Summer Poetry Events



Poets are converging on the SubZERO Arts Festival to compose custom poems on vintage typewriters for two days straight. On Friday, June 6 and Saturday, June 7 from 6pm to midnight, I am running a booth called “The Poetry Site.” Consider it a composition studio where poets generate original verse tailored to its recipients. We’ll be in the thick of SubZERO–an annual event that closes off South First Street and fills it with art of every imaginable stripe. It is, leaving all hyperbole at the door, the most large-scale and high-energy arts event in San Jose. You really must see for yourself.

Follow the twitter for booth updates: @PoetLaureateSCC

Visit the SubZERO site for more festival info:




From June 30 to July 11, I am facilitating a poetry composition course for teens. The course will be held through the School of Arts and Culture at the Mexican Heritage Plaza. If you know of a young poet you think would be interested, their parents can call (408) 794-6250 for information and enrollment. The School charges a tuition fee but can often offer scholarships based on financial need. I will also be offering a video production workshop at the School from July 14 to July 25. For general information about the School of Arts and Culture, visit




This past April I hosted the 5th Annual San Jose Museum of Art Poetry Invitational, an event where poets perform original works inspired by art in the Museum’s collection. If you missed it, you can read the poems on SJMA’s Tumblr page beside pictures of the artwork! They will post a new piece each week (seven in all). The first two are already up! View the poems and artwork at

Special thanks to Lucy Larson, Director of Education at SJMA.

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5th Annual San Jose Museum of Art Poetry Invitational – April 17 – 7pm


Poetry and visual art come together on April 17 at the Annual SJMA Poetry Invitational. Poets write pieces inspired by work in the exhibit “Initial Public Offering” then read their poetry side-by-side with the art. Join us for what has become a proud San Jose tradition. Special thanks to Poetry Center San Jose for co-sponsoring this event.

Thursday, April 17 @ 7pm
$5 Admission (free for museum members)
110 S Market St, San Jose, CA 95110
Reading to be held in the exhibit “Initial Public Offering”

Featured poets include Jason Bayani, Kimberly Cates Escamilla, Evan Karp, Jennifer Swanton Brown, Jasper Haze, Claudia McIsaac, Sally Ashton, Nils Peterson and myself.


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April Events


National Poetry Month is upon us, and here are my upcoming events! Also, as many have requested, here is the video of the speech I gave at my reception. Special thanks to Poetry Center San Jose for co-sponsoring these events. Learn more about all PCSJ does to promote poetry in the South Bay at If you have questions, email me at If you want reminders as events get closer, follow my Twitter @dperezer. Enjoy your poetry month!

  • April 5
    Milpitas Library Poetry Reading
    The Milpitas poetry community is truly extraordinary. I’m proud to be in their space once again to read alongside Erica Goss (Poet Laureate of Los Gatos) and Kim Johnson (spoken word sensation). The event also features two former Milpitas Poetry Slam winners, Liala Zaray and Ahsan Zahid. The event comes complete with free food and musical guest, cellist Freya Seeburger. I will also give a poetry workshop at the library at 1pm. Both the workshop and the reading will take place in the auditorium. Email Lauren Teixeira at or visit the Facebook event for more info.
  • April 10 and 19
    Campbell Library Youth Poetry Workshops
    4:30pm (on both days)
    This is a series of two poetry composition courses for youth ages 13 to 17. You don’t need to have written before. If you have a piece you’d like to polish up, bring it, and I’ll give you some revision techniques. I’m flexible on the ages. Any young person interested in poetry is welcome to join. Just ask the staff at the front desk where to find the poetry workshop and they’ll let you know where we’re meeting. Email Klara Kim at for more info.
  • April 17
    5th Annual San Jose Museum of Art Poetry Invitational
    Entrance fee: $5 (free for Museum members)

    This event brings the worlds of visual art and poetry together through the practice of ekphrasis. Poets perform original works inspired by art on display at the museum. Each poet reads while standing beside his or her chosen art piece. This year, all poems relate to work in the exhibit “Initial Public Offering.” Featured poets include Kimberly Escamilla, Jennifer Swanton Brown, Jason Bayani, Claudia McIsaac, Jasper Haze, Evan Karp, Nils Peterson, Sally Ashton, and myself. You can’t miss the location. Just come in through the front door and “Initial Public Offering” is immediately to your right. Visit the Facebook Event for more info.
  • April 24
    San Jose State University’s Legacy of Poetry Day
    Every year, SJSU hosts this event, and this they’re holding it in honor of poets Wanda Coleman and Edwin Markham. I am proud to share the stage with Joy Harjo, Al Young and Sally Ashton and Nils Peterson. We will be reading poems from Coleman and Markham in addition to our own works. The event is held out doors at SJSU right in front of the campus entrance to the MLK library. Visit the SJSU Legacy of Poetry page for more info.
  • April 24 and 26
    Gilroy Library Poetry Workshops
    5pm (on 4-24) / 2pm (on 4-26)

    This is a series of two poetry composition courses for writers of all ages. You can come to one workshop or both. We will do a lot of in-class writing. Coming on both days will give you the chance to revise your work from the first day and bring it in for another round of feedback and edits. Email Kelly Bennan Young at for more info.


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Interview with Poetry Center San Jose


I sat down with Brian Romaine of Poetry Center San Jose, and we had ourselves quite a chat about the written word, the favorable effects of art in our daily lives and, of course, the Russian flavor of Judo. Read the interview at:

Also, don’t forget that you’re invited to my reception and launch event. We will hear from Santa Clara County Poet Laureate Emeritus, Sally Ashton among others. I will share some remarks on the value of poetry and the role the Laureate plays in making it more available and accessible. I’ll also give a reading consisting of poems from my book and from my more recent musings.

Reception Details:

Saturday, March 15


Campbell Library Community Room

77 Harrison Ave. / Campbell, CA



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Poet Laureate Launch Event / Saturday, March 15 / 3-4:30pm


You are invited to the Poet Laureate Launch Event and Reception for newly appointed Laureate, David Perez, on Saturday, March 15.

Free to the public, the reception opens with music from a live jazz trio and hors d’oeuvres courtesy of Cafe Stritch. Mike McGee hosts. Former Poet Laureate, Sally Ashton, and Director of the School of Arts and Culture, Tamara Alvarado, offer remarks on the role of Poet Laureate and David’s contributions to South Bay arts communities.  David comments on his vision for the next two years and gives a reading consisting of poems from his book and some newer works. Guests are welcome to stay for a meet and greet after David’s reading.

Date / Time: Saturday, March 15  / 3 to 4:30pm

Location: Campbell Library, Community Room: 77 Harrison Ave| Campbell, CA 95008

Facebook users, please RSVP:

Twitter users,  you can receive updates for all of David’s projects by following him  @dperezer


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Poet Laureate Launch Event / Saturday, March 15 / 3-4:30pm


Hello blog followers, poetry fans and Internet at large!

I am honored to be taking the reins as Santa Clara County Poet Laureate. This includes releasing content and updates regarding upcoming poetry events, sharing news from poets and artists throughout the county, and facilitating my own projects. I will make every effort to keep the blog nice and current.

That said, you are invited to the Poet Laureate Launch Event and Reception! Saturday, March 15 (details below).

Free to the public, the event features a few guest speakers, a poetry reading, food, treats, and jazz! Someone asked me if Kenny G. was playing. I said if he does, I’m having him arrested.

Date / Time: Saturday, March 15  / 3 to 4:30pm

Location: Campbell Library, Community Room: 77 Harrison Ave| Campbell, CA 95008

If you’re logged into facebook and are dying to RSVP on the event page, go here:

If you twitter, I’m @dperezer

Hope to see you soon,


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Transition: Handing off!

Hand Passing Baton, Motion BlurWhat a privilege it’s been for me to serve poetry and You, the residents of Santa Clara County, as your Poet Laureate these past nearly three years! It’s been a blast, and I think we accomplished a lot of good things together: the Favorite Poems project, Poetry on the Move, our beautiful Invention: Poetry on the Move Anthology,  as well as readings, talks, and events, all the ways that our paths have crossed. Unforgettable.

Thanks so much for the opportunity to get to know you, for your kind attention, for your time and support, and most of all for your love of poetry that helps make our County, and the world, thriving and vital. And keeps the little wheels turning in my heart.

You are in good hands! Expect to hear from Santa Clara County Poet Laureate David Perez sometime very soon. He’ll give the blog a new look, and I know he has more in store for you than that. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, if you’d like to keep up with my shenanigans, you can check in at The Bloggery ( where I’ll be posting my event calendar and various musings in the days ahead. Follow the blog, and you’ll get updates as they appear.

One of my favorite poems at  times of transitions such as this is Emily Dickinson’s #76. The poem speaks to the excitement and mystery of leaving the known world, whether on a real journey or a journey of the imagination.

Exultation is the going
Of an inland soul to sea,
Past the houses—past the headlands—
Into deep Eternity—

Bred as we, among the mountains,
Can the sailor understand
The divine intoxication
Of the first league out from land?

But as in all good things, “going” is both happy and sad. As David and I sail out on our next adventures, he as Laureate, me as poet and friend, I know we both look forward to seeing you soon at upcoming events. Cheers!

Sally Ashton
Santa Clara County Poet Laureate
2011-2013, Over and out!


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