In Common Writers Series: John Yau and Andrew Joron, reading and in conversation

Thursday, October 15 - 7:00 pm PS to 8:00 pm PST
Remote access event
John Yau + Andrew Joron

See the raw video at YouTube before the edited version is posted at Poetry Center Digital Archive

For the last program in The Poetry Center's In Common Writers Series for 2020, we are delighted to host renowned poet and art critic John Yau, appearing from New York City for two dates. He's joined Thursday October 15 by poet, translator, and SF State faculty member Andrew Joron, each of them reading their poetry and talking with one another and in response to questions from the audience. Then, on Saturday evening October 17, Yau is reading and in conversation, focusing on his work as art critic and curator, with poet/performer and editor of Open Space at SFMOMA, Claudia La Rocco, with emcee Brandon Brown. Thursday night's emcee is Carlos Quinteros III.

This remote-access event starts promptly at 7:00 pm Pacific Time, and is free and open to the public. Real-Time Captioning provided here. For other reasonable accommodations please contact

The In Common Writers Series is supported by the Walter & Elise Haas Fund.

  • Inauguration Day

      If you think the next President

      is going to improve your quality of life


      you choose to believe

      that war is a three-letter word


      that does not affect anyone it touches

      except the tender pages of youth


      You know, those dirty sheets

      young lovers write odes on


      before they die between blinks


      —John Yau, from Bijoux in the Dark


John Yau is a poet, fiction writer, critic, editor, curator, and publisher of Black Square Editions, a small independent press that has published books and broadsides of poetry, fiction, criticism, and translation, as well as prints. He has contributed to essays in many catalogs and museum publications, as well as written for Art in America, Artforum, Art News, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Art Press. His work is included in many anthologies of poetry, fiction, and criticism, and has been translated into French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, and Chinese. After serving as the Arts Editor for the Brooklyn Rail (2007–2011), Yau left and helped start the online journal Hyperallergic, where he frequently posts his reviews.

Yau is author of over 40 books, recently Bijoux in the Dark (poetry, Letter Machine Editions, 2018), The Wild Children of William Blake (essays, Autonomedia, 2017), Foreign Sounds or Sounds Foreign (essays, Madhat Press, 2020), and artist monographs on works by Philip Taafe (Lund Humphries, 2018) and Suzan Frecon (David Zwirner Books, 2020). He has received fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Academy of American Poets, New York Foundation of the Arts, Ingram Merrill Foundation, and the General Electric Foundation. Yau was named a Chevalier in the Order of Arts and Letters by the French government in 2002. He is a Professor of Critical Studies at Mason Gross School of the Arts (Rutgers University) and lives in New York. More at

Andrew Joron is the author of The Absolute Letter, a collection of poems published by Flood Editions (2017). Joron’s previous poetry collections include Trance Archive: New and Selected Poems (City Lights, 2010), The Removes (Hard Press, 1999), Fathom (Black Square Editions, 2003), and The Sound Mirror (Flood Editions, 2008). The Cry at Zero, a selection of his prose poems and critical essays, was published by Counterpath Press in 2007. From the German, he has translated the Literary Essays of Marxist-Utopian philosopher Ernst Bloch (Stanford University Press, 1998) and The Perpetual Motion Machine by the proto-Dada fantasist Paul Scheerbart (Wakefield Press, 2011). As a musician, Joron plays the theremin in various experimental and free-jazz ensembles. Joron teaches creative writing at San Francisco State University.

Related event:

In Common Writers Series
John Yau and Claudia La Rocco
reading and in conversation, emcee Brandon Brown

Saturday OCT 17
6:00–7:00 pm Pacific Time,
free and open to the public
supported by the Walter & Elise Haas Fund
co-sponsored by The Poetry Center, Open Space,
and Pro Arts Gallery & Commons


"Breaking Down the Limits of Identity Through Poetry," John Yau on Sally Wen Mao, Hyperallergic, May 30, 2020

John Yau and Arlo Quint at Dia:Chelsea on May 13, 2013 as part of Dia's Readings in Contemporary Poetry series

Joshua Weiner and Andrew Joron: An Exchange, at Chicago Review, July 2018

"Entanglement & The Vortex" with Anne Waldman, Will Alexander, and Andrew Joron, at the 2019 Reynolda Conference, Entanglements: A Conference on the Intersections of Poetry, Science, and Art, at Wake Forest University

Event contact: 
The Poetry Center
Event email:
Event sponsor: 
The Poetry Center