Home caesura
About Us Links
Contact Us Markham House


Become a PCSJ Member!
Click the Join or Renew button
to learn about PCSJ Membership

Join or Renew

Donate to PCSJ!
You can donate to PCSJ
in addition to or instead
of membership.
Click the Donate button below.

**Membership Not Included**

Cæsura 2020 call now open!
deadline: June 1, 2020, June 15 for PCSJ members




Reading Series

Tuesday, June 9, 7pm on Zoom
Doren Robbins and Sharon Olson
open mic follows

online on Zoom
Free, register on Eventbrite!

presented with Works/San José

Typically featured at Works/San José art and performance center, performance begins via Zoom at 7:00pm sharp!

First 15 people to register for a free ticket get on the open mic list. Curators will email all registrants the meeting ID and password.

Each open mic participant has 5 minutes.

Sharon Olson is a Stanford graduate, with an M.L.S. from U.C. Berkeley and an M.A. in comparative literature from the University of Oregon. She worked as a librarian from 1978 to 2007 at the Palo Alto City Library, and was a long-standing member of the Palo Alto poetry group Waverley Writers. Her publications include a chapbook Clouds Brushed in Later, which won the Abby Niebauer Memorial Chapbook Award (presented by the Poetry Center San José in 1987), and two full-length books of poetry, The Long Night of Flying (Sixteen Rivers Press, 2006) and Will There Be Music? (Cherry Grove Collections, 2019). Her poems have appeared in many journals including Off the Coast, String Poet, Arroyo Literary Review, The Curator, Adanna, Heron Tree, New Verse News and Cider Press Review. She has published (with co-author Chris Schopfer) numerous articles about the Sandford family of New Jersey in The Genealogical Magazine of New Jersey. Since 2008 she and her husband have lived on the East Coast, currently in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, where she is a member of the U.S. 1 Poets Collective and performs with Cool Women Poets. She is also affiliated with the Scriven Arts Colony in Gilmanton, New Hampshire, and the Guilford Poets Guild in Guilford, Connecticut, which interviewed her recently in April, 2020. See more information at her blog: https://slopoet.blogspot.com.

Doren Robbins is a poet, mixed media artist, literary critic and composer of poetic prose monologues. His work has appeared in many publications, including The American Poetry Review, The American Journal of Poetry, Third Rail: international literature and arts, Angry Old Man, Another Chicago Magazine, Café Irreal, Cimarron Review, Empty Mirror, Exquisite Corpse, Kayak, 5 AM, Hotel Amerika, The Indiana Review, New Letters, Nimrod, Otoliths, Sulfur, and The Iowa Review. Past collections of his poetry, Driving Face Down and My Piece of the Puzzle were awarded the Blue Lynx Poetry Award 2001 and the 2008 PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Poetry Award, respectively. His book Twin Extra: A Poem In Three Parts (Wild Ocean Press 2015) was nominated for the National Jewish Book Council Award in Poetry. In 2020 Spuyten Duyvil Press published his monograph, Apocalypse Contemporary, on Sharon Doubiago's book Naked to the Earth; and highmoonoon books published Not Fade Away: Poetic Prose Monologues, Three Sequences. He is Emeritus Professor of Creative Writing and Literature at Foothill College.

"These are remarkable, fiery poems. Poems that would urge any poet on, language that tears open reality. I think this is Doren Robbins's finest book, and I've admired his work for a good while. The imagination, its energy and precision, is immense. There's a delicate observation of even the rawest materials, a tenderness for humanity in all its cruelty, stupidity, and often invisible dignity and grace, that feels to me like his peculiar, original contribution to--well, to the puzzle of what we have become: people, Americans, men and women today, above all those who are "absent," unregistered, undocumented in both senses." -Adrienne Rich


Third Thursdays @ Willow Glen Library

Thursday, June 18, 7:00pm
featuring Robert S. Pesich

online on Zoom
ticket link to come

description to come

Upcoming at Third Thursdays:
July: Jane Ormerod
August: Caroline Goodwin
September: Peter Carroll





San José Poetry Slam
Hosted by Santa Clara Couty Poet Laureate Mighty Mike McGee

doors and sign up list opens at 6:00pm
sign up list closes at 6:55pm
Show starts at 7pm

cash prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place
Follow the Slam on Facebook!

Caravan Lounge
98 S Almaden Ave
in downtown San José at the corner of San Fernando St. and Almaden Ave.
Admission Free
21 and over, cash bar (they do have an atm)


Third Thursdays @ Willow Glen Library

Willow Glen Library
1157 Minnesota Avenue, San José, CA, 95125
(408) 808-3045 or (408) 266-1361
Free and open to the public.

Thurd Thursdays @ Willow Glen Library will return in April


Poets @ Play
topic: tba
Edwin Markham House in History Park
635 Phelan Avenue, San José, CA 95112
Admission FREE
Free parking in the Staff/Volunteer lot on Phelan Avenue.
Please enter History Park from the Phelan Avenue side

Questions? Call 408-368-0353
RSVP recommended but not required: poetsatplay@pcsj.org

The Markham House and map:



Live Lit Writers Open Mic
open mic follows
Follow Live Lit on Facebook!

Caffe Frascati
315 South First Street, Downtown San José
Free and open to the public

Live Lit is a weekly open mic for words. Join us for a night of literature and voice. Bring your stories and poetry. Give us your rants, raves and missives. Sign up begins at 7:00 pm, open mic begins at 7:30, and our special guest goes on around 8:15. Hosted by Santa Clara County Poet Laureate Mighty Mike McGee.



VeteransWrite meetings
led by Nick Butterfield, Jeffrey Leonard, and Amy Meier

MLK Library, contact VeteransWrite@yahoo.com if interested in attending
Admission FREE

Poetry Center San Jose is offering a monthly writing group to veterans of any age, any military experience and to family members of veterans. All levels of writing experience from beginner to experienced are welcome.

Small group setting to a maximum of 12 participants. Emphasis on poetry including prose poems. Format includes examples, prompts and guidance given by facilitators, time provided to write individually, and for participants to read to group and receive group feedback if desired. Goal is to give voice to the experiences of veterans and family members. Subject matter is unrestricted.

Nick Butterfield served for 10 years in USN-R as a Hospital Corpsman. He was activated during Operation Desert Storm, and has worked in Family Practice as a Nurse Practitioner in a FQHC Community Clinic and with the Health Care for the Homeless Project for last 17 years. Nick has been writing poetry since he was 13 years old and has participated in the Willow Glen Poetry Project and other local venues since 1996. His poems have been in 4 anthologies and 2014 issue of Ceasura with poem entitled "PTSD."

Jeffrey Leonard served in the U.S. Army between 1966-1968. Drafted out of San Jose State, he trained as a 11C40, leaving the service as an E-5. He is a 12th generation descendant of men who have served in every major conflict dating back to pre-Revolutionary America. A survivor of the Vietnam Era, he is drawn to the stories of the returning soldiers and how their lives unfold after they remove the uniform. Writing--especially poetry--is a powerful tool that Jeffrey uses to express conflicting, mysterious, dark, and difficult thoughts and emotions. He has spent the last 30 years as an Elementary Educator.

Amy Meier was born in New York City and has lived in the San Jose, CA area for over 30 years. Amy's poems have been published in Porter Gulch Review, Caesura, Portside, and Remembering, An Anthology of Poems Read at Willow Glen Books. She has been a featured reader at Flash Fiction Forum in San Jose, California, Stone Griffen Gallery and TEN10 Gallery in Campbell, CA. In 2015 Amy founded VeteransWrite, a writing group for veterans and their family members, currently meeting once a month on the San Jose State University campus, and performed with this group at the 2016 San Jose Poetry Festival.



Thanks to all who attended events in the 2019 San José Poetry Festival! See highlights on Facebook and YouTube!

Caesura 2019 Online Selections are here!
Completely different from the print version!
Get your print copy of Caesura 2019: Arrival
at all PCSJ events!

For more community events and updates
find us on Facebook