May 2021

May 2021

My YouTube channel is ready for prime time. Take a look please and “like” & subscribe too!

Thanks and HUGS to Dana Walden who got the ball rolling and Jess Weber.

We all have our special moments, our favorite times of the year. For some of you it’s summer, others, the winter holidays. For me, nothing compares to the abundance of flora and energy in May.

Here’s my special May poem – “Ode to Cecil Bruner” a rose that grows in great profusion in May.

Ode to Cecil Bruner                                    
Tangles of cobwebs woody thicket
Catches sweaters, scratches hands.
Dull bundle invites spiders, small birds.
Winter weary.
April warmth coaxes tiny buds
From dry joints. Pale pink brightens limbs
Like little Christmas lights
Or the silk rosebuds ringing the collar
Of a child’s pink leotard.
Cecil Bruner, that rosy harbinger
Promises nothing less than weddings, romance;
A change of heart.
Come May, the sun close and warmer still,
Little lights bloom.
Paper thin petals open as flamboyantly
As a bon vivant
Strolling down Rue St. Louis
A handful of girls swooning.
In May, gray branches disappear,
Covered by a riot of blossoms,
A bouquet of happiness.
Under Bruner’s profusion you fell in love,
Warmth returned, as your heart, that pink bud, opened.
Under perfumed scent of hope
You bloomed to begin love anew;
Again and again, and again.



Last month, WIT - Women in Tech, invited “Extreme” to be featured in their national book club. I’ll be doing a Zoom talk with the group sometime in July – will post a link soon.
And, from Katie Hafner, author of “Mother, Daughter, Me,” and NYT Journalist:
      If you liked "The Circle" by Dave Eggers, then you'll love Extreme.
       Reviewed in the United States on July 20, 2020

      “With a poet’s sensibility and a novelist’s instinct for plot, Joan Gelfand has produced a whip-smart page-turner of a book, complete with startup fever, romantic intrigue, and a cast of sympathetic — and not so sympathetic — characters. Read Extreme and you’ll have a better sense of what really goes on in Silicon Valley, far better than TV shows like Silicon Valley could ever provide.”

Wanna join “Extreme” fun?
Shoot me an email when you post a review and I’ll tell you about the May give-aways!
Twitter, Instagram, FB and LinkedIn:
For a limited time, “Extreme” is available on Kindle for just $3.99:


May 13th
"Café" on Youtube Live!

A couple of years ago I was contacted by SF composer Joe Wicht. He had found my poem "Café" in the Poets 11 Anthology and fell in love with it. He requested permission to compose music. Right before the pandemic, we hosted a Salon here at San Jacinto. Joe arrived with the excellent vocalist Jesse Barrett – and to everyone’s delight they performed “Café.”  What a thrill!

This month, Joe was invited to a participate in a special concert of 5 SF composers. Taking place at St. ignatious HS, Joe will perform his song cycle, including "Café." The concert will be televised on Youtube live. For a preview – see here :
Get Published!
Register /share / get a coffee mug : )
The Writing Salon
July 10th
“You Can Be A Winning Writer”
10-1 PM
Other events – Links to Come

June 9th
Kelly Sullivan Walden: Dreams to Art
On this 1 hour radio show, Kelly and I will interview artists who have used their dreams to create art!
June 27th
Fog and Light reading with Great Weather for Media
Link to come



Wilderness House Literary Review, “What the Sun Can’t Heal”
Review of Gail Newman’s award winning collection, “Blood Memory”



In Memorium
Al Young
Poet Laureate of California, generous spirit, loving man and wonderful poet, screenwriter and author.
RIP Al! 

From George Brooks, saxophonist and jazz composer:
My original intention for this e-mail was simply to share some new music with you. The new composition is called - "Silver Lining". It was recorded remotely with the wonderful pianist Utsav Lal while he was in Brooklyn and I was in Berkeley. The title "Silver Lining" speaks to the spirit of creativity, connection, collaboration and compassion that flourishes even in the face of great challenges
Since the time of recording this piece the situation in India has become dire

A few months ago we thought that India was an outlier and had somehow avoided the worst of the Covid pandemic. Now every day I hear of a friend or a friend's relative who is sick or has died.
Many of you have asked where they can contribute funds to help alleviate the suffering and provide medical support. Below is a list of organizations recommended by Indian friends and NPR.
Please do enjoy the music... consider it my gift to you and please donate if you can.

Organizations that fund and provide medical supplies like oxygen and PPE

  • Direct Relief is working to distribute oxygen concentrators and other medical supplies across India. You can donate here.
  • Oxygen for India, organized by the international Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy, is setting up help desks at various hospitals to ensure that people get access to oxygen cylinders and concentrators for free. You can donate here.
  • Project HOPE is a global aid organization that is distributing medical supplies in India and educating communities on how to stop COVID-19 from spreading. You can donate here 
Geri Spieler, Internet researcher extraordinaire has started a blog for her forthcoming book “Regina of Warsaw”
In it you will learn tips for researching, a bit about Jewish history and other literary gems:

Happy Spring! Be well, keep in touch, read a poem, or two, and keep in touch!



Mother's Day peonies

With Simone - May 8th


Book launch for “Fog & Light: SF Through the Eyes of Poets who Live Here”
Published by blue light press
We had a great turnout- almost 100 people on zoom - Friday, May 7

Beautiful new book of daily meditations by Kelly Sullivan Walden

Assemblage by Michelle Echinique

Full pink moon over SF

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Support the Arts. Resist. 

- Joan
Copyright © Joan Gelfand, 2020, All rights reserved.
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