Finishing Line Press: Jessica Barksdale, Cynthia Patton, Peggy Schimmelman & Laura Schulkind 4pm Free

The Octopus Literary Salon Presents

Recent Authors from Finishing Line Press

August 314:00-6:00


Jessica BarksdaleWhen We Almost Drowned

Jessica Barksdale’s fourteenth novel, The Burning Hour, was published in 2016. Her poetry collection When We Almost Drowned was published in March 2019 by Finishing Line Press. A Pushcart Prize and Best-of-the-Net nominee, her short stories, poems, and essays have appeared in or are forthcoming in the Waccamaw JournalSalt Hill Journal, Tahoma Review, and So to Speak. She is a Professor of English at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, California and teaches novel writing online for UCLA Extension and in the online MFA program for Southern New Hampshire University. 


Cynthia J. Patton, Across An Aqueous Moon: Travels in Autism

Cynthia J. Patton is an attorney, activist, and founder of the nonprofit Autism A to Z. She has published two surprisingly popular books on wetland restoration and a poetry collection, Across An Aqueous Moon: Travels in Autism. Her award-winning work has appeared in thirteen anthologies; numerous publications; her blog, An Unplanned Life; and onstage. The East Bay native and single mother serves as the City of Livermore’s Poet Laureate (2017-2021) and is completing a memoir on her unconventional journey to motherhood. Learn more at


Peggy SchimmelmanTick-tock

Peggy Schimmelman is the author of the poetry chapbooks Tick-tock andCrazytown, along with the novel Whippoorwills. She is co-author of Long Stories Short, by Livermore’s Wild Vine Writers. Her award-winning work has appeared in North American Review, Wild Musette,, Aleola, Pacific Review, Comstock Review, and many other online and print publications. Learn more at


Laura Schulkind, The Long Arc of Grief

Laura Schulkind, an attorney by day, is entrusted with others’ stories. Through poetry and fiction, she tells her own. She has two poetry chapbooks, both published by Finishing Line PressThe Long Arc of Grief (2019) and Lost in Tall Grass(2014)Her writing has also appeared, or is forthcoming, in numerous literary journals including Reunion: The Dallas Review, Caveat Lector, Diverse Voices Quarterly, Evening Street PressThe MacGuffin, and Reed Magazine. Her work can also be seen at:, along with musings on why “lawyer-poet” isn’t an oxymoron.
Saturday, August 31, 2019 - 4:00pm