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
Aug 04 2016
Pino Masnata, Futurist: A Life in Science and Art

The Poetry of Pino Masnata from 1919 to 1968 took the Futurist parole in liberta (free-word style) into a psychological depth that was unusual for the Futurist artists and very different from the poetry of the movement’s founder F. T. Marinetti. Roberto Masnata will talk about his father’s poetry and show images of the graphic poems never before seen in the United States.

Poet Andrew Joron will open the program with a demonstration of the theremin, an electronic music instrument invented by Léon Theremin in 1920. The performer creates sound by means of two radio frequency oscillators, without touching the instrument.

After the talk: Andrew Joron; composer Charles Amirkhanian, Artistic director of radiOM and Other Minds, San Francisco; and Margaret Fisher, translator of Pino Masnata's Gloss of the 1933 Futurist Radio Manifesto, RADIA (not radio) will join Roberto Masnata to discuss the legacy of Futurist art in poetry and the electronic arts. A reception follows.

6:30pm
601 Van Ness Avenue
94102 San Francisco, California
Aug 07 2016
Sunken Garden Poetry Festval: Juan Felipe Herrera and Peg Boyers

The Sunken Garden Poetry Festival is a unique outdoor arts event located on the grounds of this National Historic Landmark in the heart of Farmington.  Beginning on June 22, the festival presents the first of five performances, scheduled for three Wednesday and two Sunday evenings throughout the summer.  Adding to the humanities-rich content of the festival, Hill-Stead offers poetry writing workshops prior to all performances.  The community cherishes this series of readings and music concerts in the informal outdoor setting of the Hill-Stead estate.  Visitors can come early to tour the museum’s world-class Impressionist art collection, walk the trails or attend the pre-performance Prelude conversations with the headlining poets.

Juan Felipe Herrera is the 21st Poet Laureate of the United State (2015-2016) and is the first Latino to hold the position. From 2012-2014, Herrera served as California State Poet Laureate. Herrera’s many collections of poetry include Notes on the Assemblage; Senegal TaxiHalf of the World in Light: New and Selected Poems, a recipient of the PEN/Beyond Margins Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award; and 187 Reasons Mexicanos Can’t Cross The Border: Undocuments 1971-2007. He is also the author of Crashboomlove: A Novel in Verse, which received the Americas Award. His books of prose for children include: SkateFate, Calling The Doves, which won the Ezra Jack Keats Award; Upside Down Boy, which was adapted into a musical for young audiences in New York City; and Cinnamon Girl: Letters Found Inside a Cereal Box. Herrera is also a performance artist and activist on behalf of migrant and indigenous communities and at-risk youth.

Poet Peg Boyers was born in San Tomé, Venezuela, but spent her childhood on the move, living in such countries as Libya, Italy, Indonesia, and Cuba.  Her collections of poetry include Hard Bread (2002), Honey with Tobacco (2007), and To Forget Venice (2014). Hard Bread contains a series of poems written in the voice of Natalia Ginzburg (1916–1991), an Italian writer, editor, and mother who witnessed World War II. Boyers carefully reconstructed Ginzburg’s experiences by illuminating the historical details of her life.

4:30pm
35 Mountain Rd
06032 Farmington , 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
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
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 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
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