Poetry Center Calendar: SPRING 2013


Unless otherwise noted:
All programs free to SFSU students and Poetry Center Members
Reduced low-income admission
No one turned away for lack of funds

PCDA logo-smallPOETRY CENTER DIGITAL ARCHIVE will be launching circa 100 rare archival recordings from the 1960s soon. Check out "50 from the '50s" —already posted 1950s recordings.

For updates LIKE us at facebook.

february 2013

Thursday FEB 6 Ana Castillo and Benjamin Hollander
4:30 pm @ The Poetry Center HUM 512, SFSU, free


Ana Castillo is a celebrated poet, novelist, short story writer, essayist, editor, playwright, translator and independent scholar. Castillo was born and raised in Chicago. She has contributed to periodicals and on-line venues (Salon and Oxygen) and national magazines, including More and the Sunday New York Times. Her newest work, the novel Give It To Me will be out from The Feminist Press in May 2014. Among her award winning, best sellling titles: novels include So Far From God, The Guardians and her poetry includes Peel My Love like an Onion, and I Ask the Impossible. Her novel, Sapogonia was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. She has been profiled and interviewed on National Public Radio and the History Channel and was a radio-essayist with NPR in Chicago. Ana Castillo is editor of La Tolteca, an arts and literary zine dedicated to the advancement of a world without borders and censorship and on the advisory board of the new American Writers Museum in D.C. Castillo held the first Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz Endowed Chair at DePaul University, The Martin Luther King, Jr Distinguished Visiting Scholar post at M.I.T., and was the Poet-in-Residence at Westminster College in Utah in 2012, among other teaching posts throughout her extensive career. More here.

Benjamin Hollander was born in Haifa, Israel and as a boy immigrated to Jamaica, Queens in New York. His books include: In the House Un-American (Clockroot Books/Interlink Publishing, Spring,2013); Memoir American (Punctum Books, Spring 2013); Vigilance (Beyond Baroque Books, 2005); Rituals of Truce and the Other Israeli, (Parrhesia Press, 2004); The Book of Who Are Was (Sun & Moon Press, 1997); How to Read, Too (Leech Books, 1992); and, as editor, Translating Tradition: Paul Celan in France (ACTS, 1988). Of his newest book, In The House Un-American, poet David Shapiro says:

"It is difficult to speak of Benjamin Hollander's masterpiece, so America, so like an inner emigration, as if we had all changed names....A book of this order comes very rarely to our consciousness; we are so censorious of new genres....[T]his book exists as music barely heard in the air becomes music of our ground, grain."

Thursday FEB 13 Alana Siegel and Ted Rees
4:30 pm @ The Poetry Center HUM 512, SFSU, free


Two poets active on the thriving East Bay poetry scene

Alana Siegel was born in Los Angeles in 1985. She graduated from Bard College in 2007, earning a B.A. in Language and Literature. Archipelago (Station Hill, 2014) is her first full-length book of poetry. Her chapbooks include The Occupations, Semata, Territory Retina, and words from Ra Ra Junction. She currently lives in Berkeley, California, collaborating at the burgeoning Bay Area Public School.

'Alana Siegel’s Archipelago adds a new presence & intelligence to a major subset of postmodern American poetry with traceable connections to Duncan’s “grand collage” & Olson’s “composition by field.” In her own way, which is “a completely different way” (G. Stein), she approaches the poem, in her own words, as “‘world-making,’ weaving & challenging the discourses of philosophy, history, science, and religion – with poetry as primary.” (Jerome Rothenberg) Her work can be read at Jacket2:

Ted Rees is a writer and radical living in Oakland, CA. He is the author of the chapbooks Like Air (Bent Boy Books, 2012) and Outlaws Drift in Every Vehicle of Thought (Trafficker Press, 2013). He has had work in Eleven Eleven, TRY!, Big Bell, Perfect Wave, Ragtag, The Poetic Labor Project, and The Best Gay Erotica 2011. Essays are forthcoming in Jacket2 and ON Contemporary Practice.

Thursday FEB 20 Judy Grahn
4:30 pm @ The Poetry Center HUM 512, SFSU, free

co-sponsored by The Poetry Center and
SFSU Women and Gender Studies Dept.


Judy Grahn is an internationally known poet, writer, and social theorist. She grew up in a working-class home in New Mexico. Seeking options not available in her small-town community of origin, she broke away and joined the Air Force. She was given a “blue discharge” (named for the blue paper on which these letters were printed) from the Air Force because she was a lesbian. This experience galvanized Grahn into public ownership of her lesbianism, into the writing of poetry, into lesbian activism, and into the project of publishing lesbian literature. She co-founded the Women's Press Collective in Oakland, California, in 1969; using a barrel mimeograph machine, the WPC published the work of Grahn and other lesbians, including Pat
Parker, Willyce Kim, and more.

The Women's Press Collective edition of Grahn's book Edward the Dyke and Other Poems appeared in 1971. Other poetry collections include The Common Woman (1969), A Woman Is Talking to Death (1974), The Queen of Swords (1987), and Love Belongs to Those Who Do the Feeling (2009). Aunt Lute published a collection of Grahn's work in 2009, The Judy Grahn Reader, and in 2012 the memoir A Simple Revolution: The Making of An Activist Poet. In addition to her poetry, Grahn has written extensively of what it means to be a lesbian and woman writer in books including Another Mother Tongue: Gay Words, Gay Worlds (1984), Really Reading Gertrude Stein (1989), and Blood, Bread and Roses: How Menstruation Created the World (1993). She lives in Oakland, and teaches at Sofia University, in Palo Alto, where she is an executive core faculty member in the M.A. in
Women’s Spirituality program. Judy Grahn holds a Ph.D. in Integral Studies, from the California Institute of Integral Studies, and is an alumna of San Francisco State University, where she earned her
BA in Women’s Studies.

march 2013

Saturday MAR 1 The Poetry Center at AWP/Seattle
4:30–5:45 pm @ Room 2A, Washington State Convention Center
Breaking Bread with the Dead:
60 Years at Poetry Center Digital Archive

with Steve Dickison, Melissa Eleftherion, Sara Wingate Gray
Associated Writing Programs Conference, Seattle, Washington


As the Poetry Center at SFSU celebrates its 60th anniversary, we remark its unique collection of historic original recordings and highlight new artistic production and digital publication emanating from the Poetry Center Digital Archive. Reflecting on the state of the archive of one of the country's most long-standing literary organizations, panelists critically engage themes of archive as public space, gaps
and presences within archives, and archive as resource for the
creation of new works.

Steve Dickison directs the Poetry Center and American Poetry Archives at San Francisco State University, and he also teaches at California College of the Arts. Co-editor (2002-06) of Shuffle Boil, a magazine of poets and music, with David Meltzer, he is author of the book of poetry Disposed (Post-Apollo), among other works.

Melissa Eleftherion is the author of huminsect. Her poems have appeared in a variety of journals and anthologies. She curates the Poetry Center Chapbook Exchange.

Sara Wingate Gray is a writer, artist, and founder of The Itinerant Poetry Library. She is currently a doctoral candidate in the Department of Information Studies, University College London (UK). She was
a Visiting Research Scholar at The Poetry Center and American
Poetry Archives.

Thursday MAR 6 Matvei Yankelevich and Julien Poirier
4:30 pm @ The Poetry Center HUM 512, SFSU, free


Matvei Yankelevich is the author of the poetry collection Alpha Donut (United Artists Books) and the novella-in-fragments Boris by the Sea (Octopus Books), and the translator of Today I Wrote Nothing: The Selected Writings of Daniil Kharms (Overlook/Ardis). He is one of the founding editors of Ugly Duckling Presse. He has recently taught at Columbia University's School of the Arts and for the MFA in Writing
at Long Island University, and is a member of the Writing Faculty at the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College. In the Spring of 2014, Matvei is the resident director of Salt & Cedar Letterpress in Detroit.

Julien Poirier lives in his hometown of Berkeley with his wife and two daughters. He has taught poetry in the New York City and San Francisco public schools and at San Quentin State Prison, and was a founding member of the Ugly Duckling Presse Collective, where he published Living! Go and Dream, a novel in the form of a newspaper, and El Golpe Chileño, a book of poems, comics and memories. His California epic, Way Too West, is forthcoming from Bootstrap Press.

Friday MAR 7 Ugly Duckling Presse in San Francisco
7:30 pm @ The Green Arcade
1680 Market Street (at Gough), San Francisco, free
Matvei Yankelevich and Julien Poirier with UDP authors
Clark Coolidge, Micah Ballard, Dodie Bellamy, Tom Comitta, Brent Cunningham, Patrick Dunagan, John Sakkis, Cedar Sigo, Sara Wintz

co-sponsored by The Poetry Center, The Green Arcade,
and Ugly Duckling Presse

“2013 small press of the year”
(The Village Voice)

Ugly Duckling Presse

"A publishing collective sustained mostly by the generosity of a volunteer staff, Ugly Duckling Presse puts out more than two dozen books of daring poetry, experimental prose, translations, and art per year....Founded as a zine in the early 1990s by college students
Tristra Newyear and Matvei Yankelevich, UDP is now located at the Old American Can Factory in the Gowanus neighborhood of Brooklyn, where many limited-edition books are made by hand using a vintage letterpress. Every book is a one-of-a-kind work of art to cherish
and display with pride."
—“2013 small press of the year” citation, The Village Voice

We've called in the Bay Area poets who’ve published with Ugly Duckling Presse for a reading in celebration of this terrific innovative small press. UDP is a nonprofit art and publishing organization for poetry, translation, experimental nonfiction, performance texts, and books by artists. With a volunteer editorial collective of artists and writers at its heart, UDP grew out of a 1990s zine into a Brooklyn-based small press that has published more than 200 titles to date, with an editorial office and letterpress workshop in the Old American Can Factory in Gowanus. UDP favors emerging, international, and “forgotten” writers, and its books, chapbooks, artist’s books, broadsides, and periodicals often contain handmade elements, calling attention to the labor and history of bookmaking.

Wednesday MAR 12 Isabelle Thuy Pelaud and guests: Christilily Chiv, Chau Nguyen, Aimée Phan, Souvankham Thammavongsa
a reading in celebration of Troubling Borders: An Anthology of Art and Literature by Southeast Asian Women in the Diaspora
12:30 pm @ The Poetry Center HUM 512, SFSU, free

co-sponsored by The Poetry Center, The Diasporic Vietnamese Artists Network (DVAN), SFSU Asian American Studies Dept.,
and SFSU Fine Arts Gallery

Troubling Borders

Join us for a reading in celebration of
Troubling Borders: An Anthology of Art and Literature by Southeast Asian Women in the Diaspora Edited by Isabelle Thuy Pelaud, Lan Duong, Mariam B. Lam, and Kathy L. Nguyen
(University of Washington Press)

Pairing image and text, Troubling Borders showcases creative writing and visual artworks by sixty-two women of Southeast Asian descent. The collection features compelling storytelling that troubles the borders of categorization and reflects the multilayered experience
of Southeast Asian women.

The diverse voices featured here have been shaped by colonization, wars, globalization, and militarization. For some of these women on the margins of the margin, crafting and showing their work is a bold act in itself. Their provocative and accessible creations tell unique stories, provide a sharp contrast to familiar stereotypes - Southeast Asian women as exotic sex symbols, dragon ladies, prostitutes, and “bar girls” - and serve as entry points for broader discussions on questions of history, memory, and identity.

“Smart, fierce, and feminist, Troubling Borders brings a ‘polyglot incantation’ of Southeast Asian voices and visions to diasporic, Asian American, and women and gender studies. Born from community activism and artistic collectivism, this thematically organized, ground breaking anthology is a labor of love and scholarship that reframes Asian/Asian America art and literature to include those at the ‘margins of the margins.’” --Laura Kina, artist and coeditor of War Baby
/Love Child: Mixed Race Asian American Art

Thursday MAR 13 George Albon and Colleen Lookingbill
4:30 pm @ The Poetry Center HUM 512, SFSU, free


George Albon's most recent book of poetry is Fire Break (Nightboat Books, 2013). Work of his has appeared in Hambone, New American Writing, Talisman, and The New Review of Literature, and poems are forthcoming in Stonecutter Journal. A long essay appearing last year from Omnidawn, Aspiration, is part of a work-in-progress called
Cafe Multiple. He lives and works in San Francisco.

Colleen Lookingbill has two books of poetry, Incognita (SINK) and a forgetting of (lyric&). She has co-edited EtherDome Press with Elizabeth Robinson and recently published an anthology As If It Fell from the Sun: An EtherDome Anthology: Ten Years of Women's Writing. Some of her visual poems have been published online in OmniVerse and Otoliths. She has writing and visual work included in the recent pallaksch. pallaksch. (instance press) and new work in the Australian publication ETZ. Her poetry has been published in New American Writing, Ploughshares, Ambush Review and Switchback.

Friday MAR 21 James Sherry and Kit Robinson
7:30 pm @ Meridian Gallery
535 Powell Street (above Sutter), San Francisco, $10/$5*

(free for SFSU students, Poetry Center members;
public parking at Sutter-Stockton garage one block east)


James Sherry is the author of 11 books of poetry and prose.
He is editor of Roof Books and founder of the Segue Foundation, Inc. in New York City. In 1976 he began Roof Magazine and started Segue Foundation in 1977. Born in Philadelphia, PA in 1946, Mr. Sherry graduated Reed College in 1968 with a Woodrow Wilson fellowship.
He lives in New York City with his wife, Deborah Thomas, publisher of Extra!, the magazine of Fairness And Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR).
His latest book is Oops! Environmental Poetics (Buffalo, NY:
BlazeVOX (books), 2013.

Kit Robinson is the author of Determination (Cuneiform, 2010),
The Messianic Trees: Selected Poems, 1976-2003 (Adventures in Poetry, 2009), and 20 other books of poetry. He has written two books in collaboration with Ted Greenwald, A Mammal of Style (Roof, 2013) and Takeaway (c_L, 2013) and is a co-author of The Grand Piano: An Experiment in Collective Autobiography, San Francisco, 1975-1980 (Mode A, 2006-2010). Robinson lives in the Bay Area, works as a freelance writer and plays tres guitar in the Afro-Cuban dance band Bahía Son.

april 2013

Thursday APRIL 3 Erica Hunt and Marty Ehrlich
brief performance and conversation
4:30 pm @ The Poetry Center HUM 512, SFSU, free

Friday APRIL 4 Erica Hunt and Marty Ehrlich
LIVE! @ the Center for New Music
55 Taylor Street
8:00 pm performance, $15/$10 CNM members
(Note: no SFSU or Poetry Center discounts for this event.)

Co-sponsored by The Poetry Center, Rova: Arts,
and Center for New Music


“…I am drawn to language for its music, for language’s capacity
to limn thought, its connection to experience, its power to still and magnify the world while one writes/reads the world/book…. I write poems that teeter on the verge of legibility, blur private and public,
set boundaries anew and implicate us as practitioners of this
moment and the next.” —Erica Hunt

Two appearances by this spectacular
New York-based poetry and music duo:

at the Poetry Center APRIL 3, a brief performance and conversation,
in advance of their Center for New Music concert Friday night APRIL 4, when Erica Hunt (poetry) and Marty Ehrlich (saxophone, clarinet, flute) will present an evening of poetry and sound. The two will collaborate in a suite of poetry / music improvisations / variations, vocalized word, sound and site sensitive, simmered on the spot. Hunt will read from new work, including the recently published "A day and its approximates." Ehrlich will also perform an evolving work for solo clarinet, "Lay Down Your Weary Tune."

Erica & Marty performance

Erica Hunt and Marty Ehrlich have performed their poetry/music collaboration over the years in numerous contexts across America. They have performed at Brandeis University, the University of Arizona, Louisiana State University, at the Naropa Summer Writing Program, and at Tribeca Performing Arts in New York City. Two recent works are “Cartographies of Flight,” looking at poetry focused around Charlie Parker, and “In the Beginning was the Word,” which combined Hunt’s recent work with Ehrlich’s compositions from his “Fables” recording. They recently performed together in 2013 at the CUNY Graduate Center in an evening dedicated to Amiri Baraka and Aimé Césaire.

Erica Hunt is a poet, essayist, and acclaimed social justice worker.
She is author of Local History and Arcade, as well as two poem chapbooks, Piece Logic and Time Flies Right Before the Eyes and
most recently, a new chapbook, A day and its approximates.
More on Erica Hunt here.

Marty Ehrlich is celebrating thirty-five years in the nexus of creative music centered in New York City. He has made twenty-five recordings of his compositions for ensembles ranging in size from duo to jazz orchestra. These groups include his Emergency Peace Ensemble, Traveler’s Tales Group, Rites Quartet, and the Marty Ehrlich Sextet. He has recorded a CD-length work for twenty-two musicians entitled The Long View, and has two acclaimed recordings in Tzadik’s Radical Jewish Culture series. In 2013 he released A Trumpet in the Morning, a large -ensemble recording of 5 long form compositions. More here.

Prose at the Poetry Center
Thursday APRIL 10 ZZ Packer and Angela Pneuman
4:30 pm @ The Poetry Center, HUM 512, SFSU, free


Saturday APRIL 12 CAConrad Poetry Workshop:
(Soma)tic Cartographies

4:00–6:00 pm (3:30 door) @ Ruth’s Table, 580 Capp Street (at 21st),
San Francisco, $10*

*$5 low income; free for SFSU students, Poetry Center members

co-sponsored by The Poetry Center and Ruth's Table: A Center for Creative Learning rooted in the life of artist Ruth Asawa


Sidebrow Books authors
Thursday APRIL 17
Joshua Marie Wilkinson and Sandy Florian

4:30 pm @ The Poetry Center HUM 512, SFSU, free

Kelsey Street Press 40th Anniversary

Thursday APRIL 24 Hazel White and Sabrina Dalla Valle
4:30 pm @ The Poetry Center, HUM 512, SFSU, free

reading and conversation with the poets and Kelsey Street founding editors Rena Rosenwasser and Patricia Dienstfrey

Kelsey Street Press 40th Anniversary

Saturday APRIL 26 Mei-mei Berssenbrugge and Susan Gevirtz
7:30 pm @ The Third Floor, McRoskey Mattress Co.
1687 Market Street (at Gough), San Francisco, $10*

*$5 low income; free to SFSU students and Poetry Center members; no one turned away for lack of funds

hosted by McRoskey Mattress Co.
co-sponsored by The Poetry Center, The Green Arcade,
and Kelsey Street Press

may 2013

Thursday MAY 1 Maxine Chernoff and Gillian Conoley
4:30 pm @ The Poetry Center HUM 512, SFSU, free

Philadelphia to San Francisco
Pew Fellowship Poets
Emily Abendroth, Sueyeun Juliette Lee,
Jenn McCreary, Frank Sherlock

Thursday MAY 8 4:30 pm @ The Poetry Center, HUM 512, SFSU, free

Friday MAY 9 7:30 pm @ Ruth’s Table, 580 Capp Street (at 21st),
San Francisco, $10*

*$5 low income; free to SFSU students and Poetry Center members; no one turned away for lack of funds

co-sponsored by The Poetry Center and Ruth's Table, with thanks to the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage



Unless otherwise noted:
All programs free to SFSU students and Poetry Center Members
Reduced low-income admission
No one turned away for lack of funds

PCDA logo-smallPOETRY CENTER DIGITAL ARCHIVE will be launching circa 100 rare archival recordings from the 1960s soon. Check out "50 from the '50s" online now.

For updates LIKE us at facebook.

Poetry Center programs are supported by San Francisco State University College of Liberal and Creative Arts, Grants for the Arts/San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund (City of San Francisco), National Endowment for the Arts, SFSU Instructional Related Student Activities Fund, the Dorothy A. Fowler Trust, the Fund for Poetry, and Friends of the Poetry Center. BECOME A MEMBER

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