7th Annual San José Poetry Festival

September 11-19, 2021

Online thru Zoom

For festival passes and tickets to select performances, register HERE 

he seventh annual San José Poetry Festival will continue the celebration of our community’s diverse ethnic and cultural heritage while also welcoming a cadre of writers and performers from around California and the rest of the U.S. This year’s festival will remain entirely online via Zoom, keeping us all connected and inspired at a safe distance. Our roster of poets, writers and facilitators includes Arlene Biala, Rachel McKibbens, Billy Tuggle, Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz, Nazelah Jamison, Derrick Brown, Anshu Johri, GusTavo Guerra, along with many other local writers and visiting artists. Our keynote event will be led by Santa Clara County Poet Laureate Janice Lobo Sapigao and Anouk Yeh, our county’s first ever Youth Poet Laureate. You can find individual event tickets or a full festival pass at bit.ly/pcsjtix

Help support Poetry Center San José by becoming a member.

Schedule of Events Included in the Festival Pass (Pass holders will get an event reminder in their inbox for every day of the festival.)

Day 1 - Saturday, September 11: Poetry Lounge with Arlene Biala ($15 for non-members/$10 for PCSJ members & students) Arlene was featured in issue 8.1

Day 2 - Sunday, September 12: San José Poetry Slam with Billy Tuggle (Free; donations appreciated)

Day 3 - Monday, September 13: Stand-Up Poetry: Humor in Verse ($15 for non-members/$10 for PCSJ members & students)

Day 4 - Tuesday, September 14: Well-RED with Carlos Andrés Gomez & Rachel McKibbens ($15 for non-members/$10 for PCSJ members & students)

Day 5 - Wednesday, September 15: Cultura Poetry Night ($10 for non-members/$5 for PCSJ members & students)

Day 6 - Thursday, September 16: Third Thursday with Jeanine U-C (Free; donations appreciated)

Day 7 - Friday, September 17: Yuki Teikei Haiku Society ($10 for non-members/$5 for PCSJ members & students)

Day 8 - Saturday, September 18: Festival Keynote with Santa Clara County Poet Laureate Janice Lobo Sapigao, SCC Youth Poet Laureate Anouk Yeh and SCC Youth Vice Poet Laureate Mahder Aklilu(Free; donations appreciated). Find out more about Janice in issue 13.1 and in Content Podcast

Day 9 - Sunday, September 19: Poetry Exchange with Venus Jones (Free; donations appreciated)

Day 9 - Sunday, September 19: Small Press Book Fair (Free; donations appreciated)

Want to go all-in for poetry? Get a festival pass to enjoy all performances with one convenient ticket and save!

Please note: Festival passes do not include workshops, which require separate tickets in order to participate. To register for workshops or individual events, check out the full festival lineup.

Scheduled Workshops (not included in Festival Pass)

Day 2 - Sunday, September 12: "We are… Peace & Justice!" with GusTavo Adolfo Guerra Vásquez

Day 2 - Sunday, September 12: "Just Get Started" with Robbie Q. Telfer

Day 8 - Saturday, September 18: Palabras & Poetry: "Love is Empathy" with Elizabeth Jimenez Montelongo. Listen to Content Podcast with Elizabeth 

Day 8 - Saturday, September 18: अन्वेषण /Anveshan with Anshu Johri

Day 9 - Sunday, September 19: "On Embracing Your Inner and Outer Monster(s)" with Rachel McKibbens

San José Poetry Festival 2021 is presented by Poetry Center San José and is sponsored in part by: Festival and Cultural Affairs grants from the City of San José; a grant from SVCreates, in partnership with the County of Santa Clara and the California Arts Council; funding from Poets & Writers; and with support from Anne & Mark's Art Party, Applied Materials Foundation, Silicon Valley Community Foundation and The Center for Literary Arts. We would like to acknowledge and offer our deepest gratitude to past venues we hope to return to next year: Art Boutiki, Books Inc., Caravan Lounge, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library, History/San José, Recycle Bookstore, and Works/San José.

Follow Poetry Center San José on FacebookInstagram and Twitter for announcements about performers and events as we get closer to the festival. Also, hear about other amazing South Bay poetry events happening between now and September!


Poetry Center San José promotes and supports the literary arts in San José. Over the past four decades, PCSJ has brought hundreds of exceptional writers from around the country to read from their works and, in many cases, to conduct workshops for local writers. PCSJ is a nonprofit organization established in 1978. Its base of operations is in the charming turn-of-the-century Victorian home where the renown poet Edwin Markham once lived, now located in San Jose History Park. Since the Fall of 2000, PCSJ has sponsored a series of readings by local poets throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Poetry Center San José is a member supported organization