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February 22, 2024 57 mins

On the 2/21/24 edition of Dr. Andy’s Poetry and Technology Hour:

Maria Breaux shares information about an event to be held on Monday, February 26th at the Compassion Corner in Downtown Davis in honor of her late brother’s birthday. In accordance with David Breaux's own radical kindness and generosity, she will be handing out free slices of Boston Cream Pie from 10:30am-11am to celebrate joy, compassion and positivity. She plans to encourage us to love one another and to publish a book that David had in the works. The next two guests are writers Dr. Andy knows from the 2024 San Francisco Writers Conference, Omar Shaker and Karma Bennett. Shaker discusses how he is fueled by ambition, which led to the development of his own health program centered around gumption. Shaker then reads a poem about his daily work. Bennett discusses story circle writing and scene and sequel techniques in order to maintain structure while writing her memoir. Backed by her experience as a marketing strategist, she shares the importance of blogging and social media use in the ever changing world of authorship. She closes the episode by reading her poem, “Attempting to Fathom the Freeway.”

Maria Breaux has been a presence in San Francisco's indie filmmaking sphere for over 20 years with films like "Vulveeta" and "Lucha," recognized respectively with Frameline Audience Awards. Maria is also a seasoned marketing writer for notable organizations like the Greater Good Science Center, Common Sense Media, and Pinterest, leveraging her expertise cultivated through a Master of Fine Arts in playwriting from San Francisco State University and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Stanford University. Recently grappling with an unimaginable loss—the tragic passing of her brother, known locally in Davis, California, as "the Compassion Guy"—Maria wants to continue candidly sharing her journey in cultivating compassion amid grief, drawing from her brother's profound legacy of collecting definitions of compassion to navigate through the most challenging phase of her life.

Omar Shaker is a doctor who left medicine to explore what health really means. He explores "Nourishing the Spirit of Ambitious People" daily through his Gumption Health program, his Sunday substack at, and his monthly in person podcast The Gumpcast.

Karma Bennett has been published in the literary magazine Soren Lit and in the anthology Colossus: Home, a collection to benefit Moms 4 Housing. After two decades living in the South she’s escaped to Oakland, CA where she serves on the board of the Berkeley California Writers Club.  By day she runs Future Is Fiction Communications, building websites and marketing plans for authors and nonprofits. By night she is writing a memoir about growing up in a home with Dissociative identity disorder (DID).

Find out more about Dr. Andy's Poetry Night Reading Series in Davis, California by visiting Invite your friends to sign up for the mailing list. To learn more about Dr. Andy’s tiny media fiefdom, visit his weekly newsletter at and follow him on Twitter at

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