Rosanna's on 9/4/2016!

October 9th,

we read the poems

of Joel Fallon!

Dana Gioia, CA Poet Laureate was HERE in April!

Woo-Hoo! Did we have fun!

We rocked

Rosanna's again

on Sunday, Oct 2!

First Anniversary at Rosanna's

w/ Featured Poet, Jeremy Cantor!

If you'd like to see a 4-page pdf of this event's photos, please e-mail me at Space here is limited!

Newest group anthology available at Bookshop Benicia

Johanna's Announcement, December 29, 2017:

Joel  Fallon

A great book, can be purchased at Bookshop Benicia:

Johanna Ely, Benicia Poet Laureate 2016-2018

Joel Fallon Celebration, Friday, Dec. 16th, 4-8 pm!

Open House was a Hoot November 29, 2016!

Woo-Hoo! Picnic Photos from Sunday, August 27th!

Wow! An outstanding event, April 26th. 

​A New Year of Poetry!
Dear Poets and Poetry Lovers,

I'm sending out a brief reminder

that our usual poetry readings

will be happening in January. 

Please join me on Tuesday,

January 2nd, for our Benicia First Tuesday Poets’ group meeting in the Dona Benicia Room (Benicia Public Library, 150 East L St.) from 6:45-8:45pm. We will celebrate the New Year with poetry and good cheer! I have not heard from anyone who would like have 15-20 minutes of fame as a “Mystery Poet”, but PLEASE contact me if you are interested! In the meantime, let me know what you as poets would like to see happen or change at the Tuesday night meetings. I am open to suggestions.
Our First Sunday Poetry Series takes place at Rosanna’s European Delights, 305 First St. Benicia, from 2-4pm. The first Sunday is January 7th. Our featured poet is Iris Jamahl Dunkle, the current Poet Laureate of Sonoma County. An Open Mic' will follow her reading. Stop by and have a cup of coffee or hot chocolate, and a delicious pastry! Get rid of those cold winter blues by listening to some great poetry!   
In February we have two amazing poetry events! More details and a newsletter will follow soon.
I hope to see many of you this Tuesday.
Stay warm and inspired.

Happy 2018!

Rosanna's Photos, March 5th:

August 11, 2016
Dear Friends,
It is so hard for me to write this…

I must bring you the sad news that

Benicia’s first and most beloved

Poet Laureate, Joel Fallon, died this

morning at the age of 85. Joel was a wonderful poet and mentor to many, who gave so much of his wisdom and energy to our community. He will be missed beyond words, and his absence will be greatly felt.

Joel’s family plans to be present at our Poets’ Picnic in the City Park this Sunday, August 14th, 1-4 pm. This was an event that Joel started as first Poet Laureate. Please come and bring your poetry, or bring one of Joel’s poems to read. He would want us to have a good time and celebrate life, and our love of poetry.
A memorial planned by the family will take place in December. I will let you know when the details are in place.
Sincerely, Johanna  
Johanna Ely, Poet Laureate of Benicia, 2016-2018

Scholarship winners, Brian Chou with Poet Laureate Johanna Ely and Jessica Turner

(E-mail Peter Bray at for a 4-page

pdf of this event!)

​​​​Brian Chou and Jessica Turner are 2017 Poetry Scholarship Winners The Joel Fallon Poetry Scholarships for 2017 have been awarded to graduating high school seniors Brian Chou of Benicia High School and Jessica Turner of Liberty High School. Poet Laureate Johanna Ely commented on Jessica’s and Brian’s craft, “Both Brian and Jessica have the gift of being able to take a personal experience, and by writing a poem about it, have it become a universal feeling  that all of us have experienced and can understand. I hope the scholarships enable each of them to further explore the world through the eyes of a poet.” The scholarships, named for Benicia’s first Poet Laureate, are granted each year by the Benicia First Tuesday Poetry Group to one graduating senior from Benicia High School and one from Liberty High School. The awards are based on the students’ accomplishments in poetry and potential for future achievement, as reflected in the application materials they submit, and through a personal interview. The scholarships are intended to encourage young poets and to cultivate an awareness of poetic perspective in our community. Perhaps uniquely among scholarships, there is no requirement that the proceeds be used for college education expenses, since, for poets, all of life is education.  

Great fun on Friday, August 12th!

If you'd like to see a 3-page pdf of this event's photos, please e-mail me at Space here is limited!

If you'd like to see a 3-page pdf of this event's photos, please e-mail me at Space here is limited!

Love Poetry Contest Photos!

Our Friend and Poet Joel Fallon: