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Call for applications for SCC Poet Laureate

Santa Clara County has an open call for applications for the 2022-2023 Poet Laureate! The Poet Laureate is an honorary two-year position, in service to the community. During their term, the Poet Laureate will act as an advocate for poetry, literature, and the arts; and contribute to Santa Clara County's poetry and literary legacy through public readings and participation in civic events. The Poet Laureate will receive a stipend of $4,000 per year, with a budget of $1,000 per year for reimbursable expenses related to their activities.

Eligibility Criteria:
* The Poet Laureate will be available to serve a two-year term, 2022-2023.
* Must be a current county resident who has resided in the county for at least three years.
* Has been published or recognized for poetry and literary contributions.
* Has poetic interests that respond to, or represent, the diversity of arts and cultures in Santa Clara County.
* Demonstrates a commitment to and passion for poetry, and embraces the opportunity to engage in civic discourse.

All application materials will be submitted through the SVCREATES online application portal: svcreates.org/poet-laureate-program
Opens August 9, 2021 and closes September 24, 2021.

The Santa Clara County Poet Laureate is sponsored by the County of Santa Clara, Santa Clara County Library District, and SVCreates, in partnership with Poetry Center San José.




See Details of All Events on Facebook


San José Poetry Slam
Sunday September 12, 6:30pm sign-ups, 7pm slam! (Pacific time)
Featuring Billy Tuggle and Slam Competition!

Hosted by San Jose Slammaster Scorpiana Xlent
To attend, registration link to come

Follow the Slam on Facebook!

Zoom room opens at 6:30 pm
Sign up list will be open from 6:30 to 7pm, Slam starts at 7

If you have never been to a Poetry Slam before, a poetry slam is a competition, imagine spoken word poetry as an olympic sport. The rules are simple: 1) Poets must use their own poems. 2) poet must use only one poem per round. 3) no musical accompianment. 4)no props. 5) there is a time limit of 3 minutes and 10 seconds. Going over that will result in a time penalty. This is a two round slam, poets with the highest scores will move up to round two. You can sign up to compete via the chatbox in the zoom room. If you're not competing, we could use judges!

Billy Tuggle is a Chicagoan, parent, teaching artist, and HipHop culturalist published by himself as well as, recently, The Knight's Library; Failed Haiku; and the Bored Friday Project. Founder of the haiku duelist society Haiku Battle Royal and co-founder of the Four Star Poets, Billy's work was recently on display for a Chicago HipHop Heritage Month installation; you can find his recent performances as apart of "Outdoor Voices In An Indoor World" on YouTube and co-hosting the long-running In One Ear open mic. Facebook & IG: Backpackfiles




Reading Series
Tuesday September 14, 7:00pm
Featuring TBA
with an Open Mic

register here
$10/$15 To see full festival lineup: bit.ly/pcsjtix

Carlos Andrés Gómez is a Colombian American poet from New York City. He is the author of the poetry collection Fractures (University of Wisconsin Press, 2020), selected by Pulitzer Prize-winning former U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey as the winner of the 2020 Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry; the chapbook Hijito (Platypus Press, 2019), selected by Eduardo C. Corral as the winner of the 2018 Broken River Prize; and the memoir Man Up: Reimagining Modern Manhood (Penguin Random House, 2012). A star of HBO's Def Poetry Jam and Spike Lee's Inside Man with Denzel Washington, Carlos collaborated with John Legend on Senior Orientation, a program to counteract bullying and champion inclusive masculinity among high school students.

Gómez's honors include the Sandy Crimmins National Prize for Poetry, the Atlanta Review International Poetry Prize, the Foreword INDIES Gold Medal, and the International Book Award for Poetry. He has been published in New England Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, The Yale Review, BuzzFeed Reader, CHORUS: A Literary Mixtape (Simon & Schuster, 2012), and elsewhere. Carlos is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. For more, please visit: CarlosLive.com

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Poet, activist, playwright and essayist Rachel McKibbens is the author of the poetry collections Into the Dark and Emptying Field (2013) and Pink Elephant (2009). The Rumpus wrote of Pink Elephant, "McKibbens awakens and haunts with selfless honesty." Her poems, short stories, essays and creative non-fiction have been featured in numerous journals and blogs, including Her Kind, The Los Angeles Review, The Best American Poetry Blog, The Nervous Breakdown, The Rumpus, The London Magazine, The Acentos Review, World Literature Today, Radius, and The American Poetry Journal.

McKibbens is a well-known member of the poetry slam community: she is a nine-time National Poetry Slam team member, has appeared on eight NPS final stages, and coached the New York louderARTS poetry slam team to three consecutive final stage appearances, was the 2009 Women of the World Poetry Slam champion and the 2011 National Underground Poetry Slam individual champion. McKibbens appeared on two seasons of Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry Jam and was featured in the poetry slam documentary Slam Planet in 2006 at SXSW. In 2011, McKibbens was commissioned by The Getty Center in Los Angeles to write and perform an ekphrastic poem for their multi-media poetry event Dark Blushing.

For four years McKibbens taught poetry through the Healing Arts Program at Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan and continues to teach poetry and creative writing and give lectures across the country as an advocate for mental illness, gender-equality, and victims of violence and domestic abuse. A poetry fellow for the New York Foundation, she lives with her family in upstate New York, where she teaches poetry and co-curates the monthly reading series Poetry & Pie Night..



Third Thursdays @ Willow Glen Library

Thursday, September 16 7:00pm PDT
featuring Jeanine U-C
and an Open Mic

online on Zoom Join here at the time of the event!
Meeting ID: 958 0079 5346 Passcode: Poems

or join by phone +1 669 900 9128 US (San Jose)
Meeting ID: 958 0079 5346 Passcode: Poems
Find your local number here

Jeanine U-C is a poet, a punster, a word play queen. She prefers near rhymes to their closer cousins, adores alliteration and absolute accuracy. Her three books of poetry "Allowed Aloud", "Letting Go of Detachment" and "Too Pretty to Be Porn" are available for purchase. Please email her at jeanine.uc.poetry@gmail.com.



Beautiful Black Books
date to come
featuring TBA
in conversation with Tshaka Campbell

online on Zoom Join here at the time of the event!
Meeting ID: 813 5977 0764 Passcode: 376494

or join by phone +1 669 900 9128 US (San Jose)
Meeting ID: 813 5977 0764 Passcode: 376494
Find your local number here

bio to come




बौछार - Bauchhaar

a theme based monthly literary reading series in Hindi

date to come, 7:30pm
Hosted by
Anshu Johri & Poppy Charnalia

online on Zoom: Join here at the time of the event!
Meeting ID: 892 2457 5262 Passcode: 441910

or join by phone +1 669 900 9128 US (San Jose)
Meeting ID: 892 2457 5262 Passcode: 441910
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kcCnAzKKRK

"Bauchhaar" invites you for our next program on Saturday, June 26th, 7:30 PM PST/10:30 EST/ June 27th Sunday, 8:00 AM IST (India time)

पोएट्री सेण्टर सैन होज़े की काव्य और कथाओं की विषयाधारित मासिक श्रृंखला "बौछार" का अगला कार्यक्रम "प्रेरणा" एक्फ्रास्टिक रचनाओं पर आधारित है, रचनाएं जो किसी कलाकृति, शिल्प, तस्वीर, चित्र से प्रेरित हो अथवा वो कलाकृतियां जो किसी कविता, कहानी के चिंतन से उपजी हो.
"Bauchhaar" the monthly reading series from Poetry Center San José presents its next program "Prerna/Inspiration" based on Ekphrastic Work. Ekphrastic is a type of poem that explores art that is poems associated with painting, drawing, sculpture, photograph, or any Artwork.

Share, and Join us: bauchhaar@gmail.com.



Poetry Lounge

Saturday, July 10, at 1:00pm PDT
featuring TBA

online on Zoom Join here at the time of the event!
Meeting ID: 885 6729 6244 Passcode: 278399



Veterans of life Write meetings
led by Nick Butterfield, Jeffrey Leonard, and Amy Meier
Meets Monthly

contact VeteransWrite@yahoo.com if interested in attending
Admission FREE (online at this time)

Poetry Center San Jose is offering a monthly writing group to veterans of any age, any military experience and to family members of veterans. and any other writers interested in joining this group. 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 Veterans of life Write, a writing group for veterans and their family members, now open to veterans and non veterans.


Veterans of life Write anthology of poetry

PCSJ has published an anthology of poetry and visual art by veterans and family members of veterans.

Thanks to all who supported the Kickstarter drive. Please use the PayPal button on the PCSJ website or contact caesura@pcsj.org to purchase books. Cost is $20.00. PCSJ members may purchase books for $15.00. Also available on Amazon.

Approximately two years ago the group opened to writers who are not veterans of war but are veterans of life in order to welcome writers of all backgrounds who have an interest in being part of this group. All levels of writing experience from beginner to experienced are welcome. The anthology is a superb collection of creative writing, poetry and visual art by the members of this group to inspire hope and encourage literary expression among our veterans of war and veterans of life.



Black Lives Matter


PCSJ believes that Black Lives Matter. Life is not a privilege, but a right for all. Everyone. Everywhere. 


Poetry Center San José denounces the murder of George Floyd, the murder of Breonna Taylor, and the murder of countless other Black and BIPOC peoples by police officers, in the years prior to 2020 and continuing since then. At PCSJ, we not only stand with the Black community, in declaring that BLACK LIVES MATTER, but we also strive to embody the belief that because Black Lives Matter, we need to make space for Black voices. PCSJ has plans to uplift Black voices the same way we have made an effort to uplift BIPOC voices with the following existing programs:


  • PCSJ elevates and amplifies the voices of our BIPOC artists throughout each programming year and provides an additional affirming space for programming for our BIPOC community at our home, Markham House at History Park San Jose.
  • PCSJ expanded and diversified its board of directors for improved representation of our community and to improve guidance of our organization's mission.
  • The editorial board for Cæsura was expanded and diversified and will now include multiple genres for publication in an endeavor to better represent our BIPOC community and their artistic endeavors.
  • PCSJ collaborates with BIPOC-led organizations and events to help support and amplify their programming in an endeavor to elevate and strengthen the diversity of our community.


This is not near enough. We are committed to more in order to show solidarity specifically with our Black community members. To that end, the following are a list of activities and programs that we have put in place and/or have plans to finalize and launch in 2021. 


  • PCSJ will continue to expand and diversify our board of directors with additional attention to our executive board. This will be an ongoing effort with changes to be announced in 2021.
  • PCSJ will commit in 2022 as sponsor of the Youth Poet Laureate program created by Santa Clara County Poet Laureate Janice Lobo Sapigao. The mission of the Youth Poet Laureate is to serve as an ambassador for civic engagement, literary excellence, and social justice through literacy, arts, and youth expression with ongoing opportunities for performances and community collaborations.
  • We will continue to offer a series of free creative writing workshops for young writers with instruction centering Black artists and writers.
  • PCSJ will continue its co-sponsorship of the Elmwood Poet Society, a creative writing program started in 2020 in Elmwood Jail that also provides opportunities for incarcerated individuals to publish their work in Cæsura and Cæsura Online.
  • PCSJ will present a recurring program featuring Black writers in conversation followed by a Q&A for an audience of young writers of Santa Clara County and surrounding communities. Subjects of discussion will include sources of inspiration that were formative, particularly the work of writers and poets. Beautiful Black Books will be launched on June 19th to celebrate Emancipation Day, to celebrate Black authors, and to help diversify the high-school curriculum.


This is a living, breathing list and we will continue to expand upon it as we strive to curate experiences that engender our commitment to equality and diversity. We stress that this is not enough to combat centuries of violence and oppression, but is part of our continued effort within our sphere to influence as part of the greater effort to help eradicate all forms of violence against the Black community, against Indigenous communities, and against all BIPOC people. For Poetry Center San Jose, this effort starts at home, here in the City of San Jose, where we hereby commit to removing our own complicit behaviors.





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:




cæsura 2020
Om & Ohm, has arrived!
view the online selections here!

Thanks to all who attended events in the 2020 San José Poetry Festival! Highlights to come on Facebook and YouTube!


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