Cricket to Star, by Ken Weisner


Ken Weisner launched his new poetry collection, Cricket to Star, with a reading at Bookshop Santa Cruz on January 27, 2019.


From the Bookshop events page:

Join us as we welcome Ken Weisner for a reading, discussion and signing of Cricket to Star (available beginning January 27th at Bookshop Santa Cruz). His third collection of poetry, his first since 2010, eases in with nature poems that meditate on solitude, the wilderness within, and childhood—then steps down into the manuscript’s underworld…mourning the rupture of a marriage. Section three meditates on “remaking” the psyche, and moves into elegy, meditations, and the tonal refuge of irony; section four re-enters the natural world, the world of desire, and the healing gaze of love.

“There is so much pleasure to be had in Cricket to Star, Ken Weisner’s latest collection of poems, I didn’t want it to end. Weisner is like that one amazing friend, smart, funny, large of spirit, a gifted raconteur. Whether he’s describing the Truckee River and its ‘singing mouths’ or riffing on ants in his bed as ‘wise men come to the Bethlehem of my body,’ he imbues his lines with exuberance and grace. His gaze is by turns wounded, ecstatic and patient, but always ‘busy, uncovering something human, something splendid.’ I’m reminded of the bards, those consummate poets and singers who traveled the countryside. ‘He could balance chairs on his nose while juggling plates, or sing arias blindfolded,’ Weisner writes in ‘Dream.’ He might be dreaming of himself.” —Ellen Bass

“Weisner is the generous master of all possible landscapes, an inexhaustible lover and sufferer, a poet of the lyrical, whimsical and bitter truths of our times.” —Elizabeth McKenzie

Ken Weisner enjoys his day job as a De Anza College Community College English teacher, where he both advises and edits Red Wheelbarrow, their literary journal. He coordinates, with Poetry Center San Jose, the Red Wheelbarrow Poetry Prize. For fifteen years, Ken edited Quarry West out of Porter College, UCSC. Ken has published two previous volumes of his own poetry with Santa Cruz’s Hummingbird Press, including Anything on Earth in 2010. Ken’s poems have appeared most recently in Perfume River Poetry Review, Catamaran, Caesura, Nine Mile, Porter Gulch Review, and Phren-Z. Ken also teaches poetry writing at Salinas Valley State Prison.

PSC December 2018: Gerber, Vecchione

Dan Gerber and Patrice Vecchione, read for Poetry Santa Cruz and a large appreciative audience on Tuesday, December 11, 2018, at Felix Kulpa Gallery in Santa Cruz.

GerberDan Gerber is the author of nine collections of poetry, most recently, Particles: New and Selected Poetry(Copper Canyon Press, 2017). He is also the author of three novels, a book of short stories, and two books of nonfiction. A former professional race-car driver, he has traveled extensively as a journalist, particularly in Africa. He lives in Santa Ynez, California.

VecchioneAccording to Adrienne Rich, “Patrice Vecchione is one of those steady, vibrant, serious and passionate temperaments who continually replenish our sense of communal creativity. In my country of possibility, she and people like her would be nationally honored figures.”

Patrice has made communal creativity the backbone of her life through her writing workshops for adults and children, the books she’s authored and the anthologies she’s edited. Forthcoming next spring is Ink Knows No Borders: Poems of the Immigrant and Refugee Experience, a collection of 64 poems by poets from or whose families are recently from countries including El Salvador, Vietnam, Mexico, Sudan, Iran, and the Philippines.

Natalie Diaz wins MacArthur grant

Natalie Diaz MacArthur


We enjoy hearing that past Poetry Show guests are doing well, and receiving a MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant qualifies as doing very well indeed.

Natalie Diaz visited the Poetry Show at KUSP in 2013, one of three guest poets that evening. The others were James Baker and Tomas Q. Morin, and all three were on the road to promote new books published by Copper Canyon Press.

To celebrate Natalie’s good fortune, we’re re-posting the podcast from June 9, 2013.

PSC: Ahmed, Siegel


On October 9, 2018, Poetry Santa Cruz was pleased to present poets Zubair Ahmed and Matthew Siegel. Thanks to Felix Kulpa Gallery for making the reading space available.

Zubair AhmedZubair Ahmed was born and raised in Dhaka, Bangladesh. His first book, City of Rivers, was published in the McSweeney’s Poetry Series. He was named a Top Debut poet in 2012 by Poets & Writers, and his work has appeared in Poetry, Tin House, and Believer, among others.



PSC-M-Siegel image

Matthew Siegel is the author of Blood Work, winner of the Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry and was shortlisted for the Best First Collection of 2015 by the Forward Arts Foundation in the UK. Poems have appeared in the Academy of American Poets Poem-A-Day, The Guardian, PBS NewsHour, Tin House, and elsewhere. A former Wallace Stegner fellow at Stanford, he currently teaches literature and writing at San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

PSC: Sward, Lameris


24_-_DanushaThe Poetry Santa Cruz reading for September, 2018, celebrated the passing of the Santa Cruz County poet laureate torch. Robert Sward concluded his two-year term, welcoming new laureate Danusha Lameris to launch her two years in the post. The event was held on Tuesday, September 11, 2018, at Bookshop Santa Cruz.




The two poets read from their own work, followed by a question-and-answer session with the SRO audience of more than sixty. Both poets and the Q&A are included in this podcast.

PSC: Nurkse, Gomez


D. Nurkse and Nancy Miller Gomez read for Poetry Santa Cruz on June 12, 2018. The event was held at Felix Kulpa Gallery.

PSC_Nurkse-bio-900pxGomezNancy Miller Gomez’s work has appeared in River StyxRattleThe Bellingham ReviewNimrod and elsewhere.  She was a semi-finalist for the 2017 Pablo Neruda Poetry Prize and was nominated twice for a Pushcart.  She recently completed her Masters in Fine Arts in Poetry at Pacific University and volunteers as the director of an organization that provides poetry and writing workshops to incarcerated men and women in Santa Cruz County.  Her first chapbook, Punishment, was just published as part of the Rattle Chapbook Series: