san francisco peace and hope

Letter from the Editor

Welcome to San Francisco Peace and Hope 2022. I want to announce that Honoring Ukraine: A Tribute is now launched. The loss, the hope, the tragedy is calling SFPH -- through poetry and art we continue our mission of peace. The tribute begins with a painting by Jeannie Motherwell, Enough is Enough, followed by voices from the Bay area and beyond.

Don't miss the foreword by the late Al Young, the former California poet laureate. His poems are published in all our issues and he presented readings at the SFPH events. He was beloved and honored by many and will be tremendously missed. His legacy lives on with his poetry and writing and all that he gave to the world.

At SF Peace and Hope we believe that the most important moment is now. How shall we use this moment in time? We need to choose carefully. Every word, every image, every action makes an impact for ourselves and the world. With a creative act there is always a new beginning, always a fresh hope when a poem or painting is created. Emerson wrote, "Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding."

Here at SF Peace and Hope, we believe that examining global change and celebrating the changeless aspects of life are both essential.

The political climate is one of the most unsettling in the history of our country. Politicians throw words around carelessly and dangerously – and Trumpism has brought forth a sad new model.

The fact is, words matter. Images matter.  If anyone understands this, it is the poet and the artist. We need words and images that pave the way for evolution; words and images that can be part of history, that one hundred, two hundred, one thousand years into the future, people will look back on and be inspired.

These are words from Dr. Victor Frankl from his book Man's Search for Meaning, about his experiences at Auschwitz during World War II. "Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way."

So, given all this constant change and turmoil, are peace and hope even possible? Evolution will ultimately tell the tale. Albert Einstein said, "Your imagination is your preview of life's coming attractions." The poets and artists in the journal have together created a vision of peace and hope. My wish is that the poetry and artwork in this journal will help you through hard times and perhaps even offer a preview of what's to come. Thank you to all the talented contributors to SF Peace and Hope for creating this vision…and possibility.

The Beginnings

September 11th, 2001, was personally devastating, as I had always thought of New York City as a home away from home. Since my father was in the military, my family moved constantly throughout the U.S. and abroad, but we always returned to visit relatives there, and even after I relocated to the Bay area, those strong links remained. I started blogging on September 12th as a way of connecting to New York and San Francisco, east and west, past and present — and, perhaps, through writing and art, making a small contribution toward improving the world situation.

The Bay area poets Kit Kennedy, Frances Spencer, Claire J. Baker, Ken Saffran, Mary Rudge, and Richard Angilly responded immediately to that challenge, and the Peace and Hope enterprise has grown and matured during the past decade, expanding to become an online and print publication informed by the idealism of the 1960s.


A huge thank you to the late Al Young, who served as our advisor and featured at SFPH events, to Jeannie Motherwell who has been amazingly generous with her time and talents, to Philip Lewenthal for photographing all the events and readings, and to Kit Kennedy, who has brought in so many fine poets, and who served as emcee at the SF Peace and Hope Fests.

Elizabeth Hack