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Foothill Writers Conference: Gone But Not Forgotten

Foothill Writers Conference: Gone But Not Forgotten

Foothill College Campus Los Altos Hills, California

The Foothill Writers’ Conference will not take place in 2010 due to budget issues. Please check back for updates regarding a possible conference in 2011.” The sad news from Foothill College is posted at www.foothill.edu/la/conference/ . The conference is always an excellent good opportunity for learning new skills and making contacts among fellow writers and mentors, especially for the money. Money. That is why it didn’t fly this year. I was looking forward to going again this year. I will continue to hope that the college will be able to restart the tradition in 2011.

I wrote an article about my experiences last year. See WritersTalk from August 2009. Foothill College Writers Conference: Advice and Inspiration. Al Young, California Poet Laureate from 2005 through 2008 conducted one of the workshops I attended. Your Own Fake Book: Composing and Writing to Music utilized listening to various types of music to coax inspiration onto the paper: a Chopin nocturne that softened the mood, a Latin piece with visions of blazing, sun-scorched deserts, a tango played by Yo Yo Ma with Astor Piazzolla, something with violin and guitar, and a rock band that reminded me of the music from Austin City Limits.

I called my resulting verses Raw Data From an Al Young Workshop. They are not polished, although Tango was published on a blog – cafegirlchronicles

The blog owner was kind enough to comment on the poem: “Those of you who dance tango will know that she has captured the essence of the dance. And those of you who have yet to tango will have an inkling how it feels when you do.”

That made me smile, and I owe it all to Al Young (and a little to Yo Yo and Astor). I will definitely miss the conference this year. I will try to keep the lessons learned fresh in my mind and hope that 2011 will be kinder to all of us than 2010 has been.



Liquid jewels descend

Gently flowing brook

Autumn leaves

Drifting down

Two red

Three orange

Yellow here and there



Caress the water together




Tango (Listen to the music at my posting https://carolyndonnell.wordpress.com/2010/05/27/somebody-out-there-likes-my-poem/)

Long first beat

Short two and three

Cello singing


Starry night

Swaying trees


Moving together

Pathos and joy

Passion and pain




Worlds away


Scorching Brass

Trumpets punctuate

Arid fields of Mexico

Blazing sun

Stabs of brass

Auras. Lights.

Scorching eyes and hearts

Sweetness turns to scars.


Half and Half

Violin starts an Argentinean song

Plaintive, longing, sweet

Guitar – or is it

Plays below

Half tango

Half hula

Hybrid sways and turns

Sweet hellos



Austin City Limits

Nightlights along the river

Heat rises from the pavement

Strumming guitars

Beats over microphones

Tower in the background

Try not to remember

Bullets raining down

The summer of ‘66

Just missed me

Didn’t miss another

Mother to be

Steel penetrated belly

Taking that life yet unborn

Try to forget

Austin City Limits.

4 Responses

  1. ‘Tango’ is beautifully written. I will be back later to read the others.

  2. Thanks. And thank AL Young. 🙂

  3. Loved Waterfall !!! The word itself carried me to it… and with the way u wrote it, I jumped into and flowed alongwith 🙂

    Now to the others…

    Have a great weekend!

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