Ruth Bavetta

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Mar 02, 2015

I’m going to be reading in Riverside on March 5.  Anyone here within hailing distance?  I’d love to see you!  Easy to find, it's upstairs in the Riverside Public Library in downtown Riverside.  3581 Mission Inn Avenue, Riverside, CA.  7:00 pm

Feb 15,

Sometimes the best way to find out if an online pub has put up your work is to google yourself. If Ilya's Honey ever sent me a notice that these had gone live, I didn't find it

The first is about a lot of the stuff I knocked myself out doing when I was younger. The second about my dismal attempts to become bilingual.

Shinnying up my Life

I Love You, Where Are You, Let’s Go to Bed

Jan 29, 2015

From my book, Embers on the Stairs, available here  or from Amazon. 

Ode to the Toothpick

Not really tan, more like ecru, 
fawn, tawny beige, presented
unshellacked and oddly
mismatched in a lidded box.
Shavings of thin veneer stamped
in clean tapered Bauhaus lines.
Singly they have no aroma,\
but place your nose
to the small blue cardboard casket
and breathe the birch woods of Maine,
white-skinned, under a sky
of Botticelli blue.

Jan 03, 2015

For January, FutureCycle Press is giving away a free copy of my book, Fugitive Pigments. This book draws extensively on my background as a practicing artist. There are ekphrastic poems, instructive poems, poems riffing off the principles of art—the art of living, of shading, perspective, colors; how to create an exquisite corpse, and what one should know about shadows.

Enter here to win:

Oct 17, 2014

"Blue Heron Review is proud to share the news that we have nominated your poem, "Expendables," from the June/2014 Blue Heron Speaks feature for the 2014 Best of the Net Anthology."

This is a journal that leans towards the "spiritual" in poetry. They contacted me last spring and asked me to be a featured poet. I have never written anything intentionally spiritual in my life, but I sifted through my culch pile of poems and came up with several that could work that way.

Of course, nomination does not guarantee inclusion in the anthology. I have to wait to find out if my work will be chosen. Here's the poem she nominated:


Give them your heart, liver, lungs,
the network of nerves, the strum
of your breath. Let them deconstruct
the architecture of your bones,
pile them on the hill in an ossuary
of discontent. Let them pull
and release the sinews,
tug apart the tendons,
pluck the feathers.
They will not find
the mystery.

Sep 07, 2014

August 23rd, I got to go to my old home town, Redlands, and read as the featured reader with five other Inland Empire women in A CELEBRATION OF WOMEN WRITERS.  I had a wonderful time. (I'm such a ham.) Lots of old friends showed up.  It was SRO.


Great audience, too. Audiences have collective personalities and this one was warm, welcoming and fun. 

Aug 16, 2014

August 15, 2014

I’m happy to be reading in Redlands on Aug 22.  It’ll be fun to be back in my old home town.  Over 30 years I lived there.  I’d be thrilled to see some of my friends from that area.  Dying to see who turns up.  It’s a group reading, but Maureen Alsop and I will be reading the longest.  Friday, Aug 22, 5-7 pm, at Greater Good Coffee, 300 E. State St., Redlands, CA.

The online publication, Barely South, has my poem Packing My Grandmother’s Suitcase. I wrote it one day when I was thinking about her and all the things she loved.  You can read it on page 42  at

The Wisconsin Review has accepted my poem, Since My Father Died, My Mother and I Often Discuss the Best Way for Her to Kill Herself.  It’s a print publication.

And last, but not least, Splitting the Genre: An Intersection of Poetry and Art is a beautiful little book by Six Arrow Press. I’m pleased to have four of my pieces included. My MFA is in Painting, I spent many years as an exhibiting artist, and teaching art at the college level. In these hybrid pieces I combine my two loves, poetry and art. The idea is built on the poetry of “erasure,” eliminating words from a piece of prose to expose the poem within.  There’s also a nice interview.  You can see the entire book online here:  My stuff is on pages 13-21.

Aug 02, 2014

I’m pleased to have four of my pieces included in Splitting the Genre: An Intersection of Poetry and Visual Art, a beautiful little book by Six Arrow Press. My MFA is in Painting,  rather than Creative Writing, so it came naturally to me to want to combine words and art. The idea is built on the poetry of erasure, eliminating words from a piece of prose to expose the poem within.  There’s also a nice interview included.  

You can see the entire book online here:  My stuff is on pages 13-21.


May 30, 2014

My May 18th reading at Gatsby books went well.  It was a small audience, but several of them were students and we had a nice exchange of ideas and plenty of questions.  Sometimes getting questions out of an audience is like pulling bermuda grass, but this group could hardly wait to jump in.

Thanks to Sean, for setting it up and for being a gracious host.  Gatsby books is great. Take a look next time you’re near Long Beach.  5535 E Spring Street Long Beach, CA 90808  562.208.5862

May 12, 2014

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of reading a few poems at Gatsby Books—sort of a teaser for my full-fledged reading coming up on May 18, 3 pm.  What a cool little bookstore is Gatsby. If I lived closer I’d visit a lot.  Thanks, Sean, for inviting me.

May 06, 2014

Last Sunday’s reading at Laguna Beach Books went swimmingly.  I shared the stage with Michael Miller, John Gardiner, Jodie Hollander and Janet Mackaig.  At first, I was dubious about a reading with so many featured poets, but it worked out beautifully.  The pacing was good, and variety kept the hour lively.  After reading, there was a question and answer period that was fun and informal.

Laguna Beach Books is a lively little bookstore in a complex of small stores.  The whole shebang is in the location of the former Pottery Shack, where you could buy from an amazing selection of pottery sprawled through numerous patios and connected rooms. It was a famous local institution from 1936-2004. 



Apr 21, 2014

Getting out the word about my new book, Embers on the Stairs.  I have three readings coming up. Here are the dates. I’ll post reminders and particulars closer to the time.

May 4, Laguna Beach Books Poetry Night– Laguna Beach, 4:00 pm John Gardiner,

            Michael Miller, Ruth Bavetta, Jodie Hollander, and Janet Mackaig

May 14 - The Ugly Mug, Orange, 8:00 pm, solo

May 18th - Gatsby Books —Long Beach, 3;00pm, solo

June 28 -Saturday Afternoon Poetry – Pasadena, 3:00,  Ruth Bavetta,

             Robert Morgan Fisher & Karineh Mahdessian

Kentucky Review has three of my poems, Elegy for my Mother, The Joy of Cooking, A Song on the End, in their current issue. Click here then click on the name of the poem in the black box to the right.

I'm delighted that four of my visual poems will be included in Six Arrow Press’s book, Splitting the Genre: The Intersection of Poetry & Visual Art. I'm sure it's going to be a handsome and interesting publication. You can see some examples of my visual poems here

Both my books Fugitive Pigments and Embers on the Stairs are available as signed copies here

In Verse Wisconsin there's a fine review of Forgetting Home: Poems about Alzheimer's, an anthology that includes my poem, The Shirt, first published in Poetry East

The Shirt

In the dressing room

I tell my mother to take off her shirt.

“I don’t understand why we’re here,”


she says. I explain again about the cancer,

and hang her shirt on the hook.

“Whose shirt is that?” she asks.


After the X-rays, we go back

to the dressing room. She looks

at the shirt on the hook.


“Where did that come from?”

“It’s yours,” I say, and hand it to her.

“Why am I here?” she asks again.


“To see about the cancer.”

“I don’t have cancer,” she says.

“And this is not my shirt.


Apr 17, 2014

I'm delighted! Four of my visual poems will be included in Six Arrow Press’s book, Splitting the Genre: The Intersection of Poetry & Visual Art. I'm sure it's going to be a handsome and interesting publication. You can see some examples of my visual poems right here

Mar 30, 2014

Here's a photo of me and Michael Miller, of Moon Tide Press, at the launch for my book, Embers on the Stairs.  Michael's been great to work with.

Mar 22, 2014

Back in 2012, Pirene's Fountain  published their Beverage Anthology.  They’re featuring it again on their website.  It’s got a lot of good poems. I’m sure you’d enjoy it. Name a beverage, and someone has written about it.  It includes a poem I wrote in a fit of nostalgia,  The Bartender's Guide to Summer Drinks.

Mar 16, 2014

A big thank you to all of you who turned out Thursday night to launch my book, Embers on the Stairs.  The Muckenthaler Center is a lovely place--an old Southern California Spanish style mansion converted into an art center.  We gathered for the reading in an interior tiled patio-like room.

I had a great time. Hope you did, too.  For those of you who couldn't make it because you had a dinner date with the President, here's a sample poem.


Ode to Sardines

The northern sea,
immaculate and immense
drops anchor
on my kitchen counter.
Moonlight reassembled
as layers of watered silk
head to tail
in a bright tin coffin.

Click here to buy the book:


Mar 13, 2014

My official book launch is tonight at the Muckenthaler Center in Fullerton, CA. So what if you�re on the east coast, this is IMPORTANT! POETRY WITH MOON TIDE PRESS Thursday, March 13, 7:30 p.m. Free Moon Tide Press celebrates the launch of its 21st book, Embers on the Stairs, by Orange County poet Ruth Bavetta. Since 2006, Moon Tide Press has published some of the finest poets in Southern California and beyond and invites you to share in the debut of its latest collection. An open reading is provided for those who bring a poem of their own. 1201 W Malvern Ave, Fullerton, CA 92833 (714) 738-6595

Mar 05, 2014

I’m Poet of the Month on Moontide Press’s website, by virtue of the fact that my book, Embers on the Stairs, is due to launch from them on March 13.  All this publicity may go to my head.  To see the posting and read a couple of sample poems, go here:

Feb 07, 2014

My next book will be Embers on the Stairs, published by Moontide Press, Michael Miller is the editor.

We’re finalizing things up right now. We've found a wonderful photo by Jeff Alfier for the cover. He's a great photographer, mostly of abandoned buildings and towns. The one we chose is called is 'Stairway, Michigan Central Train, Detroit (2013).' Abandoned stairs through an arched doorway, with ETERNAL written on the bottom stair. The Fugitive Pigments cover was bright and brash, this one will be subtle. In addition to his photograph, Jeff is the editor of San Pedro River Review, which has published my work. In fact, that's how I became aware of his photos.

Moontide’s editor, Michael Miller and I (with a little help from my husband,) finished up the final fine-tooth combing for typos and errors and other such deadly sins. Arrrgh. Who knew Jello is really spelled Jell-O?

Now the proof is back from the printers. Michael says it looks great. There will be a book launch in March 13 at Muckenthaler Center in Fullerton, CA. It won't be long now.


      © 2015 Ruth Bavetta