California

On December 4, 2015, California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. appointed Dana Gioia as California poet laureate. He is the author of numerous poetry collections and books of literary criticism. He will serve a two-year term.

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

date
Mar 23 2017
SYRIA | Because We Come From Everything: The Poetics of Migration

The Poetry Society of America and City Lights Bookstore present a poetry reading and discussion as part of the Poetry Coalition's 2017 programming. Poets Jack Hirschman and Jack Marshall will read poems of theirs and others. Journalist Jeanne Carstensen will join them in conversation.

Jack Hirschman is the former Poet Laureate of the City of San Francisco as well as a translator and editor. He is the author of numerous books of poetry, plus some 45 translations from half a dozen languages, as well as the editor of anthologies and journals. Among his many volumes of poetry are Endless Threshold, The Xibalba Arcane, and Lyripol (City Lights, 1976).

Born in Brooklyn to Jewish parents who emigrated from Iraq and Syria, Jack Marshall now lives in California. He is the author of the memoir From Baghdad to Brooklyn and several poetry collections that have received the PEN Center USA Award, two Northern California Book Awards, and a nomination from the National Book Critics Circle.

Jeanne Carstensen is a San Francisco based writer and radio reporter who is covering the refugee crisis in Greece for the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.  An editor at Salon, SFGate.com and the Whole Earth Review,  and a National Arts Journalism Program fellow at Columbia University, her work has appeared in the New York Times, PRI's The World, Foreign Policy, Nautilus and Salon, among other publications.

Admission is free.

7:00pm
261 Columbus Ave
94133 San Francisco, California
Mar 02 2017
Poets Dean Rader and Dana Levin Read from New Collections

Poets Dean Rader (Self-Portrait as Wikipedia Entry) and Dana Levin (Banana Palace) present their new collections from Copper Canyon Press. Wine and sparkling water will be served.

About Dean Rader’s Self-Portrait as Wikipedia Entry:

In Dean Rader’s newest work, Self-Portrait as Wikipedia Entry, the narrator considers the self and society as a Wikipedia page—forever unfinished, sculpted, and transformed by the ever-present push and pull of politics, culture, and American’s fluctuating national identity. Rader’s innovative voice is full of humor and inquiry, inviting readers to fully participate in the creation.

Praise for Dean Rader:

“…few poets capture the contradictions of our national life with as much sensitivity or keenness.” —Publishers Weekly

Dean Rader’s collections include Works & Days (2010) and Landscape Portrait Figure Form, (Omnidawn, 2014). Rader’s poems have appeared in Boston Review, American Poetry Review, and Best American Poetry. He is the editor of the 2014 anthology 99 Poems for the 99 Percent: An Anthology of Poems (99: The Press).  Rader writes about literature, culture and politics regularly for The San Francisco Chronicle and The Huffington Post. He is professor of English at the University of San Francisco.

About Dana Levin’s Banana Palace:

In her fourth collection, Banana Palace, Dana Levin confronts the deep anxieties of our age with bemusement, incredulity, outrage, and hope. Observing the crisis of human appetite through the lenses of psychology and science fiction, she’s disquieted at a world “ruled by a bipolar father-god, unconscious, suicidal.”

Praise for Banana Palace:

“Images that are satisfyingly clear…and excitingly inexplicable.” —Robert Pinsky, Washington Post

 “The world may seem broken, but these poems don’t convey doom—Levin’s clear, grounded language leaves the reader hopeful in the end.” —Publishers Weekly

Dana Levin’s 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, The New York Times, Los Angeles Review of Books, Boston Review, and Poetry. She serves as Distinguished Writer in Residence at Maryville University in St. Louis.

10:00pm
1904 College Avenue
94705 Berkeley, California

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Dana Gioia
California poet laureate

Dana Gioia

Born in Hawthorne, California, in 1950, Dana Gioia is the author of several poetry collections, including Interrogations at Noon (Graywolf Press,...

poems

poem
  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
2
poem
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
blazing

—pimps, surplus stores, footprints of the stars

—descending through the city
poem
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
Driving