Santa Clara County Poet Laureate Emerita
A Santa Clara County Poet Laureate Emeritus, she is editor of the DMQ Review, an online journal featuring poetry with art. She teaches creative writing at San Jose State University and for the Disquiet International Literary Program in Lisbon, Portugal. Ashton is the author of the collection of poems, Some Odd Afternoon. And of two chapbooks, Her Name is Juanita and Those Metallic Days.
California Poet Laureate Emeritus
Al Young is a Poet Laureate Emeritus of California. He is the author of twenty-two books, including ten collections of poetry, five novels, various works of nonfiction, and several screenplays. He was born in 1939 in Ocean City, Mississippi, on the Gulf Coast, and moved to Detroit with his family, where he grew up. He books of poetry include Dancing: Poems (1969), The Song Turning Back Into Itself (1971), The Blues Don’t Change: New and Selected Poems (1982), Heaven: Collected Poems 1956–1990 (1992), The Sound of Dreams Remembered: Poems 1990–2000 (2001), Coastal Nights and Inland Afternoons: Poems 2001–2006 (2006), and Something About the Blues: An Unlikely Collection of Poetry (2008). Young was a Jones lecturer in Creative Writing at Stanford University from 1969 to 1979. Since then, he has taught at a number of universities, among them Bowling Green State University, the University of California-Santa Cruz, the University of Washington, and Rice University. He was appointed the 2002 Lurie Distinguished Visiting Author at San José State University and McGee Professor of Writing at Davidson College in 2003. He has traveled widely as a cultural ambassador for the United States Information Agency and delivered lectures on literature and culture for the US Department of State. Young has received a Wallace Stegner Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Fulbright Fellowship, and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. He was named Poet Laureate of California in 2005.
Santa Clara County Poet Laureate
Arlene Biala was appointed Santa Clara County Poet Laureate in Janury 2016. She is a Filipina poet and performance artist, born in San Francisco, CA. She is the author of two collections of poems, continental drift and her beckoning hands, winner of an 2015 American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation. Bone, her first chapbook of poetry was published published in 1993. She received her MFA in Poetics & Writing from New College of CA, and was the recipient of an artist residency at Villa Montalvo.
Jennifer Swanton Brown
Cupertino Poet Laureate Emerita
Jennifer Swanton Brown served as Cupertino Poet Laureate 2013 - 2015. She has been a poet/teacher with California Poets in the Schools since 2001. Her poems have been published in multiple local journals, including Caesura and The DQM Review. She is an R.N. and serves as Director of Clinical Research Quality for the Stanford Center for Clinical and Translational Research and Education.
Cupertino Poet Laureate Emeritus
Cupertino Poet Larueate Emeritus David Denny is the author of the short story collection, The Gill Man in Purgatory, as well as three poetry collections: Man Overboard, Fool in the Attic, and Plebeian on the Front Porch. Recent poems have appeared in Chiron Review, Spillway, San Pedro River Review, and The Carolina Quarterly, among others. He holds an MFA from the University of Oregon and an MAT from Fuller Theological Seminary.
Producer/host of KKUP 91.5 FM's Out of Our Minds
Is the unofficial Poet Laureate of San Benito County. She received the 2014 Willow Books Literature Prize in Poetry for her first collection Imaginary Animal. She received a B.A. from San Jose State University, where she was founder of the SJSU Poets and Writers Coalition. She earned her MFA in Poetry from The University of Pittsburgh. She was co-founder of Sun Yat-sen University's English-language Center for Creative Writing in Guangzhou, China where she wrote for Southern China's answer to Vogue: In the Red Magazine. She is currently the producer/host of KKUP 91.5 FM’s poetry and literature show, Out of Our Minds, which airs on Wednesday nights from 8:00 -- 9:00 p.m.
Los Gatos Poet Laureate
Stan Garber, 2016 Los Gatos Poet Laureate, graduated from San Francisco State University in 1981 with a Bachelor’s Degree in English before beginning his career as a public school teacher. Thirty-four years later, Stan is Principal of Cabrillo Middle School /49ers STEM Leadership Institute in the Santa Clara Unified School District.
San Mateo County Poet Laureate
Poet Laurate of San Mateo County, Caroline Goodwin, was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska. She moved to the Bay Area in 1999 after being awarded the Wallace Stegner fellowship in Poetry at Stanford University. Goodwin received her MFA in Poetry from the University of British Columbia in 1994. She currently teaches in the MFA Writing and the undergraduate Writing and Literature programs at California College of the Arts in Oakland, CA, and also at the Stanford Writer’s Studio. She is the author of a poetry collection, Trapline, and a recent chapbook of poems, Peregrine.
Los Gatos Poet Laureate Emerita
Erica Goss served as Poet Laureate of Los Gatos, California from 2013-2016. She was born in Germany and raised in California. She has been writing poetry since she was a child. She is the author of Wild Place and Vibrant Words: Ideas and Inspirations for Poets. A graduate of the San Jose State University MFA Creative Writing program in Poetry, she is host of Word to Word, a show about Poetry, on KCAT Cable TV in Los Gatos, and writes The Third Form, a column about video poetry, for Connotation Press. She works as a Development Director for California Poets in the Schools.
Parthenia M. Hicks
Los Gatos Poet Laureate Emerita
Parthenia Hicks is the Poet Laureate Emerita of Los Gatos and a freelance writer and editor with a Masters of Divinity in Kriya Yoga. She teaches privately and performs and reads poetry in the Bay Area. She has received an Arts Council Silicon Valley Fellowship in the Short Story, \he Robinson Jeffers Tor House Poetry Prize, and the Villa Montalvo Biennial Poetry Prize She has also received two Pushcart Prize nominations, one for poetry and one for short story.
U.S. Poet Laureate
Juan Felipe Herrera is the 21st Poet Laureate of the United States (2015-2016) and is the first Latino to hold the position. From 2012-2014, Herrera served as California State Poet Laureate. Herrera’s many collections of poetry include Notes on the Assemblage; Senegal Taxi; Half of the World in Light: New and Selected Poems, a recipient of the PEN/Beyond Margins Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award; and 187 Reasons Mexicanos Can’t Cross The Border: Undocuments 1971-2007. He is also the author of Crashboomlove: A Novel in Verse, which received the Americas Award. His books of prose for children include: SkateFate, Calling The Doves, which won the Ezra Jack Keats Award; Upside Down Boy, which was adapted into a musical for young audiences in New York City; and Cinnamon Girl: Letters Found Inside a Cereal Box. Herrera is also a performance artist and activist on behalf of migrant and indigenous communities and at-risk youth.
San Francisco Poet Laureate
Alejandro Murgía is the sixth San Francisco Poet Laureate and the first Latino poet to hold the position. He is the author of two poetry collections, Spare Poems, and new collection this year a titled Native Tongue. He is also author of Southern Front and This War Called Love (both winners of the American Book Award). His nonfiction book The Medicine of Memory recalls the Mission District in the 1970s during the Nicaraguan Solidarity movement. He is a founding member and the first director of The Mission Cultural Center. He was a founder of The Roque Dalton Cultural Brigade, and co-editor of Volcán: Poetry From Central America. Currently he is a professor in Latina Latino Studies at San Francisco State University.
Santa Clara County Poet Laureate Emeritus
Nils Peterson was the first Poet Laureate of Santa Clara County. He taught in the English and Humanities Departments at San Jose State University from 1963 to 1999, where he was Coordinator of the Creative Writing for more than twenty years, and served as Coordinator of the Creative Arts and Chair of the Humanities Department. He is the author of a chapbook of poems entitled Here Is No Ordinary Rejoicing. And he is the author of three poetry collections: The Comedy of Desire, with an introduction by Robert Bly; Driving a Herd of Moose to Durango; and A Walk to the Center of Things.
Cupertino Poet Laureate
Amanda Williamsen is a native Midwesterner who now lives and writes in Silicon Valley. Currently, she is writing a poetry memoir about growing up along a river in rural Ohio. She earned her M.A. from the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University, and her poems have appeared in Baltimore Review, New Ohio Review, The Fabulist, and Midwestern Gothic.