$10 – $45

5th Annual San José Poetry Festival

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SoFA District, downtown San José

South 1st Street

San José, CA 95113

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We are excited to announce the Fifth Annual San José Poetry Festival celebrating our community's diverse ethnic and cultural heritage with a wide range of topics and literary styles reflected in our festival performances and workshops.

Thursday night September 5th, 7:00pm at Caffe Frascati (315 S. 1st St.) features a new performance from Filipino poet Jason Bayani. He is a Kundiman fellow and veteran of the National Poetry Slam scene whose work has been published in Fourteen Hills, Muzzle Magazine, Mascara Review, the National Poetry Slam anthology, Rattapallax, Write Bloody’s classroom anthology–– Learn Then Burn, and other publications. Free admission.

The keynote address will be delivered Friday night September 6th, 8:00pm at Forager (420 S. 1st St.) by award winning poet and Santa Clara County Poet Laureate Mighty Mike McGee. His performance will be followed by readings and performances from Matt Mason (Nebraska State Poet Laureate and author of The Baby That Ate Cincinnati), Jarvis Subia (San José’s 2018 Poetry Grand Slam Champion and 2019 SVCreates’ 2019 Emerging Artist Laureate), and Janice Lobo Sapigao who is a VONA/Voices Fellow, associate editor of TAYO Literary Magazine and was awarded a Manuel G. Flores Prize, PAWA Scholarship to the Kundiman Poetry Retreat and was named one of the San Francisco Bay Area's 2017 Women to Watch by KQED Arts. Free admission.

Saturday the 7th, 6:00pm at MACLA / Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana (510 S. 1st St.) the festival features youth poets from MACLA’s program DMC Studio followed by performances from Riley O’Connell (editor-in-chief of The Santa Clara Review) and Christina Madueño (dancer and poet). The evening performance features Brendan Constantine from Los Angeles and Joy Elan from Oakland and Berkeley. Brendan Constantine's work can be found in many of the nation’s standards including Best American Poetry, Poem-a-Day, Tin House, Virginia Quarterly, Rattle, Prairie Schooner, Field, and Chautauqua. His most recent collections are Bouncy Bounce (2018 Blue Horse Press) and Dementia, My Darling (2016 Red Hen Press). Joy Elan won third place in Oakland's 2014 Got Talent for her spoken word piece, "I'm A Survivor." She won twice at the National Poetry Awards for Poetry Video of the Year (2015) and Poet of the Year (2016). In the 30th Annual The New York Book Show, she won second place for Children's Nonfiction Book Cover for Silence Is Not Always Golden: The Power of Spoken Words (2016). $15 at the door

Readings by poets from the VeteransWrite program take place at Works/San José (365 S. Market St.), 4:30pm-5:30pm. $10 at the door.

The San José Poetry Slam takes place Sunday the 8th at 7:00pm at Caravan Lounge (98 Almaden Av.) featuring Berkeley CA author and spoken word artist Bri Blue, named Best Female Spoken Word Artist in the 2014 and 2015 Bay Area Black Music Awards, and named the Most Inspiring Writer in the Bay Area in the 2014 H.O.P.E. Awards. Free admission, $5 donation welcome.

Monday September 9th, 6:00-8:00pm at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library (150 E. San Fernando St.), the festival features Gary Singh (poet, painter, photographer, and award-winning journalist who, for 14 straight years, has penned a weekly newspaper column for Metro providing offbeat glimpses into the frontiers of the human condition in Silicon Valley). He is followed by Connie Post (Poet Laureate Emerita of Livermore and winner of the 2014 Lyrebird Award from Glass Lyre Press for her book Floodwater). Also featured is the performance duo of Mark Heinlein and Myles Forman who performed at Rio Theatre as part of TEDx Santa Cruz in 2015 and performed at the 2017 Cinequest Film Festival. $10 at the door.

Tuesday September 10th, 7:00pm at Works/San José, the festival concludes with a performance from Tongo Eisen-Martin and Chris Peck the Town Crier as LOAN. Eisen-Martin is the author of someone’s dead already (Bootstrap Press, 2015), nominated for a California Book Award. His book most recent book Heaven Is All Goodbyes (City Lights, 2017) received a 2018 American Book Award, a 2018 California Book Award, and was named a 2018 National California Booksellers Association Poetry Book of the Year, and was shortlisted for the 2018 Griffin International Poetry Prize. Peck has been recording and performing “hist-hop” and “song-rap” since his first cassette in 1994. His music has been featured on MTV UK, Current TV, the Wall Street Journal.com, and in his own purple videos. Projects include Ancient Baby, a homemade album to be released on vinyl and I Wish the King, his first novel. $10 at the door.

The Small Press Fair will continue throughout the day September 8th at Forager with featured talent representing participating presses. Free admission.

The festival will feature a creative writing workshop Saturday 7th from 10:00am-2:00pm at Markham House led by Lorenz Mazon Dumuk, theme "Embracing the Ugly". Writers will briefly read an excerpt from Mia Mingus', "Moving Toward the Ugly." As a collective, we will explore what is consider "ugly" especially among own individual selves. We will discuss the importance of shifting the stigma of ugly into a place of magnificent instead of shame. Writing exercises will help guide one in discovering what power resides in one's "ugly."

A second workshop on the 7th takes place 2:30-5:30pm at MACLA led by Tim J. Myers writer, songwriter, storyteller, and university senior lecturer in English. The theme for this workshop is "Aspiring to the Condition of Music: A Song Lyric Workshop".

On Sunday 8th from 12:00-3:00pm a poetry workshop at Works/San José will be led by Brendan Constantine.

San José Poetry Festival 2019 is presented by Poetry Center San José and is sponsored in part by: Festival and Cultural Affairs grants from the City of San José; a grant from SVCREATES, in partnership with the County of Santa Clara and the California Arts Council; this event is supported in part by Poets & Writers; and with support from Anne & Mark's Art Party, Books Inc., Caffe Frascati, Caravan Lounge, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library, Forager, History/San José, Hotel De Anza, J. Lohr Winery, MACLA, Metro, Recycle Bookstore, and Works/San José.

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Date and Time

Location

SoFA District, downtown San José

South 1st Street

San José, CA 95113

View Map

Refund Policy

No Refunds

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