April 22 – 24, 2005

Held at the Clarion Hotel Oakland
500 Hegenberger Road, Oakland, CA 94621
Phone: 1 510-562-5311 Fax: 1 510-636-1539

Developing the theme of California Voices, Program Chair Mary Rudge has brought together an outstanding variety of sessions, including formal presentations, workshops, round-table discussions, and splashes of music and motion, all to be presented at the Clarion Hotel in Oakland, formerly known as the Holiday Inn, April 22 – 24, 2005. PDF registration forms are downladable here.

Those attending will discover a wide range of topics and events related to Poetry. Some are workshops on various aspects of the craft, from writing tips to where and how to publish. Some are awards and recognition for contests. Some invite us to sit back and appreciate.

When it is over, participants will take away a better understanding of the wide field of options in creating and appreciating Poetry. And, as an added bonus, they’ll have developed a little of that camaraderie that exists between poets and their close associates.

A major change this year is that CFCP will offer university credit for participation in the weekend’s events. California State University East Bay (formerly CSU Hayward) will award 2.5 quarter units of upper division graduate level credit to those who successfully complete the "educators’ packet" that will accompany the Convention.

The fee is conveniently reasonable at $44 per unit. Entitled Poetry Education: Classroom Strategies, the course is especially intended for teachers and other who are considering teaching poetry at any grade level, but others may enroll, if they wish. A PDF brochure is downloadable here.

The Convention formally opens at 3 pm with a Welcome given in several different languages, greetings and proclamations from the mayors and other officials of Bay Area cities, and an address from a well-known local politician. This will be followed by a panel discussion from publishers and editors, and then one on the difficulties of translation.

Keynote Speaker David Alpaugh will challenge all poets with The Professionalism of Poetry at 7 pm. Alpaugh’s wit, humor, and way with a story have made him one of the most popular poets in the Bay Area where he has been a featured reader over 100 times at books stores, cafes, colleges and other venues. He has taught at the University of California, Berkeley Extension; is host of the celebrated Second Sunday Poetry Readings in Crockett; publishes Carquinez Poetry Review; and is a permanent member of the board of trustees of The Ina Coolbrith Circle.

Sound, Substance, Style — Poetry Diversity will present current trends in Bay Area poetry through the interpretive work of five local poets, followed by the traditional Bardic Circle read-around to close Friday evening’s activities.

Saturday begins with the Children’s Poetry Fair Exhibit in one room and in another, authors’ exhibits of books and periodicals, as well as archival materials including photographs, old documents, and other items of historic interest, will be on display.

A choice of poetry workshop or roundtable discussion at 9 am leads to the Keynote Speaker, Katie McAllaster Weaver, addressing us on Writing with Children in Mind. Her poems have appeared in Hazmat, West Wind Review, Writers’ Forum, Thunder Sandwich, Suisun Valley Review and the Carquinez Poetry Review, among others. Her children’s poetry has been featured in numerous magazines and her children's picture book, Bill in a China Shop has won awards both in the U.S. and U.K. Another children's book is due out from Simon & Schuster in 2008.

The morning’s events will be rounded out with a series of sessions on the haiku form, concluding with Haiku 4 U by President James Shuman.

The Poets’ Luncheon on Saturday and the Golden Pegasus Banquet on Sunday evening are optional events, but are times in which new acquaintances become friends, friendships solidify, and exchanges of thoughts and ideas on a variety of topics enrich the experience. The Luncheon will include a Hawaiian Language interpretation by dancer Alberta Jay.

At 1:30, the Youth Contest Awards will be presented, and at 3:30 there will be a Tribute to Poets Laureate, beginning with a 15 minute Celebration of the Muses dance presentation followed by a series of panels of poets who have held the laureate title for their community.

Classroom teachers will have a panel on How I Get Students Interested in Poetry followed by a discussion/assessment of the Children’s Poetry Fair.

The evening will offer Poetry Into Rhythm and Song featuring Bay Area poets and songwriters performing their own work, followed by another read-around to close the event-filled day.

Sunday morning offers a choice of Writing for Spirituality or Poets in Wartime, followed by the General Membership Meeting. Educators have a session on Poetry Basics followed by time to begin Developing a Lesson for Your Students.

The afternoon features the Annual Contest Awards, recognizing the authors of the outstanding poems in this year’s contest. Each of the three to five winning poems in each of twelve categories is read aloud, either by the author, or by a poet-reader.

The evening concludes with the Golden Pegasus Banquet, the highlight of the Convention. Featuring a keynote speaker and the installation of Officers for the 2005–2007 term, it concludes with the awarding of the Roadrunner-Up and Golden Pegasus trophies for outstanding work. Winners of these awards are not known until they are announced at the ceremony.

Often, a few poets convene in a suite or other large area for a final session of read-arounds before saying goodbye for another year.

But this year, the Convention still isn’t over! There is an optional Monday morning bus tour of Sites of Historical Literary Significance in Alameda, conducted by Mary Rudge, Poet Laureate of the City of Alameda. Space is limited, so it’s first come, first served on reserving a spot for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!

From beginning to end, don’t miss out on any of the wonderful sessions at California Voices.

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