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Poetry at San Jose State University

A resource guide to poetry at SJSU, and in San Jose and the Bay Area.

SJSU's Legacy of Poetry


SJSU has a rich legacy of poetry dating back to the 19th century. Students, alums, faculty and poet friends of the campus built the legacy and help to continue it today. Included are:

Sally Ashton, Santa Clara County Poet Laureate, 2011-present
Kate Evans, published poet and SJSU lecturer
Neli Moody, published poet and SJSU lecturer
Samuel Maio, Academy of American Poets Prize
Alan Soldovsky, Director of SJSU Creative Writing Program
Henry Meade Bland, California State Poet Laureate, 1929-1931
Lorna Dee Cervantes, American Book Award winner, 1981
Robert Hass, U.S. Poet Laureate, 1995-1997
Carolyn Kizer, Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, 1984
Nils T. Peterson, Santa Clara County Poet Laureate, 2009-2011

Al Young, California State Poet Laureate, 2005-2008

A fuller list of SJSU poets is here.

Poetry Events and Information



7:00 pm. Poetry Center San Jose presentd Poetry Readings at Willow Glen Library. More information



April is National Poetry Month

Inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996, National Poetry Month is now held every April, when publishers, booksellers, literary organizations, libraries, schools and poets around the country band together to celebrate poetry and its vital place in American culture

Reed Magazine

SJSU's Reed Magazine is one of the oldest student publications west of the Mississippi. In its earlier incarnations it was called The Quill in the 1920s and as El Portal in the 1930s. Reed Magazine was first numbered by year and volume in 1948 as The Reed. At the time, the magazine was put together by SJSU's literary society, Pegasus, with help from the Associated Student Body.

SJSU Center for Literary Arts

The Center for Literary Arts (CLA) provides readings, lectures and seminars that allow the San José community to interact with writers of contemporary literature who have demonstrated exceptional voice and vision.


Center for Steinbeck Studies

Located in SJSU's Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library, the Center for Steinbeck Studies is the only university research archive in the world dedicated solely to John Steinbeck's life and work. It features manuscripts, correspondence, photos, oral histories, first editions, films, memorabilia and art.

The Steinbeck Fellows Program of San José State University offers new writers of any age and background a $10,000 fellowship to finish a significant writing project. More information.

Search the SJSU Catalog

Poet Robert Hass taught at SJSU prior to being named U.S. Poet Laureate from 1995-1997. Search the SJSU catalog for his and other poets' work below:

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