further details

Frank O’Hara’s LUNCH POEMS 50th Anniversary All-Star Reading
Friday FEB 6 @ McRoskey Mattress Co.
1687 Market Street (at Gough), San Francisco, 7 pm, $10
($5 low income; free to SFSU students & Poetry Center members)
hosted by McRoskey Mattress Co., cosponsored by The Poetry Center, The Green Arcade, and City Lights Books

Prose at The Poetry Center, with Nigerian novelist
Okey Ndibe
Thursday FEB 12 @ The Poetry Center
HUM 512, SFSU, 4:30 pm, free
cosponsored by The Poetry Center, and the Depts of English and Creative Writing, SFSU


Poetry Center Book Award Reading
Alli Warren and Laura Moriarty
Thursday FEB 19 @ The Poetry Center
HUM 512, SFSU, 4:30 pm, free
for Here Come The Warm Jets (City Lights Spotlight Series)


Bill Berkson and Duncan McNaughton
Tuesday FEB 24 @ The LAB
2948 16th Street (at Capp), San Francisco, 7pm, $10
($5 low income; free to SFSU students & Poetry Center members) cosponsored by The Poetry Center and False Starts Reading Series

Bill Berkson and Duncan McNaughton
Thursday FEB 26 @ The Poetry Center
HUM 512, SFSU, 4:30 pm, free


MARCH 2015
further details

Robert Adamson
Australian poet in rare West Coast appearance
Thursday MAR 5 @ The Poetry Center
HUM 512, SFSU, 4:30 pm, free

Joanne Kyger and Robert Adamson
Friday MAR 6 @ Unitarian Center
1187 Franklin Street (at Geary), San Francisco, 7pm, $10
($5 low income; free to SFSU students & Poetry Center members)


Breathturn Into Timestead The Collected Later Poetry of Paul Celan
poet-translator Pierre Joris
multimedia by Nicole Peyrafitte
Wednesday MAR 18 @ City Lights Books
261 Columbus Avenue, San Francisco, 7pm, free
cosponsored by The Poetry Center and City Lights Books

Pierre Joris and Nicole Peyrafitte
Thursday MAR 19 @ The Poetry Center
HUM 512, SFSU, 4:30 pm, free


Tribute to Kathleen Fraser
Sunday MAR 22 @ CCA Writers Studio
195 De Haro (at 15th), California College of the Arts,
San Francisco, 5pm, $10
($5 low income; free to SFSU students, Poetry Center & SPT members)
cosponsored by The Poetry Center and Small Press Traffic

APRIL and MAY events tba


Dear Friend,

Greetings. If you live here, or have been to San Francisco lately, you’ll have noticed the city shifting. It’s impossible to overlook. Daily, we’re seeing this town become a less hospitable home for poets and artists, scholars and students, ordinary folks whose incomes aren’t expanding. People are pushed out, and those who hang on are finding the centers of gravity migrating elsewhere. The crux of poetic activity in the Bay Area has, for the most part, shifted outside San Francisco. The scene has changed. Mean economics and cultural migration are facts of the day. Though, let me remind you that The Poetry Center is still here, after 60 years, and we’re still vitally active.

Could you become a member of The Poetry Center? And if you already are, could you please renew your membership with a donation? This year we’ve celebrated The Poetry Center’s 60th Anniversary (1954–2014), and we’ve been fortunate to host a remarkable series of public readings, talks, and performances. Did you see Judy Grahn’s great solo afternoon (she first read for The Poetry Center in 1971, on an historic Gay Liberation bill with Thom Gunn, Robert Duncan and others); or Mei-mei Berssenbrugge and Susan Gevirtz at McRoskey Mattress Co. (for the 40th Anniversary of Kelsey Street Press)? Some of us caught Erica Hunt and Marty Ehrlich’s wonderful word & music duo at the Center for New Music; CAConrad delivered an inimitable Som(atic) Poetry Workshop at Ruth’s Table (named for Ruth Azawa, whose work table graces the room); and two stellar readings by four Pew Fellow poets from Philadelphia took place, with a follow-up Cincinnati trio in October. Maybe you heard Cuban poet Nancy Morejón, as she super-packed The Poetry Center; or across the bay in Oakland, you helped us salute late musician/activist Fred Ho? Andrew Joron joined SF State’s Creative Writing faculty, and read with Julie Carr; Ed Roberson, rarely in town, shared a night with Michael Palmer that proved an exceptional occasion; at City Lights Books, I interviewed two gentlemen, WWII Conscientious Objectors who’d been in the Waldport, Oregon CO camp; Dawn Lundy Martin came to town to read with Anne Lesley Selcer; and Kevin Killian, with Andrew Durbin out of New York, brought down the house. Now we’re coming up on our DEC 6 tribute to Kansas City poet Anne Boyer by her Bay Area friends, and this year’s George Oppen Memorial Lecture, DEC 13, features brilliant Maria Damon. We promise events for this coming year will be equally memorable.

Meanwhile, quietly, we’ve been tending to our Archives: Bay Area Video Coalition has transferred two batches of early hard-to-access videos from the 1970s and early ’80s, heading online soon at Poetry Center Digital Archive. As a video pilot, on view now are six historic readings by Alice Notley, transferred and posted for the “Alette in Oakland” Symposium last month at the Bay Area Public School’s new Omni Oakland Collective. You’ll also find online the first set from about 100 audio recordings from the ’60s — with more joining these ASAP.

We’re able to do these things with your support. Please send a check, at the $50 member level, or at our low-income level of $25. If you’re able, please make a donation of $100, $250, or even something more generous (it happens!). Members are admitted free to most events. Donations above the $50 member-level are tax deductible. And you’ll be on board as we enter our 7th decade. NOTE: you can DONATE ONLINE NOW or mail your check made out to "The Poetry Center/SFSU" to:

The Poetry Center/SFSU
1600 Holloway Avenue
San Francisco CA 94132

See you in 2015. Many thanks!

Steve Dickison
Director, The Poetry Center
San Francisco State University

PCDA logo-smallPOETRY CENTER DIGITAL ARCHIVE will be launching circa 100 rare archival recordings from the 1960s during FALL 2014. Currently posted: 50 from the '50s.

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The Poetry Center since 1954 has hosted what is likely the longest continuously running poetry reading series in the United States, presenting dozens of public programs through the year, on the SFSU campus and at various public venues in San Francisco and vicinity.

Our American Poetry Archives houses over 4,000 hours of original audio and video recordings dating from 1954 to the present.

POETRY CENTER DIGITAL ARCHIVE provides free public access to significant portions of the collection via the World Wide Web.

The Poetry Center is located on the San Francisco State University campus, in Humanities 511 (Offices), Humanities 512 (Reading Room), and Humanities 507 (American Poetry Archives).

Programs supported by San Francisco State University College of Arts & Humanities, SFSU Instructionally Related Student Activities Fund, Grants for the Arts/Hotel Tax Fund (City of San Francisco), the Creative Work Fund, National Endowment for the Arts, the Dorothy A. Fowler Trust, the Fund for Poetry, and Friends of the Poetry Center.

supports our programs

Alternately, checks can be mailed to:

The Poetry Center/SFSU
1600 Holloway Avenue
San Francisco CA 94132

Thank you!


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