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Michael Rothenberg

Last year, Guerneville poet and web site editor Michael Rothenberg had an idea.

He wanted to use the Web to instigate a loose aggregation of poetry readings all over the world, all devoted to fostering peace and protecting the planet.

That idea became the first “100 Thousand Poets for Change” last September, with some 700 events held all on one day, in 550 cities in 95 countries.

Now he’s staging the second annual “100 Thousand Poets for Change.”

The local component of the global event will run for three days at the Arlene Francis Center, 99 Sixth St., Santa Rosa. Hours are 5 to 11 p.m. Friday (Sept. 28),  10 a.m. to midnight Saturday (Sept. 29) and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday (Sept. 30). Admission is free.

“We’ll probably have 50 poets in four poetry readings, but we’ll also have more than a dozen bands, dance troupes, workshops, live art demonstrations, raffles, food and refreshment,” Rothenberg said. “This is a huge community event.”

But obviously the local event is linked to something much bigger.

“This is the headquarters event for a global movement that is being organized by the Sonoma County community,” Rothenberg explained.

To prove the point the Santa Rosa event will feature a live video feeds from “100 Thousand Poets for Change” celebrations all over the world.

“Everything is going great,” Rothenberg reported. “Over 800 events in 115 countries and we’re still adding events daily.”

This year, the event has been expanded beyond poetry to include music, art, photography, mime and more.

Information: www.100TPC.org, (305) 753-4569.

Rothenberg is editor of the online literary magazine, Bigbridge.org.

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