Former U.S. Poet Laureate, Writers' Workshops, and More Highlight This Year's Poetry, Prose and Arts Festival

An appearance by former U.S. poet laureate Billy Collins is one of the highlights of the Fifth Annual Pleasanton Poetry, Prose and Arts Festival, to be held Saturday, April 1 at the CarrAmerica Conference Center, 4400 Rosewood Drive in Hacienda. The event will also feature poetry and prose workshops for authors of all ages, a fine arts show, book signings, music, an awards banquet, and more.

The event, sponsored by the Pleasanton Cultural Arts Council (PCAC) and the City of Pleasanton, gets underway for registered attendees with morning workshops on a variety of topics, including adult poetry workshops on Writing for Political Change with Sholeh Wolpe; Monster Poems - Addressing the Shadow with Armand Brint; and Off the Beaten Path: Writing Poems that Surprise You with Cheryl Dumesnil. A Youth Poetry and Art workshop, Creative Play, will be presented by Susan Wooldridge and Madelynn Ellis and a prose workshop for adults and teens, Letting Your Muse Run Wild, will be taught by Cindy Fisher-Luck.

Afternoon workshops include adult poetry workshops Reading and Performing Your Poetry, presented by Sholeh Wolpe; The News from Poems, with Armand Brint; and Writing from the Senses, with Cheryl Dumesnil. Tshaka Campbell will offer a workshop on teen slam poetry, Not Your Typical Edgar Allen Poe-try, and Cindy Luck will repeat her Letting Your Muse Run Wild workshop for adult and teen prose writers.

Registered festival attendees will also have the opportunity to participate in a question-and-answer session with Billy Collins, U.S. poet laureate from 2001-2003. Collins is also appearing that evening at 8:00 pm at the Amador Theater, 1155 Santa Rita Road, as part of the City of Pleasanton's Civic Arts Presents program.

The Poetry, Prose and Arts Festival will also feature a number of activities that are open to the public. Visitors can meet a variety of Bay Area writers of both prose and poetry at Author's Row from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm. The Pleasanton Art League's Visual Art Exhibit will be open to the public during that time as well. Musician Jim Steinke will provide musical expression on classical guitar, mandolin, and mandocello from noon until 1:00 pm.

For additional information on the Pleasanton Poetry, Prose and Arts Festival, access or call (925) 931-5350. Tickets for Billy Collins' appearance can be purchased online at, by phone at (925) 931-3444, or in person from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm weekdays at the Amador Theater Box Office.

Photo: Photo by Jersey Walz

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