Poetry = Community
August 31st, 2020

California Poets in the Schools recognizes the trying isolation of these times.  We believe that poetry has strong power to connect us to one another, and to help us navigate choppy and uncharted waters. To this end, we are ramping up opportunities for this community to gather together online.

Most California counties are beginning the school year in a distance learning format.  Educators, students and parents are rising to meet this challenge in unprecedented and heartwarming ways. 

Poetry instruction is a versatile tool that transitions well to online learning, offering youth a chance to create, de-stress and explore their feelings about the world around them.  California Poets in the Schools' Poet-Teachers are committed to learning new and innovative teaching techniques for the online poetry classroom.  On September 8th from 12-2pm, Raie Crawford, Program Manager from WITS Houston, will offer a virtual training for the California Poets in the Schools network.  Raie will discuss best practices for virtual teaching of the creative literary arts.  This workshop is geared towards California Poets in the Schools' Poet-Teachers.  The training is free or by donation.  Space is limited and early registration is recommended. Click here to register.

About Raie: Raie Crawford is a Wiley College Alumna from Houston, Texas. As a two-time Houston VIP Slam Champion and 2017-2018 Houston Performance Poet of the Year. Raie is ranked within the top 20 among the Women of the World Poetry Slam and top 25 within the rankings of the Individual World Poetry Slam. Raie started with Wits in 2018 as a resident writer. A year later, she joined the administrative team as a Program Manager. 

California Poets in the Schools is updating our Mission, Vision and Purpose statements. We are seeking input from our constituents regarding the value of poetry instruction in our schools and communities.  Click here to participate in a two-minute survey. 
News From the Network
Online Poetry Workshop for Youth
Professional  poets from throughout California offer creative poetry writing lessons for youth and families.   Lessons are free to everyone and require no prep.  This online workshop is growing and lessons will continue to be added throughout the pandemic. Click to start writing!
Thank You Christine Kravetz
California Poets in the Schools would like to acknowledge Christine Kravetz, who served as Area Coordinator for Santa Barbara County from 2006 to 2020. Christine Kravetz has elected to step down from her position as AC after 15 years of inspired leadership.  Click here to read more. 
Poet-Teacher Claire Blotter's Poem in the San Francisco Chronicle
Click here to read Marin Poet Teacher Claire Blotter's Poem Graffiti on Pandemic Street, in the San Francisco Chronicle. 
Poet-Teacher Lea Aschkenas' Poem Published in Bracken Magazine
Click here to read Poet-Teacher Lea Aschkenas' recently-published poem, Re-entry, in the Corona Hopelings section of Bracken Magazine 
Sonoma Area Coordinator Margo Perin's New Book is Out!
Plexiglass is an interwoven collection of poetry on the story within the story within the story of the prison industrial complex, with a focus on how black and brown communities are particularly targeted for incarceration. With a foreword by Mexican poet, Valerie Mejer Caso, and a review by Tongo Eisen-Martin, winner of the American Book Award, Plexiglass is in print, ebook, and coming-soon audiobook wherever books are sold. You can get a sneak preview at
Poet-Teacher Magdalena Montagne's New Book is Out!
Poet-teacher and current executive editor of the CALPoets’ anthology, Magdalena Montagne’s first book of poems, Earth My Witness was published in August by Finishing Line Press. You can purchase a copy from their website or contact Magdalena directly through her website at or by email at
Opportunities to Connect
Reaching the Back of the Digital Classroom
September 8th, 12-2pm

a training in best practices for virtual teaching of the creative, literary arts
Click to register.
free and open to the CalPoets' network, hosted by CalPoets' board member Angelina Leaños, teens & adults welcome, click to register 
Gail Newman and Cecilia Woloch - Poetry Flash Virtual Reading
September 6th, 3pm
Poet-Teacher and former S.F Coordinator, Gail Newman’s new book, BLOOD MEMORY, was honored with a Marsh Hawk Press First Place Award, chosen by Marge Piercy.  Join Gail Newman for a reading from her new book on September 6th. Click for more info.
LA Poets Society Open Mics organized by Jessica Wilson Cardena, LA Area Coordinator
Multiple events in multiple locations.  Click for more info.
Amuse-ing Mondays: Virtual Monthly Poetry Night at Aqus Cafe - hosted by Sandra Anfang, Poet-Teacher
This reading occurs monthly on the first Monday of the month.
Date & Time: First Mondays of the month (open-mic after featured reader)
Location:  Aqus Cafe, 189 H Street, Petaluma
Virtual Point Arena Third Thursdays Poetry Hosted by Blake More, Mendocino Area Coordinator 
Virtual Point Arena Third Thursday Poetry — 7pm, Third Thursday of every month, featured poet followed by open mic.  Hosted by Blake More. To sign up or get on the email announcement list, contact
Cartwheels on the Sky ~ Poets, Poems & Discovery
Saturdays from 7-7:30pm on KGUA Gualala featuring poets from around the country. Listen stream live at or visit the show archive here.  To be considered for future shows, contact
Poems From the Network
Video Poems from Area Coordinator Blake More's Students in Mendocino
Click here to watch a suite of video poems created by students of Blake More (Mendocino CalPoets' Area Coordinator)
Student Poems from the Pandemic
Click here to read poems submitted to California Poets in the Schools this summer in response to our online poetry workshop for youth
Call for Submissions
Los Angeles Poets for Justice
Click for more info.
Partner Events
Local Advocacy Webinar Series
Multiple webinars on multiple dates.  Click to learn more, and register.
Sept. 14th (First webinar in the series): Arts Providers and Teaching Artists in a New Paradigm:
How have arts providers and teaching artists adapted to the distance learning environment? What opportunities have emerged for arts integration and social emotional learning in the arts? How might we address the challenges that persist for students and teaching artists alike? Leaders from P.S.ARTS, Teaching Artists Guild and Luna Dance Institute share promising practices and stories of success from the field.
Teaching Artist Project:  Teaching to Everyone in the Room: Making Your Virtual Classroom Inclusive
September 15th, 11am-1:30pm - $25
Now that many of us are working with students in a virtual setting, how can we stay committed to engaging our entire class, while tending to the specific needs of some, through a computer screen? In this workshop we will explore some thinking behind inclusive classrooms and how to establish some best practices around accessibility in your lesson planning.  Click to register.
California Poets in the Schools is generously supported by the :
The "Keep Arts in Schools Voluntary Contribution Fund" can be found in Voluntary Contribution Section 110 (425) of the "540" individual state tax-return form, and the minimum donation is just $1.  Click here for more information.
Our NEW mailing address is:
California Poets in the Schools (CalPoets)
PO Box 1328
Santa Rosa, CA  95402
(415) 221-4201

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California Poets in the Schools · PO Box 1328 · Santa Rosa, Ca 95402 · USA