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Events and News:

Cæsura 2015 Call for Submissions is here!

Open Days at Markham House
Thursday, July 9, 9:30am to 2:30pm
Monday, July 13, 9:30am to 2:30pm

Edwin Markham House in History Park
1650 Senter Road, San José, CA 95112
Admission FREE

The Edwin Markham House at History Park will be open twice in the next couple weeks for study, writing, and collaboration. You can use this time to work on a new poem or prose, or to coax some new meaning into some work in progress. Or you can simply use it as an escape from the busy-ness that we get stuck in. The air conditioner is working and the libraries are available. Bring a lunch. Hot tea is available.

Free parking in the Staff/Volunteer lot on Phelan Avenue.
Questions? Call 408-368-0353


Reading Series
Wednesday, July 15, 2015, 7:00pm
Bill Cozzini and Esther Kamkar
open mic follows

at Works/San José
365 South Market Street
in downtown San José
doors open 6:30pm
$2 suggested donation, no one turned away
Works is on the Market Street edge of the San Jose Convention Center,
just to the right of the parking garage entrance

Esther Kamkar's books include A Leopard in My Pocket (1998), Hummingbird Conditions (2002, Ziba Press), Hum of Bees (2011, Ziba Press) and Honey Thief (2014). She received an artist grant from the Peninsula Community Foundation (2001) to publish Hummingbird Conditions in a letterpress limited edition. Her collection was used to teach a series of workshops about poetry and handmade bookmaking to children in the Ecumenical Hunger Project’s summer program in East Palo Alto. She also received a grant from the Clay and Glass Arts Foundation (2003) for her project, “Personal Narratives in Poetry and Clay”, a series of workshops for children in the Boys and Girls Club, East Palo Alto. Her poems have appeared in numerous literary journals and have been anthologized in The Forbidden: Poems from Iran and its Exiles and also Let Me Tell You Where I’ve Been: New Writing by Women of the Iranian Diaspora. She has read at numerous venues in the San Francisco and DC areas and in the UK in the cities of London, Penrith, and St. Andrews. You can follow her work by visiting her website, www.estherkamkar.com.

Bill Cozzini first started writing poetry in 1978, to express the observations acquired as a playground misfit. Though initial higher education focused on theatre, particularly the raw humanity of tragedy and comedy, he realized that expression through writing, especially the idyllic demands of poetry, challenged and fulfilled beyond performance. Because of that theatre background, especially the respect and community that theatre demanded of audience and performer, he could not deny his dissatisfaction while exploring the weekly bay area open mic poetry scene. To counter the cliquish, cold, and pedantic aspects of the weekly poetry reading community, he began working with local artists and formed the Ajax Lounge poetry series in 1992.

While publishing his own works and hundreds of other artists during those years, Mr. Cozzini realized that no earthly poem ever conceived, regardless of religious, political, or artistic intent, realized the power or the worth contained within the glory and mystery of any individual. So, with the pending arrival of his son, his community participation waned. As children grow and leave their nests, so do adults. With great respect and appreciation, Mr. Cozzini re-arrives on the San Jose poetry scene to participate with great individuals that continue to pursue great art. Though presently working as a documentarian and biographer for Roberto Tinoco Duran, Mr. Cozzini continues to write poetry, and when cameras pursue, often appears underneath apple trees reading Chaucer.


Poetry Readings @ Willow Glen Library
Third Thursday of Every Month
Thursday, July 16, 2015, 7:00pm
Feature: Jim Russo

Willow Glen Library
1157 Minnesota Avenue, San José, CA, 95125
(408) 808-3045 or (408) 266-1361
Free and open to the public

From Jim Russo: "To tell you one thing about me would be to keep so much from you. I fancy myself a narrative poet, a storyteller in a variety of topics. I began writing in the seventies while living in San Francisco and West Hollywood. I started reading plays and then began writing and rewriting plays to perform as a student actor. I have to confess my attraction to poetry is selfish. Poetry fits my temperament, to be precise and short, say it quickly and move on, I dig that. Did I mention I've been working my ass off for months self publishing three new chap books? This trilogy of collections is part memoir and part criticism."


Poets @ Play
Sunday, July 19, 2015, 1:00pm

Edwin Markham House in History Park
1650 Senter Road, 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.

How about a Midsummer-Afternoon's Dream? At this meeting of Poets@Play we will be looking briefly at some quotes from the late Kenneth Koch's "Making Your Own Days." He talked about some accessible ways to read poems and let these influence our own writing. We will do some writing, and share our poems with each other.

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

The Markham House and map:


THE FIRST VeteransWrite meeting
led by Nick Butterfield, Jeffrey Leonard, and Amy Meier
Sunday, September 27, 2015, 1pm-4pm

Edwin Markham House in History Park
1650 Senter Road, 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.

Poetry Center San Jose is offering a monthly writing group at Markham House in History Park to veterans of any age, any military experience and to family members of veterans. 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.

ADVANCED REGISTRATION REQUIRED: Email to veteranswrite@yahoo.com, with your name, branch of service and dates of service, email address or phone number. Registration and questions left at this email address will receive a reply within a week.

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 has a life long interest in poetry and her work has been included in the 2011 anthology REMEMBERING: Poems Read at Willow Glen Books and 2009 Family Album Santa Clara County. She has been the featured reader at Stone Griffen Gallery Art and the Spoken Word, and TEN10 Gallery. Her poem American Dream received Honorable Mention in the 2015 Los Gatos Poetry Contest. She is a longtime member of Poetry Center San Jose and the Willow Glen Poetry Project. Amy has 30 years experience as an Occupational Health Manager and Rehabilitation Counselor. She has an MA in Counseling from Roosevelt University, Chicago, IL, an MA in Learning Disabilities from Northwestern University, Evanston, IL and a BA in English Literature from Washington University, St. Louis, MO.


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