2016 Poetry Benefit Reading

Community of Writers Poetry Benefit Reading

Join us in Berkeley!

Click on image to view bios
  • Kazim Ali
  • Robert Hass
  • Brenda Hillman
  • Cathy Park Hong
  • jones
    Patricia Spears Jones
  • Sharon Olds

7:00 p.m. (doors open at 6:00)

First Congregational Church of Berkeley

2345 Channing Way, Berkeley, CA 94704

On Friday, June 17, 2016 acclaimed poets Kazim AliRobert HassBrenda HillmanCathy Park HongPatricia Spears Jones, and Sharon Olds will read from their poetry in the First Congregational Church of Berkeley in the Bay Area.

This gathering of the tribe—all staff poets from this year’s Community of Writers’ Summer Poetry Workshop in Squaw Valley—will raise money for the Poetry Program’s financial aid and scholarships. Books by the poets will be available for purchase and signing.CD Wright

This reading is in the memory of  beloved poet and friend C.D. Wright.

C.D. Wright published over a dozen books of poetry and prose. One With Others was a finalist for the National Book Award and won the 2011 National Book Critics Circle Award and the Lenore Marshall Prize. Her collection The Poet, the Lion, El Farolito, Talking Pictures, a Wedding in St. Roch, the Big Box Store, the Warp in the Mirror, Spring, Midnights, Fire & All was published in 2015 by Copper Canyon Press. Copper Canyon Press is also publishing her newest collection, ShallCross,this year. She has also received awards from the Lannan Foundation, the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, and in 2004 she was named a MacArthur Fellow. She died in January.


The evening will be hosted by emcee, Kevin Simmonds.

Kevin Simmonds is a poet whose collections include Mad for Meat, Bend to it, and the edited anthology Collective Brightness: LGBTIQ Poets on Faith, Religion & Spirituality.

For more information, call  (530) 470-8440 or email.

Tickets are $25 advance/$30 at the door for general admission and $15 advance/$20 at the door for students (with current student ID). Group discounts are available.

Buy Tickets

Directions & Map

Screen Shot 2016-04-06 at 6.34.54 PM

First Congregational Church of Berkeley – 2345 Channing Way, Berkeley, CA 94704

Many thanks to our Sponsors:

This event is underwritten by Deborah Dashow Ruth

Deborah is a poet, playwright, alum and long-time supporter of the Community of Writers. She is sponsoring the event to help poets who, without the financial aid this even provides, would be unable to attend the summer program. We are grateful for her continuing support.

This event is sponsored by




The Entrekin Foundation sponsors projects which further the goals of the literary arts, which are the embodiment of the soul of the culture,  and the environmental movement, which seeks to sustain the natural world, the body of the culture, in this time of crisis.  Our online literary magazine, Canary, furthers both of these goals as well.

Thank you!

Get Involved!

Become a sponsor or give to the Poetry Scholarship Fund

We are looking for volunteers! We need help with:

  • Promoting the event during the months of April and May.
  • Crowd-wrangling on the evening of June 17.
  • Selling Books at the event.

If you are interested in helping (and in a free ticket to the event), please contact us.

Can’t Attend? Donate!

Consider a donation to the Scholarship Fund today. Thank you!

Buy Tickets

Event Details