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 01 2018
#PoetryNearYou Pick of the Week: Lunch Poems with Rosa Alcalá

Join Rosa Alcalá for a noontime poetry reading at the Morrison Library in Doe Library, University of California Berkeley, on March 1, 2018, 12:10 p.m. to 12:50 p.m. 

Born and raised in Paterson, NJ, Rosa Alcalá is the author of three books of poetry, most recently MyOTHER TONGUE. Her poetry also appears in a number of anthologies, including Stephanie Burt’s The Poem is You: 60 Contemporary American Poems and How to Read Them. The recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Translation Fellowship, her translations are featured in the forthcoming Cecilia Vicuña: New & Selected Poems. Alcalá teaches in the Department of Creative Writing and Bilingual MFA Program at the University of Texas-El Paso.

The Lunch Poems series at University of California Berkeley, founded by Professor Robert Hass, is under the direction of Professor Geoffrey G. O'Brien.
 
Support for this series is provided by Dr. and Mrs. Tom Colby, the Library, The Morrison Library Fund, the dean's office of the College of Letters and Sciences, the English Department, and the Townsend Center for the Humanities. These events are also partially supported by Poets & Writers, Inc. through a grant it has received from The James Irvine Foundation.

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12:00pm
Doe Library
Morrison Library
94720 Berkeley, California
Feb 26 2018
Nancy Huang with Arati Warrier & Kiana Young / Favorite Daughter
In town from Austin, TX, Nancy Huang will be reading from her first book of poems, Favorite Daughter. Reading with her are Bay Area poets Arati Warrier and Kiana Young—join us!
 
Favorite Daughter is a poetry collection trying to uproot America from inside the body, and find where China is buried underneath. Divided into four parts, Daughter explores ideas like navigating hybridity, localism, and harmony in ways that disturb commonly-held notions about broad terms like “belonging” and “cultural struggle.” A compilation of immigration stories, Chinese radio segments, Google translate entries, and dictionary remixes, Huang immerses herself in everything she is uncertain of.
 
Nan Huang (黄洁) is a queer Chinese-American poet. She is a winner of the 2016 Write Bloody Poetry contest, an Andrew Julius Gutow Academy of American Poets Prize, a James F. Parker Award in Poetry, a 2015 YoungArts Finalist prize, and more. She has received fellowships from VONA and Tin House, and is a former member of UT Spitshine. She competed/resisted at CUPSI 2017 in Chicago, where all her poems were nominated for Washington Post's Best of the Rest. Her debut poetry collection, Favorite Daughter, is out by Write Bloody Publishing.
 
Arati Warrier is a South Asian American poet from Austin, TX, by way of diaspora. She graduated from UT, Austin in May 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in English and Asian American Studies. She featured on the final stage at Women of the World Poetry Slam 2014, is a recipient of the Andrew Julius Gutow Academy of American Poets prize, and is a 2014 national collegiate poetry slam champion. Familiar with both the stage and the page, Arati has been on five slam poetry teams, was awarded “Best Poem” at the national collegiate poetry slam, and has been published in Junoesq Literary Magazine and The Aerogram. She has opened for poets like Dominique Christina, Denice Frohman, Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib, sam sax, and Sarah Kay. Arati's other interests include dancing, reading, and loving intentionally. She currently works as a part time vegetable enthusiast and a full time high school English teacher.
 
Kiana Young is an unapologetically queer, mixed race Chinese-American poet, educator, and activist from Southern California. In 2016 and 2017, they represented CalSLAM at the CUPSI national collegiate poetry slam, helping their team earn 8th and 13th place, respectively. Kiana was a member of the 2016 Queer Emerging Artist Residency cohort with Destiny Arts Center in Oakland, CA. In 2017, Kiana was a finalist for the Write Bloody Poetry Chapbook contest, and was a featured performer and speaker at Syracuse University. She also has three years of experience as a consent and sexual violence prevention educator in the Bay Area. This year, Kiana will be graduating from UC Berkeley with a B.A. in Rhetoric and Public Discourse and a minor in LGBT Studies––which means that they are a scholarly gay and you shouldn’t argue with them. Currently, she works as a speech and debate coach for middle school and high school youth of color in the Bay Area.
 
 
7:30pm to 9:00pm
1727 Haight Street
94117 San Francisco, California
May 12 2018
Brenda Hillman and Giovanni Singleton
Brenda Hillman and Giovanni Singleton discuss recent work and the role poets can play as activists.
 
Brenda Hillman an activist, writer, editor, and teacher. She has published nine collections of poetry, all from Wesleyan University Press, including Practical Water, for which she won the Los Angeles Times Book Award for Poetry. Hillman serves on the faculty of Saint Mary's College in Moraga, California, as the Olivia Filippi professor of poetry.
 
Giovanni Singleton is a poet, teacher, and founding editor of nocturnes (re)view of the literary arts, a journal dedicated to the work of artists and writers of the African Diaspora and other contested spaces.
 
 
4:00pm to 6:00pm
11315 Highway 1
94956 Point Reyes Station, 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 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

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