Author and educator Tongo Eisen-Martin was just named San Francisco's eight poet laureate. His work as prison activist to revolutionary poet has taken him from San Francisco to South Africa, with stops at Columbia University and Riker's Island. In this interview, Eisen-Martin shares stories behind his art, his upbringing, and his human-rights advocacy work.
What’s it like to be San Francisco Poet Laureate? Kim Shuck gives us insight on her experience. She also talks about her writing, beading artistry and being directly impacted by the epidemic of missing and murdered Native American women.
Oakland Poet Tureeda Mikell has many stories to tell. Her first book "Synchronicity: The Oracle of Sun Medicine" is a collection of poetry that covers spirituality and Black culture, while also challenging organized religion and institutionalized racism.
U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo reads and performs her poetry, which she describes as “carriers of dreams, knowledge and wisdom,” telling an American story of tradition and loss, reckoning and myth-making.
In a quiet spot, just west of the bustle of the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park, sits a garden dedicated to English literature’s crowned prince: William Shakespeare. Once you make it past the entrance gate and down the worn brick path, you are transported into an English garden filled with manicured flower beds, trimmed lawns, and people escaping the noise of the city.
Former US Poet Laureate from 2011 to 2012 Philip Levine depicts the reality of blue collar work and workers in order “to find a voice for the voiceless,” informed by his work experience in the automotive manufacturing plants during the 1950s.
Poet and college professor Daniel B. Summerhill grew up in Oakland and first picked took an interest in creative writing when he was in high school. Since then, Daniel has performed spoken word all over the world and he’s helping the next generation of Bay Area wordsmiths find their voices.
Lawrence Ferlinghetti will be 100 years old this Sunday.
The poet and painter was the contemporary of authors Jack Kerouac and William S. Burroughs. In 1953, he opened City Lights bookstore in San Francisco’s North Beach — the first all-paperback bookseller in the country.
Lawrence Ferlinghetti will always be associated with San Francisco, but he’s originally from the East Coast. He was born in Yonkers, on March 24th, 1919, several months, actually, after his father died.
United States Poet Laureate and Fairfield local Tracy K. Smith has a new literary project, and this time it's on the airwaves. It’s called "The Slowdown". Every weekday, Smith reads a poem and reflects on the author’s words.
Songwriting can be a challenge. So when San Francisco musician Karl Digerness found himself battling writer’s block he started reading the texts from plays written by William Shakespeare for some lyrical inspiration.
Poet Spoon Jackson has won awards from PEN America, provided lyrics for Ani DiFranco, and collaborated with Swedish composer Stefan Säfsten — all while serving time. Now, Spoon is a producer for Uncuffed, KALW’s new series created by men at Solano State Prison.
Damon Cooke says that anger used to make him feel powerful. It would also get him into trouble. After getting locked up, Damon started to think about his relationship with rage as a kind of love affair — one that he had the power to end.