California

In 2001, California established a state poet laureate position, which is currently held by Dana Gioia, who was appointed to a two-year term in 2015. He is the author of numerous poetry collections and books of literary criticism. 

In 2017, S. Bryan Medina was named poet laureate of Fresno, California. Medina will serve a two-year term.

Robin Coste Lewis was appointed the Los Angeles poet laureate in 2017, which is a two-year term. She is the author of the National Book Award-winning collection Voyage of the Sable Venus (Knopf, 2015).

In 2017, Indigo Moore was named poet laureate of Sacramento, California. Moore will serve a two-year term.

Kim Shuck was appointed the San Francisco poet laureate in 2017, which is a two-year term.

In 2018, Mike McGee was named poet laurate of San Jose/Santa Clara County, California. McGee will serve a two-year term.

upcoming events

datesort ascending
Jan 13 2019
Why Can’t It Be Tenderness Book Release
Avenue 50 Studio & Wisconsin Poetry Series invite you to join us in celebrating the release of WHY CAN’T IT BE TENDERNESS by Michelle Brittan Rosado, featuring Michelle Brittan Rosado, Corinna McClanahan Schroeder, and Douglas Manuel. Books will be available for purchase and signing.

 

4:00pm to 5:30pm
131 N Avenue 50
90042 Los Angeles, California
Dec 15 2018
Sunset Poetry Hike

Climb to the top of Mt Hollywood, enjoy poems, watch the sunset, then come down a different way, past the Observatory. Return to Red Line station about three or four hours later. 

Participants will meet at the Vermont/Sunset Metro Station, where we’ll board the Observatory DASH (fare $.50 or use Metro Card)

Please bring water, hat, snack/dinner, comfortable hiking boots or trail shoes,and a warm jacket. Poetry provided or bring your own. A flashlight or headlamp, and hiking stick or trekking poles, are optional.

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3:10pm
1500 North Vermont Avenue
Vermont/Sunset Metro Station
90027 Los Angeles, California
Dec 14 2018
#PoetryNearYou Pick of the Week: The Other Side of Sadness - A Night of Poetry and Conversation with Donika Kelly and J. Jennifer Espinoza
The Last Bookstore in Los Angeles, California, is pleased to present, The Other Side of Sadness - A Night of Poetry and Conversation, an otherwise reading series event with J. Jennifer Espinoza and Donika Kelly, on Friday, December 14, 7 p.m. The conversation following the reading will be moderated by F. Douglas Brown
 
Donika Kelly is the author of the chapbook Aviarium (fivehundred places, 2017), and the full-length collection Bestiary (Graywolf Press, 2016), winner of the 2015 Cave Canem Poetry Prize, the 2017 Hurston/Wright Award for poetry, and the 2018 Kate Tufts Discovery Award. Bestiary was long listed for the National Book Award in 2016 and was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award and a Publishing Triangle Award in 2017. A Cave Canem Graduate Fellow, she received her MFA in Writing from the Michener Center for Writers and a Ph.D. in English from Vanderbilt University. She is an Assistant Professor at Baruch College, where she teaches creative writing.
 
Joshua Jennifer Espinoza is a trans woman poet living in California. Her work has been featured in Denver Quarterly, the American Poetry Review, Lambda Literary, The Offing, and elsewhere. She is the author of i’m alive / it hurts / i love it (boost house, 2014), There Should Be Flowers (CCM, 2016), and Outside Of The Body There Is Something Like Hope (Big Lucks, 2018).
 
F. Douglas Brown is the author of ICON, a new collection of poetry from Writ Large Press in 2018, and Zero to Three (University of Georgia Press, 2014), winner of the 2013 Cave Canem Poetry Prize selected by U. S. Poet Laureate, Tracy K. Smith. He also co-authored with poet Geffrey Davis, Begotten (URB Books, 2016), a chapbook of poetry. Brown, an educator for over 20 years, currently teaches English and African American Poetry at Loyola High School of Los Angeles, an all-boys Jesuit school. He is both a Cave Canem and Kundiman fellow and was selected by Poets & Writers magazine as one of their ten notable Debut Poets of 2014. His poems have appeared in numerous journals and magazines such as the Academy of American Poets, The PBS News Hour, The Virginia Quarterly (VQR), Bat City Review, The Chicago Quarterly Review (CQR), and the Southern Humanities Review. He is co-founder and curator of un::fade::able – The Requiem for Sandra Bland, a quarterly reading series examining restorative justice through poetry as a means to address racism. When he is not teaching, writing or with his children (Isaiah, Olivia, and Simone), he is busy DJing in the greater Los Angeles area.

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To be considered for #PoetryNearYou Pick of the Week, we invite you to become a registered user of Poets.org and use our online calendar Poetry Near You to promote local events in your community.
 
7:00pm
453 S Spring St
Ground floor
90013 Los Angeles, California
Poetry in California
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 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
poem
Among the blight-killed eucalypts, among
trees and bushes rusted by Christmas frosts,
the yards and hillsides exhausted by five years of drought,

certain airy white blossoms punctually
reappeared, and dense clusters of pale pink, dark pink—
a delicate abundance. They seemed

like guests arriving joyfully on the
poem

i.

    —& humans walked to the edge of the sand
  through a bank of verbena & fog;  
     they thought they’d never get over
the deaths, but they were starting to. Worry
     about money rested in their phones. Talk of
 candidates had stalled. Some sang. Grays of