NCPA is pleased to announce that our organization’s poet laureate Frances Kakugawa has been recognized by the Sacramento Public Library Foundation as one of “Northern California’s Most Distinguished Authors.” They invited her to participate in their Authors on the Move event on March 10. http://saclibraryfoundation.org/participating-authors-2018/

        Read Beyond Your Fears

Sacramento’s Premier Literary Event – March 10, 2018

This year’s “Authors on the Move: Read Beyond Your Fears marks our 16th year of bringing togethr  40 plus distinguished California authors and their recently published books for an evening of literary delight. Click here for this year’s cohort of California Authors.  We are thrilled  to present this year’s keynote speaker, Sasha Abramsky’s recently published book, Jumping at Shadows; The Triumph of Fear and The End of The American Dream.   Jumping at Shadows  is a searing account of America’s most dangerous epidemic: irrational fear.   Sasha Abramsky is a New York Times best selling author and resides in Sacramento, CA.

Beth Ruyak, of Capital Public Radio’s Insight, will be our Mistress of Ceremonies and Pat Hume of David Sobon Auctions will be our auctioneer. Guests will enjoy a champagne reception, a four-course meal from the Hyatt Regency’s farm-to-fork menu, unlimited wine, conversations with three regional authors at their table, a keynote presentation by Sasha Abramsky, and a live auction which features opportunities to win one-time author experiences. The Avid Reader Bookstore will offer all titles for purchase the night of the event.

We are also pleased to announce an enhanced audio solution to the challenge of the noise when all tables are engaged in dialogue with their authors.   This event just keeps getting better while creating more and more support for our Library’s Summer Reading Program and the Foundation’s operations!  Purchase your tickets and/or tables today!  To inquire about sponsorships or other event matters, call April Javist (formerly Butcher) at 916-836-3556 or email at april@saclibraryfoundation.org.

Our next Authors on the Move is being held on March 10, 2018, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Sacramento downtown, 1209 L St, Sacramento, CA.


Hey Tolstoy

I’m reading War and Peace and this is my reaction right now:

Ah Leo, Leo.

Did it begin with one simple seed –

Under such fertile soil, it burst out

Into unimaginable spread

Branch after branch after branch?

 winter tree2


Winter Crows


We get no respect.

No one quotes us, have you noticed?

So what’s the  big deal about “Nevermore?”


Happy New Year


Bbamboo pic haiku

By tradition, the Emperor writes a haiku on New Year’s Day. In my Kapoho book, I am the Emperor’s daughter so…with this haiku,  may the new year be the best of all years.

A Kapoho Christmas

A Kapoho Christmas


It was Christmas without lights.

It was Christmas without indoor plumbing.

It was Christmas without carolers at the window

Muffed and warm under falling snow.


But there was Christmas.


A Christmas program at school

Where the Holy Night reenacted:

White tissue paper glued on spines of coconut  fronds

Shaped as angel wings and halos.

Long white robes, over bare feet.


Santa Claus with bagfuls of hard mixed candies

Ho ho hoed by the plantation manager,

His yearly holiday role in the village where he reigned.

Fathers  in Sunday best

After a hard day’s work in sugar cane fields.

Children in home-sewn dresses and shirts.


A fir tree from the hills,

Needles not lasting 24 hours.

Chains from construction paper,

Origami balls and strands of tin-foiled tinsel.

Kerosene  and gas lamps

Moving shadows on the walls.


It was not the Christmas of my dreams.

No carolers at the window,

Singing Silent Night, Holy Night.

No large presents under a real Christmas tree

No fireplaces and rooftop chimneys.

No blue-eyed  boy handing me hot chocolate.


For 18 years, the true Christmas

Lived in my head until Madame Pele*

Came to my rescue

And buried our kerosene lamps.


Finally, I said, running out fast

On unpaved roads

To the Christmas of my dreams.

* Fire of Goddess of Kilauea Volcanic Crater










My hi-lite of the event came from a 4 year old boy. When I read a poem fromWW Dances the Waltz, he asked, “Why did you write so many 1,2,3?”  I explained the waltz and asked him if he wanted to dance the waltz like Wordsworth? He and I danced the waltz and soon, two other children joined us.


Hi Everyone,

Just a reminder that Frances will be reading my poems from four of my books at Barnes & Noble on Saturday, Dec 9th at 11 a.m. I told her to read how and why I wrote these poems, too. She’ll be signing my books. ( I told Frances I need a new aloha shirt.)