“Voices from the Inside:
Best New Poetry from CA Prisons”
Atascadero, Corcoran, Lancaster, Mule Creek, Salinas Valley, San Quentin,Vacaville, Valley
Thursday, February 20, 2020, 7 pm
Mill Valley Public Library
We are pleased to present a sampling of “Poetry from Prisoners” incarcerated in California. Readers will include poets Rose Black and Ken Weisner, currently teaching at the Salinas Valley State Prison poetry workshop.
Rose and Ken are also two of the founders of Right to Write Press – Promoting the growth of emerging writers incarcerated in California State prisons.
Our thanks to The Santa Cruz Poetry Project and the PEN America Prison and Justice Writing Program for their contributions to this program.
Gary Snyder and Jane Hirshfield
Friday, January 17, 2020, 7 pm
Mill Valley Public Library
Cosponsored by Poetry Society of America
Gary Snyder began his career in the 1950s as a noted member of the “Beat Generation,” though he has since explored a wide range of social and spiritual matters in both poetry and prose. Snyder’s work blends physical reality and precise observations of nature with inner insight received primarily through the practice of Zen Buddhism. He has been described as the “poet laureate of Deep Ecology”. Snyder is a winner of a Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and the American Book Award. His awards also include the Bollingen Prize, an American Academy of Arts and Letters award, a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship, the Bess Hokin Prize and the Levinson Prize, the Robert Kirsch Lifetime Achievement Award, the Shelley Memorial Award, and the Ruth Lilly Award.
Monday, January 13, 2020, 7pm Edgehill Mansion in Dominican University Tuesday, January 14, 2020, 7pm at Albany Library
Cosponsored by Marin Poetry Center
Evie Shockley is the author of semiautomatic and the new black, both winners of the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award in Poetry; semiautomatic was also a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the LA Times Book Prize. Her publications include as well the critical study Renegade Poetics: Black Aesthetics and Formal Innovation in African American Poetry and poems and essays appearing recently and forthcoming in The Paris Review, Kenyon Review, Obsidian, The Black Scholar, Lana Turner: A Journal of Poetry & Opinion, The New Emily Dickinson Studies, New Literary History, and the PoetryNow podcast series. Among her honors are the Stephen Henderson Award, the Holmes National Poetry Prize, and fellowships from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and the American Council of Learned Societies. She is Professor of English at Rutgers University, New Brunswick.
Monday, December 9, 2019
Holiday Potluck & Read Around
Falkirk Cultural Center
Our annual holiday party at the Falkirk mansion is a time for poetry, song, and great food. Bring a poem and a holiday dish to share. If your last name begins with:
A – G – please bring a dessert
H – P – please bring a salad
Q – Z – please bring a main course
Teen Poetry Night
Thursday, December 5, 2019, 7 pm
A night for teens recite their original work. Teens from local high schools will perform: “A mic for your poem, your breath, and your soul. A space for your comrades, your thoughts to unroll. Bring paper or not, or perform on the spot, we’re all here to listen to the words that you brought.”
Forrest Gander & Meryl Natchez
Great Books Poetry Weekend
November 16-17, 2019
250 Oak Grove Ave, Menlo Park, CA
Cosponsored with Great Books San Francisco.
Poetry Weekend focuses on poems that center on language. The Saturday afternoon workshop examines multiple translations of two very different poems. Our guest speakers, Forrest Gander and Meryl Natchez, will guide us through the challenges of translation and answer your questions.
The Poetry Weekend is held at the lovely Vallombrosa Conference Center, located within walking distance of downtown Menlo Park. Double and single rooms are available, each with its own private bathroom. All facilities are located within comfortable walking distance. Four buffet-style meals (lunch and dinner on Saturday; breakfast and lunch on Sunday) are included.
Thursday, November 14, 2019, 7 pm
Maurya Simon & Amber Flora Thomas
Maurya Simon is the author of ten volumes of poetry, including Speaking in Tongues, a nominee for the 1990 Pulitzer Prize, Ghost Orchid, which was nominated in 2004 for a National Book Award in Poetry, Cartographies, (Red Hen Press, 2008), and most recently, a limited-edition letterpress book, Questions My Daughters Asked Me, Answers I Never Gave Them (Blackbird Press, 2014). Her novel-in-verse, entitled The Raindrop’s Gospel: The Trials of St. Jerome & St. Paula, was issued by Elixir Press in 2010. In early 2018, Red Hen Press will publish Simon’s tenth volume of poems, The Wilderness: New & Selected Poems, 1980-2016.
She received a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship and has been a Fulbright Fellow in India. She has taught at UC Riverside, Caltech, and at the Claremont Colleges and has published 10 books of poetry. Her poetry often combines the natural world with spirituality and metaphysics and her writing is enriched by the classics and art.
Amber Flora Thomas, was born and raised in northern California. She is the author of Eye of Water: Poems (University of Alaska Press, 2012) which was selected by Harryette Mullen as the winner of the 2004 Cave Canem Poetry Prize. Her other books include The Rabbits Could Sing: Poems (University of Alaska Press, 2012) and Red Channel in the Rupture: Poems (Red Hen Press, 2018). Her poetry has appeared in The New England Review, Tin House, Callaloo, Orion Magazine, Alaska Quarterly Review, Saranac Review, and Third Coast, as well as Angles of Ascent: A Norton Anthology of Contemporary African American Poetry, and numerous other journals and anthologies.
Thomas has taught at the Cave Canem annual retreat and the Bread Loaf Environmental Writers Conference. She has received fellowships from Yaddo, Atlantic Center for the Arts, Bread Loaf Writers Conference, and Sewanee Writers Conference. She earned an MFA at Washington University in St. Louis, MO. Currently, she is an Associate Professor of Creative Writing at East Carolina University in Greenville, NC. Her three books of poetry reflect the pathos and brutality of living things.
Tuesday, November 5, 2019, 6:30 pm
Jane Hirshfield & Ellery Akers
A Benefit Reading for the Sierra Club
2101 Webster St., 13th Floor, Oakland
Poems in Defense of Our Planet: Please join us at Sierra Club’s national headquarters in Oakland, CA as we hear two insightful poets read their inspiring work to support Sierra Club’s mission to protect the world we love. To make a tax-deductible donation through Sierra Club Foundation, click here. Thank you.
Jane Hirshfield’s ninth, forthcoming poetry collection is Ledger (Knopf, 2020), centered on the crises of climate and biosphere, and on our interconnection with one another and all beings. She is the founder of #PoetsForScience, a project originating with the first March For Science in D.C. in 2017, and the author of two now-classic books of essays, Nine Gates and Ten Windows. Her honors include fellowships from the Guggenheim and Rockefeller foundations and the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as Poetry Center and California Book Awards. The Washington Post has named her “among the modern masters” and the New York Times called her last book, The Beauty, “a deep well of wisdom.”
Ellery Akers is the author of two award-winning poetry books, Practicing the Truth and Knocking on the Earth. Her new poetry collection, Swerve: Environmentalism, Feminism, and Resistance, is forthcoming in January from Blue Light Press. She has won thirteen writing awards, including the Poetry International Prize and an Independent Publisher Book Award. Her poetry has been featured on National Public Radio and has appeared in such journals as Poetry and The New York Times Magazine. She is also the author of a children’s novel, Sarah’s Waterfall.
Saturday, November 2, 2019, 2 pm
Meryl Natchez and Amanda Moore
770 West Grand Ave, #B
Introducing Marin Poetry Center’s Bridges to Poetry collaboration with Gearbox Gallery in Oakland! We’re thrilled to feature poets from all across the Bay at this wonderful venue.
Saturday, October 26, 2019, 4 pm
Deborah Landau & Matthew Zapruder
Tara Hall Pittman South Branch Berkeley Library
1901 Russell St., Berkeley
Deborah Landau is director of the Creative Writing Program at New York University. She is the author of Soft Targets, The Uses of the Body and The Last Usable Hour, both Lannan Literary Selections from Copper Canyon Press; and Orchidelirium, which was selected by Naomi Shihab Nye for the Robert Dana Anhinga Prize for Poetry.
Landau studied at Stanford University, Columbia University, and Brown University, where she was a Jacob K. Javits Fellow and earned a PhD in English and American xd. For many years she co-directed the KGB Bar Monday Night Poetry Series and co-hosted the video interview program Open Book on Slate.com. In 2016, she was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship.
Matthew Zapruder is an associate professor in the Saint Mary’s College of California MFA Program in Creative Writing, as well as editor at large for Wave Books. He is the author of several collections of poetry, including Sun Bear, Come On All You Ghosts, The Pajamaist, and American Linden, in addition to his collaborations and translations. His most recent book is Why Poetry, a book of prose about reading poetry for a general audience.
Zapruder’s honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Lannan Foundation Residency Fellowship, the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America, and the May Sarton Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has taught at New York University, the New School, the University of California Riverside – Palm Desert Low Residency MFA Program, the University of Massachusetts, Amherst’s Juniper Summer Writing Institute, and at the University of California at Berkeley as the Holloway Fellow.
Saturday October 19, 2019, 6:30 pm
Marin Poetry Center at Litquake
Faye’s Video, 3614 18th St, San Francisco
Five MPC Board Members read for Litquake! Sandra Cross, Rebecca Foust, Siân Killingsworth, Amanda Moore, and Meryl Natchez. This is MPC’s first San Francisco Litquake event.
Sandra Cross, a retired lawyer, was born in St. Louis and raised in San Francisco. She attended the University of Chicago in the late 60s and has always been proud to have come of age in the 60’s when rock & roll was born, and rebellion was the language of the streets. Having been in the poetry closet for most of her life, she began taking classes and attending poetry workshops about 6 years ago. She is a regular with the First Thursday group of writers in Stinson Beach, where she has lived for the past 15 years, and for the last few years has written with an international group of poets in an online workshop. Her poems have been published many times in the Marin Poetry Center’s Anthology. She is the current Chair of the Marin Poetry Center.
Rebecca Foust’s books include The Unexploded Ordnance Bin (Swan Scythe Press Chapbook Award) and Paradise Drive (Press 53 Poetry Award), reviewed in the Times Literary Supplement. Recognitions include the CP Cavafy and James Hearst poetry prizes, the Lascaux and American Literary Review fiction prizes, and fellowships from Hedgebrook, MacDowell, and Sewanee. Foust was Marin County Poet Laureate in 2017-19 and works as Poetry Editor for Women’s Voices for Change and as an assistant Editor for Narrative Magazine.
Siân Killingsworth’s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Typehouse Literary Journal, Stonecoast Review, Glass: A Journal of Poetry (Poets Resist), Columbia Poetry Review, Mom Egg Review, Oakland Review, and others. She has an MFA in poetry from the New School, where she served on the staff of Lit. She leads a children’s poetry program, “Beatnik Café” for schools and other kids’ groups, and is a current board member of the Marin Poetry Center. Read more about her at www.sianessa.com.
Meryl Natchez’ most recent book is a bilingual volume of translations from the Russian: Poems From the Stray Dog Café: Akhmatova, Mandelstam and Gumilev. She is co-translator of Tadeusz Borowski: Selected Poems. Her book of poems, Jade Suit, appeared in 2001 and her new book is forthcoming from Longship Press in 2020. Her work has appeared in “The American Journal of Poetry,” “Poetry Northwest,” “ZYZZYVA,” “The Pinch Literary Review,” “Atlanta Review,” “Lyric,” “The Moth,” “Comstock Review,” and many others. She is on the board of Marin Poetry Center and you can see her work at www.merylnatchez.com
Amanda Moore‘s poetry has appeared in journals and anthologies including ZZYZVA, Cream City Review, Tahoma Literary Review, Best New Poets, and Mamas and Papas: On the Sublime and Heartbreaking Art of Parenting, and she is the recipient of writing awards from The Writing Salon, Brush Creek Arts Foundation, and The Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts. Her essays have appeared or are forthcoming in The Baltimore Review, Hippocampus Magazine, and on the University of Arizona Poetry Center’s blog, and she is a Contributing Poetry Editor at Women’s Voices for Change. She received her MFA in Poetry from Cornell University, where she served as Managing Editor for EPOCH magazine and a lecturer in the John S. Knight Writing Institute. Currently a Board member for the Marin Poetry Center and 2019 Fellow at The Writers Grotto, Amanda is a high school teacher and lives by the beach in the Outer Sunset neighborhood of San Francisco with her husband and daughter.
Wednesday, October 16, 2019, 6:30pm
Margaret Gibson & Lisa Rappoport
PLUS Anthology Launch Reading!
Margaret Gibson is the poet laureate of Connecticut and has been short-listed for the National Book Award. Her lyrical and meditative poems celebrate the “sometimes painful, sometimes joyful experience of unfolding Consciousness.” Her books include Signs, Long Walks in the Afternoon (which was a Lamont Poetry Selection), The Vigil, Earth Elegy: New and Selected Poems, One Body, Second Nature, Broken Cup, and the most recently, Not Hearing the Wood Thrush.
Gibson’s honors include a National Endowment for the Arts grant, Connecticut Commission on the Arts grants, a Lila Wallace/Reader’s Digest Teaching Fellowship, a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship, and residencies at Yaddo. She is the recipient of a Melville Kane Award from the Poetry Society of America, a James Boatwright III Prize for Poetry, and two Pushcart Prizes. Gibson has taught and held writer-in-residence positions at many universities and colleges, including American University, Elon College, Trinity College, and Reed University. She is professor emerita at the University of Connecticut and lives in Connecticut.
Lisa Rappoport is a poet and fine letterpress printer based in the Bay Area. Her witty, playful, acerbic poems often explore the complex and conflicting emotions of contemporary life. Her newest book, Penumbra, was recently published by Longship Press. Photo credit: Bobbe Besold.
BONUS! RESCHEDULED ANTHOLOGY LAUNCH: Because of PG&E power outages during the planned Anthology celebration, we must move this beloved event to October 16. Join us for the annual publication of MPC’s Anthology, featuring our members’ poems. Poets will be reading their work from the anthology. The theme is “The Wild.” There will be many different voices and a lively reading.
Thursday, October 3, 2019, 7 pm
Alley Cat Books
3036 24th St., San Francisco
Jericho Brown is the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard, and the National Endowment for the Arts, and he is the winner of the Whiting Writer’s Award. Brown’s first book, Please (New Issues 2008), won the American Book Award. His second book, The New Testament (Copper Canyon 2014), won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award. His third collection is The Tradition (Copper Canyon 2019). His poems have appeared in The Bennington Review, Buzzfeed, Fence, jubilat, The New Republic, The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, TIME magazine, and several volumes of The Best American Poetry. He is an associate professor and the director of the Creative Writing Program at Emory University.
Thursday, September 19, 2019, 7 pm
Pádraig Ó Tuama & Matthew Siegal
Pádraig Ó Tuama is a poet and theologian who lives in the north of Ireland. For the last five years he led the Corrylmeela Community, Ireland’s oldest peace and reconciliation organization. He has been interviewed on Krista Tippet’s On Being. As a gay Irish Catholic man, his poetry deals with questions of language, politics, conflict and faith in the contemporary world.
His books include: The Place Between, Daily Prayer from the Corrymeela Community, In the Shelter, Sorry for your Troubles, and others. This reading is a rare California appearance for Pádraig.
Matthew Siegel is the author of Blood Work, winner of the Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry from University of Wisconsin-Madison. Blood Work was also released on CB Editions in the U.K. where it was shortlisted for The Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection by the Forward Foundation. Siegel’s poems and essays have appeared in The Guardian, Indiana Review, Mid-American Review, Ninth Letter, The Rumpus, Salt Hill, Southern Humanities Review, Tusculum Review, Washington Square, and elsewhere. A former Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford, he holds a B.A. from Binghamton University and an M.F.A. from University of Houston. Siegel is a member of the general education faculty at San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Born in New York City and raised in nearby Rockland County, NY, he currently lives in San Francisco.
Wednesday, September 4th, 2019, 7 pm
Writers for Migrant Justice
Jane Hirshfield and Raina J. León
Dominican University of California
Garden Room, 75 Magnolia Ave, San Rafael
Cosponsored with Dominican University to support Immigrant Families Together. In addition to the readers, Solito Solita editors Steven Mayers and Jonathan Freedman will present with narrator Soledad Castillo.
Tuesday, June 4, 2019, 7 pm
Ilya Kaminsky and Heather Altfeld
Kurland Lounge, Osher Marin Jewish Community Center
200 N San Pedro Rd, San Rafael
Ilya Kaminsky, a Russian Jew, was born in Odessa (in the former Soviet Union) in 1977 and arrived to the United States in 1993, when his family was granted asylum by the American government. He has been awarded both a Guggenheim Fellowship, and Lannan Foundation’s Literary Fellowship.
His last book, Dancing In Odessa (Tupelo Press), which won the Whiting Writer’s Award, the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Metcalf Award, the Dorset Prize, and the Ruth Lilly Fellowship given annually by Poetry magazine.
Poems from his new manuscript, Deaf Republic, were awarded Poetry magazine’s Levinson Prize and the Pushcart Prize. (Kaminsky lost his hearing at an early age.) Recently, he was on the short-list for Neustadt International Literature Prize. His poems have been translated into numerous languages and his books have been published in many countries including Turkey, Holland, Russia, France, Mexico, Macedonia, Romania, Spain and China, where his poetry was awarded the Yinchuan International Poetry Prize.
Heather Altfeld is a poet and essayist. Her first book of poetry, The Disappearing Theatre, won the Poets at Work Prize, selected by Stephen Dunn. Her poems and essays appear in Conjunctions, Narrative Magazine, Pleiades, Poetry Northwest, The Los Angeles Review, and other literary journals. She currently teaches in the Honors Program and for the Comparative Religion and Humanities Department at California State University, Chico.
Saturday, June 1, 2019, 2–4 pm
“Voices of the Heart”
An Intergenerational Poetry Reading
Cosponsored by Marin Poetry Center
Town Center Community Room, Suite 201
770 Tamalpais Drive, Corte Madera
Marin Villages invites you to an inspirational reading featuring poets ages 7 – 70. Readers include MPC members Prartho Sereno, Rebecca Foust, and Siân Killingsworth. An open mic will follow the formal reading.Marin Villages is celebrating 10 years of helping older adults stay active and productive in their own homes.
Tuesday, May 21, 2019, 7 pm
Memorial Tribute to Linda Gregg
Garden Room, Edgehill Mansion
Cosponsored by Dominican University
If you plan to attend and/or read, please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can plan appropriately. Doors open at 6:30, event starts at 7. For directions and a map of Dominican University campus, click HERE. The Mansion is on the far right, just below Edgehill Village.
Linda was raised in Marin County, went to Francis Drake high school and earned her BA and an MA from San Francisco State University. Her books include In the Middle Distance (2006); All of It Singing: New and Selected Poems (2008), a Los Angeles Times Favorite Book of 2008 and winner of the Poetry Society of America’s William Carlos Williams Award; The Poets & Writers’ Jackson Prize; Things and Flesh (1999), finalist for the Kingsley Tufts Award for Poetry; Chosen by the Lion (1995); Sacraments of Desire (1992); Alma (1985); and Too Bright to See (1981).
Access the video recording of the memorial (two parts) here:
Part 1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dgw2f-rPfUU&t=168s
Part 2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4DOAp2LJ2Pc&t=3s
Thursday, May 16, 2019, 7:30 pm
Sixteen Rivers Anthology Celebration
From Virgil and Dante to Claudia Rankine and Mai Der Vang, from Milton to Merwin, from Po Chü-i to Robin Coste Lewis, these voices—now raucous, now muted, now lyric, now plain—join together here in dissent and in praise, in grief and alarm, in vision and hope. Local poets will read selections from this inspiring volume.
Tuesday, May 7, 2019, 6:30 pm
30th Annual High School Poetry Anthology
“Sand & Salt Water”
A reception, reading, and presentation of 55 high school poets by Marin County Poet Laureate Terry Lucas. Marin Poetry Center extends its deepest gratitude to anthology editor Jayne McPherson, to the others who helped create the anthology and event, and also to The Marin School for hosting it. Copies of the anthology “Sand & Salt Water” will be available at future Third Thursday events.
Thursday, April 25, 2019, 7:30 pm
Poet Laureate Celebration
Tuesday, April 16, 2019, 7 pm
Erica Jong and Francesca Bell
Kanbar Auditorium, Osher Marin Jewish Community Center
200 N San Pedro Rd, San Rafael
This special event is cosponsored by the Marin JCC and Red Hen Press.
In the four decades since Fear of Flying, she has published over 25 books in 45 languages, including 9 works of fiction as well as celebrated non-fiction volumes. She has switched between fiction, non-fiction and poetry, becoming one of the most evocative poets of her generation with seven published volumes, and winning Poetry magazine’s Bess Hokin Prize. Her awards include: The Fernanda Pivano award The Sigmund Freud Award, the Deauville Award and The United Nations Award for excellence in literature.
This reading celebrates her new book of poetry, The World Began with Yes, from Red Hen Press. In a dark time, these poems celebrate life.
Thursday, March 21, 2019, 7:30 pm
Lynn Emanuel and Troy Jollimore
She has received two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Eric Matthieu King AWard from the Academy of American Poets. Her recent work, including Noose and Hook (2010), explores violence, the self, and perspective. Noose and Hook includes a long monologue sequence, “The Mongrelogues,” that is told from a dog’s point of view.
Emanuel holds a BA from Bennington College, an MA from City College of New York, where she studied with Adrienne Rich, and an MFA from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She has taught at the Warren Wilson Program in Creative Writing, the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and the University of Pittsburgh.
In 2013 he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in poetry. He has also received fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and the Stanford Humanities Center in Palo Alto, California. He is currently a Professor in the Philosophy Department at California State University, Chico.
Amy Holman Workshop: Where to Publish Your Work
Thursday, February 21, 2019
Amy Holman, formerly on the staff of Poets & Writers, is a Pushcart Prize-nominated poet, essayist, and fiction writer, and the author of poetry collections and a writer’s guide. She has been a guest speaker at numerous conferences, writing programs, arts councils, bookstores, and literary centers, including an annual spot at the Bread Loaf Writers Conference since 1995. She was a poetry fellow at the 2015 Quest Writers Conference in Squamish, British Columbia, and a 2013 guest poet for a trip by students at The Masters School to the Ossining Weir. She also frequently teaches poetry workshops at The Hudson Valley Writers Center.
David St. John & Susan Terris
Friday, January 18, 2019
David St. John has been honored, over the course of his career, with many of the most significant prizes for poets, including both the Rome Fellowship and the Award in Literature from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, the O.B. Hardison Prize for teaching and poetic achievement from the Folger Shakespeare Library, and the George Drury Smith Lifetime Achievement Award from Beyond Baroque.
He is the author of eleven collections of poetry, including Study for the World’s Body (1994), which was nominated for the National Book Award, and more recently the The Auroras (2012), The Window (2014), and The Last Troubadour: Selected and New Poems (2017). St. John is also the author of a volume of essays, interviews and reviews entitled Where the Angels Come Toward Us (1995) and is coeditor of American Hybrid: A Norton Anthology of New Poetry (2009). David St. John has written libretti for the opera, THE FACE, and for the choral symphony, THE SHORE. He lives in Venice Beach, California.
Susan Terris has written poetry since she was an undergraduate in classes being taught by Richard Wilbur, David Ferry, and Philip Booth.
Her poetry books include Familiar Tense, Take Two: Film Studies, Memos,Ghosts of Yesterday: New & Selected Poems. and many others. Her work has appeared in many publications including: The Iowa Review, Georgia Review, FIELD, Arts & Letters, The Journal, Colorado Review, Prairie Schooner, Spillway, The Southern Review,Volt, Denver Quarterly, and Ploughshares. She had a poem from FIELD published in PUSHCART PRIZE XXXI. A poem from MEMOS – “Memo to the Former Child Prodigy,” which appeared in the Denver Quarterly, was selected by Sherman Alexie for Best American Poetry 2015. Susan Terris has written poetry since she was an undergraduate in classes being taught by Richard Wilbur, David Ferry, and Philip Booth.
Friday, November 2, 2018
Robert Hass and Essy Stone
Mill Valley Library
This event was presented in collaboration with the Poetry Society of America and the Mill Valley Library. Over 300 people attended, a lively and engaged audience for poetry!
Robert Hass, former United States Poet Laureate, has illumined the poetic landscape with his many books of poetry, translation, and essays. His honors include the National Book Award, and the Pulitzer Prize. His celebrated books of essays include A Little Book on Form: An Exploration Into the Formal Imagination of Poetry and What Light Can Do: Essays on Art, Imagination, and the Natural World, the recipient of the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay. Hass translated many of the works of Czeslaw Milosz, and he edited Selected Poems: 1954-1986 by Tomas Transtromer; The Essential Haiku: Versions of Basho, Buson, and Issa; and Modernist Women Poets: An Anthology (with Paul Ebenkamp). His many honors include the MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship, the National Book Critics’ Circle Award (twice), and the Wallace Stevens Award. His poetry is deeply reflective of the California landscape, domestic life, and spiritual awareness. To hear him read or speak is transformative, whether a Haiku from Issa, a mediation from Miłosz, or his own lyric work.
Essy Stone is a PhD student in poetry at the University of Southern California. She holds an MFA from the University of Miami, and recently completed a Wallace Stegner Fellowship at Stanford University. Her work has been published in the New Yorker, 32 Poems, and Prairie Schooner. Her first book, What It Done to Us, was awarded the Idaho Prize in Poetry and was published by Lost Horse Press in 2017. For much of her life she supported herself as a waitress. Her work reflects the East Tennessee culture in which she grew up, an often oppressive world, especially for women or minorities. The freshness of her language and imagery reflect and transform that environment just as she has transformed herself.
Thursday October 18, 2018
Carolyn Miller & Carol Moldaw
Carol Moldaw is the author of Beauty Refracted, a poetry collection (Four Way Books 2018); The Widening, a short novel; The Lightning Field, which won The FIELD Prize; and a chapbook, Through the Window, published as Pencereden in Istanbul, in a bi-lingual Turkish-English edition. Moldaw is the recipient of an NEA Creative Writing Fellowship in poetry, a Pushcart Prize, and a Lannan Foundation Marfa Writer’s Residency. Her book So Late, So Soon: New and Selected Poems, was shortlisted for the PEN Southwest Book Award (2011). Moldaw grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and received her undergraduate degree from Harvard College and an M.A. in Creative Writing from Boston University. Moldaw has been on the faculty of the Stonecoast low-residency M.F.A. program,and has conducted residencies at the Vermont Studio Center, taught at the College of Santa Fe and in the MFA program at Naropa University and Bucknell’s Stadler Center for Poetry. In the spring of 2011 she served as the Louis D. Rubin, Jr., Writer-in-Residence at Hollins University. Moldaw teaches privately and lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico with her husband and daughter.
Carolyn Miller is a poet and painter living in San Francisco. Route 66 and Its Sorrows, her most recent book of poetry, was published by Terrapin Books in 2017. Two other full-length collections, Light, Moving (2009) and After Cocteau (2002), were published by Sixteen Rivers Press. Miller’s work has appeared The Georgia Review, The Southern Review, Prairie Schooner, and The Gettysburg Review, among other journals, and her awards include the James Boatwright III Prize for Poetry from Shenandoah and the Rainmaker Award from Zone 3.
Thursday, September 27, 2018
Marcello Hernandez Castillo
Cosponsored by Marin Poetry Center
Marcelo Hernandez Castillo is a poet, essayist, translator, and immigration advocate. He is the author of Cenzontle, which was chosen by Brenda Shaughnessy as the winner of the 2017 A. Poulin, Jr. published by BOA editions in 2018. His first chapbook, DULCE, was chosen by Chris Abani as the winner of the Drinking Gourd Poetry Prize published by Northwestern University press. His memoir, Children of the Land is forthcoming from Harper Collins in 2020. His work has appeared or been featured in The New York Times, The Paris Review, PBS Newshour, Fusion TV, Buzzfeed, Gulf Coast: A Journal of Literature and Fine Arts, New England Review, and Indiana Review, among others. He lives in Marysville, California, with his wife and son.
Marin Poetry Center 2018 Anthology Launch
Thursday, September 20, 7 pm
The annual event to launch the Marin Poetry Center is always popular. It starts the Marin Poetry Center fall season, Members read and hear selections from this unique anthology. This is an evening of reconnecting with other members with a glass of wine, some cake, and the launch of our unique anthology.
Marin Poetry Center Summer Traveling Show
June 5 through August 30
Readings us all summer long at venues across the Bay Area to hear our members read their work. Featuring groups of no more than 5 poets, each reading lasts approximately 90 minutes. Full details are on the Programs page.
June 4-11, 2018
Workshops & Readings at Dominican University
Cosponsored by Marin Poetry Center
workshops 4:30-5:30 pm; readings 7-8 pm
Garden Room, Edgehill Mansion
50 Acacia Avenue, San Rafael, CA 94901
Marin Poetry Center is cosponsoring the public workshops and readings that are part of Dominican University’s low-residency MFA summer program. Readers include Ellery Akers, Ellen Bass, Rebecca Foust, Judy Halebsky and many others. All events take place in the Garden Room of Edgehill Mansion, 75 Magnolia Avenue, San Rafael, CA. A day pass is $30, or a pass for the entire series is $180. All funds go to the Dominican MFA Scholarship Program.
Thursday May 31, 2018
Mill Valley Library
Cosponsored by Marin Poetry Center
These moving and dramatic poems tackle the pain of the opioid addiction in West Virginia, how it affects family, addicts and the community. Brewer manages to infuse the poems with beauty and hope as well as speaking in the many voices of the epidemic.
Rooted in the physical and spiritual landscape of West Virginia, the poems focus on the small town of Oceana (nicknamed Oxyana for the record number of overdoses there), Oceana acts as a stand-in for West Virginia as a whole, which has the highest OD rate in the country. The poems are at once dreamlike and visceral, and the images in it draw on the beauty and pain of a West Virginia that is, in Brewer’s words “last on every list,” a state that people in the nation’s capital, only a few hours away, barely acknowledge and clearly don’t care much about.
William Brewer’s book, I Know Your Kind (Milkweed Editions, 2017) was the winner of the National Poetry Series. His work has appeared in Boston Review, The Iowa Review, Narrative (where it was awarded the 30 Below Prize), ZYZZYVA, New England Review, The New Yorker, and other journals. Currently a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, he was born and raised in West Virginia. For more about William Brewer, see the PBS segment or the ZYZZYVA interview.
Saturday May 19, 2018
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.