Saturday, April 2, 2022

No Poetry No Peace: A Reading and Celebration of Human Expression and Peace hosted by Sheryl J. Bize-Boutte





Thursday, April 28, 2022 - 6:00pm to 7:00pm

This event is produced in partnership with the San Francisco Writers Conference

Please register via Eventbrite and the Zoom credentials will be sent to you when you register and a few days prior to the event.




Award-winning author and Pushcart Prize nominee Sheryl J. Bize-Boutte is an Oakland multidisciplinary writer whose autobiographical and fictional short story collections, along with her lyrical and stunning poetry, artfully succeed in getting across deeper meanings about the politics of race and economics without breaking out of the narrative.  Her writing has been variously described as "rich in vivid imagery," "incredible," and "great contributions to literature." Her first novel, Betrayal on the Bayou, was published in June 2020 and a poetry collection she has written with her daughter Dr. Angela M. Boutte, titled No Poetry No Peace, was published in August 2020.  An inaugural Oakland Poet Laureate runner-up, she is also a popular literary reader, presenter, storyteller, curator, and emcee for local events. Find out more at

Mireya S. Vela is a Mexican-American creative non-fiction writer, storyteller, and artist in Los Angeles. In her work, Ms. Vela addresses the needs of immigrant Mexican families and the disparities they face every day. She tackles issues of inequity and how ingrained societal systems support the injustice that contributes to continuing poverty and abuse. Ms. Vela received her Master of Fine Arts from Antioch University in 2018. She is the author of Vestiges of Courage, available through Amazon. Ms. Vela is also a visual artist. Find her on Twitter @mireyasvela; Instagram: mireyasvela; and her Visual Art is here:

Douglas Cole has published six collections of poetry and the novel, The White Field, winner of the American Fiction Award. He is a regular contributor to Mythaxis, an online journal, where in addition to his fiction and essays, his interviews with notable writers, artists and musicians such as Daniel Wallace (Big Fish), Darcy Steinke (Suicide Blond, Flash Count Diary) and Tim Reynolds (T3 and The Dave Matthews Band) have been popular contributions. He also writes a regular monthly column called “Trading Fours” for Jerry Jazz Musician and has recently been named the editor for “American Poetry” in Read Carpet, an international, predominantly Spanish-language journal produced by Maria Del Castillo Sucerquia from Columbia. In addition to the American Fiction Award, he was awarded the Leslie Hunt Memorial prize in poetry, the Editors’ Choice Award for fiction by RiverSedge, and has been nominated three time for a Pushcart and Best of the Net. He lives and teaches in Seattle, Washington. His website is

Grace Marie Grafton’s most recent book, LENS, from Unsolicited Press, features poems inspired by California artists, 1853-2010. She is the author of six previous collections of poetry. Her themes range from lyrical sonnets to experimental prose poems, with a concentration on response to fine art. Ms. Grafton taught for many years in the California Poets In The Schools program, for which she was awarded twelve California Arts Council grants.  She was named Teacher of the Year by the River Of Words annual student poetry contest co-sponsored by Robert Hass, United States Poet Laureate. Born and raised in California’s San Joaquin Valley of a Finnish American farming family, she now lives in Oakland with her husband and their extended family. Find her poems here -

Gini Grossenbacher, novelist, poet, certified editor, educator, publisher, founded Elk Grove Writers and Artists and JGKS Press in Sacramento County. She has thirty-six years of experience teaching English/language arts to adolescents and adults. Her debut American Madams series novel, Madam of My Heart, was a silver medalist for historical fiction in the 2018 Independent Publisher awards and received the Kirkus star; Madam in Silk was runner up for historical fiction in the 2020 National Indie Excellence Awards. Her next novel, Madam in Lace, was recently published in December 2021. Glimpses, her first poetry collection, will be released in September 2022. Gini provides developmental, copyediting, and collaborative publishing services to novelists and poets as well as offering weekly virtual fiction and poetry workshops.  A happy grandma, Gini lives in Elk Grove with her husband Karl and faithful dog, Murphy Brown. Please visit her website; find her on Facebook, and learn more about JGKS Press

Award-winning and widely published poet, author, journalist, & activist Aqueila M. Lewis-Ross uses poetry as a catalyst for healing.  Her performative narrative pedagogy is centered around themes ranging from personal topics, religion, identity, women's empowerment, and social justice. Her work has been featured in newspapers, magazines, reviews, radio broadcasts, and 15 anthologies. She has published a book and is working on other manuscripts for poetry, memoir, and children’s picture books. Check out her book, Stop Hurting and Dance published by Pochino Press.