Never Retreat



Are you looking for perfect gifts for all the special people on your holiday gift list? Well, here they are! Scroll through ArtsMart, and you’ll find a dozen or more super gift ideas - fascinating books on every subject, writing workshops and courses, even calendars - something for everyone on your list! And they all come with the wish that you have a joyous holiday season and a peaceful - and healthy - new year.



With long experience mentoring poets working in a variety of styles, Joan is committed to helping you achieve excellence in your own inimitable voice. For her bio and poems, see

Options include:

––Online generative workshops (a few spots left)
Prompts inspired by historic and contemporary poems will lead to new work only you can write. Whether you’re new to poetry or well-published, this workshop will free and refresh your practice, igniting work that surprises you.

––Individual mentoring:
Starting with a free 15-minute consultation, a five-week intensive during which you’ll email up to three poems each week and receive Joan’s detailed response and prompts for generating new work. You can expect close attention to what’s effective as well as what needs strengthening. Mentoring concludes with a 30-minute online conversation. Poets at any level are welcome.$500

Alternative: 1-3 weeks of intensive mentoring: $110 per week (at intervals that work for you).
Should you decide to extend the commitment, fee will be credited towards the five-week process.

––Book-length manuscript consultation:
Joan’s comprehensive feedback includes detailed attention to individual poems, recommendations for sequence, and meticulous proofreading. Goal: a book-length manuscript ready to submit. $500 (chapbook $250).

––To apply for a workshop or service above:
Please email introducing yourself with a 1-3 page writing sample.
Once you’re accepted, a $50 deposit holds your place.


by Roberta Schultz

Underscore is one poet’s attempt to explore the currents that swirl underneath the surface of everyday life. When do our voices breathe in unison, when do they diverge into counterpoint?

How do the events of our lives chorus into through-composed pieces without reprise or return to familiar themes?

When do we finally sing along with the unmistakable music of the spheres? In her first full-length collection, Roberta Schultz begins by looking “in instead of up” at the cadences we underline and define as our own.

You can buy Underscore from Dos Madres press at https://

Or from the author at

The Kitchen is Closed

The Kitchen is Closed
And Other Benefits of Being Old
by Sandra Butler

In her eighties, Sandra Butler does not identify as elderly. Or mature. She’s neither plucky nor a burden, and she’s not over any hills. She’s old and she’s ready to reclaim that word. Butler is not a senior—she’s a mother, a lesbian, a Jew, a feminist, and at times, “a rabble-rousing hectorer.” And now that her time is running out, Butler doesn’t mess around with things that don’t matter. She is supremely motivated, and she’s so much braver than ever before.

In this funny and intensely personal collection of essays, Butler chronicles her experience moving from aging to old, remembering and forgetting all the wrong things, feeling frustrated with technology, keeping up with the avalanche of cultural and political news, mothering two middle-aged daughters, surveying her old body, and ultimately, preparing for her death.

With its sharp humor and refreshing honesty, The Kitchen is Closed is a must-read for everyone who is 60 or older and for those who love them.

Buy now on Amazon or your independent bookseller.

Ordinary Splendor

Ordinary Splendor
by Judith Waller Carroll

A collection of poems from MoonPath Press

“Reading these poems is like viewing paintings in a gallery. The images are rich and detailed, the reader feels present in her settings. The individual poems are the observations of a seasoned poet, from perspectives that have been honed over a lifetime. The collection as a whole is a study in serenity.”
Stephen Parrish, author of The First 100 Words
(5 star Amazon Review)

A poem from Ordinary Splendor

Directions Back to Childhood

Turn left at the first sign of progress
and follow the old highway
along the Stillwater River.
When you hear the whistle of the train,
take a right and cross the covered bridge
that leads to the rodeo grounds
where the silver-maned bronc
caused so much havoc the summer you were ten
and the ghost of your grandfather’s Jeep
rests behind the bleached-out grandstand
choked with blackberries.
As you round the corner into town,
there’s a white picket fence
laced with lilacs. Walk through the gate.
You’ll see a blue and white Western Flyer
lying on its side in the middle of the sidewalk.
It will take you the rest of the way.

Judith Waller Carroll is an Oregon poet whose poems have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and read by Garrison Keillor on The Writer’s Almanac. This is her second full-length collection.

For order information click here.

For a signed book, contact the author at

Mother Once Removed

Mother Once Removed
by Ellen Tovatt Leary

Growing up in Greenwich Village in the 1940s – the shy and introverted only child of a glamorous, eccentric divorcée – was a challenge that proved to be lifelong – and ironically the catalyst that propelled the author to go on the professional stage.

Available on Amazon.

The Devil’s Fools

The Devil’s Fools
by Mary Gilliland
guest poetry editor, Persimmon Tree 60

Infused with eco-logic, informed by feminism, and taking cues from Eve, Cain, Proserpine, Ulysses, Parsifal and selves present and past, these fifty poems illustrate myths of nature and the nature of inherited myth.

Order from:

Find out more at

“Mary Gilliland’s magisterial new collection, The Devil’s Fools, opens in myth and magic, but its vast reach is deeply rooted in her reverence for earth and all earthly creations.…From first to last, I am spellbound by the largesse of vision and the beauty of this wondrous collection.”

—Cynthia Hogue


Subverting received traditions, the lyrics of The Devil’s Fools speak to and for those wanting heaven: modern pilgrims, medieval masons; seafarer, axe murderer, alcoholic; daughter, spouse, sibling, mother; a woman on pause, a monarch of the underworld, Eve stepping out past Eden.


Miami in Virgo

Miami in Virgo
A Feminist, Mystical Novel
by Sally Mansfield Abbott


A disturbing encounter with a hermaphrodite at a county fair presages teenage Miami’s loss of innocence in 1970’s California. MIAMI IN VIRGO is a literary fiction coming-of-age novel narrated by precocious seventeen-year-old Miami.

She and her friends form a tight-knit circle practicing feminist Wiccan ritual, as her childhood fundamentalism casts a long shadow.

Conflicts with her friends over boys threaten their newfound feminist solidarity. An anticipated trip to a women’s demonstration devolves into a nightmarish questioning of her sexuality, further fracturing her friendships. An ill-fated romance at a Halloween party becomes thoroughly spooked when Miami winds up exiled in her new family after her mother’s remarriage.

Her peccadilloes take on a spiritual dimension and she goes through a soul-searing scrutiny which eventually leads to the resolution of her conflicts through the deepening of her character. The twists and turns of her fast-paced story make a compelling read.

Order the book, on Amazon.

Learn more about the book and its author:

The Lemon Tree

The Lemon Tree
by Nitza Agam

A rare collection of diverse creators, The Lemon Tree is a kaleidoscopic work that contains some of the most creative women of our time. Nitza Agam, a Bay Area author, teacher, and poet, has compiled a work that reveals the truth behind what drives women writers and artists to express their creativity. Inspired by her late friend who hid much of her art in her attic, this work sheds light on women artists and writers, now for the first time, who convey what they have always known, some from an early age, their unwavering need to create using words or images or both. The essays reveal the struggles, the obstacles, the triumphs, and the joys of the creative process. Many of the authors and artists are Bay Area based, but also reside in Montana, Israel, and England.

Marlene Shikegawa has produced a short documentary about the project, and has generously agreed to share it with Persimmon Tree:

Available on Amazon.

When It’s Over

When It’s Over
by Barbara Ridley

Inspired by the true story of the author’s mother’s escape from the Holocaust.

Leaving her Jewish family behind in Nazi–occupied Czechoslovakia, Lena’s journey takes her to an English village — where she faces prejudice and finds herself torn between two men.

An engrossing novel that “brings the forces of history to a very human level” (Booklist)

Winner of the IBPA Silver Medal in Historical Fiction. Now available in audiobook, narrated by the 4-time AudioFile Award Winner Jilly Bond – or your favorite independent bookstore – or wherever you get your audiobooks

For more information on the novel and the story behind it, visit

Julie Lemberger

Julie Lemberger Photography is pleased to announce a companion to MODERN WOMEN: 21ST CENTURY DANCE, A COLORING BOOK
Modern Women 21st Century Coloring Book Calendar 2023

Photography by Julie Lemberger. Edited by Elizabeth Zimmer

The line-art illustrations are based on nearly 30 years of Lemberger’s brilliant photographs of dance performances and rehearsals in studios, on stages, and in other spaces.

Enjoy coloring a different dancer every month!

“MODERN WOMEN: 21st CENTURY COLORING BOOK IS A MAJOR MARVEL and a WONDER FILLED ACHIEVEMENT and an AWESOME WORK OF ART FOR NOW AND THE FUTURE!!! yes – i am yelling (and screaming). so well done and designed and so compelling and so cool…So powerful!!!”

— Seán Curran, Chair of Dance,
Tisch School of the Arts, New York University

Modern Women 21st Century Coloring Book Calendar 2023 – $14 (including free shipping to anywhere in U.S.)

MODERN WOMEN: 21ST CENTURY DANCE, A COLORING BOOK – $20 ($5 for shipping/handling in U.S.)

(For international shipping please request rates)

Both available at:

As You Write It: Lucky 7

As You Write It: Lucky 7
featuring Estelle Cade, Joan Hopkins Coughlin, Sally Fairfield, Lillian Fiske, Penny Jordan, Noreen O’Brien, Ellen Brucker Marshall, Ann Marie Meltzer, Laura Rodley, Alice Thomas, Barbara Waters

The As You Write It series is a great gift to our community: a page-turning read, a window into our local past, and a platform for brilliant storytellers, all in one. In turns reflective, touching, and funny, this anthology is a reminder of the worlds that can open up when we take the time to listen to the voices already among us.

Mike Jackson, Managing Editor, The Montague Reporter

With its seventh gift to our community, the As You Write It group once again reminds and encourages us: Everyone should write! And when talent is fostered, it blossoms. Lucky 7‘s eleven writers pull a deep spectrum of living color through the prism of the short memoir, leaving something new and different shining on every page: poetry and portals into our local history, childhood sense-memories returning, reveries and touching reflections. Place this little volume on your bedside table. You’ll be grateful.

Jean Varda, poet

To place an order, send a check
for $16 plus $3 shipping and handling to
Laura Rodley
P.O. Box 63
Shelburne Falls MA 01370


A Gentle Writing Program
by Kim Duke

Imagine calling yourself a writer. Now it’s time to make it real. Let Scribbly help you become the writer you’ve always wanted to be…without the pressure.

My name is Kim Duke and I’m a full-time writer, Amazon best-selling author and my work has been featured on NBC News, the Globe and Mail and other international media.

My mission is simple. To get more women writing with intention, fun and freedom!

My gentle writing program is mailed to your home every 30 days. Each Scribbly is loaded with quirky writing tips, prompts and examples. My team and I devote over 100 hours into each issue. Gorgeous illustrations, research, art, science and writing that reach out from the pages to inspire you. I can’t wait for you to see your Scribbly!

Scribbly is a gentle writing program that encourages your creativity and gets you writing in five minutes. If you want to explore creative nonfiction writing (without pressure) – you’ll love Scribbly! The best part? When you’re a Scribbly member, you get a chance to submit your writing for publication in Scribbly.

Hooray for snail mail!


A bilingual poetry collection by Nicole Brossard
Translated from the French by Cynthia Hogue with Sylvain Gallais

This bilingual edition of Nicole Brossard’s exuberantly lyrical collection is a sequence of lush, taut cityscapes. Known for her elliptical and materially grounded poetics, Brossard creates in Distantly an intimate series drawn loosely from urban experience. The poems are linked by their city settings, drawn from a woman’s observations, emotions, perceptions, and dreams as she wanders the streets of her world.

“A cosmopolitan of interiority,” as Eleanor Wilner describes her, “Brossard creates meta-cities where the political lies down with the poetic.” Cynthia Hogue’s co-translation, as Wilner adds, “doesn’t feel like translation, but like the discovery of a wholly original poet newly minted in English.”  

Distantly expresses a redolently postmodern sensibility, at once utopian and real.

Published by Omnidawn Press

To purchase the paperback ($17.95), go to

The Secrets of Ohnita Harbor

The Secrets of Ohnita Harbor
by Patricia Crisafulli

Welcome to the Ohnita Harbor – A small town that’s long on history 
… and big on mystery!

The Secrets of Ohnita Harbor by award-winning, bestselling author Patricia Crisafulli is the first book in the Ohnita Harbor Mystery Series from Woodhall Press.

About the Book:
Amid a mountain of rain-soaked donations to the Ohnita Harbor Public Library rummage sale, Gabriela Domenici finds a small box containing an odd-looking cross. When the carved center turns out to be ivory and a clue links the cross to Catherine of Siena, a medieval saint, Gabriela turns to her expertise as an authenticator of historical documents to uncover the truth. But the cross isn’t the only secret in town: first, a beloved Ohnita Harbor resident is found floating in the harbor, and then someone else is murdered on the library lawn. As Gabriela races to solve the mystery of the cross, she finds herself caught between infatuation and what could be the start of true love. All the while, she must stay one step ahead of the danger that slowly encircles her.

Buy your copy at Amazon or Barnes & Noble
Or your favorite independent bookstore.

Trees and Other Witnesses

Trees and Other Witnesses
by Kathy Taylor

“I don’t have words strong enough to convey the depth of feeling these stories aroused in me. Painful, poignant, wistful, evocative, hopeful, sensual, tragic . . . real. Simply stunning.”

—Laurel McHargue

Trees are silent witnesses to the passing of time, guardians of myth and memory, metaphors of life.

About the book:

Each of the thirteen stories in this collection has a tree of particular importance to its characters and their communities. These are tales of childhood and imagination, of migration and struggle, conflict and change. They are about specific places in Mexico, Nicaragua, and the U.S., and real and imagined sites of cultural encounter, growth and adaptation.

“After I finished reading Kathy Taylor’s “Trees and Other Witnesses” I felt like I was leaving behind a dear friend, one I was not yet ready to say goodbye to.”

—Claire Ibarra

“From the opening page, I was drawn into these stories by Taylor’s poetic and meditative voice.”

—Marzenna Jankowiak

Available on: Amazon and Austin Macauley Publishers


These Doors

These Doors
Marian Mathews Clark

The town of Timber nestled in the Oregon woods with its population of fifty is as much a character in Marian Mathews Clark’s novel These Doors as are those fifty citizens. Their stories that unfold chronologically from 1959 to 1983 reveal that a few emigrate but fewer want to.

In an era with no cell phones and an unreliable landline service, Timber’s Valley Store is e-mails, twitters, tweets, the hub where folks reminisce about blackout curtains and their neighbor who died at Pearl Harbor, haggle over spotted owls and clear cutting, mourn fellow loggers killed in the woods, voice curiosity about Chet who shows up from eastern Oregon to extract his son from white man’s land, and are suspicious of the hippies on the old Marshall place who log with mules. They disagree about whether or not the preacher who claims he saw God is crazy and if the ex-con who returns from prison with a new wife killed his old one. But they agree that the Portland transplant who pushes her petitions ‘for the good of Timber’ is a royal pain and that the poem over the entry of the Timber Store that says “The best people in the world pass through these doors,” is mostly true.

Published by Culicidae Press and available on Amazon.

Counter Point

Counter Point
Poems of the Whydah
by Laura Rodley

Learn more at

Laura Rodley’s remarkable poems transport you to the North Atlantic in the early 1700s. Novelistic in scope, Counter Point uses scene, dialogue, and action-driven narrative. And like any good novel, this book introduces an unforgettable character, Marie, an ordinary girl (“A laundress wears no jewelry on her / hands, only the roses of chapped skin”) who navigates the world with extraordinary fortitude. Artful language and sensual detail–whether evoking love’s first desires (“and here we splice open our shirts / like oysters after plucking / and just as lush”) or describing the malodors of a pirate ship (“even the smell of their feet / had a noise called squelching”)—bring to life a briny world, both intimate and writ large. It’s not often a poetry book is described as a page-turner, but Counter Point is that book: a heroine’s adventure lyrically told.

– Ellen Wade Beals, Publisher/Editor of Solace in So Many Words.

To order online, click here or also available on Amazon.

The Lady with the Crown

The Lady with the Crown
A Story of Resilience
by Kathleen Canrinus


A gritty, matter-of-fact account of tragedy and how to make it a beginning and not an end.

— David B. Teplow, Ph.D. Professor of Neurology, David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA

Bold, brave, honest! A beautifully told mother-daughter love story.

— Ann Davidson, Alzheimer’s: A Love Story

Heartbreaking and hilarious.

— Sylvia Halloran, poet and author

This beautiful uplifting little book resonates with love, regret, grief, and much more, showing us that perfection is unnecessary: love still can win out in the end.

— Carol Cassara, The Healing Spirit

The Lady with the Crown: A Story of Resilience explores how unforeseen trauma can, in the blink of an eye, transform a normal happy family into a uniquely wounded one. It charts not only their resilience and courage but also Canrinus’s indomitable pursuit and reinvention of joy.

—Molly Best Tinsley, Editor, Fuze Publishing

Available on Amazon.

The author is available for book club meetings on Zoom or, in the San Francisco Bay Area, in person. Contact her via

Inherited Silence

Inherited Silence
Listening to the Land, Healing the Colonizer Mind
by Louise Dunlap

An insightful look at the historical damages early colonizers of America caused and how their descendants may heal the harm done to the earth and Indigenous people.

Inherited Silence tells the story of beloved land in California’s Napa Valley—how the land fared during the onslaught of colonization and how it fares now in the drought, development, and wildfires that resulted from the colonial mind. Author Louise Dunlap’s ancestors were among the first Europeans to claim ownership of traditional lands of the Wappo people during a period of genocide. Her ancestors lived the dream of Manifest Destiny, but remained silent about the violent displacement of Indigenous people that made settlement possible.

When Dunlap’s generation inherited the Napa land, she was already wondering about its unspoken past. What kept her ancestors from seeing and telling the truth of their history? What had they brought west with them from the very earliest colonial experience in New England? Dunlap looks back into California’s and America’s history for the key to their silences and a way to heal the wounds of the land, its original people, and the harmful mind of the colonizer.

In the context of escalating wildfires and a national reckoning with racial justice, confronts her settler family’s stories with the truth of colonization, showing how the colonizer mind has led to environmental devastation, genocide, and systemic racism. Inherited Silence invites readers to consider their own ancestors’ role in colonization and begin reparations for the destructive actions of those who came before.

For more information or to order, visit


A chapbook by Cynthia Hogue

Contain, Cynthia Hogue’s new book of poems, began in the first few months of the pandemic lockdown as a daily meditation on artist Morgan O’Hara’s mandala-like visual sequence, “Nineteen Forms of Containment.” Each day Hogue focused on different social, cultural, or medical issues, retracing O’Hara’s process as a starting place for her own meditations on matter and form in a time of catastrophe. She often felt as if she were channeling both words and insights as she wrote, an inward-outward communion inspired by O’Hara’s series and the enormity of the tragedy unfolding.

In her New Pages review, poet Jami Macarty praises Hogue for the particular attention she pays to the “social justice-related realities” that the pandemic highlights, as “a way / of putting word to something / for which there are no words.”

Published by Tram Editions

To purchase the paperback ($12) click here.

The Understudy

The Understudy
by Ellen Tovatt Leary

The Understudy is a charming, evocative, and authentic novel about the life of a Broadway actress in the 1970s, written by someone who has been there. Part theatrical love letter and part romance novel, The Understudy shows that while true love is never completely perfect, it can come pretty close if all parties involved are willing to work at it.

“Couldn’t put it down. If you love the theater and would like to share in the experiences of the inner life of a play, the production, directing, acting and the other myriad tasks of this world, THE UNDERSTUDY by Ellen Leary is a must read. Throughout the book one lives with the anxieties, the tensions, the pleasures and excitement of this page turner of a novel.”

(A five-star Amazon review)

Available on Amazon.