Jennifer D. King is the Director of the Downtown Oakland Senior Center. The book launch for this year’s anthology called WORD MOVERS took place on June 27th. The annual anthologies are a project of the Creative Writing Classes of the Downtown Oakland Senior Center and West Oakland Senior Center with contributions from the Senior Writing Community across the country. Jennifer and Jean Mundy edited WORD MOVERS, the seventh volume in this project. It’s 276 pages has poems, short stories, and memoir essays.
In addition to her work as the center director, Jennifer teaches their Poetry Workshop. She also teaches English and Public Speaking at the College of Alameda and the Allen Temple Leadership Institute in Oakland. She earned a B.A. and an M.A. in English from Mills College in Oakland.
In 2007 Jennifer’s published TURNING MY FACE TO THE SUN, a compilation of her poetry and short stories. A second collection of her work was published in 2013 under the title FIRST I CRIED.
I was pleased to accept her request to be the Mistress of Ceremonies for this year’s event. Thirty-four writers read from their published entries to a full house with standing room only available by the start of the program. Attendees were welcomed by Amy Blasenhaim, Vice Chair of the Oakland Senior Center Advisory Council. Other speakers in the program were Dorothy Poston, West Oakland Senior Center Director, Scott Means City of Oakland Services Manager, Gerry Garzon, Oakland Public Library Director, Annalee Allen, a weekly columnist for the Oakland Tribune and an Oakland Historian. Laura Courtney, the Center’s Volunteer Coordinator spoke about the Creative Writing Project.
Gerry Garzon, as Director of Library Services, oversees one of the Bay Area’s largest public library systems. The Oakland Public Library is second in size only to San Francisco and San Jose. He manages 118 branches and a roving bookmobile. Friday he announced that WORD MOVERS will be available to check out at the City of Oakland’s Library.
WORD MOVERS can be purchased on Amazon soon.
The Choice Poetry Contest will end June 30th. Please click the Poetry Contest page in the above menu to enter and for the requirements. Top three winners will be published in my new anthology with the theme of choices.
Looking forward to more poems.
My story called “Cat Therapy” that will be published in NOT YOUR MOTHER’S BOOK…ON CATS is about my Russian Blue breed, Susa (one of her many names). She is in her senior years and very thin. At the Farmers Market today, I found a new cat food for her and she loves it. The seller educated us about inflammatory bowel disease which Susa has and this new food will help her gain weight. She’s energetic, intelligent, and one of the best cats I’ve had. She comes when she’s called and greets me at the door when I come home. I’m thrilled to find a certified nutritionist who makes nourishing pet food.
This picture shows a bud from our Magnolia Tree last year. This year it didn’t bud out at all. I wonder if it is because we have a drought and had to reduce the amount of water for our trees and plants.
My story, “Cat Therapy” was accepted by NOT YOUR MOTHER’S BOOK…On Cat’s due for publication in September this year.
Shannon Brown has two novel excerpts published in my anthology, WRITTEN ACROSS THE GENRES. One is from ROCK ‘N’ ROLL IN LOCKER SEVENTEEN and the other is from her work in progress, FROM BEYOND THE MUSIC. The anthology and Shannon’s young adult novel are available on Amazon.
Here’s a short interview with Shannon.
Julaina: “Who is your favorite author?”
Shannon: “I like Nick Hornby’s fiction. Even though it’s usually set in England, his work is relatable and funny. It also makes me want to visit London.”
Julaina: “Why do you write?”
Shannon: “To get my ideas on paper and because it’s fun.”
Julaina: “Where do you like to write?”
Shannon: “Mostly in my office at a desktop computer because I hate laptop keyboards. Occasionally, I will write in longhand on the couch if I’m not in a typing mood.”
Julaina: “What are you working on now?”
Shannon: “I’m editing the prequel to ROCK ‘N’ ROLL IN LOCKER SEVENTEEN. I have the first draft completed. My other project is PARLOR TRICKED, a first book in a series about a reluctant psychic.”
Julaina: “Thanks, Shannon.”
In my next post I will give an example of Shannon’s humor.
Jordan Bernal, Vice President of the Tri-Valley Writers branch of the California Writers Club presented the winners of the High School Writing Contest with their awards.
Several winning students who attended read their poems and short stories.
A group photo is on Tri-Valley branch’s website: http://www.trivalleywritersdotorg.
Neva Hodges and I were judges for the short stories. We were impressed not only with the students’ writing skills, but with the topics they choose: organ transplant, abuse, ecology, bullying, poverty, anorexia, and many more.