Marin Poetry Center organizes, hosts, and supports many diverse programs and activities for our members’ and the public’s enjoyment. We invite you to join in!
Building Bridges Book Club
Read and discuss a book of poems with others who appreciate poetry and would like to take a closer look at form, structure, and craft. Discussions will be lively and interactive, and participants will have a chance to share thoughts and ask questions. Come prepared to read aloud favorite poems, lines, and passages from the book. An archive of the books discussed can be purchased at our new online MPC Bookshop.
FEBRUARY’S SELECTION: CATALOG OF UNABASHED GRATITUDE BY ROSS GAY
Discussion led by Rebecca Foust
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 13TH | 1:00PM – 2:30PM
Registrants will be sent a Zoom link upon registration.
Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude is a sustained meditation on that which goes away—loved ones, the seasons, the earth as we know it—that tries to find solace in the processes of the garden and the orchard. That is, this is a book that studies the wisdom of the garden and orchard, those places where all—death, sorrow, loss—is converted into what might, with patience, nourish us.
ROSS GAY teaches poetry at Indiana University and is the author of the poetry collections Against Which, Bringing the Shovel Down, Lace and Pyrite: Letters from Two Gardens (with Aimee Nezhukumatathil), River (with Rose Wehrenberg), Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude, and the essay collection The Book of Delights.
A former lawyer and Marin Poet laureate, REBECCA FOUST is a tireless advocate for poetry in the Bay Area and beyond. She is the author of several award- winning poetry books and chapbooks, including The Unexploded Ordnance Bin, which won the Swan Scythe Poetry Chapbook Award, and ONLY, forthcoming from Four Way Books in 2022.
The Mill Valley Public Library is making copies of the book available to registrants. Please follow the information in the the registration process to request a Library copy. Books are available to purchase online from Point Reyes Bookstore for shipping or in-store pick-up.
Future Book Clubs
SATURDAY, MARCH 13TH | 1:00PM – 2:30PM PST
OBIT BY VICTORIA CHANG
Discussion led by Amanda Moore
In Obit, longlisted for the 2020 National Book Award in Poetry, Chang writes of “the way memory gets up after someone has died and starts walking.” These poems reinvent the form of newspaper obituary to both name what has died (“civility,” “language,” “the future,” “Mother’s blue dress”) and the cultural impact of death on the living. Whereas elegy attempts to immortalize the dead, an obituary expresses loss, and the love for the dead becomes a conduit for self-expression. In this unflinching and lyrical book, Chang meets her grief and creates a powerful testament for the living.
Writer and editor Victoria Chang earned a BA in Asian studies from the University of Michigan, an MA in Asian studies from Harvard University, an MBA from Stanford University, and an MFA from the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers. Her collections of poetry include Circle (2005), winner of the Crab Orchard Review Award Series in Poetry; Salvinia Molesta (2008); The Boss (2013); and Barbie Chang (2017).
Amanda Moore’s debut collection of poetry, Requeening, was selected for the 2020 National Poetry Series by Ocean Vuong and is forthcoming from HarperCollins/Ecco in October 2021. Her poems have appeared in journals and anthologies including Best New Poets, ZZYZVA, Cream City Review, and Mamas and Papas: On the Sublime and Heartbreaking Art of Parenting, and her essays have appeared in The Baltimore Review, Hippocampus Magazine, and on the University of Arizona Poetry Center’s blog.
SATURDAY, APRIL 1OTH | 1:00PM – 2:30PM PST
TRADITION BY JERICHO BROWN
Discussion led by Janet Jennings
Beauty abounds in Jericho Brown’s Pulitzer Prize-winning poetry collection, despite and inside of the evil that pollutes the everyday. A National Book Award finalist, The Tradition questions why and how we’ve become accustomed to terror: in the bedroom, the classroom, the workplace, and the movie theater. From mass shootings to rape to the murder of unarmed people by police, Brown interrupts complacency by locating each emergency in the garden of the body, where living things grow and wither—or survive.
Jericho Brown is a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and 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 a Whiting Award. Brown’s third collection is The Tradition (Copper Canyon Press, 2019)—winner of the 2020 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry and a finalist for the 2019 National Book Award. He is an associate professor and the director of the Creative Writing Program at Emory University.
Janet Jennings lives in San Anselmo, California with her husband and twin daughters. For twenty years she owned and ran Sunspire, a natural candy manufacturing company. Her poetry has appeared in Agni online, Atlanta Review, The Bitter Oleander, Nimrod, Redivider, and Soundings East, among others. Her chapbook, Traces in Water, was published in 2010.
SATURDAY, MAY 8TH | 1:00PM – 2:30PM PST
THE VOICE OF SHEILA CHANDRA BY KAZIM ALI
“Kazim Ali’s newest collection of poems is brilliant and chilling and filled with sound. The Voice of Sheila Chandra is alive with formal invention and innovation that will surely be a fixture in contemporary poetry for years to come. Part researched document, part song, part deep excavation of the soul, there is much to learn from this book. Ali forces us to contend with history & the present in order to imagine a future where we survive.” —sam sax
Kazim Ali was born in the United Kingdom and has lived transnationally in the United States, Canada, India, France, and the Middle East. His books encompass multiple genres, including the volumes of poetry Inquisition, Sky Ward, winner of the Ohioana Book Award in Poetry; The Far Mosque, winner of Alice James Books’ New England/New York Award; The Fortieth Day; All One’s Blue; and the cross-genre texts Bright Felon and Wind Instrument.
Marin Poetry Center’s Partners-in-Confinement series in collaboration with Mill Valley Public Library features literary partners sheltering in place together. Couples will chat, read favorites from their own and each others’ work, and tell us what this period has been like for them. Watch past readings on our Events History page. Purchase the books of featured literary partners at our new online MPC Bookshop.
Poetry Roundtable Workshop
1st Tuesday of Every Month. Beginning Tuesday, September 1, 6:30pm PDT
In this virtual Round Table Workshop, attendees share an original poem-in-progress and receive positive feedback and craft suggestions from fellow participants. Calvin Ahlgren, longtime Marin poet and workshop facilitator, will continue to shepherd the process, providing helpful direction and shaping of a supportive environment.
This program is currently on hiatus.
Join us to discuss great poetry books. Open to all MPC members. To download a complete list of all books discussed since the Book Group’s inception, click here: Book Group History.
The Marin Poetry Center’s Anthology is published annually and open to all current members. Click here for full details.
Summer Traveling Show
Every summer, members perform their own work in venues all over the Bay Area. Click here for more information.