Support The Poetry Center

Poetry Center programs are supported by Grants for the Arts (City of San Francisco), The Fund for Poetry, the Dorothy A. Fowler Trust, the John F. Norton Trust, the Sam Mazza Foundation, San Francisco State University’s College of Liberal & Creative Arts, and Friends of the Poetry Center.

Join us!

Letter from the Director

Dear Friend,

Greetings. Here approaching this year’s end, I’m writing to encourage your support, and ask that you make a donation to The Poetry Center. As we look back across these past months, the value and presence of poets and what they can do asserts itself. During 2016 The Poetry Center, with our limited resources, helped enable some thirty occasions where the people who devote their time, energy, and creative imagination to this art and the work it entails have been able to be heard, in public circumstances.

The range of poets and artists we presented this year is impressive by any measure. Over the course of 2016, Poetry Center programs featured 55 individuals, performing their work, with audiences ranging from an intimate group just under twenty to over 200. Highlights of the year include Nathaniel Mackey and Fred Moten along with wonderful musician Hafez Modirzadeh “orchestrating” that magic evening; our three-day Kuwentuhan (Talkstory) residency, in collaboration with Barbara Jane Reyes; a great overflowing house of 100+ in The Poetry Center for Tongo Eisen-Martin and Jasmine Gibson; the premier visit here from outstanding Cuban poet José Kozer; and Alice Notley delivering the entirety of her epic work The Descent of Alette across two nights at The Lab. We also said farewell to our friend Bill Berkson, with a memorial tribute in September. And while some of our poets, thankfully, have been with us for decades, a full 38 of our featured writers this year (something like 7 out of 10) presented their work for the first time with The Poetry Center. The vitality of new work is undeniable.

So we set up the live situations, on campus and across town, plus every one of these performances gets professionally video-recorded, and added to our extensive poetry archives — reaching forward from the 1950s. Thanks to our working arrangement with the Documentary Film Institute here at SF State, our virtual audience is expanding beyond our live audience exponentially, with every one of these newly recorded events available now for open public access online at Poetry Center Digital Archive. We remain committed to free public access, so we need to receive funds from elsewhere.

Our goal is to raise $10,000 from our individual donors by the end of the year.  We did this in 2015 and trust that we can, with your help, do it once again. Donations from individuals and small foundations are crucial to our maintaining our programming at its present high level. Grants we receive are often restricted, and cannot be used to cover certain necessary costs. Our video documentation arrangement with DocFilm is remarkably cost effective, and we need to pay for this service. Your gift is truly crucial to supporting what we do.

Online giving (besides the ease and immediacy) can also allow small once-per-month donations: only $5 per month over one year means $60; $10 means $120; $20 per month means $240. If forty people can give $20 per month we’ll reach our goal. Twenty people each making an individual gift of $500 would do the same. Giving at whatever level you can will help lift our small individual donations to this new plateau. Checks should be made payable to “The Poetry Center/SFSU,” 1600 Holloway Avenue, San Francisco CA 94132.

Please join usGrateful thanks for your generous donation.


Steve Dickison, Director

Ways to Give

Give online

There are multiple options for making online donations. Scroll down to "About Your Gift" and select "I Would Like to Support" The Poetry Center.

Give by mail (check)

Mail your gift to:
The Poetry Center/SFSU
1600 Holloway Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94132

You may wish to consider one or more of the following enhanced giving strategies:

Matching Gifts

Many companies match employee gifts up to a certain limit per year. Ask your human resources department whether your company is among those participating in a gift-matching program, or consult SF State’s matching gifts database.

Recurring Gifts

Recurring credit-card gifts can enable you to make a more significant gift than you might otherwise be able to afford at one time. You can elect to make a recurring gift on the College of Liberal & Creative Arts Donation Form. Please explore the options there for monthly or quarterly donations of any amount.

Donating Securities

For information on how to donate securities or other types of assets, please contact University Development.

Planned Giving

Through planned giving, you can make the most of your estate in ways that will leave a generous and significant legacy for future generations of chamber musicians and lovers of the art of chamber music. For further information please contact University Development, or visit the Planned Giving website.

IRS Regulations

Your gift is tax deductible to the full extent allowed under IRS regulations. For further information please contact University Development.