2009 - 2010 Events Calendar     Unless otherwise indicated, all events take place at Falkirk Cultural Center, 1408 Mission, San Rafael.

Thursday September 17 7 pm
Marin Poets Center Anthology Poets Readaround
Marin Poetry Center Poets published in the Marin Poetry Center Anthology, Volume Twelve -- 2009 will be reading from their works.
Contributors include:
Calvin Ahlgren David Alpaugh, Mahnaz Badihian, Sharron Belson, Karen Benke, Les Bernstein, Claire Blotter, Rose Black, Valle Brokes, Barbara Brooks, Lola Brown, Yvonne Cannon, Amy Champ, Catharine Clark-Sayles, Alan Cohen, Susan Cohen, Kat Crawford, Liz Cunningham, Rafaella Del Bourgo, Albert Flynn DeSilver, Bill Eichhorn, Joel Eis, Donna Emerson, Anthony Fedanzo, CB Follett, Rebecca Foust, Joan Gelfand, Jennifer Gennari, Jane Green, Jimmie Harvey, Marie Henry, Nellie Hill, Brenda Hillman, Jane Hirshfield, Ken Hoffman, Tamam Kahn, Kit Kennedy, Helen Kerner, Marilyn King, Lynne Knight, Robin Lee, Laurie Lessen-Reiche, Cynthia Liuska, Ethel Mays, Mark Meierding, Charlotte Meleno, Donna Mussato, Gerald Nicosia, Bill Noble, Steve Olian, Daniel Polikoff, Alan Plum, Yvonne Postelle, Angelika Quirk, Zara Raab, Gregory Randall, Gabrille Rilleau, Briana Rose, Sandy Scull, Prartho Sereno, Cathy Shea, Pru Starr, Doreen Stock, Laurie Stoelting, Mary Kay Sweeney, Robert Sward, Susan Terris, Bonnie Thomas, Maggie Tuteur, Jeanne Wagner, Lenore Wiess, Toni Wilkes, Dan Wormboudt, Judith Yamamoto, Joseph Zaccardi
Thursday October 15 7:30 pm
David Alpaugh and Jonah Raskin
David Alpaugh’s poetry, fiction, drama and criticism have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including Exquisite Corpse, The Formalist, Modern Drama, Poetry, Twentieth Century Literature, The Literature of Work and California Poetry from the Gold Rush to the Present. His collection of poetry, Counterpoint, won the Nicholas Roerich Poetry Prize from Story Line Press and his chapbooks have been published by Coracle Books and Pudding House Publications. His book, Heavy Lifting, was the first book published by Alehouse Press.
Alpaugh is a graduate of Rutgers University and UC Berkeley, where he was a Woodrow Wilson and Ford Foundation fellow. He has taught at the UC Berkeley extension and for many years hosted one of the San Francisco Bay Area’s most popular monthly poetry reading venues.
Alpaugh’s essay “The Professionalization of Poetry” was serialized in two issues of Poets & Writers Magazine in 2003. It drew over two hundred letters and emails and was widely discussed on the internet.
Jonah Raskin is the author of five poetry chapbooks such as More Poems, Better Poems, Bone Love, and most recently Letters to a Lover. He is also the author of American Scream, a literary study of Allen Ginsberg's poem “Howl,” which is published by the University of California Press. He has written about the poetics of farming, poets and poetry in Field Days, published in 2009 also from the University of California. His day job is teaching at Sonoma State University, where he offers courses in media law, media marketing, and memoir writing in the communication studies department. He often performs his poetry with musicians, and with live music.
Thursday November 19 7:30 pm
Dorothy Barresi and Lee Rossi
Dorothy Barresi teaches in the English Department at California State University at Northridge. Her work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including AGNI, Gettysburg Review, Harvard Review, Kenyon Review, Parnassus, Poetry, Ploughshares, and others.
Barresi is the author of several books of poetry: The Judas Clock; All of the Above; The Post-Rapture Diner; Mother, My Porous China; and Rouge Pulp. Her forthcoming book, American Fanatics, is due out in 2010.
Her awards include the American Book Award sponsored by the Before Columbus Foundation, two Pushcart Prizes, the Hart Crane Memorial Poetry Prize, Virginia Quarterly Review's Emily Clark Balch Prize, the Grand Prize in Los Angeles Poetry Festival's Fin de Millennium poetry competition, and the 1990 Barnard Women Poets Prize.
One reviewer notes: "Part Sylvia Plath, part John Donne, Barresi handles both surprise and expectation with deftness, displaying uncommon verbal ingenuity and intelligence of investigation. ... Her narrators are bold, swaggering through the poems as if to say, if we’re all intersections of discourses nowadays, then their job is to speak those multiple voices as articulately as possible."
Lee Rossi's most recent book is Ghost Diary (Terrapin Press, 2003). His poetry, reviews, and interviews have appeared widely in such journals as The Sun, Poetry East, Chelsea, Green Mountains Review, The Spoon River Poetry Review, and The Beloit Poetry Journal. He is a staff reviewer and interviewer for the online magazine Pedestal.
Thursday December 17 7:30 pm
Potluck 6:30 pm
Holiday Potluck / ReadAround
Come celebrate the holidays in poetry style!
Bring a a poem for the read-around (25 lines max!) .
And a dish to share:      A – H: Main Dish      I – P: Desert       Q – Z: Salad
Thursday January 21 7:30 pm
Maria Mazziotti Gillan
Maria Mazziotti Gillan is the Founder and the Executive Director of the Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College in Paterson, NJ. She is also the Director of the Creative Writing Program and a Professor of Poetry at Binghamton University-State University of New York. Ms Gillan has published eleven books of poetry, including The Weather of Old Seasons, Where I Come From, Things My Mother Told Me and Italian Women in Black Dresses. She is co-editor with her daughter Jennifer of four anthologies: Unsettling America, Identity Lessons, Growing Up Ethnic in America and Italian-American Writers on New Jersey. She is the editor of the Paterson Literary Review. Her work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies including Prairie Schooner, New Letters, The New York Times, Poetry Ireland, Connecticut Review, The Los Angeles Review and Rattle.
She has won the the Sheila Motton Award, May Sarton Award, the Fearing Houghton Award, the Pietro di Donato Award, the Aniello Lauri Award, New Jersey State Council on the Arts Fellowships in Poetry, and the American Literary Translators Association Award through a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Her most recent book, All That Lies Between Us was given the American Book Award in 2008.
Thursday February 18 7:30 pm
Graham Foust and Matthew Zapruder
Graham Foust is the author of four collections of poems, including Necessary Stranger (Flood Editions, 2007) and A Mouth in California (Flood Editions, 2009). He works at Saint Mary’s College of California and lives in Oakland.
Matthew Zapruder is the author of two collections of poetry: American Linden and The Pajamaist, selected by Tony Hoagland as the winner of the William Carlos Williams Award. His poems, essays and translations have appeared in many publications, including The New Yorker, Paris Review, The New Republic, The Boston Review, Fence, Alaska Quarterly Review, Open City, Bomband Harvard Review.
Zapruder is also co-translator from Romanian, along with historian Radu Ioanid, of Secret Weapon: Selected Late Poems of Eugen Jebeleanu. His third full-length collection of poems, Come On All You Ghosts, is forthcoming from Copper Canyon in 2010. He lives in San Francisco, works as an editor for Wave Books, and teaches in the low residency MFA program at UC Riverside-Palm Desert.
Thursday March 18 7:30 pm
Michelle Bitting & Jay Leeming
Michelle Bitting has work published work in Prairie Schooner, Nimrod, Narrative, Crab Orchard Review, Passages North, Many Mountains Moving, Rattle, Linebreak, and others. Her work currently appears in diode, The Cortland Review, and Sou’wester. Poems have appeared on Poetry Daily and Verse Daily. She has won the Rock & Sling Virginia Brendemuehl Award and the Glimmer Train Poetry Open. Recently, she was a finalist/semi-finalist in the Washington Square Review, Rattle, Comstock Review, Mudfish, Florence Poetry Society, and dA Center for the Arts Competitions.
In 2007, Thomas Lux chose her full-length manuscript, Good Friday Kiss, as the winner of the DeNovo First Book Award and C & R Press published it in 2008. She holds an MFA in Poetry from Pacific University, Oregon. Visit her at: www.michellebitting.com
Jay Leeming is the author of Dynamite on a China Plate, a book of poems published by The Backwaters Press. His poems have appeared in a variety of magazines including Ploughshares, The Gettysburg Review, Poetry East and Black Warrior Review.
He has been a featured reader at Butler University, the Omega Institute, Robert Bly’s Great Mother Conference and the Woodstock Poetry Festival, and is the recipient of a Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. He lives and teaches in Ithaca, New York. Visit him at: www.jayleeming.com
Thursday April 15 7:30 pm
Panel Discussion on 'Accessibility and Difficulty in Poetry '
"...[T]he difficulty of poetry, even for its most sympathetic readers, is a real one. Or rather it is both real and imagined.
Much of it dissipates as one opens up to the experience of poetry."
-Jorie Graham

"When people praise a poem that I can't understand I always think they're lying." - Stephen Dunn

From the rise of Modernism a hundred years ago to the widely-practiced experimentalism today, poets, critics and readers have wrangled over the issue of difficulty vs accessibility in poetry. Among the questions raised by the debate are:

  • Is 'difficult' poetry elitist?
  • Is experimentalism responsible for driving people away from poetry'?
  • If so, so what? Should it matter if poetry, like opera, is not for everyone?
  • Are critics of difficult poetry elitist themselves in supposing that 'ordinary people' can't grasp and enjoy it?
  • Does 'accessible' poetry pander to lazy readers?
  • Can education make the avant garde as widely acceptable in poetry as it is in, say, abstract art?
  • Might the whole discussion be bogus in the first place?
Join our panelists - Brenda Hillman, Charles Harper Webb and Matthew Zapruder - as they tangle with these and many other questions that surround one of the most provocative issues in poetry today.

Also, if you'd like to participate in an online discussion of this debate, see MPC's new blog at www.marinpoetrycenter.org/blog.

Brenda Hillman has published seven collections of poetry, the most recent of which are Loose Sugar (1997), Cascadia (2001), and Pieces of Air in the Epic (2005), all from Wesleyan University Press. She has also edited Emily Dickinson’s poetry for Shambhala Publications, and, with Patricia Dienstfrey, co-edited The Grand Permisson: New Writings on Poetics and Motherhood (2003). Hillman serves on the faculty of Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, California, where she is Olivia C. Filippi Professor of Poetry. She is also involved in anti-war activism with CodePink, a grassroots social justice group founded by women.
Charles Harper Webb's latest book of poems, Shadow Ball: New & Selected Poems, was published by University of Pittsburgh Press in 2009. Previous books include Amplified Dog, Hot Popsicles, Liver, Tulip Farms and Leper Colonies, and Reading the Water.
Webb has received the Morse Prize, Saltman Prize, Pollak Prize, Kate Tufts Discovery Award, a Whiting Writer's Award, and a fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation. A former rock musician, and a licensed psychotherapist, Webb directs Creative Writing at California State University, Long Beach.
Matthew Zapruder is the author of two collections of poetry: American Linden and The Pajamaist, selected by Tony Hoagland as the winner of the William Carlos Williams Award. His poems, essays and translations have appeared in many publications, including The New Yorker, Paris Review, The New Republic, The Boston Review, Fence, Alaska Quarterly Review, Open City, Bomband Harvard Review.
Zapruder is also co-translator from Romanian, along with historian Radu Ioanid, of Secret Weapon: Selected Late Poems of Eugen Jebeleanu. His third full-length collection of poems, Come On All You Ghosts, is forthcoming from Copper Canyon in 2010. He lives in San Francisco, works as an editor for Wave Books, and teaches in the low residency MFA program at UC Riverside-Palm Desert.
Friday April 16 7:00 pm at Barnes & Noble, 313 Corte Madera Town Center
Molly Fisk & Jacqueline Kudler
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Molly Fisk is a Nevada City poet whose second collection, The More Difficult Beauty, is just out from Hip Pocket Press. Winner of National Endowment for the Arts and California Arts Council grants in poetry, and a nominee for California State Poet Laureate, Molly teaches on-line at www.poetrybootcamp.com and www.voiceofyourown.com.
She also writes radio commentary for NPR and community station KVMR.
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Jacqueline Kudler lives in Sausalito, California and teaches classes in memoir writing and literature at the College of Marin in Kentfield. She serves as an advisory director on the board of Marin Poetry Center and is a founding member of Sixteen Rivers Press.
Her poems have appeared in numerous reviews, magazines, and anthologies. Her full length poetry collection, Sacred Precinct, was published by Sixteen Rivers Press, San Francisco, in 2003. She was awarded the Marin Arts Council Board Award in 2005 for “an exceptional body of work over a period of time,” and her “outstanding commitment to the literary arts.”
Opening for Molly and Jackie will be Lulu Gordon. There will be an Open Mic afterward.
Thursday May 20 7:30 pm
Steve Kowit - Reading
Steve Kowit is the author of several books of poetry and has published a guide to writing poetry: In the Palm of Your Hand. Kowit is the recipient of two Pushcart Prizes, an NEA Fellowship, and many other awards for his poetry. He teaches at Southwestern College in Chula Vista and lives near the Tecate Mexican border.
Saturday May 22, 9:30 am – 1:30 pm
Steve Kowit - Poetry Writing Workshop
Location: Book Passage in Corte Madera, 51 Tamal Vista Boulevard
Fee: $75.00
Format: In this stimulating workshop, participants will write at least 2 new poems, expand their knowledge of craft, and leave with ideas that should generate even more new work.
Attendance is limited. To reserve a space, send a check for $75.00 made out to Marin Poetry Center to:
Marin Poetry Center
P. O. Box 9091
San Rafael, California 94912
For more information email Roy Mash events@marinpoetrycenter.org
Saturday July 17, 1 pm – 4:30 pm at Book Passage in Corte Madera
Poetry Publishing Workshop with David Alpaugh, Connie Post, & Jay Rubin
alpaugh image post image rubin image

This workshop is designed to answer your questions about the current state of poetry publishing and to assist you in designing a customized submission strategy to bring your poetry to the attention of publishers, judges, reviewers, and, above all, readers. Whether you're ready to "send out" for the first time or just want to improve your existing acceptance rate here's a shirtsleeve workshop to help you make it happen.
Fee: $50.00.

David Alpaugh is an award-winning poet, teacher, book designer, publisher, and commentator who has been active in the Bay Area poetry community for twenty years.
Connie Post served as the first Poet Laureate of Livermore, California from 2005 - June 2009. She is the Host of the Valona Deli Second Sunday Poetry series and has been published in dozens of journals on and off line. She has a book forthcoming from Finishing Line Press.
Jay Rubin brings years of experience to the publishing side of the fence as former editor of Peralta Press and current editor of Alehouse literary review.
All three have poetry contest experience as winners and/or judges.
To pre-register, or for more information, email Roy Mash events@marinpoetrycenter.org