L&BH Cafe Customers

Listen & Be Heard Poetry Cafe closes…

Hi Martha, I’m so sorry to hear this.  Best of luck to you in your future endeavors whatever they may be and please keep us in mind if you plan other events.

Best, Jamie Jamie Asae FitzGerald Poets & Writers, Program Associate California Office & Readings/Workshops (West)

Listen & Be Heard Poetry Cafe

Martha,   I was sad to hear you were closing. Best to you and your husband.

JMB Times-Herald

Hi Martha – I’m very sorry to hear this. Good luck to you and Tony in your next endeavors. Ana K. Cotham Associate Editor Solano Magazine

Thank you (and Tony) for all of your love and support over the years – we were just talking last night about how much fun we had at the last marathon we participated in!!!!  and i’ll never forget the warmth i felt at your venues when i performed solo.  keep us updated on your future ventures!   blessings!!! cho

I want to thank you for bringing spoken word to the people. Being in your cafe offered to me inspiration to get up and be heard on stage. Thank you for your vision, encouragement and inspiration. U will be missed. Blessings

I just heard the news from Rich Freedman and I’m still in shock. We will stop by this weekend to say goodbye. It’s too bad the city of Vallejo can’t get their stuff together. The Wilson Family

very sad. the poetry cafe is going to be missed by so many people but your reasons for your decision are correct. still, that doesn’t make it any easier, you know?


Tony & Martha: Well, damn! Poetry is a hard act to follow…you guys have given Vallejo and the area a great deal, it was a trip…from my first visits to the Fetterly, to doing your graphics for awhile to being the only featured acapella Handyman to grace your stage, you guys rock. Keep me on your circulation e-list, –Peter/Pedro Bray, Benicia, CA

Dear Martha,   I was so sad to read about the closing of L&BH Poetry Cafe.  L&BH is such an asset to this community.  I can only imagine how hard you and Tony have worked to keep the doors open.  What a blessing you and your family are to Vallejo.  Your presence in downtown is going to be missed.  Please add me to your email list:    Warmly, Dariece Warren (Tilton)

Hi, Martha,

I just heard from Bill Vartnaw that your cafe will be closing on March 29th. I’m so deeply sorry about this. You are such a bright spot in Vallejo, a wonderful place for all kinds of people to find refuge, creativity, spirit. Please give my best to Tony, and I wish you both all good things in the future. Thanks again for allowing me to read; I’ll always remember that night.

Best Love, Katherine Hastings

Dear Martha and Tony,

I’m so sorry you are closing.  The warmths you both gave to Listen and Be Heard Cafe and to the Open Mike Night encouraged a wonderful freshness and vitality and made Friday night poetry special.  You created a connection with poets of all ages and ethnicities, an atmosphere of genuine sharing.  Vallejo is losing a gem in its community.  I will personally miss not being able to come to your cafe or your reading when I am in town.  Thank you also for your encouraging support of Q. R.’s book throughout the last few years of its incubation.

Please keep in touch with any plans that can use some of my energy.  See you on the 29th.  Best wishes in the time ahead!

Yours, Bill Vartnaw

Dear Martha:

I am sorry that the L&BH cafe is closing, especially with your unique lineup of poets and other talent not found anywhere else. Skywalker & I were honored to read our poetry there.

Sincerely, Anita S. Linker VCAT

Hi Martha:

I’m sorry to read in the latest BANG that your Cafe is closing. From the email, if looks like for good, rather than just a re-location. THANKS so much for being part of the art culture at the Cafe and thanks for the constant emails about the events in our area.   I hope you resurface someplace nearby and continue to express yourself artfully.   Sincerely, Janet Manalo



There are not enough words to epitomize how grateful I am for Listen and Be Heard. I reveled in being a part of the People’s cafe. Growing up in Vallejo, I used to pray for something like L&BH to come around. I am honored to have felt the passion that manifested in your cafe. Thank you for everything. Jessica Ryan

Hello Tony and Martha, It was with sadness that I read in the paper that you are closing Listen and Be Heard.  We have only just moved to Vallejo, and one of the great things I have been telling everyone when they ask why we moved to Vallejo has been that 4 blocks from our house was this great poetry cafe. We came to one of your Friday night jams and I was so inspired that I went home and began to write poetry.  I came back twice on Friday nights to read, poetry on folded paper in my pockets but once you were dark and once I was too late.  Alas, I will not be able to make your last weekend due to other commitments, but I thought I would share with you the quickie limerick I wrote for my lightning round piece.  I earn my living as a performing artist and know how difficult it is these days, so I don’t fault you for throwing in the towel, but it is Vallejo’s loss (and I am left with pages of poetry that no one will ever hear!  Oh well.)

A couple resides in Vallejo They opened a poetry café, so Vallejans could gather And eat if they’d rather But verse always has the last say-so.

Ok, now that I re-read it, it’s probably best that I stick to puppet theatre (which I am rather good at.) I had thought that possibly someday we might be able to do something together with our respective arts, and that still may be a possibility. Best to you in your future endeavors.  Michael

Michael & Valerie Nelson Magical Moonshine Theatre

Hi Tony,Martha

I’ve been in your wonderful cafe twice and i loved it. Great place to relax and learn and enjoy the pure friendship. I am going to miss you guys big time.My son Hami is one that he brought me to the cafe. I want to thank him as well for introducing you to me. We love you and wish you the best of everything.

jay ramani

Tony and Martha!   Have to thank you for all your work to bring poetry forward in this territory.  Will miss your venue—your energy—your opportunities!   I hope you are in Vallejo—–not leaving territory?  Because if you are still here— I will watch to see what you are up to next!   Will try to be there on the 29th—-but if I cannot make it—–please stay in touch—-   sincerely and all that—-Bonnie Weidel

you cannot imagine how sad i am that you’ve closed. although i only made it to several poetry nights, i was always so inspired and happy that you are (were) there. i will miss your presence very much and the closing of the cafe is a great loss for our community. you’re a great inspiration to all of us. stay around in whatever capacity you can!

steve oliphant

Hi Tony / Martha,   A sad day for all of us. Just wanted to extend our gratitude and appreciation for the opportunity to extend ourselves artistically; for the good memories; and especially for the friendship. Your place served as an artistic refuge for all aspiring artists.   Peace and blessings to you and your family,   -Talons   Tony and Martha,   What a wonderful exerience we have all had, together.  Time leaves its mark on all things.   But, you are priceless and timeless.  Continue to dwell in peace and love, and the music will follow.   C

Hey Tony and Martha. Thank you very much for opening your doors and allowing the Talons to perform at  LBH. It has been an exciting and growing experience. We will truly miss your kindness, generosity, and hospitality. Thank you for inviting us to be a part of a wonderful experience. David Rages; Talons

Tony and Martha,

I wish I would’ve found out about the closure sooner, otherwise I would’ve came to read my pieces on that very stage for the last time. When I think about the fact that a place that gave me a voice is gone for good…it saddens me, it made me cry, hell, I even wrote a small piece about it. I wish I knew why you guys are closing, but I do wish BOTH of you the best!!!

One more thing…do you still have that Jimi Hendrix poster by any chance? I want a piece of Listen and Be Heard…anything, even a menu LOL. Lastly, I’ve been craving for that smoked salmon cream cheese for the LONGEST…do you guys have the recipe or did you buy it at a special store????????????????????

Much Luv 2 BOTH of you,

Tiffany C. Pace a.k.a. Poetic Old Soul


We came to have Avacado and cream cheese bagels yesterday and we were very sad to see the Cafe gone. We drive from Napa to enjoy your food and warm personalities! We wish you the best in all that you do.

Valerie and Zach

Listen and Be Heard Folk,

There is a cafe in England called, “Cafe` Poetry”.

How they continue I do not know.

But they survive doing what Kierkegaard wrote a book about: “Purity of the Heart is to Will One Thing.”

Perhaps, someday, there will be a “Cafe` Poetry” somewhere in the Greater Bay Area. Until then we will have the ghost of “Listen And Be Heard” to haunt us…whether we have just been guests online or able to travel to the site in person.

I am sad.

Agape, kiitos, shalom, Xie Xie, salaam, ja namaste,

Don as “Tauno”

Dear Martha, thank you so much for continuing your work on this web site.  I don’t usually have a lot of tim eon my hands, and I appreciate so much reading the poems and other information that you include. Thank you again,  Joann Dandurand