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Tuesday, Mar 27, 2018, 4-6pm: Volunteer to be a Poetry Mentor

In search of poetry mentors! Lead one or two sessions of a drop-in High School Poetry Workshop to be held at the San Rafael Library on the 4th Monday of each month. Workshops run from 4-5:30 pm, commencing on April 23, 2018.  Workshops will follow a simple format: first, presentation and discussion of an element of poetic craft as exemplified in a poem from the traditional canon and a contemporary poem. Second, an MFA-style workshop examination and discussion of student poems.

No special poetry expertise is required, just the willingness to show up to one or sessions with two poems in hand and to conduct a discussion and workshop that will foster student growth and interest in poetry. If you are interested, please attend the Training Session for Mentors on Tuesday, March 27, 4-6 pm at the San Rafael Library. If you can’t make it, plan to attend the first workshop on Monday April 23, 4-5:30 pm and contact Rebecca Foust, Marin County Poet Laureate at

Sat., Mar 31, 2018, 1-4pm: Performing Poetry With Authentic Voice with Claire Blotter

In this fun experiential workshop, we’ll examine distinct performance poetry styles and  how to express both ideas and emotions using simple vocal techniques. We’ll play “Name that Tone” and strengthen the range of our voices by practicing ancient sounds for energy centers of the body. Finally, we’ll create tone maps for one page poems and perform them, neither overly dramatizing nor reading blandly but with clear compelling authentic Monday, voice.

Location: College of Marin, Academic Center, Rm. 236
For info: 415 485-9305 or 415 895-1657

Poetry Writing Master Class with Tom Centolella

“Poetry is language at its most distilled and most powerful.” – Rita Dove.

Poets attempt to say the unsayable—an ambition that should never be “all work, no play.” In this lively workshop, a master poet will play Virgil to your Dante, guiding the way to your unique vision and voice. Bring your works-in-progress, or the optional weekly assignment, for encouraging, in-depth feedback. To jumpstart inspiration, each meeting will begin with the discussion of a notable poem, occasionally followed by a fun in-class exercise—all supplemented by examinations into poetic forms (ancient to contemporary), the art of revision, and creative tactics for extracting the hidden gold of your imagination. For all poets, wherever you are on the journey.

For more information visit: Poetry Master Class

Workshop with Dorianne Laux:  What makes a poem memorable?

Dave Smith says it’s “A sharp, memorable, confident use of language which releases feeling, and keeps releasing it with repeated readings.” Naomi Shihab Nye says for her it is “Love and care for elemental details, for chosen words and their simple arrangement on the page… and a way of ending that leaves a new resonance or a lit spark in the reader or listener’s mind….”  This workshop/study group will consist of reading the work of established poets, and creating new drafts. We’ll take a close look at a variety of dazzling poems written by contemporary poets and seek to understand what makes them memorable.  We will practice imitation as a striving toward writing our own unforgettable poems with an in-class prompt and take home exercise.

Saturday, May 19, 2018 10:00am-2:00pm
Cost: $150
Location: private home in Novato

To register: contact Francesca Bell at


Other Reading Series

Sacramento Poetry Center
Valona Deli
Rebound Bookstore
Word Temple
Berkeley Lunch Poems
Why There Are Words
San Francisco Art & Poetry Calendar
Poetry Flash

Poetry Resources

Marin Poets Live!
Poetry Flash
Entropy Magazine
Poets & Writers
Trish Hopkinson’s poetry resources
Rose Black’s downloadable list of how-to poetry books