Big News about the Center of the Universe Cafe!

SVVGA Beneficiary
Sonoma Community Center
Center of the Universe Café
Dear Veronica,

Things are changing! Our next Café will be on a Friday, due to scheduling conflicts. Mark your calendars for September 7th!  It will be at the usual time, but will be a most unusual evening.

This will be the last café produced by Lin Marie deVincent and Ken Brown. After seven very successful years of New Center of the Universe gatherings, Lin Marie and Ken are moving on to realize other dreams.

Read more below…

Farewell to Lin Marie and Ken!
SVVGA BeneficiaryOff to Greener Pastures

Where would we be without Ken and Lin Marie? Ken has brought in fabulous guest chefs who have served many memorable meals. Lin Marie, MC Extraordinaire even installed new lighting in Room 110 and commissioned magical wall hangings created by Sonoma artist Lavahna Taylor. Alas…

SVVGA BeneficiaryThis year marked the publication of Lin Marie’s first collection of poetry, Sky Fishing, which is available at Readers Books in Sonoma. She is finishing her Masters Degree in Humanities in December of ’07 and looks forward to future possibilities for her novel.

In addition to continuing his position as City Councilman, Ken Brown became an independent event producer, and created the Bear Flag Social Club.

Change of Seasons at the Center of the Universe

Gary EdwardsFriday, September 7, 2007 at 6:00 pm
Sonoma Community Center, Room 110
276 East Napa Street, Sonoma, CA

Reflecting the changing season between summer and fall, the Center of the Universe Café dinner and open mic evening on Friday, September 7, will feature a change of season menu.

A sumptuous meal, this time prepared by Sonoma’s own Gary Edwards representing Slow Food, an organization dedicated to food based on the principles of high quality and taste, and environmental sustainability. Joining Gary will be Henry Beaumont from Valley of the Moon Slow Food, Margaret Gokey and Lauren Parkhill. The menu will feature foods grown within a 10-mile radius of Sonoma-whatever is in season.

Doors open at 6:00pm, with dinner starting at 6:15 and continuing until all are served.  The Open Mic will start at 7:00pm with an intermission at 8:30, for coffee and dessert. Cost is $15 for dinner and café, $6 for café only. Local wines will also be available for purchase. Please no outside wine.

For more information, please contacting the Sonoma Community Center at 707-938-4626 x1.

An Invitation

Center of the U
Would you like to be the next producer of this wonderful event?  We welcome you to consider the possibilities: keep it on course as it has been, create it anew, expand, reshape – what would you like to do?

We invite the poetry community to step forward to keep the Café going. If you are interested and able to take over, please contact us. Many thanks again for all the enthusiasm, support, patience, time, creative contributions, and faith in poetry. We hope the Center of the Universe continues to expand and evolve.

Thank you!

We are very grateful to all of you – the readers, musicians, storytellers and comedians who have made the Café successful. The stage has presented work from beginners to Poet Laureates.

The final applause goes to all the devoted volunteers who have helped keep the Café alive. In particular, Ann Hollister, Russ and Maggie Bedord, Chris Giovacchini Ramirez, Tim Mathews, Debby Cooper, Diane Rawicz, Mary Elizabeth Grant, Valerie Wolf, Bill Churchill, Tina Hinkley, Barbara MacAdams, Cynthia Boyer & Kirk Hinshaw. We have appreciated Patty‘s bartending contributions, and Steve Shain’s steady backbeat.

Also going beyond the call of duty are George Dolinsky, the custodial staff at the Center, Karin, Seth and Marty, and finally all those who support the Café.
Sincerely, Lin Marie deVincent and Ken Brown

Sonoma Community Center
276 East Napa Street
Sonoma, California 95476

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.