Interview with Sandra Hughes about Exciting Poetry Projects in Kern River Valley, July 2023

By: Carla Joy Martin

For the past 6 months, Sandra has been leading a monthly poetry reading at the Kern River Valley Art Association. They have anywhere from 6 to 10 local poets and poetry lovers attend to share both poetry and camaraderie. 

Recently, Sandra has partnered with John Peterson from the Poetic Matrix Press to create a poetry anthology project for Kern River Valley (KRV) poets. They have held two poetry workshops so far, and plan to hold 4 more over the next 4 months to help the poets create new work and find new inspiration. 

In December, they will accept submissions from poets of all ages and experience levels in the KRV (attendance at the poetry workshops is not required.) John believes they will be able to publish the anthology sometime in the spring and they will make it available both online and at the art association. 

John and Sandra both believe in poetry as a form of healing, and as a way to find truth and beauty in our broken world. The Kern Valley Sun recently interviewed Sandra about this project and it has helped them get the word out to local poets. Two articles in Kern Valley Sun:

Kern Valley Sun – Writing workshop leads to publication of valley wide anthology

Kern Valley Sun – Writers seek to enrich community with poetry workshop and anthology

This project is part of a larger project called the KRV Makers and Art Abandonment Project, which aims to encourage artists and makers to create more work and give back to their communities. The art abandonment project encourages artists to create practical works of art and abandon them around the Kern River Valley. 

There is a facebook group ( for abandoners to show off their art, and finders to express their appreciation.  Art abandoners will be featured in a special photo-book and are eligible for a special t-shirt. When the poetry anthology is published, Sandra and John plan to abandon 5-10 copies around the valley.

As Sandra says, “It’s exciting to get to know fellow poets better and to create a welcoming space for everyone to share their work.”  Kudos to Sandra and John and their efforts to bring poetry into more people’s lives. will let our readers know when their new anthology comes out!