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Our Friend and Poet Joel Fallon:

Coming in January!

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

December 2 - Camille Miller features at

Poetry Inside Out at Bookshop Benicia 

636 First Street in  Benicia
December 4 -
First Tuesday Poets meet at

6:45 PM at Benicia Library 

150 East L Street in Benicia
December 6 -
Poetry on OZCAT Radio

KZCT 89.5 FM at 10 AM (email Tom at to RSVP to read.)
December 13 & 27 - 7:30 PM Poetry by the

Bay at 350 Georgia Street in Vallejo
December 14 -
My Word Open Mic at 7 PM 

at 1724 San Pablo in Berkeley. Tom Stanton Featured poet.
December 15 - 3 PM Ekphrastic Poetry at Benicia Plein Air Gallery 307 First Street in Benicia 
(See details below on how to participate)

December 16 -
2 PM Vallejo Poet Laureate D.L. Lang will be participating in the Voices of the Season Holiday Poetry and Prose reading at the McCune Room at JFK Library 505 Santa Clara (downstairs) in Vallejo. Noah Dove, Karen Sims, Nancy Grace Wirt, Becky Dabish will be reading short stories. 
December 20 - Poetry on OZCAT Radio KZCT 89.5 FM at 10 AM (email Tom at to RSVP to read.
December 20 -
Poetry in Notion at JFK Library 4 PM 505 Santa Clara Street in Vallejo
If you’d like your poem posted on a popular poetry Facebook page, message Central Coast Poetry Shows with your poem (and book cover if you have one) and they will make you a poet of the day:
Dear Poets and Writers,
You are invited to participate in an ekphrastic reading at the Benicia Plein Air Gallery on Saturday, December 15, 2018. Samantha McNally is the featured artist, though she has asked us to write about the paintings of all 13 artists.
The reception and reading for the show, “Paintings, Prose, and Poetry,” is on Saturday, December 15, from 3-5pm.
Where: The Benicia Plein Air Gallery, 307 First St.  Benicia
Your poem or prose piece needs to be 99 words or less!  You may write 2 pieces if you wish. We would like to see all 13 artists represented!
There will be a sign-up sheet in the gallery. After you choose a painting, please write down your name, the title of the artwork, and the name of the artist. Again, we would like to see all the artists represented!
The show goes up DECEMBER 6TH!
The gallery will be open on the following days before the reading:
Dec. 6,7,8,9,13,14    11am-5pm.
If you want your work to be included in the gallery binder, please email Johanna: 
your poetry or prose in a Word docx, doc, or PDF no later than Thursday, December 13. Include the title of the painting, the name of the artist, and if possible, a photo of the artwork.
For more information about the gallery, go to:
If you have questions about the art, contact Samantha McNally at:
This event is sponsored by The Benicia Plein Air Gallery, Benicia Literary Arts, and the Poet Laureate Program/Benicia First Tuesday Poets. And no, you don’t have to belong to any group to participate! However, I do encourage you to join BLA!  Go to:
Please let Johanna Ely know if you plan to do this. It’s going to be a fun event, and if you missed the reading at the HQ Gallery, we hope you can be here for this one!

From Diane Frank:
"Poets, Please Help: Maria and Marco Rosales have lost their home in the Camp Fire in Paradise, CA. Many of you know Maria, who is a poet herself and a champion of poetry. She has given so generously--time, love, effort--to our poetry community in Northern California. Now I want to give back to her. What Maria grieves most is the loss of her collection of poetry books. As she said, "I can live without a toaster, but not without poetry." With Maria's permission, I am working to restore her poetry collection. IF YOU HAVE WRITTEN A BOOK OF POEMS, and you have the time/means to do so, PLEASE CONSIDER MAILING A COPY OF YOUR BOOK, INSCRIBED TO MARIA AND MARCO, to the following address: Maria and Marco Rosales, c/o 2815 Eccleston Avenue, Walnut Creek, CA 94597. If you know poets who have books out, please encourage them to do the same. It will be a great uplift to the Rosales family to receive your words. THANK YOU!"

Anything I've missed or corrections – Please contact: Tom Stanton, Poet Laureate of Benicia, California:

OzCat Radio – December 20!

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

Wow! An outstanding event, April 26th, 2016 

Previous group anthology available at Bookshop Benicia:

Diana Lang's Announcements for Dec. 2018:

We had Poets & Pirates, July 15th!

Ekphrastic Event in December!

​​​​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.  

Dana Gioia, CA Poet Laureate was HERE in April!

Woo-Hoo! Did we have fun!

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

Great turnout on June 5th!

We rocked

Rosanna's again

on Sunday, Oct 2!

Great fun on Friday, August 12th!

Benicia poets know how to have a picnic!

Rosanna's Photos, March 5th:

October 9th,

we read the poems

of Joel Fallon!

If you'd like to see any multi-page pdf of these event's photos, please e-mail me at Space here is limited and our events are many!

A great book, can be purchased at Bookshop Benicia:

Tom Stanton, 

Benicia Poet

Laureate 2018-2020

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

Check this out for a trailer of Johanna Ely's video with Nina Serrano:

(E-mail Peter Bray at for a

5-pagepdf copy of this, room here is limited.

Joel  Fallon

Rosanna's on 9/4/2016!

March 11's Fun:

"Beat Poets' Reading in Benicia:" 4 pages, send me

an e-address for the pdf: