The members of Sixteen Rivers Press are deeply saddened by the recent death of our founding member, Susan Sibbet. Not only was Susan a talented poet, but she was a passionate advocate for poetry as well. A long-time board member of California Poets in the Schools, Susan worked tirelessly to send poets and poetry into schools throughout our state. Sixteen Rivers Press published Susan’s collection No Easy Light in 2004. Her warmth and kindness and the friendship that many of us shared with her will be greatly missed, but the work of Sixteen Rivers will continue, in part to honor and celebrate Susan’s love of and commitment to poetry.
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This fall is an especially busy one for the press, as we are publishing two fall books for the first time in our history. I Know (Je sais) and All night in the new country will be published on September 15, with readings from both our spring and fall authors throughout the season; our new open-submission period for poetry manuscripts begins on November 1; and our annual benefit will be held on November 2. Meanwhile, we are readying two new books, from Murray Silverstein and Beverly Burch, to be published in the spring. We hope you will join us in celebrating our new books, our new members, and our upcoming events. Read on to find out more, as well as to read a poem by Miriam Bird Greenberg from her book all night in the new country.
Sixteen Rivers is proud to announce our two fall offerings: a bilingual edition of a book of pensées and aperçus originally published in France, and a chapbook of haunting dark poems from a young East Bay poet.
I Know (Je sais) by French astrophysicist Ito Naga was originally published in France in 2006 as Je sais and is now in its seventh printing there from Cheyne éditeur. The bilingual edition from Sixteen Rivers has been translated from the French by author Ito Naga and Sixteen Rivers poet Lynne Knight. This collection of observations on life and the universe was written by a scientist with a eye for detail and a keen sense of humor. Poet Jeffrey Greene writes that it merges “humane wisdom with the magic of poetic imagery.”
All night in the new country, by Miriam Bird Greenberg, won the second Poets Under Forty Chapbook Contest from Sixteen Rivers Press. Her book takes us on a dark ride through a dystopian landscape, where the comforts of civilization and the consolations of art are few. Poet Camille Dungy, who judged our contest, writes of Greenberg’s work: “Each poem catalogs a truth both ravished and ravishing, with such stark and startling images that I could not put the pages down.”
The press is thrilled to announce that we have two new members whose books will be published in spring 2015. We welcome Stella Beratlis, from the Central Valley, and Lisa Robertson, from Marin County, and look forward to seeing their exciting manuscripts in print. In addition, Sixteen Rivers member Helen Wickes will publish her second book with the press in spring of 2015. We are so pleased to be able to bring these three remarkable books to you.
Save the date! Our annual benefit will be held on November 2 and will feature a reading by poet Camille Dungy. The reading will once again be held at a beautiful private home in San Rafael, and we invite you to join us for what we know will be a lovely evening. More information on this event will be coming soon.
Our 2014 call for submissions will open on November 1, 2013, and remain open until March 1, 2014. Please see our website for full submission guidelines: https://www.sixteenrivers.org/
We very much hope you can join us for one or more of our upcoming fall events:
• Barbara Swift Brauer and Gerald Fleming will read at Moe’s Books on Thursday, September 12, at 7:30 p.m. (2476 Telegraph Avenue, Berkeley).
• Barbara Swift Brauer and Gerald Fleming will read at the Petaluma Poetry Walk, at Au Chocolat on Sunday, September 15, at 11 a.m., with Jodi Hottel (110 Petaluma Boulevard North).
• Terry Ehret, Gerald Fleming, and Barbara Swift Brauer will read at the Sonoma County Book Festival, Santa Rosa Junior College campus, Santa Rosa, on Saturday, September 21, at 1 p.m.
• Barbara Swift Brauer and Gerald Fleming will read with Molly Giles in a benefit for the San Geronimo Valley Community Center on Saturday, September 21, at 7:30 p.m. (6350 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, San Geronimo).
• Miriam Bird Greenberg and Lynne Knight will read at Mrs. Dalloway’s Bookstore on September 26 at 7:30 p.m. (2904 College Street, Berkeley).
In a preview of our spring publications, April 2014 will see the publication of Master of Leaves, a second book from Murray Silverstein, and How a Mirage Works from Beverly Burch, who joined the press last year. These two author-members of Sixteen Rivers Press will be reading from their new books during the season at a number of venues throughout the Greater Bay Area.
And now, a poem from Miriam Bird Greenberg’s chapbook all night in the new country.
When I Was a Child
There was a woman who walked the roads all day;
she would come into the café
holding a handkerchief full of bees
then shake them free. You could see her catching them
painstakingly all morning
in the honeysuckle, her face
scabbed where she’d scratched old stings.
She had a daughter
who’d died of lockjaw
after the hospitals had closed;
she was buried by the graves of the great-aunts
who’d raised her, enough
to make anyone crazy. She called
all children her daughter’s name. For a time
she slept in the fallen-in blacksmithing
shed in back of our house.
From inside my dreams
I could hear her some nights
calling out, Ruth, Ruth.