Home caesura
About Us Links
Contact Us Markham House


Become a PCSJ Member!
Click the Join or Renew button
to learn about PCSJ Membership

Join or Renew

Donate to PCSJ!
You can donate to PCSJ
in addition to or instead
of membership.
Click the Donate button below.

**Membership Not Included**

Events and News:

New Issue of Caesura: The Poetic Games, the World vs Silicon Valley

is now available for pick-up at all PCSJ events!



Poets & Film

Presented by Reed Magazine, Cinequest, and Poetry Center San Jose
Friday, March 3, 2017, 7:30pm
Featuring Kim Addonizio
with local poet performers:
ASHA, Bill Cozzini, Lorenz Mazon Dumuk, Eli Hansen, Mark Heinlein, Lita Kurth, Kimy Martinez, Mighty Mike McGee, Robert S. Pesich, and Gary Singh

Yoshihiro Uchida Hall, Room 124
San Jose State University

Fourth Street at San Carlos Street
Admission: $11, follow this link to purchase tickets.
Join the event on Facebook!

A night of poets' performances and short poetry films. A variety of topics will keep you spinning; from a love affair with a promiscuous pair of stockings to the raging passions of the famous who use a bullet to end their lives. Sex, death, and politics fill the night to assure gripping knuckles and shaking knees! These performers will grab your heart and stomp on it, so be prepared to be a casualty of this word war. We will continue the night with a collage of short poetry films, some of which capture the lives of poets in a documentary format and others are engaged directly in the words of the poet, taking you on a surreal journey. Travel in the decades of decaying trains that seem to have a destination unknown in "Destiny Nation." Find yourself being mesmerized in the meditating spinning motions of objects in "Screw." Poetry films include work by Alan Soldofsky, Bill Cozzini, Gary Singh, Kimy Martinez, Chris Knight, Thomas Bryan Michurski, and Danny Madden.

Kim Addonizio, an award-winning poet, has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, two Pushcart Prizes, and the John Ciardi Lifetime Achievement Award. She has published over a dozen books, including guides on the craft of writing poetry. Her latest books are the poetry collection Mortal Trash and a memoir-in-essays, Bukowski in a Sundress. Addonizio is also a blues harmonica player who has recorded two word/music CDs: Swearing, Smoking, Drinking, & Kissing (with Susan Browne) and My Black Angel. We will screen two of her poems that have been produced as short films through the non-profit arts organization based in Minnesota, Motionpoems. Her two poems that were selected for the project were "Cigar Box Banjo" and "Creased Map of the Underworld." Both films stunningly capture the musical syntax of Kim Addonizio's poetry.


A bilingual poetry reading in Hindi and English
presented by Poetry Center San Jose and Inner Eye Arts
Saturday, March 4, 2017, 3:30pm
Anita Kapoor, Anshu Johri, Carol Park, Jenn Lee Smith, Kalamu Chaché, Lita Kurth, Pallavi Sharma, Rekha Maitra, Salma Arastu, Sanjay Mathur, Suzy Huerta, and Tshaka Campbell

Shiv Durga Temple
1170 Kern Avenue, Sunnyvale
Admission: $5 suggested donation; no one turned away
Join the event on Facebook!

Salma Arastu is a published poetess and a renowned artist specializing in paintings and sculpture, from Berkeley. She has won several awards including East Bay Community & fund for artists in 2012 and 2014, and City of Berkeley Artist's grant in 2014-2016. Her two outdoor sculptures and several paintings are in public places and four books with poems and paintings have been published. Dard Ki Seedhiyan in Hindi (1981) The Lyrical Line: Embracing All and Flowing (2008), Turning Rumi: Singing Verses of Love Unity and Freedom (2012) and Celebration of Calligraphy (2014). A catalog was published in 2015 of her new series "Unity of Sacred Texts and Symbols." Her art and poetry speak of human universality.

Tshaka Campbell has been writing and performing his work across the globe for over fifteen years, from the Apollo Theater in NY to the O2 in London. His work has been published in magazines, poetry anthologies and periodicals as well as in a number of global advertising campaigns. He has authored two books, three spoken word albums. He currently resides in California and continues to ask the world to listen different.

Kalamu Chaché was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. Since her residency in East Palo Alto, California, Chaché has served the greater East Palo Alto community in numerous professional, executive, administrative, advocacy, and artistic areas of employment and volunteer services for a variety of community-based programs, causes and events specializing in youth/community development and the literary/performing arts in the San Francisco Bay Area. Chaché currently serves as a Cultural Arts activist, advocate, producer, promoter, author, educator, vocalist, songwriter, recording artist, performing artist, and Poet Laureate of the City of East Palo Alto.

Suzy de Jesus Huerta is a composition writing professor and poet from San Jose, CA. She is a two-time VONA alumna (2010, 2012). Her work has appeared in: La Bloga, The Packinghouse Review, Poets Responding to SB1070, Bordersenses, Poetry of Resistance: A Multicultural Anthology in Response to Arizona SB 1070, Xenophobia, and Injustice, and other journals. Suzy currently curates the new reading series, Oakland Crossroads, at Studio Grand in Oakland, California. She lives in San Francisco.

Anshu Johri authors short stories, poems and plays in English and Hindi. She has a M.S in Electrical Engineering from San Jose State University, California. Her work in English has appeared in Dukool, Vine leaves Literary Journal, Calliope, Creation and Criticism and an anthology Desi Girls published by Hope Road Publishing U.K. Her published works in Hindi include, poetry collections: Khule Prishtha (Bare Pages), Boond ka Dwandwa (Dilemma of a Raindrop), and short story collections- Shesh Phir (More Later...), and Adrishya Kinara (Invisible Shores). Her rendition of "Adrishya Kinara" is now available as an Audiobook at CDbaby.com, Audible and Itunes. Her poems and stories have appeared in reputed Hindi Literary Journals of the world. Besides writing, her other passions are theatre, painting and music.

Anita Kapoor is a published poet, author, a social activist and a Vedic astrologer. She has a Masters of Art in Hindi and English from Delhi University, and a PhD in English from Meerut University. Her published work includes Bikhare Moti, Kadambari, Achhute Swar and Os mein bhigte sapne (Poetry - collections). Her work has also appeared in reputable magazines of India and U.S.A.

Lita Kurth holds an MFA from Pacific Lutheran University and has published work in three genres. Her CNF, "Pivot," was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her CNF "This is the Way We Wash the Clothes," presented at the Working Class Studies conference, 2013, won the 2014 Diana Woods Memorial Award (summer-fall 2014) and appeared in Lunchticket 2014. Her flash fiction, "Gardener's Delight" (Dragonfly PressDNA) was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She teaches at De Anza College and in private workshops, and in 2013, she co-founded the Flash Fiction Forum, a reading series in San Jose.

Rekha Maitra is a prolific poetess and has published eleven books of poetry in Hindi. She has a Master of Arts (MA) in Hindi literature from Saugar University. She worked with the American Peace Corps for a short period as a language instructor assisting the Peace Corps volunteers while teaching them the regional language.Her passion is poems. She has participated in various literary conferences held in the US over the past several years Her poems are primarily focused on the inner feelings of human emotions as influenced by nature, love, and various experiences of real life.

Rekha Maitra currently resides in Los Angeles. Sanjay Mathur has been writing thought-provoking essays, stories, poems and nazms since his childhood. He was born and brought up in the heartland of India where Hindi and Urdu are spoken as Hindustani. Having lived in Singapore and Australia, he now calls Campbell, California his home. Professionally, he is an IT Risk and Security Leader. Whenever he gets time from his professional obligations, he composes his expression in Hindustani and English. Some of Sanjay's work was published in The San Jose Mercury News, renowned Indian magazines, British Journals, and on literary websites over the years.

Carol Park teaches English as a Second Language, in the Bay Area and, previously, for six years in Japan. For her exploring language brings great joy, but also deepening friendships and understanding of people from diverse backgrounds. Her MFA in Creative Writing came from Seattle Pacific University. In addition to poetry, she writes fiction and is revising a novel set in Japan. Her website is CarolPark.us

Pallavi Sharma is a multidisciplinary artist and her research interest concerns Asian American women's cultural production, feminist pedagogy, and activism. Pallavi's work has been exhibited widely at venues including the Queens Museum of Art, Exit Art, Art Asia Pacific, and Bishop Museum. At present, she is a board member of Asian American Women Artist Association (AAWAA) and Director of Inner Eye nonprofit art organization, San Ramon, CA. Pallavi received BA (Fine) and MA (Fine) from at the Faculty of Fine Arts Baroda, Department of Art History and Aesthetics, and her Ph.D. from National Museum Institute of History of Art, Museology, and Conservation. She teaches at California College of the Arts.

Jenn Lee Smith has an MA in Human Geography and pursued a PhD for a time studying migration of women in China and Silicon Valley. She is a grant writer for nonprofits, contributor to Mochi and Hyphen magazines, and producer for a short documentary film released this summer titled, You and I, Friend.



Reading Series
Tuesday, March 14, 2017, 7:00pm
features: Lisa Allen Ortiz and Susan Cohen

open mic follows

at Works/San José
365 South Market Street
in downtown San José
doors open 6:30pm
$2 admission, 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

Join the event on Facebook!

Susan Cohen is the author of A Different Wakeful Animal, winner of the 2015 Meadowhawk Prize from Red Dragonfly Press, as well as the earlier collection Throat Singing, two chapbooks and a non-fiction book. Stephen Dunn wrote: "There are pleasures in almost every poem in Susan Cohen's excellent A Different Wakeful Animal, pleasures that arise out of an alertness to the natural world, and the original phrasing she seeks and regularly finds." Dorianne Laux praised its “clear, distinctive voice and developed imagination.” A former San Jose Mercury News reporter, contributing writer to the Washington Post Magazine, and professor at the University of California Graduate School of Journalism, she studied poetry while on a Knight Fellowship at Stanford before going on to earn an MFA from Pacific University. Her poems appear widely in journals and anthologies, including the Bloomsbury Anthology of Contemporary Jewish American Poetry, and have received numerous national honors, including the Rita Dove Poetry Award and the Milton Kessler Poetry Prize. www.susancohen-writer.com

Lisa Allen Ortiz's book Guide to the Exhibit won the 2016 Perugia Press Prize, and her poems and translations have appeared in Best New Poets, The Literary Review and Narrative Magazine. She's recipient of two Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Prizes and surprised herself by winning the 2016 Bookshop Santa Cruz short story contest. She lives in Santa Cruz with her husband and two nearly-fledged daughters.

Next at Well-RED:
April 11: Yesika Salgado from Los Angeles
May 9: Tania Martin and Caesar Kent


Poetry Readings @ Willow Glen Library
Third Thursday of Every Month
Thursday, March 16, 2017, 7:00pm
Feature: TBA
open mic follows

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

bio to come.


Eastridge Open Mic
with host Lorenz Dumuk
Tuesday, March 21, 2017, 6:00pm
Feature: TBA
open mic follows

Barnes & Noble at Eastridge Mall
2200 Eastridge Loop, Suite #1420, San José
Nearest cross streets are Tully and E. Capitol Expressway
Free and open to the public

Feature bio to come.



VeteransWrite meeting
led by Nick Butterfield, Jeffrey Leonard, and Amy Meier
Frist Friday of each Month, 1pm-4pm

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library, room 390
Downtown San Jose/SJSU
Admission FREE

Poetry Center San Jose is offering a monthly writing group 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.


Poets @ Play
March date to come, 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.

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

The Markham House and map:



The festival will return in 2017! Bookmark the festival page!


For more community events and updates
find us on Facebook