sold out of its first printing!

Saturday, April 20
9:00 a.m. – 11:30 am
Cost: $30 for members; $35 for non-members
For details and to register, click here .

One more Writers Academy workshop in the series:
Sin and Syntax: June 15, 2019
Profiled by Rebecca Smith
One look into those wise, soulful eyes, and I was captivated by this poet. I wondered to what depths has she traveled to bring a wellspring of tightly crafted words to our consciousness. Her quest: “How do we create meaning between the inky darkness that brackets a life?” Since April is poetry month, I was delighted to profile Les Bernstein, our Poetry Anthology Editor, in this month’s Member Spotlight. Her poems have appeared in journals, presses and anthologies in the USA and internationally.

“I am above all things a poet. I have written since I was 15. I had some initial success with an anti Vietnam poem that was broadcast from a very popular NY radio station when I was 17 years old. The experience went to my head but I recovered. At this time, I was very influenced by Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Alan Ginsburg and other beat writers. I always could be counted on to be carrying a copy of Coney Island of the Mind , Howl, and Zen Flesh, Zen Bones, a compilation of Zen stories and teachings. (which I've only recently begun to understand).”

The spirit of writers helping writers shines in Les. “I love poetry and I love writing poems but most of all I love helping other poets see their efforts be published.”
Les has volunteered with Fran Claggett on Redwood Writers (RW) Poetry contests and anthologies for many years. “ I met Fran in 2014 when we judged a RW poetry contest. The poems were blind and after hours of discussion we managed to pick three winners. Unfortunately, they were from the same poet. We were shocked as the three styles were completely different. We decided to award the first runner up 3rd place. It was also a very good poem. This is how I met Fran and Judy Anderson, the contest winner. They have both become my dearest friends.”
When I asked her if she had a cheerful, upbeat poem for spring, she said,  “I have been thinking I’m so not a cheery poet. Come Summer Stay Summer (see below) was one of the Hikmet winners. It’s about as cheery as I get.”
Her style: “I would say I’m a minimalist and that I like a certain spareness in my poems. I tend to like poems that point to the predicament and mystery of the human experience….As for my process... I am either writing or complaining to anyone who will listen that I have writer's block. Wolf Blitzer is my writing partner as I cannot seem to concentrate and create without his voice droning on in the background... bizarre but very effective for me.”

“I am not very goal-oriented or ambitious. However I have exceeded my wildest expectations for myself.” Despite not being ambitious, she has created an impressive portfolio and list of accomplishments. She has several books of poetry on Amazon. Her poetry is so evocative, it stirs others to review back to her in prose. Here are a few reviews:
“A confluence of images that paint thought provoking pictures. Every word is linked harmoniously with grace and are magically placed as if they always belonged together. The poems are surgically precise and devoid of hyperbole…Les proves that she can fill very large canvases with very little paint.” - Jory
Remarkable reflections from the caverns of her soul, Les Bernstein's inner heart is bared to us all. She writes with depth and beauty about her struggle with life and death and the fleeting nature of time.” - Jody
“Les Bernstein's poems are lullabies of existence, capturing the paradoxical nature of life, "bisecting a now from then" through the lens of infinite being. Uncompromisable expression of the deepest spiritual teachings, capturing the mystery of it all "amid the din””. - Maurizio

Her chapbooks, Borderland, Naked Little Creatures and Amid the Din, have been published by Finishing Line Press. Les is a winner of the 6 th annual Nazim Hikmet Festival poetry competition. They received over 1000 poems from 366 poets. The submissions came from 25 countries and 43 US states. She also was a Pushcart Prize Nominee for 2015. She was the editor of the Marin High School Poetry Anthology 2018, the co-editor of Redwood Writer's anthologies for 2018 and 2019, and a judge for the Sonoma State Fair Poetry Contest of 2018.

Les lives in Mill Valley with her enormous family.
Come Summer Stay Summer
a hint of winter drifts into focus
the earth’s rotation slows
according to the arc of the sun
life is drawn with a hazy outline
in the banalities of age
elliptical lessons of daily existence
progress a too short lapse of being
choreographed by the unknowable
paced with narrative suspense
a reluctant history
can only try to understand
the inky infinite that brackets life
Skye Blaine, Editor
(Apologies from the newsletter editor for omitting that last month's column
on April Poetry Month was written by Fran Claggett-Holland.)
Please submit poems to: .
Submission guidelines: double-spaced, Times or Times New Roman, 12 point font, no all caps, please. Poems are reviewed by a team of poets. We will acknowledge receipt of your work, and let you know if your poem is going to be included, or if we are requesting minor edits prior to inclusion.
Sunday, May 19 (NOTE DATE CHANGE)
2–4:30 p.m.
Character THROUGH Action / Character AS Action --
What Actors and Directors Can Teach Writers 
with Amanda McTigue

Please join us. Details on our website.
 Redwood Writers is for everyone, whether you're an accomplished
author or poet, or just wondering if writing is right for you.
Writers News from Around the Bay
Saturday, April 6 12-3 PM
Synergy Health Club Napa, 3421 Villa Lane, Napa 2nd Floor

MEMOIR: What Do We Dare Reveal?
With Victoria Zackheim

Writing in a journal is one thing, putting our lives out for the public to read is quite another. When writing a memoir, how much do we reveal? 
(To reserve your place, please email Sarita Lopez at . Spots are limited!)

Writers Forum
April 18, 2019
6:30 pm to 8:30 pm
Copperfield’s Books, 140 Kentucky St., Petaluma
Free and open to the public

Poet and writer Iris Jamahl Dunkle will talk about research and the art of crossing genres. Dunkle has been writing the first full-length biography on Charmian Kittredge London. While researching Charmian, Dunkle discovered that each encounter with her personal documents made her want to write poetry. So, alongside her biography, a manuscript of poems was also produced. 

Iris Jamahl Dunkle is the recent past Poet Laureate of Sonoma County. Details:
If you have news of interest to our members, please submit copy and a photo if you wish by the 15th of the month prior to Editor reserves the right to accept and/or edit. Thank you.
EDITOR: Deborah Walton

Our mailing address is The Redwood Writer, P.O. Box 4687, Santa Rosa, CA 95402
Redwood Writers  is a branch of the  California Writers Club ,
a 5 01(c)(3) non-profit organization.

Redwood Writers Meetings       
General membership meetings are held on the second Sunday of each month (moves one week ahead if a holiday) from 2:00 to 4:30 p.m. at the Flamingo Conference Resort and Spa, located at 
2777 Fourth Street, Santa Rosa, CA 95405.  Registration starts at 2 p.m.
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