The Santa Barbara Public Library will host the first poetry reading of the 14th season of The Mission Poetry Series at 1 p.m. Nov. 5 at the Central Library’s Faulkner Gallery, 40 E. Anapamu St., Santa Barbara.
The Mission Poetry Series is curated by Santa Barbara Poet Laureate Emma Trelles.
“Coming Home: Three Poets in Autumn » features three award-winning authors: Chloe Martinez, Sara Borjas and Rick Benjamin. The title of the event is taken from the poem “Fifteen Balls of Feathers” by Ada Limón, a Sonoma native and currently the 24th United States Poet Laureate.
The event offers free flyers, poets’ books for sale, and the opportunity to meet and chat with featured authors.
This reading is made possible by the Academy of American Poets with funds from the Mellon Foundation.
Ms. Martinez is a poet and scholar of South Asian religions. She is the author of the collection “Ten Thousand Selves” (The Word Works) and the collection “Corner Shrine” (Backbone Press). Her poems and translations have been published in Plowshares, POETRY, The Common, Prairie Schooner, AGNI, Beloit Poetry Journal and elsewhere.
She graduated from Barnard College, where she was a Mellon Mays Fellow, and received her doctorate in religious studies from UCSB. She is also a graduate of Boston University’s Creative Writing MA program and Warren Wilson College’s MFA for Writers, where she was a Holden Scholar.
She is the program coordinator for the Center for Writing and Public Speaking at Claremont McKenna College as well as a lecturer in the Department of Religious Studies at CMC. She lives in Claremont with her husband and two daughters.
Ms. Borjas is a self-identified Xicanx pocha and poet from Fresno. Her debut collection, “Heart Like a Window, Mouth Like a Cliff” (Noemi Press, 2019), received a 2020 American Book Award. received scholarships from MacDowell, CantoMundo, Sewanee Writers’ Conference, Postgraduate Writers Conference and Community of Writers.
His work can be found in the Los Angeles Times, Plowshares, The Rumpus, Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day, and Catapult, among others.
Ms. Borjas teaches creative writing at Cal State East Bay and the UCR Palm Desert Low Residency MFA program, but remains grounded in Fresno.
Mr. Benjamin lives on Chumash land in Goleta and walks native trails every day. He teaches courses at UCSB, including Poetry and Community, Wild Ecology Literature, and Social and Youth Justice Literature, while also working among elders, youth at a local boys club and girls and in art museums and youth detention centres. .
Among his works are the poetry collections “Passing Love”, “Floating World”, “Endless Distances” and “Some Bodies in the Grief Bed”, and his next collection of poetry, “The Mob Within the Heart”, is expected to be released. in April. He was Rhode Island Poet Laureate from 2012 to 2016.
In addition to being the Poet Laureate of Santa Barbara, Ms. Trellis is the author of “Tropicalia” (University of Notre Dame Press), winner of the Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize. She is currently writing a second book of poems, “Le courage et l’horloge”.
The daughter of Cuban immigrants, Ms. Trelles is a CantoMundo Fellow and recipient of an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs. Her work has been anthologized in Best American Poetry; The best of the Web ; Daily Verse; Big Enough for Words: Vintage Poems and Photographs of the California Central Coast and Others.
She teaches creative writing at Santa Barbara City College, where she also coordinates the Writing Center. In 2022, she was selected as one of 22 poets in the United States to receive a Poet Laureate Fellowship from the Academy of American Poets.
MPS production coordinator Mark Zolezzi is a musician and worked as a bookseller for 20 years in college and independent bookstores. He has performed at numerous venues and festivals, including the Art Center of South Florida; South by southwest in Austin, Texas; the Center for Art and Culture in Hollywood, Florida; the Miami Book Fair; and the City Link Music Festival.
He has released albums on the Ant Lunch Musick and Hotown Records labels and earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from Florida Atlantic University. He is the textbook and textbook buyer at Santa Barbara City College and has been a community radio DJ at times on kcsb.org – 91.9 FM. He can also be found performing on State Street in downtown Santa Barbara with his band, The Gruntled.
The Mission Poetry series was founded in 2009 on the historic grounds of Old Mission Santa Barbara by poet and activist Paul Fericano and Susan Blomstad, a sister of the Order of St. Francis. Paul and Susan co-directed the series for five seasons, from 2009 to 2014.
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