On March 21, 2012, Governor Jerry Brown appointed Juan Felipe Herrera as the California poet laureate. Herrera is the author of twenty-eight books and currently serves as the Tomas Rivera Endowed Chair in the Department of Creative Writing at the University of California, Riverside. Herrera's work has received wide critical acclaim including numerous national and international awards. He is currently a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.

Alejandro Murguía is San Francisco’s sixth poet laureate and the first Latino poet to hold the position. An editor, translator, literary organizer, and prose writer, he is the author of the poetry collections Stray Poems (City Lights Books, 2014) and Native Tongue (CC. Marimbo Press, 2012), among others.

upcoming events

datesort ascending
Jul 07 2015
ANNENBERG BEACH HOUSE: Mahogany Browne, Dean Kostos, and Richard Siken

Mahogany Browne, Dean Kostos, and Richard SikenAs part of the Beach=Culture series, the PSA presents a reading and moderated discussion with an eclectic mix of acclaimed contemporary poets.

Co-sponsored by American Composers Forum, Los Angeles, The City of Santa Monica, and Red Hen Press.

Admission is free. Please make reservations online at or call (310) 458-2257

415 Pacific Coast Highway
90402 Santa Monica, California
Jun 16 2015 to Jun 17 2015
Bloomsday at the Hammer

The Hammer’s sixth annual Bloomsday celebration finds characters in “The Wandering Rocks” episode of James Joyce’s Ulysses criss-crossing Dublin in a cacophony of voices interspersed with disruptive interpolations. A dramatic reading by our veteran actors Jane Bacon,Bairbre DowlingJames GalloJames Lancaster,John Rafter Lee, and Johnny O’Callaghan. Organized by Stanley Breitbard.

Guinness, Irish fare and live music by Rattle the Knee in the courtyard

Dramatic reading in The Billy Wilder Theater

Guinness, Irish fare and live music by Rattle the Knee in the courtyard

9:30pm to 1:00am
10899 Wilshire Blvd.
90024 Los Angeles, California
Jun 04 2015
UCLA Award-Winning Student Poets

For over a decade, Hammer’s Poetry Series has concluded its annual offerings for the academic year with a reading by a stellar group of up-and-coming writers who have won awards for competitions sponsored by the Department of English or by a statewide consortium of universities. Tonight you will experience just why this group of UCLA-educated poets have garnered praise. Please enjoy this new wave of literary talent in action, and join our tradition of welcoming their unique voices into the world.

The UCLA Department of English is pleased to announce the winners of these creative writing competitions in poetry for 2015-2015:

The Fred and Edith Herman Memorial Prize from the Academy of American Poets
Tina Lawson for “The Dusty Plains of Cheeks” and other poems

The Fred and Edith Herman Memorial Honorable Mention
Donna Tang for “Migration” and other poems

The Shirle Dorothy Robbins Award (first place tie)
Sarah Nance for “In the Kitchen Room” and other poems
Jeremy Schmidt for “The Like Poems”

The Shirle Dorothy Robbins Award (second place)
Neela Saraswati for “Trainstops” and other poems

This series of readings is organized and hosted by Stephen Yenser, poet and professor at UCLA and author of A Boundless Field: American Poetry at Large and Blue Guide.

10899 Wilshire Blvd.
90024 Los Angeles, California
Poetry in California
Juan Felipe Herrera
California poet laureate

Juan Felipe Herrera

Born in Fowler, California, on December 27, 1948, Herrera is director of the Art and Barbara Culver Center for the Arts, a multimedia space in...


The only thing I miss about Los Angeles

is the Hollywood Freeway at midnight, windows down and
radio blaring
bearing right into the center of the city, the Capitol Tower
on the right, and beyond it, Hollywood Boulevard

—pimps, surplus stores, footprints of the stars

—descending through the city
What are you thinking about?

I am thinking of an early summer.
I am thinking of wet hills in the rain
Pouring water.  Shedding it
Down empty acres of oak and manzanita
Down to the old green brush tangled in the sun,
Greasewood, sage, and spring mustard.
Or the hot wind coming down from Santa Ana
  What thoughts I have of you tonight, Walt Whitman, for I walked down the sidestreets under the trees with a headache self-conscious looking at the full moon.
  In my hungry fatigue, and shopping for images, I went into the neon fruit supermarket, dreaming of your enumerations!
  What peaches and what penumbras