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Saturday all-day pass:
$20 General
$15 PCSJ Members
$5 Students
Sunday workshops:
$30 General
$25 PCSJ Members
$10 Student

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festival venue:
History Park San José
1650 Senter Road
San José, California
link to map

previous festivals


Khalilah Ramirez dance performance with Arlene Biala reading at San José Poetry Festival 2017

Poetry Center San José presents
the 2018 San José Poetry Festival

The fourth annual San José Poetry Festival will celebrate our community's diverse ethnic and cultural heritage with a wide range of topics and literary styles reflected in performances and workshops.

a day of readings and performances:
Saturday, October 13, 2018, 9am to 5pm
a day of workshops:
Sunday, October 14, 2018,
9am to 5pm
History Park San José

Matthew Zapruder keynote, Kanyon Sayers-Roods, ASHA,

Lisa Rosenberg, Poetess Kalamu Chaché, Yesika Salgado, and many, many more poets!

The diverse voices of local and California poets, along with:
Small Press Fair, Booksignings, Poetry Across Cultures, Spoken Word Performances, Poetry Workshop Day, and much, much more!

Saturday poetry schedule:
Markham House Main Stage events plus staggered events to choose from:

9:00-9:30am, Markham House Main Stage
Blessing/Invocation by Kanyon Sayers-Roods, Costanoan Ohlone-Mutsun and Chumash, also goes by her given Native name, Coyote Woman.

9:30-10:20am, Renzel Room
Yuki Teikei Haiku Society: Alison Woolpert and Karina Young

10:00-10:50am, Firehouse
Pranita Patel and Aparna Ganguly

10:30-11:20am, Renzel Room
VeteransWrite: Dale Barnett, Nick Butterfield, Emilio Gallegos, Jeffrey Leonard, Amy Meier, Doug Nelson, Carol Steele

11:30-12:20pm, Markham House Main Stage
Keynote Address: Matthew Zapruder

12:20-1:40 Lunch Break: Safari Kitchen food truck will be offering affordable East African inspired Somali entrees, or bring your own picnic lunch.

1:40-2:30pm, Firehouse
Yosimar Reyes

2:00-2:50pm, Renzel Room
Barbara Jane Reyes and Samantha Lê

2:40-3:30pm, Firehouse
Poet Laureate of East Palo Alto, Poetess Kalamu Chaché, and San Mateo County Poet Laureate, Lisa Rosenberg

3:00-3:50pm, Renzel Room
MK Chavez and Yaccaira Salvatierra

4:00-5:00pm, Markham House Main Stage
Spoken Word: Joseph Jason Santiago LaCour, Lorenz Dumuk, ASHA, and Kanyon Sayers-Roods

7:00-10:00pm, Cafe Stritch, 374 South First Street, downtown San José
San José Poetry Slam with special guest Yesika Salgado

Saturday small press fair, open 9am to 5pm:
Dutch Poet Press
Deborah Kennedy
Ashok Kumar
Joseph Jason Santiago LaCour
Reed Magazine
Jim Russo
Swan Scythe Press
Thinking Ink Press
Yuki Teikei Haiku Society

Sunday poetry workshops:
Four workshops to choose from:

Terry Adams
9:00am-12:00pm, Firehouse
Intimacy in poetry is about conveying familiarity, sympathetic authority, and confidence. It is how we achieve immediacy and suggests strategies for commanding ‘center stage’ in the reader’s mind. Looking at intimacy in poetry we can reach through technique into hard choices of subject matter, point of view, and a dynamics of revelation. Participants should prepare by looking in their own ‘corpus’ of work for poems that succeed or fail in intimacy, and bring one poem to present.

Parthenia M. Hicks
9:00am-12:00pm, Renzel Room
So, What’s an Editor Anyway and Why Do You Care?
Join professional freelance editor and poet, Parthenia M. Hicks, for an informal morning of discerning tips to improve your chances of getting your work read and accepted into the journal of your dreams (or the one on your bucket list). Learn what goes on in the head of the person who receives your one magnificent poem or manuscript. Could you have done anything to avoid that rejection or are all these things rigged anyway? We'll practice thinking like an editor, exploring topics such as: effective manuscript organization—what to leave in and what to take out (even if it hurts); what your manuscript/submission says about you and your work before an editor reads even one spectacular word; choosing the right journal for your work; rejections—the Never-To-Do List. We'll discuss when or if you need to hire an editor; where to find your perfect editor and what to expect from the editor-writer relationship, including fees. We'll end by jumping out of left brain and into one or two enticing, unique poetry prompts. Expect the unexpected.

David Perez
1:00pm-4:00pm, Renzel Room
The Second Pass: A Workshop on Revision
When you sit down to re-write a piece, it is possible you will make it worse. We know this, and it is a debilitating awareness we are better off without. Still, we often succeed! We sometimes return to a stitch of verse scrawled on a napkin, add here, cut there and make it work. But this process is usually intuitive. Hard to say how we do it exactly. Some parts of this magic trick should remain mysterious, but surely we can game it a little bit! In this workshop, David shares some revision techniques that have worked for him. He also leads activities to help you fit re-writing into your process. Most importantly, we spend a good amount of time revising our work with help from others. So if you can, please bring an unfinished poem—the more unfinished the better!

David Perez served as the 2014-2016 Santa Clara County Poet Laureate. He is a repeat guest on the NPR storytelling series, Snap Judgment and a recipient of the Arts Council Silicon Valley Fellowship for Literary Art. He is the author of Love in a Time of Robot Apocalypse from Write Bloody Publishing. David has taught creative writing at San José State University and literature at Ohlone College. He lives in San José, California.

Yesika Salgado
1:00pm-4:00pm, Markham House
Workshop description to come.

Join us at the beautiful History Park San José for San José Poetry Festival 2018—two full days of inspiration and exploration!

Join the event on Facebook!

Parking: Use Phelan Avenue lots, $6 fee at back lot.

Public Transit: Take bus route #73, which stops at the corner of Phelan Avenue and Senter Road.

San José Poetry Festival 2018 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 Silicon Valley Creates, in partnership with the County of Santa Clara and the California Arts Council; Poets & Writers through grants it has received from The James Irvine Foundation and the Hearst Foundations; with support from History/San José; discounted accomodations from Hotel De Anza; and discounted advertising from Metro.