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
Jun 30 2018
Humor is Serious Business: The Use and Abuse of Humor in Poetry

In this class, we’ll examine poems that make effective use of humor, and do some writing to help you free your inner Monty Python.  To help in the process, please bring (# of class members) copies of a poem not your own that strikes you as seriously funny.  In the afternoon, we’ll discuss a poem of yours—preferably one that either uses humor, or that you think could use more of it.  Please bring copies of your poem for this workshop.

Instructors

Charles Harper Webb, called by Lifescape “Southern California’s most inventive and accessible poet,” has published twelve books of poetry, including Reading the Water, Liver, Tulip Farms & Leper Colonies, Hot Popsicles, Amplified Dog, Shadow Ball: New and Selected Poems, What Things Are Made Of, Brain Camp, and his most recent, Sidebend World, forthcoming from the University of Pittsburgh Press in 2018. A Million MFAs Are Not Enough, a collection of Webb’s essays on the craft of poetry, was published by Red Hen Press in 2016.  Webb’s awards in poetry include the Morse Prize, the Kate Tufts Discovery Award, the Felix Pollock Prize, and the Benjamin Saltman Prize.  His poems have appeared in distinguished journals and anthologies, including American Poetry Review, Paris Review, Iowa Review, Yale Review, Harvard Review, Poetry, Ploughshares, The Southern Review, The Georgia Review, Tin House, Poets of the New Century, Best American Poetry, and The Pushcart Prize. A former professional rock musician and psychotherapist, he is the editor of Stand Up Poetry: An Expanded Anthology, and recipient of a Whiting Writer’s Award, a fellowship from the Guggenheim foundation, and the CSULB Distinguished Faculty Teaching Award. He is Professor of English at California State University, Long Beach, in the MFA Program in Creative Writing.

A prolific writer, Ron Koertge was published widely in the ’60s and ’70s in such seminal magazines as Kayak and Poetry Now. His first book, The Father Poems, was published in 1973, and was soon followed by many more, including poetry, prose, novels-in-verse, and fiction for teenagers. His most recent book, Vampire Planet, was released in 2016 from Red Hen Press. Ron is the recipient of grants from the N.E.A. and the California Arts Council, has poems in two volumes of Best American Poetry (1999 and 2005), and is a 2017 Pushcart Prize winner.  His fiction has been honored by the American Library Association, and two novels have received PEN awards. After teaching for thirty-seven years at the city college in Pasadena, he retired and now teaches at Hamline University in their low-residency MFA program for Children’s Writing. He currently lives in South Pasadena, California, with his wife, Bianca Richards.

sign up

1:00pm
1540 Lincoln Ave.
91103 Pasadena, California
Jun 24 2018
Poetry Flash -- featuring Kim Addonizio, Donna Masini, and Brittany Perham
EAST BAY BOOKSELLERS is excited to welcome back our friends from Poetry Flash on Sunday, June 24th at 3pm. The month's feature poets are Kim Addonizio, Donna Masini, and Brittany Perham.
 
Kim Addonizio’s latest book of poems is Mortal Trash. Terrance Hayes calls it  “Peerless poetry…reliably remarkable clarity, edge, and emotion.” This is her seventh collection. She’s been a finalist for the National Book Award, received a Guggenheim Fellowship, two NEA Fellowships, and a Pushcart Prize. Among her other publications are four books of fiction and her Bukowski in a Sundress: Confessions from a Writing Life. An occasional presenter for BBC radio, she teaches workshops privately and online.
 
Donna Masini’s new book of poems is 4:30 Movie. Tracy K. Smith says, “Truly inspired…4:30 Movie is a stunning, playful, searing, healing collection that will enlarge the reader and revive something crucial in American poetry.” Her two previous collections are Turning to Fiction and That Kind of Danger.  She has also published a novel, About Yvonne. The recipient of an NEA Fellowship and another from the New York Foundation for the Arts, she has won a Pushcart Prize and appeared in Best American Poetry 2015.
 
Brittany Perham’s second book of poems, Double Portrait, won the Barnard Women Poets Prize, selected by Claudia Rankine. Eavan Boland says, “This unswerving, ambitious work brings the reader on a wild and thrilling journey. The poems lead into a world where desire, the body, memory and invention are looked at in the bright light of language; nothing forgiven, everything laid bare.…” She is also the author of the full-length collection The Curiosities and, with Kim Addonizio, the chapbook The Night Could Go in Either Direction. A former Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, she is now a Jones Lecturer in their Creative Writing Program.
 
3:00pm to 4:30pm
5433 College Avenue
94618 Oakland, California
Jun 24 2018
Poetry Flash: Kim Addonizio, Donna Masini & Brittany Perham
Kim Addonizio’s latest book of poems is Mortal Trash. Terrance Hayes calls it  “Peerless poetry…reliably remarkable clarity, edge, and emotion.” This is her seventh collection; she’s been a finalist for the National Book Award, received a Guggenheim Fellowship, two NEA Fellowships, and a Pushcart Prize. Among her other publications are four books of fiction and her Bukowski in a Sundress: Confessions from a Writing Life. An occasional presenter for BBC radio, she teaches workshops privately and online.
 
Donna Masini’s new book of poems is 4:30 Movie. Tracy K. Smith says, “Truly inspired…4:30 Movie is a stunning, playful, searing, healing collection that will enlarge the reader and revive something crucial in American poetry.” Her two previous collections are Turning to Fiction and That Kind of Danger. She has also published a novel, About Yvonne. The recipient of an NEA Fellowship and another from the New York Foundation for the Arts, she has won a Pushcart Prize and appeared in Best American Poetry 2015.
 
Brittany Perham’s second book of poems, Double Portrait, won the Barnard Women Poets Prize, selected by Claudia Rankine. Eavan Boland says, “This unswerving, ambitious work brings the reader on a wild and thrilling journey. The poems lead into a world where desire, the body, memory and invention are looked at in the bright light of language; nothing forgiven, everything laid bare.…” She is also the author of the full-length collection The Curiosities and, with Kim Addonizio, the chapbook The Night Could Go in Either Direction. A former Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, she is now a Jones Lecturer in their Creative Writing Program.
 
3:00pm
5433 College Avenue
94618 Oakland, 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

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

   

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