About Us


Steve Dickison Director

eliseSteve Dickison, Director of The Poetry Center and American Poetry Archives at San Francisco State University since 1999, curates the Poetry Center’s extensive public reading series and directs the American Poetry Archives collection of circa 4,000 hours of original recordings of poets and writers (1954 – present). 

He teaches in the Creative Writing Department at San Francisco State University, and in the Writing and Literature Program at California College of the Arts.  

A poet and writer, he edited and published the poetry press Listening Chamber (with offshoots Rumor Books and Parrhesia Press), and with David Meltzer, co-edited the music magazine Shuffle Boil (2002–06). He was a coeditor for the books Prison/Culture (City Lights Foundation) and Homage to Etel Adnan (Post-Apollo). He organized the exhibition Poetry and its Arts: Bay Area Interactions 1954-2004, at the California Historical Society in San Francisco, in celebration of the Poetry Center’s 50th Anniversary; and also the book exhibition, Recent Visitors: Poets and Publishers on the Bolinas Scene in the Seventies

, a book of poetry, was published by The Post-Apollo Press (2007). Wear You to the Ball was performed in collaboration with new music composer Bill Dietz, in London and Berlin.  Four poems from Wear You to the Ball received the 2014 BOMB Poetry Prize, selected by CAConrad. He lives in San Francisco.

Elise Ficarra Associate Director

eliseElise Ficarra came to the Poetry Center in Fall 2000 after previously working as a publications manager, promotional writer, grant writer, editor, and lecturer in English composition.

She is author of the poetry collection Swelter (Fourteen Hills Press, 2005) and a contributor to hinge, a BOAS anthology of eight women writers and has work in 14 Hills, Transfer, Scribbler and SmallTown. She has a BA in Women's Studies, an MA in English Composition and an MFA in Poetry.

Jiri Veskrna Archives Manager/Videographer

jiriJiri Veskrna has been part of the Poetry Center since 1987, and has personally videotaped and catalogued hundreds of readings by contemporary writers. Since 2000, he has worked converting fragile analog tapes to digital media, as part of the Poetry Center's extensive Archives Project.

In addition to his key role with the American Poetry Archives, he has worked and taught in the field of video production at San Francisco Art Institute, UC Berkeley's University Art Museum, at Creative Growth Gallery, Oakland, and with Channel 52 television at City College, San Francisco. He received a BA equivalent degree from the Art Academy, Prague, Czechoslovakia, later studying painting and video at UC Berkeley, and earning an MFA from San Francisco Art Institute.

In 1986, he was involved in a video project exhibited as part of the Venice Biennale. In 1990-91 he was awarded a Fulbright postgraduate scholarship to travel to his native Czechoslovakia and produce a documentary on famed Czech novelist Bohumil Hrabal, through the U.S. Embassy in Prague.

Joseph Moulian Web Design

josephJoseph Moulian is a graduate of the Creative Writing MFA Program at San Francisco State University. He began working with the Poetry Center in Fall 2004 through SFSU's Community Projects in Literature program. Joseph designed the present website for the Poetry Center, launched Winter 2006.

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