The Buzz

S4:E25 Cate Kennedy Speaks with Dion O’Reilly

Cate Kennedy chats with Dion O’Reilly and reads from her book, The Taste of Water.

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Cate Kennedy is the author of two short story collections, a novel, three poetry collections and a memoir.  Her awards include the Victorian Premier’s Literary Prize for Poetry for her collection “The Taste of River Water” (Scribe, 2011) and the NSW People’s Choice Award for her novel “The World Beneath” (Scribe 2009, published Australia, the U.S.A, the U.K, France and Hong Kong). Her short story collections are both on the Australian school syllabus as study texts.  She teaches widely both in Australia and the U.S., and has just completed her PhD in Creative Writing.

S4:E23 Tim Fitzmaurice talks with Farnaz Fatemi

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Hear Tim Fitzmaurice talk about and read from his book of poems, The Things We Take With Us: New and Selected. We talk about writing, poodle personas, Santa Cruz, and community in poetry. Bonus tracks: Tim singing and playing guitar!

The Things We Take With Us is available in Santa Cruz at Bad Animal Books and Bookshop Santa Cruz and by contacting him at That way the book is free with a contribution to the Prison Arts Project at

You can find Tim on IG @tim.fitzmaurice1 and on Facebook 

S4:E 22 Robert Sward Tribute Hosted by Julie Murphy

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Please join poets and writers Charles Atkinson, Ellen Bass, Jack Foley, David Swanger, Hannah Sward and Ken Weisner celebrate the life and work of Santa Cruz’s beloved poet Robert Sward who died this past February. Hosted by Julie Murphy, this episode includes the guests’ favorite poems of Robert’s and their remarkable remembrances of him. Robert was a gifted poet, prolific writer, beloved friend, father and husband with a great sense of humor and deep insights.

Robert Sward 1933 – 2022

Poet Laureate of Santa Cruz County, 2016-2018, Robert Sward has taught at Cornell University, the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and UC Santa Cruz. A Fulbright scholar and Guggenheim Fellow, he was chosen by Lucille Clifton to receive a Villa Montalvo Literary Arts Award. His 30 books include: Four Incarnations (Coffee House Press), now in its second printing; Heavenly SexThe Collected Poems (1957-2004); and THE TORONTO ISLANDS, a bestseller. Widely published in traditional literary magazines and anthologies, Sward has served as contributing editor to “Web Del Sol,” “Blue Moon Review,” and other online publications since 1995. Born and raised in Chicago, Robert Sward served in the U.S. Navy in the combat zone during the Korean War (1951-1953) and later worked for CBC Radio and as book reviewer and feature writer for The Toronto Star and The Globe & Mail.

S4:E21 Francesca Bell Chats with Dion O’Reilly

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Francesca Bell and Dion O’Reilly read some of their favorite poets and a few poems of the own. Francesca reads from her next book What Small Sound and her previous collection, Bright Stain. Dion reads from her debut collection, Ghost Dogs, and from her upcoming collection Sadness of the Apex Predator. They also read a little Maggie Smith and a few other favorites.

S4:E20 Journal X Poets with Victoria Bañales

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Journal X poets Carla Schick, Claudia Ramírez Flores, and GusTavo A. Guerra Vásquez read and discuss their poems, touching upon themes of racial oppression, jazz, homophobia, border violence, culture, ancestry, “Watsón(ville)”, and more. Journal X, also known as Xinachtli Journal, is a literary/arts magazine focusing on social justice issues. To read the journal, visit

About the poets:

Carla Schick is a Queer activist for liberation, educator and union activist, lover of jazz and language. They have worked for an education system that empowers our students. Published in SF City College’s Forum, Milvia Street, Sinister Wisdom, Earth’s Daughters, and online, at The Write Launch and A Gathering of the Tribes, they received their Certificate in Creative Writing/Poetry from Berkeley City College. 

Claudia Ramírez Flores is a poet, fearless writer and Mexican immigrant who highlights crucial social issues in our world by writing about immigration, mental health, death and healing. She seeks to give a voice to the thousands of missing people in México. She has studied at Cabrillo College, UC Berkeley and Yale University. 

GusTavo Adolfo Guerra Vásquez (he/him) is a multimedia artist whose work has been featured in La Raíz, Fingir, Arte Latino Now, The Coiled Serpent, and The Wandering Song. A GuatemaLAngelino, GusTavo facilitates artistic workshops on poetry and social justice through his consulting work on inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility leadership. You can see his work at or follow him on instagram as @poetartista. You can subscribe to his YouTube channel at gMeing. GusTavo lived in Santa Cruz and Watsonville during the 1990’s where he organized cultural events like “Noche de Artistas” and the “Sabor a Chocolate” art exhibit.