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November 6, 2012 > Find your poetic voice

Find your poetic voice

Submitted By Sally Thomas

Oakland poet Judith Offer will be leading a free poetry workshop at the Hayward Public Library, sponsored by the Friends of the Hayward Library. Develop your own poetic voice by carefully examining poems of well-known poets. Look for the elements of each poet's style so you can make choices of style in your own work.

All interested poets with any amount of experience are welcome. Following the workshop, Judith Offer will serve as the guest facilitator of the peer writers' group. Bring your own work to share if you wish to participate in the meeting.

Judith Offer has published five books of poetry; her work has appeared in many magazines. In addition to poetry, she has written and produced dozens of plays and musicals. She has read her poetry at scores of poetry venues, but is particularly delighted to have been included in the Library of Congress series and on "All Things Considered", on NPR. Her writing reflects her childhood in a large Catholic family-with some Jewish roots-her experience as teacher, community organizer, musician, historian, gardener, and all-purpose volunteer, and her special fascination with her roles of wife and mother.

Offer's most recent book of poetry, called Double Crossing, highlights life in her Oakland neighborhood, where she lives with her husband, Stuart. One of Judith's poems follows:


Not everything started gets finished, becomes whole:
(I have a basketful of socks for years unmatched.)
For many things begun, only God reaches some goal.

Some eggs get broken, when the hen needs to roll;
Others warm the hay, learn to be hatched.
Not everything started gets finished, becomes whole.

Some wounded gaping friendships, rending the soul,
Go down the dark side of history ever unpatched:
For many things begun, only God reaches some goal.

Some ships never mind the light house toll,
Go down, coffee undelivered, china unscratched.
Not everything sent makes it round the rocky shoal.

Not all strawberry plants send fruit to a bowl;
Some letters go unsigned, some roofs unthatched.
Not everything started gets finished, becomes whole:
For many things begun, only God reaches some goal.

Finding Your Own Poetic Voice
(Advance registration required)
Saturday, Nov 10
1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Hayward Library
835 C Street, Hayward
(510) 881-7980
More about Judith Offer at:

Writers' Group
Get feedback on your original writing in a peer-supported writers' group. Get the support you need to help you stay on track with your writing, whether it's fiction, non-fiction, or poetry. Bring 5-10 copies of the piece you wish to share with the group. For more information, contact 881-7700. Writers' Group meets twice monthly at the Main Library; upcoming meetings are:
Saturday, Nov. 10: 2:45 - 4:00 p.m.
Monday, Nov. 26: 6:00 - 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Dec. 5: 6:00 - 7:30 p.m.

Presented free to the public by the Foundation Center to the Hayward Public Library, workshops will cover a variety of topics of interest to people involved in nonprofits. All workshops begin at 1 p.m.:
Tuesday, Nov 6: Getting Ready for Foundation Fundraising
Tuesday, Nov 20: Foundations and their Roles in Philanthropy

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