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Wandering Poets Visit Poetry Café Bellas Artes

Cecilia Woloch

By Elizabeth Marshall and Agnes Olive

Brilliant and talented visitors to San Miguel often lend their special genius to local organizations. Two visitors, Cecilia Woloch and Lilly Barnes, will share their poetry at the second gathering of the recently formed Poetry Café Bellas Artes. The Poetry Café is a monthly series devoted exclusively to poets—local and visiting, established and emerging. The inaugural event in January attracted nearly 70 people.

Poetry Café Bellas Artes
Presents Cecilia Woloch (US) and Lilly Barnes (Canada)
Tue, Feb 16, 4:45-5:45pm
Sala Literaria
Bellas Artes

Cecilia Woloch sees poetry within our selves as well as in the outside world. Her mastery of poetic language brings the complexity and simplicity of daily life, the pain and the joy, into the realm of our understanding. Raised in Kentucky, she let the blue grasses influence her words and imbue them with a deep sense of longing. Cecilia, based in Los Angeles, travels the world for new insight and conducts workshops in the US, Mexico, Paris, Istanbul, and southern Turkey. She is the founding director of Summer Poetry in Idyllwild and has served on the faculties of a number of graduate and undergraduate creative writing programs.

Cecilia has published six collections of poetry and in 2015 published her novel, Sur la Route. Her honors include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the California Arts Council, Chateau de La Napoule Retreat for Artists, and the Isaac W. Bernheim Foundation. She has been awarded the Indiana Review Poetry Prize and the New Ohio Review Poetry Prize.

Lilly Barnes is a self-proclaimed multi-genre author. Her first book, A Hero Travels Light, is a collection of short stories, interrelated and told by the same narrator (Oberon Press, 1986). Lilly’s second book, Mara, is a novel (Variety Crossing Press). Mara was the basis for the musical-literary event, Jazz for Mara, performed in Toronto ( Next was a book of poetry entitled Journey (Innana Press, 2014).


Before writing for print, Lilly worked as a writer for television and earned the lifetime achievement Gemini Award in 2007, granted by ACCT, Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television. She also worked as an arts journalist for CBC radio.

Lilly was born in the Ural Mountains of Russia and arrived in Canada at the age of 17. This was her first encounter with the English language and she was convinced that poetry would always be too difficult for her to read, let alone write. Years later, Lilly realized the poems were distillations of the poet’s life experiences. Her poems are just that: distilled nuggets gleaned from her life’s journey. Lilly is currently at work on a play.

Poetry Café Bellas Artes invites poets, aficionados, and the curious to attend the next monthly event on Tuesday, February 16, at 4:45pm. Please arrive a few minutes early. Seating is first come, first seated. Coffee and tea will be available. We will finish in time to attend the 6pm PEN lecture in the auditorium on the second floor of Bellas Artes.


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