Poetry in the Neighborhood


We have an ongoing Poetry Series, in collaboration with Gallery DeForest, entitled Poetry in the Neighborhood. The series runs from November through May, on the third Thursday of the month, with readings by local Poets and Writers.

As Featured in Ashland Daily Tidings, read about the series in the article National Poetry Month

Please join us for this inspiring series showcasing the talent of local poets!


Schedule of Readings 2014



next reading:

Thursday, February 20, 2014 7:00 to 8:30 PM

Carlos Reyes, John Sibley Williams

Poet and translator Carlos Reyes lives in Portland, Oregon. He is a traveler and whether he journeys to Alaska, Ecuador, France, India, Ireland. Panama, or Spain, those travels inform his poetry. In 2012 he was at the Fundación Valparaíso in Mojácar, Spain. In 2013 he was poet-in-Residence at Acadia National Park, and at Devils Tower National Monument. Last spring he gave readings in Ireland at the Mt Shannon Arts Festival, The White House and The Nail in Limerick. Latest publications:Pomegranate, Sister of the Heart(2012),Poemas de amor y locura / Poems of Love and Madness(2013).

John Sibley Williams is the author of Controlled Hallucinations and seven poetry chapbooks. He is the winner of the HEART Poetry Award and finalist for the Pushcart, Rumi, and The Pinch Poetry Prizes. John serves as editor of The Inflectionist Review and co-director of the Walt Whitman 150 project. Previous publishing credits include:Third Coast,Inkwell, Cider Press Review, Bryant Literary Review, The Chaffin Journal, RHINO,and various anthologies. He lives in Portland, Oregon.


Thursday, March 20, 2014, 7:00 to 8:30 PM

Kirsten Rian, Ellen Waterson, Patty Wixon

Kirsten Rian has spent 25 years as a multidisciplinary artist in the literary and visual arts fields. She has led creative writing workshops both domestically, as well as internationally in locations like post-war Sierra Leone and refugee relocation centers in Finland. She is widely published as an essayist and poet and the author of two books. She is the poetry editor at The Oregonian, and the recipient of an Artist Fellowship from the Oregon Arts Commission.

Via Lactea, published by Atelier 6000, is Ellen Waterston’s third collection of poetry. The book-length collection is based on her walking the Camino de Santiago in 2012. Her two previous collections,Between Desert Seasons and I Am Madagascar, garnered the 2009 and 2005 WILLA Poetry Award respectively. Prose titles includeCold Snap,Fishtrap, Inc., 2011;Where The Crooked River Rises, OSU Press, 2010; and Then There Was No Mountain, Rowman Littlefield, 2003. She served on the faculty of Summer Fishtrap 2012, was a featured author at The Nature of Words 2013, the keynoter at the 2013 Northwest Poets’ Concord, and will present at TEDx Bend in 2014.After eleven years as founder/director of The Nature of Words, a Bend-based literary arts non-profit, she passed the baton in 2012 to focus on her own writing and the Writing Ranch, which she founded in 2000, and which offers workshops and retreats for emerging writers in central Oregon and abroad. She is currently working on a second memoir. She lives in Bend, Oregon.


Patty Wixon’s poetry has appeared in journals (Hubbub, Cascadia Review), anthologies (latest,A Ritual to Read Together),and two chapbooks:Airing the Sheets (Finishing Line Press, 2011) and Side Effects (Uttered Chaos Press, 2014).Since her retirement from public school teaching and administration, Patty has been a part-time researcher in the William Stafford Literary Archive, producing ninety-nine CDs of audio recordings of Stafford. She is on the board of Chautauqua Poets & Writers. She and her husband Vince have been longtime poetry editors of the public radio program guideJefferson Monthly. They are recipients of the 2014 Stewart H. Holbrook Literary Legacy Award.


Thursday April 17, 2014, 7:00 to 8:30 PM

Shaindel Beers, John C. Morrison, Vince Wixon


Shaindel Beers’ poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. She is currently an instructor of English at Blue Mountain Community College in Pendleton, Oregon, in Eastern Oregon’s high desert and serves as Poetry Editor of Contrary.A Brief History of Time, her first full-length poetry collection, was released by Salt Publishing in 2009. Her second collection,The Children’s War and Other Poems, was released in February of 2013.

John Morrison earned his MFA from the University of Alabama and received the 2003 C. Hamilton Bailey Poetry Fellowship from Literary Arts. His book, Heaven of the Moment, won the 2006 Rhea & Seymour Gorsline Poetry Competition and was a finalist for the 2008 Oregon Book Award in poetry. His poems have appeared in numerous national literary journals, including the Cimarron Review, Poetry East,Southern Poetry Review, and RHINO. He has taught poetry at the University of Alabama, Washington State University, Vancouver, and the Attic Institute in Portland, Oregon.

Vince Wixon has published three poetry collections, most recently Blue Moon: Poems from Chinese Lines, andThe Square Grove and Seed. His poem “Tornado Weather” appears in Garrison Keillor’s anthology,Good Poems, American Places. He and Mike Markee have made videos on William Stafford and Lawson Inada. For many years he has been a scholar in the William Stafford Archives at Lewis & Clark College, and, with former Archives Director Paul Merchant, has edited three books by Stafford, including Sound of the Ax: Aphorisms & Poems, published by the University of Pittsburgh Press this year. With his wife, Patty, he is longtime poetry editor forJefferson Monthly.  This year Vince and Patty received the Stewart H. Holbrook Literary Legacy Award from Literary Arts.


Wednesday, January 15th 2014

Jonah Bornstein, Steve Dieffenbacher, Amy MacLennan, Amy Miller

Jonah Bornstein received his MFA in poetry from New York University. He has won various national and state poetry prizes including the Coulter Prize for poetry from the University of California, and an Academy of American Poets prize. He has been the featured reader in in New York, Southern Oregon University, KCSB radio, La Mama Galeria in New York, and throughout California and Oregon. Most recent collections of poems includeThe Art of Waking andTreatise on Emptiness.

Steve Dieffenbacher has lived in the Rogue Valley since 1989. His full-length book of poems, The Sky Is a Bird of Sorrow, was published by Wordcraft of Oregon in 2012. The collection won a ForeWord Reviews 2013 Bronze Award for poetry, and a poem in the book, “Night Singer, Chaco Canyon, New Mexico,” was named a 2013 finalist for the Spur Award for Best Western Poem by the Western Writers of America. In 2010, his poem, “Emptiness,” won the Cloudbank magazine poetry prize. His work also is in two chapbooks, At the Boundary(2001), and Universe of the Unsaid (2009).

Amy MacLennan lives and writes in Ashland, Oregon. She has been published in Hayden's Ferry Review, River Styx, Linebreak, Cimarron Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, Folio,and Rattle. Her chapbook,The Fragile Day, was released from Spire Press in the summer of 2011, and her chapbook, Weathering, was published by Uttered Chaos Press in early 2012. She has a poem appearing in the anthology Myrrh, Mothwing, Smoke: Erotic Poems that was published by Tupelo Press in March 2013. Her article "Social Networking and Poetry Publishing" appeared in the 2011 Poet's Market. She currently sits on the board of Chautauqua Poets & Writers.

Amy Miller’s poems have appeared in Northwest Review, Nimrod, Willow Springs, ZYZZYVA, and the anthology What the River Brings: Oregon River Poems. A finalist for the Pablo Neruda Prize and the 49th Parallel Award, she won the Cultural Center of Cape Cod National Poetry Competition, judged by Tony Hoagland. Author of nine chapbooks, she also writes nonfiction for journals such as Fine Gardeningand The Poet’s Market. Her crowning glory will be to have two poems appear in an anthology about the Clash later this year. She lives in Ashland.


Completed readings:

Schedule of Readings 2013

January-April 7:00 - 8:30 PM



POETRY PERFORMED ! Saturday April 13, 3:00 to 4:30

Poetry Performed! The Poeteers (Michael Holstein, Martha Fitzgerald, Maria Ciamaichelo, Irv Green, and Joseph T. Suste) will perform, (that's right, not just read or recite, but perform!) a variety of traditional and original poetry at Illahe Studios and Gallery, Saturday, April 13, from 3-4-ish p.m. Performance poetry uses the tools of theater (props, costumes, body language, etc.) to bring poetry alive. This is a must-see event for poetry lovers, poetry likers, and poetry undecideds.



Thursday, April 18, 2013, 7:00 PM

John Daniel, Esther Kamkar


Born in South Carolina and raised in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., John Daniel has lived in the West since 1966. After attending and dropping out of Reed College in Portland, Oregon, he worked as a logger, railroad inspector, rock climbing instructor, hod carrier, and poet-in-the-schools. He began to write poetry and prose in the 1970s while living on a ranch in south-central Oregon. In 1982 he received a Wallace Stegner Fellowship in Poetry at Stanford University, where he then took an M.A. in English/Creative Writing and taught five years as a Jones Lecturer in Poetry and a lecturer in Freshman English. He now makes his living as a writer and itinerant teacher in workshops and writer-in-residence positions around the country.

Esther Kamkar's poetry is as changing as the ocean, as passionate as a pomegranate tree in blossom, as deep and clear as a pool in a mountain stream. Her poems are lovingly crafted, utterly honest, full of evocative imagery and awakenings that bounce around in our consciousness – to be enjoyed again and again, like a favorite book or work of art. Esther Kamkar's wish? That her words may inspire you and speak to your own poetic and artistic voice. Go ahead, immerse yourself and enjoy.
:: John Waterman - 2005


Poetry Performed! The Poeteers (Michael Holstein, Martha Fitzgerald, Maria Ciamaichelo, Irv Green, and Joseph T. Suste) will perform, (that's right, not just read or recite, but perform!) a variety of traditional and original poetry at Illahe Gallery, Saturday, April 13, from 3-4-ish p.m. Performance poetry uses the tools of theater (props, costumes, body language, etc.) to bring poetry alive. This is a must-see event for poetry lovers, poetry likers, and poetry undecideds.



Special Poetry Event

Thursday, June 13, 2013, 7:00 P.M.

David Meltzer and Julie Rogers



A poet at age 11, David Meltzer began his literary career during the Beat heyday in San Francisco. At the age of 20 he recorded his poetry with jazz in Los Angeles and also became a singer-songwriter and guitarist for several bands during the 1960s. Meltzer came to literary prominence with inclusion of his work in the anthology, The New American Poetry 1945-1960. He is the author of many volumes of poetry including Arrows: Selected Poetry 1957 – 1992; No Eyes: Lester Young; Beat Thing; and David’s Copy .  He has also published fiction and essays, and has edited numerous anthologies and collections of interviews such as The Secret Garden: An Anthology in the Kabbalah, Reading Jazz, Writing Jazz, and San Francisco Beat: Talking with the Poets. His most recent book, When I Was A Poet, # 60 in the Pocket Poet’s Series published by City Lights, came out in 2011. Two-Way Mirror, A Poetry Notebook, will be the text for his Ashland class in June and will be reprinted by City Lights next year. David Meltzer taught in the undergraduate and graduate programs for poetics and humanities at New College in San Francisco for thirty years, and was given the Bay Area Guardian's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011. In 2012 he was nominated for the Northern California Book Award in Poetry. Visit the website at www.meltzerville.com .

David Meltzer and Julie Rogers married in 2011, live in Oakland, California, and perform their work together in the Bay Area and elsewhere.

“David Meltzer is a hidden adept, one of the secret treasures on our planet. Great poet, musician, comic; mystic unsurpassed, performer with few peers.” Diane diPrima, former SF Poet Laureate

“One of the greats of post-World War Two San Francisco poets and musicians. He brought music to poetry and poetry to music!” Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Beat Poet, author and founder of City Lights, San Francisco


Julie Rogers grew up in the SF East Bay, began writing at age 12 and reading her poetry in San Francisco cafes in the late 1970’s. Her poems were first published in 1980, including five chapbooks. She has read her work on public radio and television, and at many venues in California and Oregon. She's participated in many literary events and readings in the Rogue Valley, having previously been a resident for over twenty years. In 2007, Vimala published her Buddhist hospice manual, Instructions for the Transitional State. Her work has been featured in various journals and anthologies such as Beatitude – Golden Anniversary 1959 – 2009, Poetry Flash, Big Scream, The Cafe Review, the Haight-Ashbury Literary Journal, the Jefferson Monthly, and others. In 2012, her first selected collection of poetry spanning thirty years of work, House Of The Unexpected, was published by Wild Ocean Press, and it is currently being considered for the Northern California Book Award for Poetry. Visit the website at www.julrogers.com.

“Few poems are written as close to the heart -- no extra words just soul meanings…” Michael McClure, Beat Poet, author, novelist, artist

“Surpassing a consistency of sensitivity, Julie Rogers reveals that she writes with political and personal vision and can make a truly visionary leap of imagination, the brilliance of which resonates through all the love poems.” Jack Hirschman, Former San Francisco Poet Laureate, author, and artist

Both lucid and heart-felt, Julie Rogers’ words travel – and illumine - the way.” Jane Hirshfield, editor of ‘Women In Praise Of The Sacred’, 43 Centuries of Spiritual Poetry by Women and author of other titles





Spring 2009 poetry readings


Thursday April 16, 2009, 7:00 P.M.

Amy Miller, Suzanne Petermann, Liz Robinson, Joseph Federico


Sunday April 19, 2009, 3:00 P.M.

Michael Holstein: Guanajuato Poems


Friday, May 8, 2009, 7:00 P.M.

Robert McDowell, Julie Rogers


Thursday May 21, 2009, 7:00 P.M.

Kathleen Meagher, Tandren Alexander, accompanied by music



2009-2010 Poetry Readings
Third Thursday of the Month

Thursday Nov 19th, 2009 7:00 PM

Darrelle Cavan
Marcy Greene
Gaea Yudron


Thursday December 17th, 2009 7:00 PM

Stephanie Butler
Steve Dieffenbaucher
Derek Pyle



Thursday January 14th, 2010 7:00 PM

Jonah Bornstein
Liz Robinson
Joe Federico


Thursday, Feb 18, 2010 7:00 PM

Michael Jenkins
Susan Rouzie
Amy McLennan


Thursday, March 18, 2010 7:00 PM

Ines Diaz
Amy Miller
Petra Whitaker



Help us celebrate National Poetry Month with a special reading

Wednesday April 7, 2010 7:00 PM

Michael Holstein

in conjunction with National Poetry Month and our Artist Book Exhibit
introducing excerpts from his new book "Storied Memoirs"


Thursday, April 15, 2010 7:00 PM

Susanne Petermann
Pepper Trail
Gary Lark
Dori Appel



Thursday, May 20, 2010 7:00 PM

Kathleen Meagher
Michiko Wisdom
Steve Berman
musical accompaniment with the viola da gamba, chinese lute and flute



November 11, 2010, 7:00 PM

Marcy Greene, Poet, reading from "The Chemistry of Buddha's Brain"

Joseph Thompson, Classical Guitarist

Kathleen Meagher reading from her new book, "Facing the Light"





Wednesday, January 19, 2011, 7:00 PM

Liz Vesecky
John Fisher-Smith
Joyce Epstein



Thursday February 17, 2011, 7:00 PM

Charlotte Abernathy
James V. Anderson
Jay Schroder



Thursday, March 17, 2011, 7:00 PM

Nancy Bringhurst
Quinton Hallet

Erik Muller


Thursday April 21, 2011, 7:00 PM

Jessica Lamb
Donna Henderson
Julie Weber
James V. Anderson



A special added reading:
note change of date to Saturday
Saturday, May 21, 2011
7:00 to 8:30 PM

Allan Peterson
John Witte




Wednesday, January 18, 2012 (Note Wednesday reading)

Carol Brockfield, Cecelia Hagen, Judson Hyatt



Thursday, February 16, 2012

Dave Harvey, Morgan Hunt, Ashland High School "Voices of the Young"



Thursday, March 15, 2012

Nancy Carol Moody, Sharon Munson, Linda Barnes



Thursday, April 19, 2012

Carter McKenzie, Kylan Rice, Anita Sullivan





Wednesday, January 16, 2013, 7:00 P.M.


Miles Frode, Marisa Petersen, Angela Decker, Richard Lehnert


Miles Frode is a 28 year old lifetime poet and 3rd generation artist who started speaking poetry before he could write it and recently, in the last 8 years, has been merging his new influences of free-style hip/hop and spoken word.

Marisa Petersen is a retired teacher who taught Spanish in New Mexico, New York and Oregon, and English in Romania. Her poems have appeared inThe Jefferson Monthly, Oregon Poetic Voices, andTurn, the forthcoming themed anthology from Uttered Chaos press. She and her husband live in Medford where they tend their organic gardens… but they keep their passports current and continue to explore other longitudes and latitudes each year after making the last batch of blackberry jam and gifting the last zucchinis.

Angela Decker has lived in Ashland for over 8 years. Her poems have appeared inThe Jefferson Monthly, Comstock Review, Hip Mama, The Wisconsin Reviewand others. She has taught writing and literature in California, and this fall taught poetry writing at SOU. She is a freelance writer, and a columnist for the Ashland Daily Tidings.

Richard Lehnert’s first book of poems,A Short History of the Usual, was published in 2003 by The Backwaters Press; his second book,The Only Empty Place, is as yet unpublished. From 1987 to 1996 he was the music editor ofStereophilemagazine, and since then has worked as a freelance copyeditor and music critic. He earned an MFA in Creative Writing, Poetry, from Warren Wilson College in 1997. His work has been published inPoetry,The Southern Review,The Sun,Prairie Schooner,Mid-American Review,Barrow Street, and many other journals. He lived in New Mexico for 30 years, and moved to Ashland in June 2011.


Thursday February 21, 2013, 7:00 PM

Joan Peterson, Linda Barnes, Robert Pesich


Joan Peterson retired from teaching writing classes at Rogue Community College several years ago. She lives on her farm in Applegate where she has room for gardening, and walking. Sometimes she even has time to write a poem. She has published her work inINTRICATE HOMELAND (2000), VOICES OF TH E SISKIYOUS (2006)WEST WIND REVIEW, ROGUES’ GALLERY, OREGON ENGLISH JOURNAL, FIREWEEDand various other literary magazines. She has one chapbook of poems,BRILLIANT BY THE DOOR (1999).

Linda Barnes has degrees in English and Psychology, and is a Certified Applied Poetry Facilitator and a Certified Facilitator for the Journal to the Self® Program. She is a retired personal counselor who continues her work in poetry therapy and journal faciliation in private groups and on line with the Therapeutic Writing Institute. She serves on the Board of the Federation of Biblio-Poetry Therapy.
Linda has won several awards for her poetry and is included in the Oregon Poetic Voices Project on line. She is a founding member of the Rogue Valley Chapter of the Oregon Poetry Association, and has coordinated the annual Southern Oregon Poetry Prize for the Downtowners Coffee House monthly reading group for eight years.
Her book on the benefits of teaching expressive writing at the community college will be released in 2014. She has just returned from presenting poetry workshops at the Southcoast Writers’ Conference in Gold Beach, Oregon.

Robert Pesich is the editor for Swan Scythe Press. His work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in The Redwood Coast Review, The Bitter Oleander, Slipstream, Skidrow Penthouse and Círculo de Poesía (Mexico City) among others.
He was a finalist for the 2011 SLS Unified Contest. In 2009, he was awarded the Littoral Press Poetry Prize and fellowships from Djerassi and the Silicon Valley Community Foundation.
In 2004, he was awarded an artist fellowship from Arts Council Silicon Valley. In 2001, he authored the chapbook Burned Kilim (Dragonfly Press). A second collection of poetry, Night Sutures, is in submission. He works at Stanford University Medical Center as a research assistant in the Department of Biochemistry and lives near San José with his wife and their two sons.


Thursday, March 21, 2013, 7:00 PM

Judith Barrington, Toni Hanner


Judith Barrington is the author of three poetry collections, most recently Horses and the Human Soul, which was selected by the Oregon State Library for "150 Books for the Sesquicentennial" (from among books by Oregon writers, 1836 – 2009).
Two recent poetry chapbooks include the Robin Becker Award-winning, Lost Lands, and her memoir, Lifesaving, won the Lambda Book Award and was a finalist for the PEN/Martha Albrand Award. She teaches for the University of Alaska’s MFA program and at workshops across the USA, Britain and Spain.
Judith has been announced as the winner of Ireland's 2013 prestigious Gregory O'Donoghue Prize.


Toni Hanner’s poems appear in Yellow Medicine Review, MARGIE, Alehouse, Calyx, Gargoyle, Tiger’s Eye, and others. She is a member of Lane Literary Guild’s Red Sofa Poets, the Eugene/Springfield Unit of Oregon Poetry Association, and Port Townsend’s Madrona Writers. Moonmusic, poems by Hanner and collaborator Connie Beitler, was published by Wellstone Press in 2000. She had two books published in 2012 —  The Ravelling Braid from Tebot Bach, and a chapbook of surrealist poems, Gertrude, from Traprock Books. Gertrude is a finalist for the 2013 Oregon Book Award for poetry.
Hanner’s poetry ranges from the wildly experimental (her poem “,,” won a First Place in the OPA’s spring 2011 contest) to straight narrative poems. She has written a series of persona poems about “Orange Dave” and loves to play with forms, particularly the sonnet and pantoum.
Her current favorite poets are Laura Kasischke, Zach Schomberg, and her partner-for-life, Michael Hanner.

An additional workshop by Judith Barrington


Writing the Body, a workshop with Judith Barrington Friday, March 22, 2013 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM; cost is $75.00 (limited to 12 participants)

This workshop will focus on letting your writing emerge through physical experiences. You may want to write directly about the body—its pleasures, its brokenness, its limitations or its particular ways of knowing. Or you may choose to recall experiences that you’ve never looked at from the point of view of your feet or your navel—moments that you never thought of as being about the body, but that will now include the physical. We’ll look at writings by writers who have attempted this and try out for ourselves, some new perspectives. As time permits we’ll give feedback for your work in progress.