Saturday, November 11, 2023 from 10:00am to 4:00pm PST

Sunday, November 12, 2023 from 10:00am to 4:00pm PST


This is an online event. 



Paula Weinberger 
Great Books Council of San Francisco 

Great Books Council of San Francisco

Poetry Weekend 2023

November 11-12, 2023 on Zoom


This year's theme: Poetry Weekend 2023 grapples with poetry in our vulnerable world

While nature has been an inspiration for so many poets, the natural world that has served us so unstintingly is faced with many challenges. Poetry Weekend 2023 will focus on how poetry can create greater awareness of these challenges, not through preaching, but from the soul.

We are pleased to have as our guest poet, Elizabeth Herron, the current Poet Laureate of Sonoma County, California. Elizabeth has been described as an ecopoet, but describes herself as a poet of witness. As she discovered in writing her book, The Poet’s House — that house is "the house without walls,” the world itself and all that abides in it. 

Elizabeth’s poems come from what she calls deep listening. While a poem may be in response to a particular beauty or suffering in the outer world, its voice emerges out of inner quiet. Making a poem is about paying attention – a kind of meditation, “perhaps,” she says, “like ransacking your conscience, or looking for a lost sock, or butterfly hunting.”  Elizabeth will share her unique writing process – one that strives to serve the anima mundi, soul of the world, poem by poem.

Weekend Overview

Saturday will be devoted to small group discussions led by experienced facilitators. Poems have been chosen by the Poetry Selection Committee. Here is this year’s lineup.

Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.


Saturday 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.


The Light Changed by Yves Bonnefoy

Aubade by Louise Glück 

Acorn by Phillis Levin 

The Course of a Particular 
by Wallace Stevens

Daedal by A.E Stallings 

The Lamplighter by Eavan Boland   

Another Story by Ellen Bass

Jacaranda by Aracelis Girmay  

How Music Stays in the Body
by Lee Herrick

Singularity by Marie Howe


Following the afternoon session there will be an Open Mic. Participants are welcome to read a poem of their own or share a favorite short poem. Elizabeth Herron will be the MC.

Sunday from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. PST, Elizabeth Herron will lead an interactive seminar exploring how poetry can best become a voice for the natural world. In the afternoon, from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. PST, she will read a selection of her poems. As always, there will be lots of time for questions.

Tuition $50  

For information about Great Books Council of San Francisco events go to www.greatbooksncal.org

More about Elizabeth Herron. 

 The author of four previous books of poetry: Insistant       Grace (from Fernwood Press) and most recently In the Cities   of Sleep (also from Fernwood); The Poet’s House; Desire   Being Full of Distances; and five chapbooks, Elizabeth C.   Herron also writes articles about the importance of natural   systems in the well-being of all life. Her work has appeared   in Reflections, North American Review, West Marin Review, Free State Review, Comstock Review and Parabola, and is included in Face to Face: Women Writing on Faith, Mysticism and Awakening; Fire and Rain, Ecopoetry of Californiaand What Kind of Ancestor Do You Want to Be. The Mesa Refuge for Writers, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Foundation for Deep Ecology have supported her work. She is a Fellow of the International League of Conservation Writers and lives with her husband in Northern California where she is the Poet Laureate of Sonoma County (2022 to 2024).

You can find more information at:  www.elizabeth-herron.com