Welcome to The Poetry Center

The Poetry Center organizes some 30 public readings, performances, and poetry-related talks each year, on the San Francisco State University campus and at other Bay Area venues, featuring poets and writers from across the literary spectrum. Our Reading Series is one of the longest consistently-running such programs in the country, with roots in the 1950s San Francisco Poetry Renaissance. Original audio and video recordings from seven decades are being migrated to online access at Poetry Center Digital Archive.

with long brown hair and cropped braids, a woman aims her phone camera at a vase of flowers; another, with dark brown curls and glasses, cradles her face in her hands, smiling; a man in white t-shirt with short dark brown hair, posed in front of a colorful billboard in Spanish, rubs his left eye, looking down

Gabrielle Daniels and Hung Q. Tu: Saturday APRIL 30, 4pm Pacific

Join us in person at Medicine for Nightmares in the Mission on 24th Street (or watch via live-stream) as we celebrate two new works from Oakland publisher Dogpark Collective, with readings by poets Gabrielle Daniels and Hung Q. Tu. [Note: Maryam Gunja is unable to attend.] Co-presented by The Poetry Center and Dogpark Collective. 

a young man with direct sober gaze looks directly outward—he has dark curly hair, and has on a dark sportscoat over a striped t-shit, while behind him olive colored drapery falls

New Voice Series: featuring Raul Ruiz, with Zêdan Xelef, Alexis Angel Romero, Bianca White: Thursday MAY 5, 7pm Pacific

Join us in person at The Poetry Center (or watch via live-stream) for the second annual New Voice Series reading, featuring SF State alum Raul Ruiz, joined by Zêdan Xelef, presently in the MFA writing program, Alexiz Angel Romero, undergrad in Chemistry and Queer Ethnic Studies, and Bianca White, undergrad in Creative Writing and Liberal Studies—all poets selected by Poetry Center student staff. 

a woman with straight combed short silver hair, wearing a pink and blue wool sweater, looks out from a backyard setting, a grey wood fence and neighboring rooftops behind her

Etel Adnan, a Memorial Tribute: Saturday MAY 14, NOON Pacific

Join us in person (or watch via live-stream) for the Poetry Center's memorial tribute to our beloved friend and teacher, Etel Adnan. Participants include Zaina Alsous, David Buuck, Naz Cuguoğlu, Fady Joudah, Stefania Pandolfo, and Camille Roy. Presented in conjunction with the Tripwire Cross-Cultural Poetics Series. Photo by Geordie Martinez, 2008. Limited in-person audience. RSVP TO ATTEND IN PERSON

Events

Poetry Center Digital Archive

137
Continuous Seasons
5,000+
Hours of Audio/Video
1954–2022
Archived Recordings
boxed open reel audio tapes on shelves in the Poetry Center archive

Poetry Center Digital Archive

The Poetry Center houses the American Poetry Archives, a historic collection of some 5,000 hours of original audio and video recordings documenting The Poetry Center Reading Series up to the present. Now available online:

  • Historic Audio Recordings: 1950s and 1960s
  • Full Program Videos: 2014–present 
  • Video Highlight Clips + Livestream Programs at YouTube: 2015–present 

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Awards

The Poetry Center offers several awards each year to recognize distinguished poets.

Resources

We offer many resources in addition to our own Poetry Digital Archive.

Support

The Poetry Center couldn't do it without the support of so many individuals.