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Spoken Word Club

About the Spoken Word Club
The Spoken Word Club of Laguna Woods is a place for writers, poets, playwrights, monologuists, and storytellers to read their work and develop new material. In our monthly meetings, members have an opportunity to read and hear others. There is a featured reader every month. Dues are $10/year. Guests are welcomed to listen or read ($2 charge for guests per meeting). Light refreshments. We meet in the Redwoods Room in the Community Center on El Toro on the 4th Tuesday of the month at 1pm-3pm.

Spoken Word May 2014

Born in the shadow of Buffalo Mountain in rural southwestern Virginia, Richard Nester has lived and worked on both coasts. Numerous journals, including Ploughshares, Callaloo, Tikkun, and Floyd County Moonshine have published his poems, and his work has been anthologized in Cape Discovery, a publication of the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, where he has twice been a fellow. His essays on social justice have appeared in the Catholic Agitator.
He taught at University of California, Irvine, for 32 years, working extensively with students from Humanities Core Course. He is married to the poet, Robbi Nester. They have a treasured son, Jeremy.
Among his other accomplishments are that he has crossed the American continent six times, thrice by car, twice by train, and once by bus—no covered wagon.


Spoken Word Workshop on Climate Change

Climate change is arguably the greatest threat humanity has ever faced, yet it was barely mentioned in the 2012 election. Most people are writing about everything else except what’s happening to the planet. We in the Village have been around a long time and have things to say about it—let’s share our experiences from the broad view of our collective wisdom. Whether you are one of the 29% of Americans concerned about climate change or one of the doubtful 13%, come learn how to share your thoughts in effectively-written poems, stories, and essays. On Tuesday, June 11 at 10 a.m., the Spoken Word Club will sponsor a two-hour writing workshop entitled “Writing on Climate Change.” Instructors Joan Ross, Charlie Redner, and Dr. Thea Iberall will teach everything from poetic metaphor and musicality to structuring an essay and framing your voice. Free of charge. Open to anyone. Light refreshments will be served. Location: Redwood Room, Community Center, 24351 El Toro Road, Laguna Woods, CA. Please RSVP to Thea 949-768-1963 or

April 2013 Poetry Lessons

During National Poetry Month, our officers posted poetry lessons. Here's your opportunity to learn something from these award-winning poets. Click MORE for the lessons.

First Spoken Word Workshop Poetry Lesson

On April 23rd, we held our first Spoken Word Poetry Workshop. Fourteen people attended and had a chance to have their poems critiqued. Click MORE for the handout.

Previous Featured Poets of the Spoken Word Club

When We Meet
We will meet once a month on the 4th Tuesday at 1-3pm in the Redwoods Room in the Community Center, 24351 El Toro Road, Laguna Woods, CA.

Spoken Word Executive Board
President - Thea Iberall
Vice-President - Joan Ross
Treasurer - Charles Redner

For more information
Contact Thea Iberall at (949) 768-1963

Spoken Word Club - 2015 Features

Steve Miller - January 27, 2015

Los Angeles poet Steve Miller has been attending the legendary Beyond Baroque Wednesday Night workshop in Venice, CA for over 20 years and helped to edit their anthology "Echo 681." Miller produces live events that weave music and spoken work together, and he recently began touring as "The Purple Guitar." His chapbook "80 Grit" commemorates the writing of poems on the back of sandpaper. In 1999, Miller was heralded in the Los Angeles Magazine as the 'Best Painter in LA.'

Upcoming features:

Lynne Bronstein - February 24, 2015

David McIntyre - March 24, 2015

J.J. Martindale - April 28, 2015

Brenda Petrakos May 26, 2015

Amelie Frank - June 23, 2015

Michael C. Ford July 28, 2015

Brendan Constanine August 25, 2015

Daniel Yaryan -   September 22, 2015

Pete Justus October 27, 2015

Spoken Word November 2013

At our meeting on November 26th, our feature will be Raundi Moore-Kondo. Raundi is the founder of For the Love of Words, which offers creative writing and poetry workshops for poets of all ages. She has been published in Don't Blame the Ugly Mug, Aim for the Head, and My Poetry Rocks. She was the winner of The Lightbulb Mouth Literary Adventure Part V.

Spoken Word October 2013

On October 22, Leslie Maryann Neal is our feature.

Leslie Maryann Neal is a freelance writer and editor who graduated magna cum laude from CSULB in 2011 with a BA in English: Creative Writing. She has published three poetry chapbooks and is hard at work on her fourth. She also writes short fiction, wrote a mystery novel set in Long Beach, and has a second novel in progress. She's quite happy to meet you.


Spoken Word September 2013

On September 24th, Ruth Bavetta will be our feature. She is a visual artist and poet. She is the author of Fugitive Pigments (FutureCycle Press, 2013) where she brings together the worlds of poetry and art. Her poetry has been published in Rattle, Nimrod, Tar River Review, North American Review, Spillway, Hanging Loose, Rhino, Poetry East, and Poetry New Zealand among others. She is in the anthologies Twelve Los Angeles Poets and Wait a Minute; I Have to Take off My Bra.  A second book, Embers on the Stairs, is forthcoming from Moontide Press in 2013.

Spoken Word August 2013

The next meeting of the Spoken Word Club is August 27 at 1:00. Our feature will be Robbi Nester. Robbi is the author of a chapbook, Balance (White Violet, 2012). She won 2nd prize in the Long Beach Aquarium's Urban Ocean contest this year and has also been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Our August feature is Robbi Nester. Robbi is a book reviewer for New York Journal of Books and an editor for Slippage, a journal of science and the arts. She is collaborating with other artists on A Likely Story and Together and is editing an anthology of poems and artwork inspired by NPR and PBS entitled The Liberal Media Made Me Do It! Robbi teaches writing, literature, and literary theory at Southern New Hampshire University.


Spoken Word July 2013

Award winning poet and author Robert Yehling to Feature at Spoken Word Club
The next meeting of the Spoken Word Club on July 23rd will feature Robert Yehling. Robert is a poet, novelist, ghostwriter, book editor and writing instructor. He is also the editor of The Hummingbird Review, a locally produced literary anthology. Last month Robert published his fourth book of poetry, Backroad Melodies. He has authored a web exhibit, “Poetry Through the Ages” ( Robert also maintains a writers online forum, “The Word Journeys Blog” ( which captures all aspects of the writing life, writing process and business side of writing. In 2007, he co-edited Freedom of Vision a poetry and essay anthology featuring 130 works by current or former prison inmates.


Spoken Word June 2013

June 25th will feature Irena Praitis, Professor of literature and creative writing at California State University, Fullerton.  Dr. Praitis’ was a Fulbright Scholar to Vilnius, Lithuania. Her poetry books include Branches, Touches, and One Woman's Life. She has published in an array of journals including Denver Quarterly, Rattle, The Mid-America Poetry Review, and The California Quarterly.

Spoken Word May 2013

Joan Ross is an award-winning poet and writing instructor. Her writing has been recognized by the Laguna Beach Annual Poetry Contest, Bright Horizons, California State Poetry Society, The Ear, Reflections, The Wall, and herspectives. Among other books, her poetry books include Loose Ends, Thickets, and Earthbound Weeds. Joan studied at the University of Oregon and USC. She has been teaching creative writing for many years.


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Unless otherwise stated, all meetings, events and amenities are for the use of Laguna Woods Village residents and their authorized guests only.