2022 Invited Presenters

Speaker Bios

After earning her Masters Degree in Gerontology from the University of Southern California (USC) with an emphasis in public policy, Lora Connolly worked for over thirty years in the legislative and administrative branches of the California State Government.  In these roles she wrote federal grants, legislative reports, and redesigned website content with an emphasis on making them reader focused and more accessible.  Now retired for two years, she is rediscovering the joy of not seeing her name in many Google search listings and not being on call 24/7. Since retirement, Lora has been leading a “Writing Your Life Story” workgroup via Zoom through ACC and is in the process of writing her story.

Lisa Dominguez Abraham is a native Californian who explores culture and self-identity. Her collection Mata Hari Blows a Kiss won the 2016 Swan Scythe Chapbook Contest, and her 2018 book Coyote Logic was published by Blue Oak Press.

Frederick K. Foote, Jr. was born in Sacramento, California, and educated in Vienna, Virginia, and northern California. He was a Sacramento City College (SCC) Black Student Union founder and participated in SCC and UC Davis student politics. He worked for the California government for over twenty-five years as an analyst, manager, administrator, attorney, and administrative law judge. In addition, Frederick taught at Solano College and SCC. Since 2014, Frederick has published over three hundred stories, poems, and essays, including literary, science fiction, fables, and horror genres. Frederick has published three short story collections, For the Sake of Soul (2015), Crossroads Encounters (2016), and The Maroon Fables and Revelations (2020).

As a trained storyteller, Lesley Gale has shared stories at local and national festivals, in her classrooms at Cosumnes River College, and around many campfires and family gatherings. Lesley’s poems have won a Bazzanella Literary Award and have been featured in a local anthology and international online publications. She has published stories for children in Our Little Friend magazine.

Kathy Lynne Marshall was a professional researcher, analyst, and technical writer at the California Highway Patrol for 36 years. Exploring her enslaved family roots for over four decades, she has published six memoirs since 2017, some multiple book award winners. She has also written over twenty biographical and travel-oriented photo books. In addition, Marshall is the artist and owner of Kanika Marshall Art and Books (www.KanikaMarshall.com).

Ginny McReynolds is a longtime writer and educator, recently retired—for the second time. She blogs at Finally Time for This and is working on a book about reinventing ourselves in retirement.

In 2007, Kakwasi Somadhi returned to college to earn a second masters, this time an MFA in creative writing to help her settle into the literary life in her senior years. She has since retired and published her debut novel in 2014, titled: Coming Forth by Day. She published a children’s book, Let’s Meditate: This is how we do it! In 2021, and she has another book for children in the final publishing phase titled: The Peace Maker and the African Beetle.  Her short stories have been published in Flash Fiction Magazine. In addition to writing, she has served on the editorial board of Blue Nile Press and is the former editor of the Uraeus Journal.

Bob Stanley has organized poetry events in California for nearly fifty years, and he served as the Poet Laureate of Sacramento County from 2009 to 2012. Bob edited two anthologies of California poets, Late Peaches (2013), and Sometimes in the Open (2009). Moreover, he has published three collections of his own work: Walt Whitman Orders a Cheeseburger  (2009), Miracle Shine (2013), and Eleven Blue Strings (2015). Bob served on the board of Alameda Poets in the 1980s, and he served on the board of the Sacramento Poetry Center for twenty-three years, from 1997 to 2020. A Sac State lecturer emeritus, Bob lives in Sacramento with his wife, Joyce Hsiao, and together they run online poetry seminars that help support local nonprofits.

Maeley Tom’s memoir, I’m Not Who You Think I Am, tells of her growing up in the Bay Area, the child of Chinese opera celebrities, and how, through hard work, determination, intelligence, and the support of mentors, she became the first woman and first ethnic minority to serve at the highest level of the California legislature. She was the chief administrative officer of the California Assembly for twenty years, first under Speaker Willie Brown, Jr. and then chief of staff to David Roberti, California Senate President Pro Tem. Tom also served on the State Personnel Board and the CalPERS Board. In retirement, Tom has not stopped working to advance civil rights and help Asian Americans in politics. As founding president of the California Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus, she developed Capitol Academy, a program designed to prepare local Asian American officials to run for state office. Throughout her many years of serving in various positions at high levels in state government, Tom relied on the support and guidance of mentors and, in turn, has become a mentor to others, especially in the Asian and Pacific Islander American (APIA) community.

Kate Washington is the author of Already Toast: Caregiving and Burnout In America (Beacon Press, 2021) and a speaker on the systemic challenges facing family caregivers. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, TIME, Eater, Catapult, and many other publications. She holds a Ph.D. in Victorian literature from Stanford University and lives in Sacramento with her husband and two daughters. Connect with her at kawashington.com or on Twitter @washingtonkate.

Books and Publications

Lisa Abraham

Coyote Logic, $10. Send your mailing address to abramamaa@gmail.com, Venmo: @Lisa-Abraham-23.

Frederick K. Foote

The Maroon: Fables and Revelations, Kindle edition, Amazon.

For the Sake of Soul, Amazon.

Crossroads Encounters, Amazon.

Kathy Lynne Marshall

The Marshall Legacy in Black and White, $20/$7.99: Amazon (paperback/e-book) or www.KanikaMarshall.com. Shipping is $8 Priority Mail or $5 for the slower book rate.

The Mystery of Margaret Booker, $20/$7.99: Amazon (paperback/e-book) or http://www.KanikaMarshall.com. Shipping is $8 Priority Mail or $5 for the slower book rate.

Finding Daisy: From the Deep South to the Promised Land, $20/$7.99: Amazon (paperback/e-book) or www.KanikaMarshall.com. Shipping is $8 Priority Mail or $5 for the slower book rate.

Finding Otho: The Search for Our Enslaved Williams Ancestors, $25/$9.99: Amazon (paperback/e-book) or www.KanikaMarshall.com. Shipping is $8 Priority Mail or $5 for the slower book rate.

The Ancestors Are Smiling! $18.34/$7.99: Amazon (paperback/e-book) or www.KanikaMarshall.com. Shipping is $8 Priority Mail or $5 for the slower book rate.

Ginny McReynolds

Finally Time for This: A Beginner’s Guide to the Second Half of Life, blog, www.finallytimeforthis.com.

Kakwasi Somadhi

Coming Forth by Day, $13.95, Amazon.

Let’s Meditate: This is how we do it! $15.95, Amazon.

Bob Stanley

Miracle Shine, $15.00 plus $3.99 shipping/handling.

Walt Whitman Orders a Cheeseburger, $10.00 plus $3.99 shipping/handling.

Eleven Blue Strings, $18.00 plus $3.99 shipping/handling.

Edited by Bob Stanley: The Way Back, poems by Mike Owens, $15 plus $3.99 shipping/handling.

For orders of more than one book, additional shipping costs will be $1.00 per book, (so two books would be $4.99, etc.) Please mail orders and checks to Bob Stanley, 4010 Random Lane, Sacramento 95864, or email stanleybob2010@gmail.com.

Maeley Tom

I’m Not Who You Think I Am: An Asian Woman’s Political Journey, Paperback: $19.99, Amazon.

Kate Washington

Already Toast: Caregiving and Burnout in America, Hardback: $24.95, Paperback: (available Spring 2022), $16.95, Amazon or Bookshop.