Friday, February 22, 2013


Hi Everyone -- those folks in the San Gabriel Valley and at San Antonio College are a bunch of poetry-loving machines!  My sister and I attended the 3- day litfest, held at West Covina, California's civic center over the long weekend, February 15/16/17.  82 degrees, a gentle Santa Ana breeze, flowers in bloom and palm trees overhead:  what's not to love?  There were four stages going, from noon until 9 PM each day.  When a poet or fiction writer was not reading, s/he was giving a knockout introduction to a fellow reader.  There was music, jewelry, painting, and feng shui advice; there was a special area on the grass for children's literature presentations.  Audiences were unfailingly receptive and generous.

And of course there was fabulous FOOD, from trucks that drove up every afternoon with everything from wild Alaskan cod tacos to churros and waffles.

My reading was at 1 PM on Saturday.  A special surprise was attendance by my 91-year-old mom and her sister, my Aunt Frances, who drove 9 hours from Green Valley, Arizona to attend the reading.

I felt fortunate that my book won the chapbook competition, even more so after hearing work of the other chapbook finalists, especially Terry Lucas -- check out Terry's vivid poems in "Diesel," the anthology of the San Gabriel Valley litfest; here is a link to the bookstore, where my book is also available:

Here is Terry reading:

A million thanks to John and Ann Brantingham for organizing the festival, and to Michaelsun Knapp for judging the chapbook competition.  (That's Michaelsun and me in the photo below.)  This festival may become an annual event for Sandra and me.

Thanks to everyone who has encouraged and supported my poetry over the years.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

***LitFest SCHEDULE***

Here is the link for the schedule at the three-day San Gabriel Literary Festival.  Although my name is not on it (yet), I'm in the group 'Winners of the Chapbook Contest' shown for the Library Stage on Saturday at 1 PM.  I'll have 15 minutes for my reading.  (Remember that saying about everyone having 15 minutes of fame?  I guess this is it.)  Enjoy:

Stephanie Hammer, although she lives in L.A., is a student in our Whidbey Island MFA Program.  I hope to catch her reading on Saturday at noon, and also Diane Glancy's reading on Friday.  There will be so much poetry going on, it will be impossible to hear every poet.

I'll be posting tales of this experience on this blog after returning to Whidbey February 17.  Stay tuned.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Sheryl's Book Wins a chapbook competition

I'm absolutely THRILLED that my book, "Ring of Fire, Sea of Stone" has been chosen as the winner of the San Gabriel Valley Literary Festival chapbook competition.  I've been invited to do a featured reading at the Festival:  Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 1 PM.  The SGV litfest runs February 15 through 17 at the West Covina, CA civic center.  There will be four (!) stages going, with readings, music, graphic arts; something to interest everybody.  My sister Sandra is going with me and we will do a joint reading of one of the poems from the book.

My book is now available on Amazon:

If you would like to order a signed copy directly from me, I will have copies available upon my return (2/17).  Please send an email to:  <> or leave a reply to this post, and I'll be sure to save a copy for you.

Back to work!  I hope to finish a new manuscript of poetry this year, and make significant progress on a novel for which only one chapter is written.