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13th Annual Berkeley Poetry Festival

7 May 2015

Each year the City of Berkeley and Berkeley Poetry Festival celebrate the poets who make things happen. We showcase poets in our communities who give not only their words but also their public service, who provide both bread and roses. We also honor a poet with a Lifetime Achievement Award for many, many years of service. This year’s award goes to Rafael Jesús González, poet, community organizer, educator, cultural and political activist, and visual artist. He taught English at Laney College where he founded the Department of Mexican & Latin-American Studies.


The 13th Annual Berkeley Poetry Festival will be held on Saturday May 16, 2015 from 11:00am–5:00pm (the Book Fair starts at 11am and the reading at noon) in the Auditorium and Atrium of Berkeley City College, 2050 Center Street, Berkeley.  There will be open mic, book fair with local small press publishers starting at 11 am. Reading starts at noon.

This year’s Festival is hosted by Baruch Porras-Hernandez, poet, storyteller, cultural activist. Former Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Avotcja calls forth the muse in her invocation. We then have a host of readers: Maw Shein Win, Mg Roberts, Gabriel Cortez, Lauren Traetto, Sarah Kobrinsky, Joseph Rios, Youssef Alaoui-Fdili, Joyce E. Young, James Cagney, A. Razor, Al Young & Elmaz Abinader. We also have a special feature of poets from Berkeley City College’s art & literary journal, Milvia Street: Katie Gallagher, Lark Omura, Brad Penner & Paul Elias Taylor.


The Festival also showcases a Book Fair: small press books and other publications by the Festival’s poets, the Milvia Street art and literary journal, and a number of small local presses. During breaks and after the reading, poets will gladly sign their books. All proceeds go directly to the poets and publishers.


The Berkeley Poetry Festival is co-directed by Mk Chavez and Sharon Coleman and co-sponsored by the City of Berkeley, Councilperson Kriss Worthington, and Berkeley City College.


13th Annual Berkeley Poetry Festival flyer

Filed under: Poetry Festival

Join Milvia Street at the Sat., Sept. 27 Annual Watershed Poetry and Ecology Festival in Berkeley’s Civic Center Park, Noon to 4:30 pm

12 September 2014

Milvia Street will have a table and a “Poet-Tree” for interactive writing and displaying and selling our journal at the annual Watershed Poetry and Ecology Festival. It takes place on Saturday September 27 in Berkeley’s Civic Center Park from Noon to 4:30pm.


Milvia Street faculty coordinator will also be reading at the Creek Walk, which begins at 10am at Center and Oxford Streets on the UCB Campus. It’s a free event. Former U.S Poet Laureate and English Basic Skills Community college Instructor Kay Ryan is reading with a host of fabulous other poets.


festival poster


D.A. Powell and Kay Ryan:

DA Powell and Kay Ryan


Information from the poster:

Watershed Environmental Poetry Festival & Strawberry Creek Walk, Saturday, Sept. 27, Berkeley

Kay Ryan, Anne Waldman, Dean Rader, Al Young, Randall Potts, Phavia Kujichagulia with guitar and percussion, River Village book fair, exhibits, open mic, & more!

19th annual Watershed Environmental Poetry Festival, Saturday, Sept. 27, noon-4:30 pm, at Civic Center Park, Martin Luther King Jr. Way, at Center Street, Berkeley, one block from Berkeley BART. Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Kay Ryan; poet Anne Waldman in a rare West Coast appearance; Al Young; Dean Rader, 99 Poems for the 99 Percent; Randall Potts; paleoclimatologist B.  Lynn Ingram, The West without Water; Lucille Lang Day; Dick Bakken; Phavia Kujichagulia with guitar and percussion; Chris Olander, Tiffany Higgins, Traci Gourdine, Eliot Schain, Sharon Coleman, Doreen Domb, jazz by The Barry Finnerty Trio; Poetry Inside Out and California Poets in the Schools students with poet-teachers John Oliver Simon, Maureen Hurley, J. Ruth  Gendler; River Village book fair and exhibits featuring Milvia Street: Art and Literary Journal, Sixteen Rivers Press, Haight Ashbury Literary Journal, Berkeley Climate Action Coalition, Buffalo Field Campaign’s Buffaloon for the kids, and more.


Strawberry Creek Walk at 10:00 am precedes the main event with poetry, dance, and talk, meet at Oxford and Center Streets, UC Berkeley. Chris Olander, Tiffany Higgins, Traci Gourdine, Eliot Schain, Sharon Coleman, Doreen Domb, John Shoptaw, UCB Creek Restoration expert Tim Pine, and dancer Patricia Bulitt with Creek movement piece.


All free. Wheelchair accessible. ASL interpreters (email by Sept. 19). 100 Thousand Poets for Change event, presented by Poetry Flash and Ecology Center/Berkeley Farmers’ Market. For information, (510) 525-5476,, or visit



Filed under: Poetry Festival

The 12th Annual Berkeley Poetry Festival on Sat., May 10, 1 – 4:30 pm, BCC Auditorium

10 April 2014

Join us for:

2014 Berkeley Poetry Festival posterThe 12th Annual Berkeley Poetry Festival

Saturday, May 10, 2014 from 1:00 to 4:30pm
Berkeley City College Auditorium
2050 Center Street, Berkeley

2013 Lifetime Achievement Award presentation
Councilperson Kriss Worthington (left) presenting the 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award to Mary Rudge (center), and Richard Silberg (Right) reads the Proclamation.

Free for all!!!!


Avotcja speaking at microphoneLifetime Achievement Award for Poetry is given by the City of Berkeley to AVOTCJA JILTONILRO

Invocation by ADAM DAVID MILLER.

Avottcja speaking at microphone (right).

Readings by:

and by Milvia Street journal poets:
Come early and put your name in the hat for an Open Mike slot!!!

Sharon Coleman at mike
Sharon Coleman at mike

The Berkeley Poetry Festival is co-directed by MK Chavez and Sharon Coleman.

It was founded by Louis Cuneo and Marcia Poole.

It is co-sponsored by the City of Berkeley, Councilperson Kriss Worthington & Berkeley City College.



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  • Milvia Street

    Tuesday 1 September 2015


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