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Cæsura 2021: unmasking



Unmasking_Online PDF



See Details of All Events on Facebook


Beautiful Black Books

Saturday, November 6, 11am-1pm
featuring Nikki Skies
in conversation with Tshaka Campbell

online on Zoom Join here at the time of the event!
Meeting ID: 827 1021 8907 Passcode: 629178

or join by phone +1 669 900 9128 US (San Jose)
Meeting ID: 827 1021 8907 Passcode: 629178
Find your local number here

Nikki Skies is an author/poet/playwright/performer. She is best known for her fiery performances as a featured poet in venues across the country opening for the likes of Sonia Sanchez, Saul William and the late Amiri Baraka. More recently, for television, Nikki was on the writing team for the late John Singleton's television show, Rebel, as well as a guest actor. A firm believer in education, she has her BA from Grambling State University, studied for her MA in Film and African Women's Studies from Howard University and Clark Atlanta University respectively and is currently a PhD student in Performance Studies at the University of Georgia. Nikki is currently serving as dramaturge for an upcoming Atlanta production of August Wilson's Gem of the Ocean, finishing a full length play and enjoying her time as a lecturer at Spelman College teaching the interdisciplines of the arts.



Reading Series
Tuesday November 9, 7:00pm
Featuring TBA
Co-sponsored by Works/San José art and performance center

Zoom channel opens at 7:00pm. Open mic follows the featured reading. Each participant has 5 minutes.

Join the Zoom meeting HERE at the time of the event!

or join by phone: +1 669 900 9128 US (San Jose)
Meeting ID: 852 5121 6333 Passcode: 037604
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kdfk8LVFtq

bios to come.



Haiku Poetry Workshop
Sunday November 14, 10:00am-4:00pm
led by Patricia J. Machmiller via Zoom

online on Zoom Register in advance here!

Poetry Center San José presents a haiku workshop led by Bay Area poet and visual artist Patricia J. Machmiller.

In this one-day workshop, participants will study the elements of haiku: sound and form. Participants will receive study materials and assignments in advance of the class in order to have new material to play with during the class. There will be time for writing and receiving feedback to help incorporate ideas. Class starts at 10:00am via ZOOM and concludes at 4:00pm. There will be a lunch break.

Patricia J. Machmiller is an artist, columnist and haiku poet. She is the author of two books of haiku, four books of haiga and two translations; editor of a number of anthologies and a coeditor of a saijiki. Her most recent book is Zigzag of the Dragonfly (Yuki Teikei Haiku Society, 2020). Patricia co-writes a column of haiku commentary for Geppo, the Yuki Teikei Haiku Society quarterly journal. She served as president of YTHS and second vice president of the Haiku Society of America and also served on the organizing committee for Haiku Pacific Rim. She is a member of the Advisory Board of the American Haiku Archives and the Touchstone Book Awards Committee. She resides in San José, California.

San José Poetry Slam
Sunday November 14, 6:30pm sign-ups, 7pm slam! (Pacific time)
Hosted by San Jose Slammaster Scorpiana Xlent

Follow the Slam on Facebook!

Zoom room opens at 6:30 pm
Sign up list will be open from 6:30 to 7pm, Slam starts at 7

If you have never been to a Poetry Slam before, a poetry slam is a competition, imagine spoken word poetry as an olympic sport. The rules are simple: 1) Poets must use their own poems. 2) poet must use only one poem per round. 3) no musical accompianment. 4)no props. 5) there is a time limit of 3 minutes and 10 seconds. Going over that will result in a time penalty. This is a two round slam, poets with the highest scores will move up to round two. You can sign up to compete via the chatbox in the zoom room. If you're not competing, we could use judges!



Third Thursdays @ Willow Glen Library
Thursday, November 17 7:00pm PDT
featuring TBA
and an Open Mic

bio and info to come.



बौछार - Bauchhaar

a theme based monthly literary reading series in Hindi

date to come, 7:30pm
Hosted by
Anshu Johri & Poppy Charnalia

online on Zoom: Join here at the time of the event!
Meeting ID: 892 2457 5262 Passcode: 441910

or join by phone +1 669 900 9128 US (San Jose)
Meeting ID: 892 2457 5262 Passcode: 441910
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kcCnAzKKRK

"Bauchhaar" invites you for our next program on Saturday, June 26th, 7:30 PM PST/10:30 EST/ June 27th Sunday, 8:00 AM IST (India time)

पोएट्री सेण्टर सैन होज़े की काव्य और कथाओं की विषयाधारित मासिक श्रृंखला "बौछार" का अगला कार्यक्रम "प्रेरणा" एक्फ्रास्टिक रचनाओं पर आधारित है, रचनाएं जो किसी कलाकृति, शिल्प, तस्वीर, चित्र से प्रेरित हो अथवा वो कलाकृतियां जो किसी कविता, कहानी के चिंतन से उपजी हो.
"Bauchhaar" the monthly reading series from Poetry Center San José presents its next program "Prerna/Inspiration" based on Ekphrastic Work. Ekphrastic is a type of poem that explores art that is poems associated with painting, drawing, sculpture, photograph, or any Artwork.

Share, and Join us: bauchhaar@gmail.com.



Poetry Lounge

Saturday, July 10, at 1:00pm PDT
featuring TBA

online on Zoom Join here at the time of the event!
Meeting ID: 885 6729 6244 Passcode: 278399



Veterans of life Write meetings
led by Nick Butterfield, Jeffrey Leonard, and Amy Meier
Meets Monthly

contact VeteransWrite@yahoo.com if interested in attending
Admission FREE (online at this time)

Poetry Center San Jose is offering a monthly writing group to veterans of any age, any military experience and to family members of veterans. and any other writers interested in joining this group. All levels of writing experience from beginner to experienced are welcome.

Small group setting to a maximum of 12 participants. Emphasis on poetry including prose poems. Format includes examples, prompts and guidance given by facilitators, time provided to write individually, and for participants to read to group and receive group feedback if desired. Goal is to give voice to the experiences of veterans and family members. Subject matter is unrestricted.

Nick Butterfield served for 10 years in USN-R as a Hospital Corpsman. He was activated during Operation Desert Storm, and has worked in Family Practice as a Nurse Practitioner in a FQHC Community Clinic and with the Health Care for the Homeless Project for last 17 years. Nick has been writing poetry since he was 13 years old and has participated in the Willow Glen Poetry Project and other local venues since 1996. His poems have been in 4 anthologies and 2014 issue of Ceasura with poem entitled "PTSD."

Jeffrey Leonard served in the U.S. Army between 1966-1968. Drafted out of San Jose State, he trained as a 11C40, leaving the service as an E-5. He is a 12th generation descendant of men who have served in every major conflict dating back to pre-Revolutionary America. A survivor of the Vietnam Era, he is drawn to the stories of the returning soldiers and how their lives unfold after they remove the uniform. Writing--especially poetry--is a powerful tool that Jeffrey uses to express conflicting, mysterious, dark, and difficult thoughts and emotions. He has spent the last 30 years as an Elementary Educator.

Amy Meier was born in New York City and has lived in the San Jose, CA area for over 30 years. Amy's poems have been published in Porter Gulch Review, Caesura, Portside, and Remembering, An Anthology of Poems Read at Willow Glen Books. She has been a featured reader at Flash Fiction Forum in San Jose, California, Stone Griffen Gallery and TEN10 Gallery in Campbell, CA. In 2015 Amy founded Veterans of life Write, a writing group for veterans and their family members, now open to veterans and non veterans.


Veterans of life Write anthology of poetry

PCSJ has published an anthology of poetry and visual art by veterans and family members of veterans.

Thanks to all who supported the Kickstarter drive. Please use the PayPal button on the PCSJ website or contact caesura@pcsj.org to purchase books. Cost is $20.00. PCSJ members may purchase books for $15.00. Also available on Amazon.

Approximately two years ago the group opened to writers who are not veterans of war but are veterans of life in order to welcome writers of all backgrounds who have an interest in being part of this group. All levels of writing experience from beginner to experienced are welcome. The anthology is a superb collection of creative writing, poetry and visual art by the members of this group to inspire hope and encourage literary expression among our veterans of war and veterans of life.



Black Lives Matter


PCSJ believes that Black Lives Matter. Life is not a privilege, but a right for all. Everyone. Everywhere. 


Poetry Center San José denounces the murder of George Floyd, the murder of Breonna Taylor, and the murder of countless other Black and BIPOC peoples by police officers, in the years prior to 2020 and continuing since then. At PCSJ, we not only stand with the Black community, in declaring that BLACK LIVES MATTER, but we also strive to embody the belief that because Black Lives Matter, we need to make space for Black voices. PCSJ has plans to uplift Black voices the same way we have made an effort to uplift BIPOC voices with the following existing programs:


  • PCSJ elevates and amplifies the voices of our BIPOC artists throughout each programming year and provides an additional affirming space for programming for our BIPOC community at our home, Markham House at History Park San Jose.
  • PCSJ expanded and diversified its board of directors for improved representation of our community and to improve guidance of our organization's mission.
  • The editorial board for Cæsura was expanded and diversified and will now include multiple genres for publication in an endeavor to better represent our BIPOC community and their artistic endeavors.
  • PCSJ collaborates with BIPOC-led organizations and events to help support and amplify their programming in an endeavor to elevate and strengthen the diversity of our community.


This is not near enough. We are committed to more in order to show solidarity specifically with our Black community members. To that end, the following are a list of activities and programs that we have put in place and/or have plans to finalize and launch in 2021. 


  • PCSJ will continue to expand and diversify our board of directors with additional attention to our executive board. This will be an ongoing effort with changes to be announced in 2021.
  • PCSJ will commit in 2022 as sponsor of the Youth Poet Laureate program created by Santa Clara County Poet Laureate Janice Lobo Sapigao. The mission of the Youth Poet Laureate is to serve as an ambassador for civic engagement, literary excellence, and social justice through literacy, arts, and youth expression with ongoing opportunities for performances and community collaborations.
  • We will continue to offer a series of free creative writing workshops for young writers with instruction centering Black artists and writers.
  • PCSJ will continue its co-sponsorship of the Elmwood Poet Society, a creative writing program started in 2020 in Elmwood Jail that also provides opportunities for incarcerated individuals to publish their work in Cæsura and Cæsura Online.
  • PCSJ will present a recurring program featuring Black writers in conversation followed by a Q&A for an audience of young writers of Santa Clara County and surrounding communities. Subjects of discussion will include sources of inspiration that were formative, particularly the work of writers and poets. Beautiful Black Books will be launched on June 19th to celebrate Emancipation Day, to celebrate Black authors, and to help diversify the high-school curriculum.


This is a living, breathing list and we will continue to expand upon it as we strive to curate experiences that engender our commitment to equality and diversity. We stress that this is not enough to combat centuries of violence and oppression, but is part of our continued effort within our sphere to influence as part of the greater effort to help eradicate all forms of violence against the Black community, against Indigenous communities, and against all BIPOC people. For Poetry Center San Jose, this effort starts at home, here in the City of San Jose, where we hereby commit to removing our own complicit behaviors.





Poets @ Play
topic: tba
Edwin Markham House in History Park
635 Phelan Avenue, San José, CA 95112
Admission FREE
Free parking in the Staff/Volunteer lot on Phelan Avenue.
Please enter History Park from the Phelan Avenue side

Questions? Call 408-368-0353
RSVP recommended but not required: poetsatplay@pcsj.org

The Markham House and map:




cæsura 2020
Om & Ohm, has arrived!
view the online selections here!

Thanks to all who attended events in the 2020 San José Poetry Festival! Highlights to come on Facebook and YouTube!


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