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.

PSC reading: Lola Haskins, Marc Zegans


On April 11, 2017, a rainy Tuesday evening at Bookshop Santa Cruz, Poetry Santa Cruz welcomed a pair of accomplished poets to the well-attended monthly event. Per the established format, a visiting poet was joined by one of our many fine local poets.

haskins_smLola Haskins was this month’s visiting poet, and the evening reading followed an afternoon workshop hosted by PSC board member Dane Cervine.





Marc Zegans opened for Lola as the local poet for April. Marc is familiar to local poetry fans, having previously been a guest for both Poetry Santa Cruz and the Poetry Show.

PSC reading: Travis Massotti, David Allen Sullivan

TravisMassottiFor the March 14, 2017 2nd Tuesday event, Poetry Santa Cruz brought Travis Massotti all the way from the Endangered Wolf Center in St. Louis, MO to read at Bookshop Santa Cruz. Travis is poet-in-residence at the Center, where he works with his wife Regina, a carnivore biologist. Regina and Travis spent time working with the Bay Area Puma Project at UCSC.



Our own David Allen Sullivan joined Massotti in a very complementary pairing. When not writing and reading poetry, David teaches English and film at Cabrillo College.

PSC Valentine’s Day 2017


This year, the February reading sponsored by Poetry Santa Cruz fell on Valentine’s Day. Accordingly, a program was assembled featuring sixteen readers, presenting two poems each, on the general theme of love. For those of us who attended and/or read, it was a lot of fun. Listen for yourself, and we think you’ll agree.

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David Anthony, guest (2015)

To help celebrate African-American History Month, we’re re-posting a podcast of the KUSP Poetry Show, from February 22, 2015. Host Dennis Morton was joined on that broadcast by guest David Anthony for some history and poetry.

Also, join us on Tuesday evening at Bookshop Santa Cruz for a special Poetry Santa Cruz Valentine’s Day reading.

Poetry Santa Cruz, Jan. 2017 – Christopher Buckley, Gary Young

Poetry Santa Cruz Presenting Christopher Buckley and Gary Young Bookshop Santa Cruz

The first Poetry Santa Cruz reading event of 2017 was at Bookshop Santa Cruz. Readers were Christopher Buckley and Gary Young. A good-sized and appreciative audience braved the elements to attend. Now you can enjoy the podcast, safe and dry and warm.


Gary Young, guest poet (2010)


Happy 2017 to Poetry Show listeners everywhere. It’s not too soon to remind everyone to mark your calendars for this month’s very special Poetry Santa Cruz reading, Tuesday, January 10. Featured readers are Christopher Buckley and Gary Young.

garyyoungTo start getting us all in the mood, this post includes a recorded conversation from the Poetry Show archives, between Gary Young and host Dennis Morton (our apologies for the missing first few seconds). It was broadcast January 31, 2010, on KUSP-FM. The occasion was the beginning of Gary Young’s term as the first Poet Laureate of Santa Cruz County.