Center of the Universe Cafe

Last Saturday I had the pleasure of attending the monthly Center of the Universe Cafe at the Sonoma Community Center. Although I have been in Sonoma for 6 years now, I had never attended the Cafe which has been held since 1991.

News that Ken Brown was no longer an employee of the Community Center brought me out to say Hello to Ken and hear about his plans (more on this later).

$15 purchased a wonderful vegetarian meal prepared by Cheyenne Smith and a ticket to the open mic show which followed. I stayed for the first half of the presentation as I got cold and was ready to get home and warm up. The program was full of local poets doing a combination of original and published works. I especially enjoyed original work by Lin Marie de Vincent and Shepard Bliss’ offering of poems by Rumi and Basho. There were also songs, readings, and even some Shakespeare!

Ann Hollister was the emcee for the event. I asked her about the cafe, “Well, you know, there are always surprises, it is never the same, it is a living event, and everyone is invited. Typically 60-75 people show up and, at times, we have fed up to 90. The event draws people from all over Sonoma County and even Napa. Usually there are 20 performances. Each performer gets 5 minutes.” She was quick to point out that there is no criticism and no matter what you do the crowd is supportive.

It was a lovely and intimate venue for very personal sharing. The Center of the Universe Cafe is held on the first Saturday of each month, 6:00 pm, room 110 at the Sonoma Community Center. You can purchase tickets for dinner and the show or just the show.

News from Ken Brown is a new project, the Bear Flag Social Club. Ken now has an office on the plaza.  A website and more details will be coming soon.