Welcome to Marin Poetry Center’s Events! 

Please note that due to precautions related to COVID-19, all in-person Marin Poetry Center events are postponed through May. We apologize for any inconvenience and wish you good health and creativity.

Most events at held at the Mill Valley Public Library, 375 Throckmorton Avenue, Mill Valley, CA. Occasionally, events may be held in alternate locations, as noted in the event details. Marin Poetry Center events are free and open to the public, unless noted otherwise. All events at the library are cosponsored by Mill Valley Library.

To view our ongoing list of reading recommendations given by our guest poets,just click reading recommendations.


Wednesday, June 3 at 7 pm

Meryl Natchez, Terry Lucas
Troy Jollimore and Heather Altfeld
Read, chat, and ask questions

This event features four poets in conversation, reading poems that speak to this dark time. You can read their bios here:

Meryl Natchez 

Terry Lucas

Troy Jollimore 

                                                                                   Heather Altfeld

The reading will be interactive and you will have a chance to chime in.  To sign up, go to this page, scroll down, and register through Eventbrite:

Readings By Terry Lucas, Meryl Natchez, Troy Jollimore and Heather Altfeld


Saturday, June 13th at 5:30pm
Elizabeth Bradfield, poet and naturalist

Elizabeth Bradfield is the author of the Once Removed, Approaching Ice, Interpretive Work and Toward AntarcticaTheorem, a collaboration with artist Antonia Contro, is forthcoming this fall. Her work has been published in The New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, Kenyon Review, and her honors include the Audre Lorde Prize and a Stegner FellowshipFounder and editor-in-chief of Broadsided Press, she works as a naturalist/guide and teaches creative writing at Brandeis University.

We plan to make this reading lively and interactive. It will include several poets reading and chatting about favorite poems from Elizabeth’s books along with a selection of photos from Toward Antarctica and her work as a naturalist.

Check out Rebecca Foust’s article on her work. 



Heather Altfeld:
Revise your poems for success!
Saturday, March 28, 2020, 10am – 2pm

Private home in Berkeley or Kentfield, TBD

Tired of rejection? Invest in your craft!
This workshop is focuses on strategies to revise your poems and get them published. Participants will revise a minimum of two poems during the course of the workshop. Cost: $100. This in depth workshop is limited to 10. To register, email

Altfeld‘s second book of poems, Post-Mortem, won the 2019 Orison Prize, and is forthcoming in Spring of 2020.  Her first book, The Disappearing Theatre, won the 2015 Poets at Work Prize.  She is the 2017 recipient of the Robert H. Winner Award from the Poetry Society of America and the 2015 recipient of the Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry.  Her work appears or is forthcoming in Conjunctions Magazine, Aeon, Orion Magazine, NarrativeZYZZYVAPoetry Northwest, and others.

Altfeld has worked with the wonderful community of poets at Squaw Valley and completed residencies at the Vermont Studio Center and with the New York Writers Workshop in Sardinia.


Anders Carlson-Wee and Kenneth Fields
Thursday, March 19, 2020, 7 pm

Mill Valley Public Library 

Anders Carlson-Wee is the author of The Low Passions, published by W.W. Norton in 2019. His work has appeared in The Paris Review, BuzzFeed, Ploughshares, Virginia Quarterly Review, Poetry Daily, The Sun, Best New Poets, The Best American Nonrequired Reading, and many other publications. The recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the McKnight Foundation, the Camargo Foundation, Bread Loaf, Sewanee, and the Napa Valley Writers’ Conference, he is the winner of the 2017 Poetry International Prize. His work has been translated into Chinese. Anders holds an MFA from Vanderbilt University and lives in Cincinnati.

Kenneth Fields’ collections of poetry include The Other Walker, Sunbelly, Smoke, The Odysseus ManuscriptsAnemographia: A Treatise on the Wind, August Delights, and Classic Rough News. Here’s a quote about Ken from the Stanford Daily:  For more than 50 years, undergraduates and Stegner Fellows have left Stanford better poets, critics, and writers for their time studying with Ken. So many of the best first books of poetry published in the United States today feature Ken’s name on their acknowledgments page. He is the living institutional memory of a program, as well as a teacher and mentor who, to spin an admiring joke, has easily forgotten more about poetry than most of us have ever learned.”


Dana Gioia and Phillis Levin
Saturday, April 11, 2020, 2 pm

Mill Valley Public Library

Dana Gioia is an internationally acclaimed poet and writer. Former California Poet laureate and Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, Gioia was born in Los Angeles of Italian and Mexican descent. The first person in his family to attend college, he received a B.A. and M.B.A. from Stanford and an M.A. from Harvard in Comparative Literature. For fifteen years he worked as a businessman before quitting at forty-one to become a full-time writer.

Gioia has published five full-length collections of verse, most recently 99 Poems: New & Selected (2016), which won the Poets’ Prize as the best new book of the year. His third collection, Interrogations at Noon (2001), was awarded the American Book Award. His controversial book of essays, Can Poetry Matter? (1992), was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle award.

Phillis Levin is a poet, essayist, and editor. Her newest book, Mr. Memory & Other Poems (Penguin Books, 2016), was selected by Library Journal as one of the Top Picks in poetry for spring 2016 and was a finalist for The Los Angeles Times Book Prize. She is the author of four other poetry collections, Temples and Fields (University of Georgia Press, 1988), The Afterimage (Copper Beech Press, 1995), Mercury (Penguin, 2001), and May Day (Penguin, 2008), and is the editor of The Penguin Book of the Sonnet: 500 Years of a Classic Tradition in English (2001).

Her honors include the Poetry Society of America’s Norma Farber First Book Award, a Fulbright Scholar Award to Slovenia, the Amy Lowell Poetry Travelling Scholarship, a Bogliasco Fellowship, and grants from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.


Controlled Chaos:
Workshop with Ellen Bass
Thursday, April 16, 2020 11am – 3pm

Private home in Berkeley

A certain kind of poem, story, or essay reaches out a long arm and sweeps disparate, unexpected things into its net. It scoops in a great deal of material that is more or less obviously related. It doesn’t hug the shore.

It doesn’t walk a narrow line. It retains a kind of wildness. It can seem untamed. And yet all the elements have enough magnetic or gravitational attraction, enough resonance, that the writing feels organically whole. We’ll look at examples of the long-armed poem and I will give some practical suggestions for how you might experiment with bringing more controlled chaos into your own writing. Then we’ll write a new poem (or expand and complicate an old one) and share with the group. Cost $150. Private home in Berkeley. Registration limited to 12. To register, email


Ellen Bass and Malena Mörling
Thursday, April 16, 2020, 7 pm

Mill Valley Public Library

Ellen Bass’s poetry includes Indigo (Copper Canyon Press, forthcoming 2020) Like a Beggar (Copper Canyon Press, 2014), The Human Line (Copper Canyon Press, 2007), and Mules of Love (BOA, 2002). She co-edited, with Florence Howe, the first major anthology of women’s poetry, No More Masks! An Anthology of Poems by Women (Doubleday, 1973). Her poetry has appeared frequently in The New Yorker, The American Poetry Review, and many other journals. Among her awards are Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and The California Arts Council, three Pushcart Prizes, The Lambda Literary Award, The Pablo Neruda Prize, The Larry Levis Prize and the New Letters Prize. Her nonfiction books include Free Your Mind: The Book for Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Youth and Their AlliesI Never Told Anyone: Writings by Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse, and The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse. She is a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and teaches in the MFA writing program at Pacific University.

Malena Mörling was born in Stockholm in 1965 and grew up in southern Sweden. She is the author of two books of poetry: Ocean Avenue and Astoria. She has also published translations of work by Nobel Laureate Tomas Tranströmer and together with Jonas Ellerström, a collection of the Finland-Swedish poet Edith Södergran, On Foot I Wandered Through the Solar Systems, the collection 1933 by Philip Levine into Swedish, and they have edited and translated the anthology, The Star By My Head, Poets From Sweden published by Milkweed Editions. Mörling has received a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, a Lannan Literary Fellowship and a Dianna L. Bennett Fellowship from the Beverly Rogers, Carol C. Harter Black Mountain Institute. She is a Professor of Creative Writing at The University of North Carolina, Wilmington and is teaching as Hugo Poet and Visiting Professor at University of Montana for the 2019-2020 school year



Mary Ruefle
Thursday, May 14, 2020, 7 pm

Mill Valley Public Library

Mary Ruefle is the author of many books, including Dunce (Wave Books, 2019), My Private Property (Wave Books, 2016), Trances of the Blast (Wave Books, 2013), Madness, Rack, and Honey: Collected Lectures (Wave Books, 2012), a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism, and Selected Poems (Wave Books, 2010), winner of the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America. She has also published a comic book, Go Home and Go to Bed! (Pilot Books/Orange Table Comics, 2007), and is an erasure artist, whose treatments of nineteenth century texts have been exhibited in museums and galleries and published in A Little White Shadow (Wave Books, 2006). Ruefle is the recipient of numerous honors, including the Robert Creeley Award, an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Guggenheim fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, and a Whiting Award. She lives in Bennington, Vermont.