Join us for a rare gathering of six Poets Laureate on an event about social justice. Each poet will do a 10-minute reading from their latest book.

Sept 20, 2019

Co-Host, Poet Ron Riekki

Ron Riekki’s books include U.P.: a novel (Ghost Road Press), Posttraumatic: A Memoir (Small Press Distribution), My Ancestors are Reindeer Herders and I Am Melting in Extinction (Loyola University Maryland’s Apprentice House Press), and the upcoming (I have been warned not to write about this): poetry (Main Street Rag, 2020).

Riekki edited Undocumented: Great Lakes Poets Laureate on Social Justice (Michigan State University Press), 100 Years of Upper Peninsula Writing, 1917-2017 (MSU Press), Women Writing on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (MSU Press, Independent Publisher Book Award), The Way North: Collected Upper Peninsula New Works (Wayne State University Press, Michigan Notable Book), and The Many Lives of The Evil Dead: Essays on the Cult Film Franchise (McFarland).

He is contracted for seven upcoming books with McFarland, WSU Press, MSU Press, Main Street Rag, and Edinburgh University Press.


Sacramento Poet Laureate Indigo Moor

Poet Laureate of Sacramento, Indigo Moor, is also a playwright and author. His first book, Tap-Root, was published as part of Main Street Rag’s Editor’s Select Poetry Series. His second book of poetry, Through the Stonecutter’s Window, won Northwestern University Press’s Cave Canem prize. As with Tap-Root, Indigo’s third book, In the Room of Thirsts & Hungers, is a 2017 Editor’s Select choice from Main Street Rag.



In the Room of Thirsts & Hungers: The Mirrored Tragedies of Paul Robeson & Othello “In these ‘Broken Sonnets,’ Indigo Moor holds a reflecting glass between Othello the Moor and Paul Robeson, the actor, scholar, and equal rights activist who portrayed Othello in the America of racial oppression and Communist witch hunts. This immensely ambitious collection contains a history of race and the legacy of the slavery in Shakespeare’s time that culminated in the driving of the Moors out of Catholic Spain. On the other side of the mirror are the 1900s of Paul Robeson: lynch mobs, blackface minstrel shows, Jim Crow, and the persecution of Negros.


“This book is a populous mirror, reflecting a cast of characters from Iago to Joe McCarthy, Desdemona to Langston Hughes, W.E.B. Du Bois and others. In the Room of Thirsts & Hungers reverses our understandings of these two complicated, proud men and makes them shine in the glaze of our refractions. This is one hell of a book. You can’t look away from it. It’s looking back at you.”

—Tony Barnstone, author of Pulp Sonnets


Berkeley Poet Laureate Rafael Jesús González

Rafael Jesús González, Prof. Emeritus of literature and creative writing, was born and raised biculturally/bilingually in El Paso, Texas/Cd. Juárez, Chihuahua, and taught at various universities before joining Laney College, Oakland, California, where he founded the Dept. of Mexican & Latin-American Studies.

Also a visual artist, he has exhibited in the Oakland Museum of California, the Mexican Museum of San Francisco, and others in the U.S. and Mexico. His collection of poems La musa lunática/The Lunatic Muse was published in 2009 with a second printing in 2010. Nominated thrice for a Pushcart price, he was honored by the National Council of Teachers of English and Annenberg CPB for his writing in 2003. He received the 2012 Dragonfly Press Award for Outstanding Literary Achievement and was honored by the City of Berkeley with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 13th Annual Berkeley Poetry Festival 2015.

He was named the first Poet Laureate of Berkeley in 2017.



La musa lunática / The Lunatic Muse, Rafael Jesús González’s long awaited collection of moon poems, fulfills its promise of beauty and poignancy. Rafael Jesús González is the master of the imagist lyric-the poems are both brilliant and immediate. And, we find in its metaphoric language a deep love of the Earth that can sustain many readings. La musa lunática / The Lunatic Muse is a careful bilingual edition, which allows readers of Spanish and/or English to enjoy and appreciate it.

Livermore Poet Laureate Cynthia Patton

Cynthia J. Patton is an attorney, activist, educator, and founder of Autism A to Z. She has published two surprisingly popular books on wetland protection and restoration plus a poetry collection, Across An Aqueous Moon: Travels in Autism. A second chapbook is due this fall.

Her award-winning work has appeared in thirteen anthologies; numerous publications; her blog, An Unplanned Life; and onstage. The Bay Area native serves as the City of Livermore’s Poet Laureate (2017-2021) and is completing a memoir on her unconventional journey to motherhood.



Across An Aqueous Moon: Travels in Autism explores parenting a child diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, a condition that affects 1 in 55 children in the United States. In this moving and inspirational debut, Cynthia J. Patton–single mother, attorney, autism advocate, and founder of the nonprofit organization Autism A to Z–faces adoption, autism, abandonment, divorce, and dating. It’s a story in poems that examines upended dreams, discarded expectations, and unforeseen joys as it reveals the power of human resilience. The spare, elegant poems illuminate the complex, hidden world of autism where “hope blooms amidst the grass of doubt” and shadows of grief give way to the light of a mother’s fierce, shining love.

Benicia Poet Laureate
Thomas Stanton

Thomas Eric Stanton is primarily known as a California Surrealist. His works engage many mediums and often emphasizes the aspects of ‘Performance.’ He has produced books of poetry, and his paintings are included in many public, private, and museum collections. He lives and works in Benicia, California. He is the current Poet Laureate of Benicia, California.

Orinda Poet Laureate
Amy Glynn

Amy Glynn is a poet, essayist and fiction writer. Her second poetry collection, Romance Language, is forthcoming from Measure Press in March 2020. She currently serves as Poet Laureate for Lafayette and Orinda CA.



Amy Glynn, in her debut collection A Modern Herbal, meditates on a menagerie of flora-the mythical, the medicinal, and the mundane-and fashions a lyric collection that resonates with incantatory power. The poems proliferate into a rich landscape of correspondences and metaphorical discovery:

“You could see / whole worlds in nutshells,” she writes, and Glynn weaves in and out of an intense focus on the herbarium itself and the connections with everyday contemporary life she finds there. Whether it is in a poem about the olive or the nettle, the narcissus or the milkweed, Glynn’s vision of her subjects, and her voice, are both ancient and contemporary, combining a lush lyricism with modern rhythms of speech. In her hands, these specimens manifest our most human emotions as she conjures a world of perception from each.

These are quick, wise poems that show us nature is no less beguiling than the heart.

Sept 28, 2019

NYT Bestselling Sacramento Author Lisa McMann

Lisa McMann is the New York Times bestselling author of the middle-grade dystopian fantasy series The Unwanteds, the YA paranormal Wake trilogy, and several other books for kids and teens. She lives with her family in Sacramento, California. Learn more about The Unwanteds series at, and be sure to say hello on her social media platforms.

She will be at Capital Books to launch her newest book in the series, The Unwanteds Quests: Dragon Curse (Simon & Schuster, September 3, 2019). Lisa will discuss the book, take questions, and then be available to autograph the book, copies of which will be available at Capital Books.

About the Dragon Curse

Ten years after Alex and Aaron Stowe brought peace to Quill and Artimé, their younger twin sisters journey beyond Artimé in the fourth novel in the New York Times bestselling sequel series to The Unwanteds, which Kirkus Reviews called “The Hunger Games meets Harry Potter.”

At last, after harrowing battles and devastating losses, the three Stowe siblings are reunited. Back in Artime, however, their joy at finding one another is short lived. Fifer loses her leadership position and struggles to find her place and purpose, while Thisbe is relentless in her determination to return to the land of the dragons and help Rohan rescue the other black-eyed children. Aaron fails to ward off increasing opposition from a resentful Frieda Stubbs and the dissenters, leading to a shocking and dangerous turn.

Meanwhile, the Revinir pursues Thisbe and Drock all the way to the seven islands, putting the people of Artimé in peril. To save them, Thisbe makes an unthinkable sacrifice that leaves Fifer, Aaron, and the others to face political eruption and destruction in the formerly peaceful magical world.


Reserve Your Seat

Because this will be a popular event, and we can only have 50 people in the store, we encourage those who wish to attend to reserve a seat by pre-purchasing The Dragon Curse (pub date: Sept 3, 2019). We’ll have a copy of the book waiting for you, and Lisa will be happy to autograph it for you after her appearance. You’ll be issued a ticket with a numbered seat. The earlier you pre-purchase the book, the closer you’ll be to the front.

Oct 12, 2019

Journalist Lisa Loving opens up the world of journalism

Lisa Loving has reported for WIRED, The Oregonian, and The New York Times. But she has spent almost her entire journalism career in community media, including decades at KBOO Community Radio and 10 years as news editor of The Skanner, an African American family-owned newspaper serving Portland and Seattle. Lisa was named one of the University of Oregon Agora Center’s “Front 50” regional innovators in media, and she is convinced that everyday people are — and have always been — key players in our media landscape.

About Street Journalist: Understand and Report the News in Your Community

Responsible journalism begins with you! A corrupt politician. A local business in trouble. A neighbor with a heroic story. An opportunity to work together for positive change.

Whatever the stories are in your community that most need to be told, the best person to tell them is you. Whether you’re writing for your local newspaper, producing a podcast or video series, or simply sharing what you see and learn every day on social media, the power of journalism is in your hands, as is the responsibility to use it ethically and wisely.

Longtime journalist Lisa Loving opens up the world of journalism, sharing her hard-won skills and knowledge to help expand your media literacy so that you can report on what matters most, hold powerful people accountable, and strengthen your community.

Event Info

Store capacity is 50 people, so we encourage those who wish to attend to reserve a seat by pre-purchasing Street Journalist: Understand and Report the News in Your Community from Capital Books. We’ll have a copy of the book waiting for you, and Lisa will be happy to autograph it for you after her appearance. You’ll be issued a ticket with a numbered seat. The earlier you pre-purchase the book, the closer you’ll be to the front.

Oct 29, 2019

Best Selling Davis Author Catriona McPherson

Catriona McPherson is the multi-award-winning and national best-selling author of the Dandy Gilver series of preposterous detective stories, set in her native Scotland in the 1930s. She also writes darker contemporary suspense novels, the latest of which is Go To My Grave. After eight years as an immigrant in northern California, Catriona began the Last Ditch trilogy, written with love and no judgment (honest) about her new home. Scot and Soda is the second book. The first, Scot Free, won the 2019 award for best comic mystery at Left Coast Crime. Catriona is a proud lifetime member and former national president of Sisters in Crime.

She will be at Capital Books for the release of her newest book, Strangers at the Gate (Minotaur Books – October 22, 2019), where she’ll talk about the book and sign copies.

About the Book:

Finnie Doyle and Paddy Lamb are leaving city life in Edinburgh behind them and moving to the little town of Simmerton. Paddy’s been made partner at the local law firm, and Finnie has snagged a job as a church deacon. Their rented cottage is quaint; their new colleagues are charming, and they can’t believe their luck.

But only days after moving into the gatehouse, Finnie begins to have doubts. She keeps hearing strange sounds, and the surrounding trees bring claustrophobia rather than comfort. Then they witness the bloody aftermath of a brutal murder, and that changes everything. They’ve each been keeping secrets about their pasts. And they both know their precious new start won’t survive a scandal. Together, for the best of reasons, they make the worst decision of their lives.

That’s only the beginning. The deep, deep valley where Simmerton sits is unlike anywhere Finn and Paddy have been before. They are not the only ones hiding in its shadows and very soon they’ve lost control of the game they decided to play…

From the Agatha Award-winning author of Quiet Neighbors comes a twisty, fascinating mystery that asks the question: who do you turn to when everyone’s a stranger and you’ve stopped believing your own eyes?

Reserve Your Seat

Because we can only have 50 people in the store, we encourage those who wish to attend to reserve a seat by pre-purchasing Strangers at the Gate (pub date: Oct 22, 2019). We’ll have a copy of the book waiting for you, and Catriona will be happy to autograph it for you after her appearance.

Nov 13, 2019
1-3 pm

International Freelance Photographer and Author, John Lander

John Lander is a freelance photographer based near Kamakura, Japan, with a passion for Japanese gardens, hot springs, and colorful festivals. Credits include photos published by National Geographic, Travel+Leisure, Conde Naste Traveler, Lonely Planet, Rough Guides, TIME Magazine, Architectural Digest, Wall Street Journal, Vogue, Forbes, Camping Life and travel sections of newspapers in the US and Canada. In recent years, John has devoted his time and travels to three photo book essays with extended captions, Hidden Gardens of Japan, Offbeat Japan and the newest project: World Heritage Japan.


Author and photographer John Lander takes the magnificent UNESCO World Heritage sites of Japan as a starting point for exploring the country’s architecture, history, customs and festivals. Lander, who has lived in Japan for 35 years, traveled to almost all the country’s UNESCO sites: from well-known places like Mount Fuji to hidden temple gardens and hard-to-reach wild islands.

This book also includes cultural elements listed as intangible world heritage, providing intimate portraits of Japanese cuisine, crafts and performance arts. With a lyrical preface by Pico Iyer and illustrated with over 180 full-color photographs, World Heritage Japan is Lander’s personal photographic tribute to a diverse and ancient culture – a stunning visual journey across Japan


We encourage you to reserve a seat by pre-purchasing the book (pub: Oct 31, 2019, $40.00). We’ll have it ready for you when you arrive at Capital Books, and John will be happy to autograph it for you. We only have a capacity for 50 people.

Nov 30, 2019

International award-winning author,
Avanti Centrae

Avanti Centrae is the author of the international award-winning VanOps thriller series. An avid world traveler, she’s studied aikido, been a river raft guide, and thrives on adventure. Her book, The Lost Power, took home a genre grand prize blue ribbon at the Chanticleer International Book Awards, and an Honorable Mention at the 2018 Hollywood Book Festival. Her work has been compared to that of James Rollins, Steve Berry, Dan Brown, and Preston/Child’s Pendergast series, but has a voice all its own. She resides in Northern California with her family and German Shepherds.

She will be at Capital Books for the release of her new book, Lost Power (Black Opal Books, November 2019), where she’ll talk about the book and sign copies. 

About the Book:

Da Vinci Code meets Tomb Raider in the award-winning thriller #1 NYT’s author James Rollins called, “Full of action and suspense.”

Reserve Your Seat

We encourage you to reserve a seat by pre-purchasing the book (pub: Nov 1, 2019). We’ll have it ready for you when you arrive at Capital Books, and Avanti will be happy to autograph it for you. We only have a capacity for 50 people.

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