Saturday May 19, 2018 10:00am – 2:00pm
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.
Thursday May 17, 2018 7:30pm – 9:30pm
Dorianne Laux & Joshua Mensch
Dorianne Laux‘s most recent collections are The Book of Men, winner of the Paterson Poetry Prize and Facts about the Moon, winner of the Oregon Book Award. Laux is also author of Awake, What We Carry, and Smoke from BOA Editions. Only As The Day Is Long, her new and selected poems, is forthcoming from W.W. Norton. She teaches poetry in the MFA Program at North Carolina State University and is founding faculty at Pacific University’s Low Residency MFA Program.
Joshua Mensch is a poet, visual artist, and a founding editor of the online literary journal B O D Y. His poetry has appeared in several magazines, including Plume, Brick, The Collagist, and Smartish Pace. His first book of poetry, Because, a lyric memoir, will be published by W. W. Norton in 2018. He lives in Prague, Czech Republic.
Friday May 11, 2018 7:00 – 9:00pm
Poetry World Series, Mill Valley Library
Cosponsored by Marin Poetry Center
This fun poetry event features Daniel Handler as emcee, celebrity judges Lee Herrick and Molly Giles, and rising Marin Poets: Tongo Eisen-Martin, Kathleen Winter, Maw Shein Win, Marcelo Hernandez Castillo, Arisa White and Kai Carlson-Wee. Hosted by Rebecca Foust, Marin Poet Laureate.
Tuesday April 24, 2018 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Copper Canyon Press Reading
This reading, featuring four wonderful poets with new collections from Copper Canyon Press, is a collaboration between Marin Poetry Center and the Mill Valley Library. Location: Mill Valley Library, 375 Throckmorton Avenue, Mill Valley.
Dana Levin fourth book is Banana Palace (Copper Canyon Press, 2016). Previous collections include In the Surgical Theatre and Sky Burial, which The New Yorker called “utterly her own and utterly riveting.” Recent poetry and essays have appeared in Best American Poetry 2015, Poem-a-day, Boston Review, and Poetry. Levin is a grateful recipient of honors from the National Endowment for the Arts, PEN, the Witter Bynner Foundation and the Library of Congress, as well as the Rona Jaffe, Whiting, and Guggenheim Foundations. She serves as Distinguished Writer in Residence at Maryville University in St. Louis.
Dean Rader published three books in 2017: Self-Portrait as Wikipedia Entry (Copper Canyon Press); Suture, a collection of collaborative sonnets written with Simone Muench (Black Lawrence) and the anthology Bullets Into Bells: Poets and Citizens Respond to Gun Violence, with Brian Clements & Alexandra Teague (Beacon Press). He writes regularly for The San Francisco Chronicle, Ploughshares, The Kenyon Review, and The Huffington Post and is a professor at The University of San Francisco. In their review of Self-Portrait as Wikipedia Entry, Publishers Weekly wrote: “few poets capture the contradictions of our national life with as much sensitivity or keenness.”
Melissa Stein is the author of Terrible Blooms (Copper Canyon Press, 2018). Her debut collection, Rough Honey, won the APR/Honickman First Book Prize selected by Mark Doty. Her poems have appeared in Ploughshares, New England Review, Tin House, The Southern Review, Best New Poets, and others, and she has received fellowships from the NEA, Bread Loaf, Yaddo, and MacDowell. She is a freelance editor and writer in San Francisco.
Javier Jose Zamora was born in El Salvador and migrated to the US when he was nine. He is a 2016-2018 Wallace Stegner Fellow and holds fellowships from CantoMundo, Colgate University, MacDowell, the National Endowment for the Arts, and Yaddo. The recipient of the 2016 Barnes and Noble Writer for Writer’s Award, his poems appear or are forthcoming in APR, Ploughshares, Poetry, The Kenyon Review, The New Republic, and elsewhere. His first poetry collection is forthcoming from Copper Canyon Press Fall 2017.
Thursday April 19, 2018 7:30pm – 9:30pm
Alexis Rhone Fancher & D.A. Powell
THIS IS A READING OF EROTIC POETRY. ADULTS ONLY.
Alexis Rhone Fancher is a professionally trained theatre actress who gave it all up for poetry. She is the author of How I Lost My Virginity To Michael Cohen and other heart stab poems (2014), State of Grace: The Joshua Elegies (2015), and her latest erotic collection, Enter Here (2017). She is published in Best American Poetry 2016, Rattle, Slipstream, Plume, Nashville Review, Diode, Glass, Tinderbox, and elsewhere. Her photos are published worldwide, including the covers of Witness, Heyday, The Chiron Review, and Nerve Cowboy. A multiple Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee, Alexis is poetry editor of Cultural Weekly. She lives in Los Angeles. www.alexisrhonefancher.com
D.A. Powell is the author of five collections, including Useless Landscape, or A Guide for Boys which received the National Book Critics Circle Award in poetry. His honors include the Kingsley Tufts Prize in Poetry, the Shelley Memorial Prize, and an Arts & Letters Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts & Letters, as well as fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Critic Steph Burt, writing in the New York Times, said of D. A. Powell, “No accessible poet of his generation is half as original, and no poet as original is this accessible.” A former Briggs-Copeland Lecturer in Poetry at Harvard University, Powell has taught at Stanford, Columbia, University of Texas at Austin, University of Iowa’s Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and Davidson College. He is a Professor at University of San Francisco and lives in San Francisco. Powell’s most recent book is Repast: Tea, Lunch & Cocktails, a reissue of his first three collections with an introduction by novelist David Leavitt.
Thursday March 15, 2018 7:30pm – 9:30pm
Cheryl Dumesnil & Allison Joseph
Cheryl Dumesnil‘s books include two collections of poems, Showtime at the Ministry of Lost Causes and In Praise of Falling (winner of the Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize and the Golden Crown Literary Society Prize for Poetry); a memoir, Love Song for Baby X: How I Stayed (Almost) Sane on the Rocky Road to Parenthood; and the anthology Dorothy Parker’s Elbow: Tattoos on Writers, Writers on Tattoos, co-edited with Kim Addonizio. A freelance writer, editor, and writing coach, she lives in Walnut Creek with her two sons and her partner, Sarah. www.cheryldumesnil.com
Allison Joseph lives, writes, and teaches in Carbondale, Illinois, where she is part of the creative writing faculty at Southern Illinois University. She serves as editor and poetry editor of Crab Orchard Review, moderator of the Creative Writers Opportunities List, and director of Writers in Common, a summer writers conference for writers of all ages. Her new chapbook press, No Chair Press, will launch in 2018.
Her books and chapbooks include What Keeps Us Here (Ampersand Press), Soul Train (Carnegie Mellon University Press), In Every Seam (University of Pittsburgh Press), Worldly Pleasures (Word Tech Communications), Imitation of Life (Carnegie Mellon UP), Voice: Poems (Mayapple Press), My Father’s Kites (Steel Toe Books), Trace Particles (Backbone Press), Little Epiphanies (Imaginary Friend Press), Mercurial (Mayapple Press), Mortal Rewards (White Violet Press), Multitudes (Word Poetry), The Purpose of Hands (Glass Lyre Press), Corporal Muse (Sibling Rivalry Press), Double Identity (Singing Bone Press) and What Once You Loved (Barefoot Muse Press). She is the literary partner and wife of poet and editor Jon Tribble.
Thursday February 15, 2018 7:30pm – 9:30pm
John Murillo & Nicole Sealey
John Murillo is the author of the poetry collection, Up Jump the Boogie, finalist for both the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and the Pen Open Book Award. His honors include a Pushcart Prize and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Cave Canem Foundation, and the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing. He teaches at Hampshire College and New York University.
Nicole Sealey was born in St. Thomas, U.S.V.I. and raised in Apopka, Florida. She is the author of Ordinary Beast, forthcoming from Ecco in fall 2017, and The Animal After Whom Other Animals Are Named, winner of the 2015 Drinking Gourd Chapbook Poetry Prize. Her other honors include an Elizabeth George Foundation Grant, the Stanley Kunitz Memorial Prize from The American Poetry Review, a Daniel Varoujan Award and the Poetry International Prize, as well as fellowships from CantoMundo, Cave Canem, MacDowell Colony and the Poetry Project. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker and elsewhere. Nicole holds an MLA in Africana Studies from the University of South Florida and an MFA in creative writing from New York University. She is the executive director at Cave Canem Foundation, Inc.
Thursday January 18, 2018 7:30pm – 9:30pm
Martha Ronk & Brian Turner
Martha Ronk is the author of eleven books of poetry, including Ocular Proof (Omnidawn), 2016, Transfer of Qualities (Omnidawn), long-listed for the National Poetry Award, Partially Kept, published by Nightboat Books, Vertigo, a National Poetry Series selection published by Coffee House Press, In a landscape of having to repeat, a PEN USA best poetry book published by Omnidawn Press, and Why/Why Not from UC Press. She has also published a quasi-memoir, Displeasures of the Table, from Green Integer, and a collection of stories, Glass Grapes and Other Stories, BOA Editions. She has had several residencies at Djerassi and MacDowell, is an NEA recipient, and is the Irma and Jay Price Emeritus Professor of English at Occidental College in Los Angeles.
Brian Turner is a poet and memoirist who served seven years in the US Army. He is the author of two poetry collections, Phantom Noise and Here, Bullet, which won the 2005 Beatrice Hawley Award, the New York Times “Editor’s Choice” selection, the 2006 PEN Center USA “Best in the West” award, the 2007 Poets Prize, and others. Turner’s work has been published in National Geographic, The New York Times, Poetry Daily, Harper’s Magazine, and other fine journals. Turner has been awarded a United States Artists Fellowship, an NEA Fellowship, a Lannan Foundation Fellowship, and more. His recent memoir, My Life as a Foreign Country, has been called, “achingly, disturbingly, shockingly beautiful.”
Thursday December 21, 2017 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Annual Holiday Potluck / Read-Around
Potluck is at 6:30. Reading is at 7:30. Come celebrate the holidays in poetry style! Bring a poem (25 lines max!). And a dish to share. By last initial:
A – H: Main Dish I – P: Dessert Q – Z: Salad
Thursday November 16 7:30PM – 9:30 PM
Julia Bouwsma & Tess Taylor
Julia Bouwsma lives off-the-grid in the mountains of western Maine, where she is a poet, farmer, freelance editor, critic, and small-town librarian. She is the author of Midden (Fordham University Press, forthcoming 2018) and Work by Bloodlight (Cider Press Review, 2017). Her poems and book reviews appear in Bellingham Review, Colorado Review, Muzzle, Salamander, RHINO, River Styx, and other journals. She is the recipient of the 2016-17 Poets Out Loud Prize, the 2015 Cider Press Review Book Award, and residencies from the Virginia Center for Creative Arts and the Vermont Studio Center. A former Managing Editor for Alice James Books, Bouwsma currently serves as Book Review Editor for Connotation Press: An Online Artifact and as Library Director for Webster Library in Kingfield, Maine.
Tess Taylor‘s chapbook, The Misremembered World, was selected by Eavan Boland for the Poetry Society of America’s inaugural chapbook fellowship. The San Francisco Chronicle called her first book, The Forage House, “stunning” and it was a finalist for the Believer Poetry Award. Her second book, Work & Days, was called “our moment’s Georgic” by critic Steph Burt and was named one of the 10 best books of poetry of 2016 by the New York Times. Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, Boston Review, Harvard Review, The Times Literary Supplement, and other places. Taylor has received awards and fellowships from MacDowell, Headlands Center for the Arts, and The International Center for Jefferson Studies. Taylor currently chairs the poetry committee of the National Book Critics Circle and is the on-air poetry reviewer for NPR’s All Things Considered. She was most recently a Distinguished Fulbright US Scholar at the Seamus Heaney Centre at Queen’s University in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Saturday, October 21, 2017 10:00am – 4:00pm
Extraordinary Seeing: A Poetry Workshop with Diana Goetsch
Often the act of writing poetry is regarded as “lofty,” an endeavor requiring profound insight, else why even attempt it? But insight is not what goes into writing a poem, rather, it is what comes out of it.
What goes into a poem is work. Just as, when climbing a mountain, we first need to do some work (climbing) before it is possible to stop and take in the view (insight), poems need to be worked before they can yield insight. That insight, the trustworthy view we end up with, which is nothing we could have begun with, is known as extraordinary seeing.
In this workshop participants will be shown innovative and delightful ways to compose and revise poems, in order to lay the ground for extraordinary seeing. We will have time to start some new poems, and also get feedback on something we’ve brought in.
Cost: $100/125/150, sliding scale
Location: private home in Novato
Duration: 10am – 4pm
Thursday, October 19, 2017 7:30pm – 9:30pm
Thomas Centolella & Diana Goetsch
Thomas Centolella is the author of four collections of poetry. The most recent, Almost Human, won the Dorset Prize from Tupelo Press, selected by Edward Hirsch. His honors include the American Book Award, the Lannan Literary Award, the California Book Award, the Northern California Book Award, and publication in the National Poetry Series. He is a former Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University where he studied poetry with Denise Levertov and fiction with Grace Paley. His work has appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies and on NPR’s “The Writer’s Almanac.” He has taught creative writing for many years in the Bay Area.
Diana Goetsch is the author of eight collections of poems—most recently Nameless Boy (2015, Orchises) and In America (forthcoming from Rattle)—and the recipient of numerous honors and awards. Her work has appeared in many leading magazines and anthologies including The New Yorker, Poetry, The Gettysburg Review, The Iowa Review, Ploughshares, The Southern Review and Best American Poetry. Known as a generous and innovative teacher, Diana has taught writing in colleges, MFA programs, art centers, jails and living rooms for 30 years. Currently she is the Grace Paley Teaching Fellow in writing at The New School.
Saturday October 7, 2017 1pm – 3:30pm
Kevin Craft & Troy Jollimore: An Afternoon of Poetry
Craft Talk: “A Red Hot Half-Brick in an Old Sock: Tradition, Subversion, and the Sonnet” (1pm-2pm)
Reading: “Burn After Reading: The Poetry of Kevin Craft and Troy Jollimore.” (2:30 pm)
Come for one or both events! This is a unique chance to hear and learn from two illustrious out-of-town poets. This event is a collaboration of the Mill Valley Library and Marin Poetry Center.
Why would anyone today choose to write a sonnet? In fact, some of our best contemporary poets have taken a stab at the venerable form, in order to explore (and, at times, explode) the limits of the form, and to place the sonnet in the service of surprising, at times radical ends. In this joint talk, poets Kevin Craft and Troy Jollimore discuss the sonnet form, its history, its poetic nature, its particular capabilities and possibilities, and talk about their own experiences reading and writing sonnets. (The craft talk will be followed by a break with wine and savory treats.)
Location: Mill Valley Library
375 Throckmorton Avenue
Mill Valley, CA
Kevin Craft directs the Written Arts Program at Everett Community College. His first book, Solar Prominence, won the Gorsline Prize. His new collection is Vagrants & Accidentals. His work has appeared in Poetry, The Kenyon Review, New England Review, and The Stranger. He has received fellowships and awards from the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, MacDowell Colony, the Bogliasco Foundation (Italy), the Camargo Foundation and many others. He is executive editor of Poetry NW Editions, and a director of the UW Writers in Rome program.
Troy Jollimore is the author of three books of poetry and three of philosophy, as well as numerous articles. His awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship, and Fellowships from Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and the Stanford Humanities Center. Tom Thomson in Purgatory won the National Book Critics Circle award in poetry. Syllabus of Errors appeared on the New York Times‘ list of the best books of poetry in 2015. His reviews appear in the Chicago Tribune and the Washington Post. He is currently a professor in the Philosophy Department at California State University, Chico.