• Real Poets
    Sacramento Poetry Center's Real Poets program pairs trained poet mentors with at-risk youth to write original poems about their lives.


About Fireflies 
by Susan Flynn
   Thinking of you this sultry summer night, I see fireflies. When I was six, I  darted from my
  Midwestern front porch to capture them in a mason jar, poking holes in the tin lid with my fathers can opener. I didnt understand they might be dead by morning. All I cared about was the light. Wanting to chase it, capture it.
  Ive learned more since then. Fireflies produce a cold light, a luminescence without heat, to attract a mate, or prey. You did both, with flash and sparkle. Brilliant mind, dazzling smile, fiery touch – with you, I was six again, all chase and capture. Only caring about the light, not thinking about what might be dead by morning.
  The first time I saw Carvaggios  painting, “Conversion on the Way to Damascus,” I, like St.
Paul, was thrown from my horse, struck dumb by the light. I was standing in front of the painting in Santa Maria del Popolo in Rome. Ive learned more since then, about the life of the body, the nature of light, and Carvaggio – how he prepared his canvases with a pigment from the powder of dried firefly wings. Like me, all he cared about was the light.
Colors She Will Someday Name
J.L. Cooper
No better story than a fine aging cloak,
secrets safe in languid finger strokes;
gifts to a crimson edge – a haunting
sameness there. I rarely see you touch
the other colors, stitched with equal care.
It’s ruinous for me to ask – only you
can tell your wishes; hard won, your craft.
What color did you give a vicious fight?
Or leaving home? Or reading, in lesser
hours, a letter sent from your first lover,
describing what it was to kiss you?
He poured himself into his letter,
then died in Vietnam. That was the green
velvet part – that much you told –
patched between pieces of blue cotton
and magenta silk; all the pieces given
by your grandmother. Call it inheritance.
Grandma said the sacred waiting treasures
would speak, and find their rightful places.
I must be a fraying edge to you.
I don’t know what it is to sew.
I offer my cupped hands to hold
your spilling words and feel your
melted armor when you tell about
waves of black, deeper reds,
or the white moon you never touch.


Phil Ryder in Christ’s Lily

July 24, 2015

Phil Ryder   in Christ’s Lily a presentation of selected poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins Monday, July 27 at 7:30 PM 1719 25th Street Host: Tim Kahl Christ’s Lily is a presentation of selected poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins (1884 – 1889), the highly innovative Victorian priest-poet. Inspired by Anglo-Saxon and ancient Welsh literature, applying originality and […]

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Ike Torres and the Sacramento Slam Team

July 16, 2015

Hot Poetry in the Park Ike Torres and the Sacramento Slam Team Monday, July 20 at 7:00 PM (a little bit earlier) Fremont Park Between P and Q and 15th and 16th Host: Bethanie Humphries The 2015 Sac Grand Slam Champ is Marques Davison aka Sho’Nuff! He is a local hip hop vet, recent Sammies nominee […]

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Unbarred Words Poems of Folsom Prison Inmates

July 10, 2015

Unbarred Words Poems of Folsom Prison Inmates  read by JoAnn Anglin, Traci Gourdine, Susan Kelly-DeWitt, Sandi Wasserman and others Monday, July 13, 2015 at 7:30 PM 1719 25th Street Host: Emmanuel Sigauke

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Albert Garcia and Jeff Knorr

July 3, 2015

  Albert Garcia Raspberries He plops them in the green mesh basket, knowing they are through feeding each other, knowing he can pull until the vine rips but only ripe berries will give with a gentle tug releasing themselves to the faint pressure of his skin.   Picking in morning-cool sun, he thinks of placing […]

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Poeming Pigeons Book Launch Celebration, an Anthology of Bird Poems, ed. Shawn Aveningo

June 27, 2015
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Stella Beratlis, Lisa Erin Robertson, and Helen Wickes

June 19, 2015

Stella Beratlis, Lisa Erin Robertson and Helen Wickes Monday, June 22 at 7:30 PM SPC at 1719 25th Street Host: Tim Kahl Stella Beratlis is an Instructor of English at Modesto Junior College. She co-edited an anthology of Modesto poets titled More than Soil, More than Sky, on Quercus Review Press, and her poems have appeared in Penumbra, hardpan, […]

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Silvia Kofler and Matthew Brouwer

June 13, 2015

Silvia Kofler and Matthew Brouwer Monday, June 15 at 7:30 PM 1719 25th Street at Sacramento Poetry Center Host: Tim Kahl   Silvia Kofler’s most recent publications include poetry and translations published in The Colour of Saying, an anthology is celebration of Dylan Thomas. German translations of 10 Hafez ghazals in collaboration with Bill Wolak and Mahmood […]

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All-American Poets Reading

June 8, 2015

All-American Poets Reading   Bethanie Humphreys, Sue Daly, Ann Kantor, Stuart Canton, David Gay, Rhony Bhopla, Kate Campbell, and Dan Brenner   Monday June 8, 2015 at 7:30 PM SPC at 1719 25th Street Host: Emmanuel Sigauke Join us for a lovely evening of poetry by a small group of entertaining All-American poets. These writers […]

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Allegra Silberstein and Katy Brown

May 30, 2015

A river of words flows by me. I see them ripple in the water dance with the falling leaves. I hear the murmur of vowels, little spits of consonants in a language pleasing though foreign to my ears. There’s a house of cards at the river’s edge with symbols beyond my ken, I see the […]

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