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

Aug 05 2017
Present Minds, New Poetry
San Francisco musicians Sarah Elena Palmer and Jason Hoopes invite you to a reading of their original poetry and other creative writing on Saturday, August 5th, at Adobe Books in SF. Joining Sarah and Jason will be fellow bay area writers Nora Toomey, Alicia Franco, Colin Partch, and Brett Carson.
This evening marks a public reading debut for Sarah and Jason (reading as SEP and Rachtious Palmer respectively) as poets. SEP uses ethereal language to play out her inner controversies; irreverent and hallowing, she swings through her moods, seeking neutrality in her observations. Her rhythmic song-like delivery balances the more severe and confrontational style of Rachtious Palmer, who is concerned with stern angle, strict conservative imagery, quietly sharpened thought knives and a lean predatory hunt for relentless truth. Together with Toomey, Franco, Partch, and Carson, this evening of poetic spoken word promises electricity and blood, illumination, off-kilter snickers, and MUCH reprieve from the modern disease of homogonized communication.
3130 24th St
94110 San Francisco, California
Aug 05 2017
BAPC First Saturday Reading

Come and enjoy a friendly and informal read-around — 3-5 minutes per poet/reader, or “just listening” is fine too.

1320 Addison Street
94702 Berkeley, California
Aug 02 2017
Kim Shuck
Kim Shuck has been selected as San Francisco’s seventh poet laureate, and will take the reins from Alejandro Murguia in early August. Her four published collections (three books and one chapbook) are, in order Smuggling Cherokee, Rabbit Stories (proses), Sidewalk Ndn and Clouds Running; she considers the chapbook Sidewalk Ndn her best collection so far.
Kim’s first publication was in a Canadian First Nations magazine The En’owken Journal. Her first reading organizing was for the Native American Cultural Center in SF, which Bird and Beckett is pleased to have supported by hosting some of the readings. Subsequently, she has received various awards and accolades and has done much teaching. Kim was on the board of directors for California Poets in the Schools in the early 2000s, received a Diane Decorah award, various mentor awards, a local hero award from KQED and a Mary Tall Mountain Award. She has been much nominated for a Pushcart, has co-edited two anthologies of poetry for PEN Oakland, has an infrequent online journal called Rabbit and Rose which doesn’t include her own work. She teaches poetry in a number of places including as a classroom volunteer in SF Unified and as unranked faculty at CCA. She has read her work LitQuake, Flor y Canto, Petaluma Poetry Walk, Beast Crawl, Watershed, the Beatnik Shindig and other major gatherings. Her work can be found in anthologies including The World is One Place (ed. Glancy and Rodriquez), Imaniman (ed. Silva and Vera), Red Indian Road West (ed. Schweigman and Day) and others forthcoming. She has also curated panels of Native poetry on permanent display on Alcatraz in commemoration of the occupations there.
We are pleased and proud to welcome Kim to Bird & Beckett for this reading at the outset of her two-year term as Poet Laureate of San Francisco.
653 Chenery St
94131 San Francisco, 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,...


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
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 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