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PSC: Hongo, Lysne


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PSC: Willis Barnstone



PSC: Butler, Freitag, Ortiz, Spencer


The first Poetry Santa Cruz reading of 2018 featured a quartet of local poets (reading in this order): William Ward Butler, Meg Freitag, Lisa Allen Ortiz, and Debra Spencer. The reading, held at Bookshop Santa Cruz for a good-sized and receptive audience, was followed by a brief Q&A.

Voices of the River 2017


Audience members at the 3rd annual Voices of the River poetry reading enjoyed a beautiful October 1 Sunday afternoon and heard a lot of great poetry.

The event was sponsored by Poetry Santa Cruz, Coastal Watershed Council, Bookshop Santa Cruz, and Arts Council of Santa Cruz County.

PSC reading: Four local poets


PSC July 17_from BSC eventsTuesday, July 11, was the monthly poetry reading sponsored by Poetry Santa Cruz. Hosted at Bookshop Santa Cruz, the event featured a quartet of local poets. In reading order:

  • Ellen Grace O’Brian
  • Ziggy Rendler-Bregman
  • Elliott Ruchowitz-Roberts
  • Kevin Opstedal

A full house greeted the four readers – thanks to all who attended. The readings were followed by an interesting Q&A session with the poets. For those who couldn’t make it, or would like to hear it again, use the podcast player above.

PSC preview: Kevin Opstedal


PSC July 17_from BSC eventsNext Tuesday, July 11, is the monthly poetry reading sponsored by Poetry Santa Cruz. This month’s event is at Bookshop Santa Cruz, and features a quartet of local poets. We’ll be recording, and will post a podcast after the reading.

To whet your appetite, today’s post includes re-posting of a podcast from Kevin Opstedal’s last guest visit to The Poetry Show on KUSP, October 20, 2013.


PSC reading: Michael McLaughlin, David Swanger


For the June 13, 2017 reading event, Poetry Santa Cruz presented California poet Michael McLaughlin and local luminary David Swanger. PSC was happy to have Felix Kulpa Gallery host this month’s 2nd Tuesday reading.

MichaelMcLaughlin220Michael McLaughlin has worked for over 25 years as a poet-in-residence at Atascadero State Hospital and as a contract artist with the California Department of Corrections and with California Poets in the Schools. McLaughlin is the author of three collections of poetry: Ped Xing (Creative Press, 1977), The Upholstery of Heaven (Don’t Trip Press, 1996), and Countless Cinemas (University of Hell Press, 2016). He is also the author of the novel Western People Show Their Faces (1987). A graduate of USC’s Master of Professional Writing program, McLaughlin was founding editor of its literary journal, The Southern California Anthology. He served as poet laureate of San Luis Obispo County in 2003, and he curates Santa Maria’s “Live from the CORE” poetry/performance series. McLaughlin is currently poet-in-residence at Pleasant Valley State Prison in Coalinga, California.

Michael McLaughlin requested that David Swanger be his co-reader. McLaughlin knew professor Swanger from his student days at UCSC. Poetry Santa Cruz and David Swanger readily agreed to this request.

DavidSwanger216David Swanger is the author of Wayne’s College of Beauty (MkBk Press, 2006) which won the John Ciardi Prize for Poetry and was a finalist for ForeWord’s Best Book of the Year. He has also won the Foley Award from America magazine, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry and a grant from the California Arts Council. His other books of poems include This Waking Unafraid, Inside the Horse, and The Shape of Waters. His poems are widely anthologized, have been read on Garrison Keillor’s The Writer’s Almanac, and have been the subject of essays. From 2012-2014, Swanger served as Poet Laureate of Santa Cruz County, and participated in the recent “Four Laureates” reading.

PSC Reading: Ron Koertge, Rosie King



Poetry Santa Cruz brought Ron Koertge and Rosie King to Bookshop Santa Cruz on Tuesday May 9th, 2017.

ron koertgeRon Koertge teaches at Hamline University in their low-residency MFA program for Children’s Writing. Sumac Press issued The Father Poems in 1973, which was followed by many more books of poetry including Fever (Red Hen Press, 2007), Indigo (Red Hen Press, 2009), and Lies, Knives and Girls in Red Dresses (Candlewick Press, 2012). He is a contributor to many anthologies, such as Billy Collins’ Poetry 180 and Kirby & Hamby’s Seriously Funny. His newest collection is The Ogre’s Wife. He lives in South Pasadena, California.

rosie kingRosie King was born in Saginaw, Michigan. A graduate of Wellesley College, she came west in 1966 and did her master’s degree at San Francisco State and her doctorate in literature at UC Santa Cruz. Her poems have appeared in various journals and four poems from her first book, Sweetwater, Saltwater (Hummingbird Press, 2007) and one from her new book, Time and Peonies (Hummingbird Press, 2017), were read by Garrison Keillor on Writer’s Almanac. When not traveling, she makes her home, with pond, fruit trees, and garden, near the beach in Santa Cruz.

PSC reading: Four Poet Laureates


Poetry Santa Cruz was privileged to host, at Bookshop Santa Cruz on Tuesday evening (April 25, 2017), a reading by all four of the Santa Cruz County Poet Laureates: Ellen Bass, David Swanger, Gary Young, and Robert Sward – the current laureate and organizer of this special event.