THE SACRAMENTO POETRY CENTER
Since its founding in 1979, the Sacramento Poetry Center has been a major force and advocate for literary artists in Northern California, especially in the Sacramento area.
We offer readings, workshops, writers' conferences, publications, a lending library, and more to our local community.
Though primarily serving as the premier literary center for the greater Sacramento metropolitan area, SPC’s publications are recognized nationally, and its annual writers’ conference has featured some of the most important poets of our time, including Pulitzer Prize winners Gary Snyder and Philip Levine, former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Hass, and other luminaries such as Lucille Clifton, Galway Kinnell, Robert Bly, Diane DiPrima, Carolyn Forche, Anne Waldman, Jack Hirschman, Jimmy Santiago Baca, Dorianne Laux, Kim Addonizio, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Cole Swensen, Michael McClure, Jose Montoya, Robert Creeley, Robert Peters, and many others. As important are the scores of local and regional poets, established and emerging, who have participated in SPC readings and events over the decades. They are why we exist.
Unique among literary centers in that it is not affiliated with a university, The Sacramento Poetry Center, while maintaining close ties with the area’s universities and colleges, is a fully independent organization, affording it, and associated artists, the opportunity to explore the medium and opportunities unrestricted except by its own bylaws.
The Poet Tree Inc, dba The Sacramento Poetry Center is a small, regional 501(c)3 not for profit organization. SPC is supported in part by grants received from The Sacramento Office of Arts and Culture, The California Arts Commission, and other sources, as well as through the generosity of our membership.
The Poetry Center is located at 1719 25th Street, Sacramento, California, in the R25 theater complex.
SPC is grateful to our resident techie, Liz Ryder-Baxmeyer for her work in developing our new website. This is the ONLY website of The Sacramento Poetry Center. Other similar sites are either defunct or compromised.
The Board of Directors of SPC: (l to r) Stuart Canton, CharRon Smith, Julia Connor,
Angela James, Jeanette Rowe (J'Rowe), Patrick Grizzell, Chris Coon (Coon the Poet).
A COMMITMENT: OUR CODE OF CONDUCT
At The Sacramento Poetry Center, we acknowledge that there have been situations that have caused people, including young poets of color, to feel unwelcome and undervalued. It is unacceptable. We are grateful to Coon the Poet, a new member of our Board of Directors, for putting his heart on the table with us, and challenging us respectfully, but forcefully, to make a commitment toward ensuring that such situations will not arise again. To that end, he, with input from other board members and advisors, created a Code of Conduct to which we all agree to adhere. Its purpose is to take a stand for accountability, for inclusion, and for a welcoming and safe environment. This pledge is a part of a larger and more nuanced commitment on the part of the Board of Directors to become more educated about the concerns of all the communities we serve through cultural competency and awareness, and explore all avenues towards exemplifying what we say we are.
As Coon says, “Wear your heart!”
SPC CODE OF CONDUCT:
WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT FROM US
Feed the people, literally and metaphorically.
SPC values poets and our audience. We aspire to making people feel nourished and appreciated in all the appropriate ways, real and figurative.
We are committed to a culture of inclusion.
We will welcome everyone warmly and with gratitude, and especially embrace newcomers to the center.
We will ensure that respect and dignity is extended to everyone.
We value everyone’s right to their identity, without exception. Here, members of the community will be addressed by their preferred name(s) and pronouns, while ensuring the inclusion and celebration of all people, including Women’s voices, LGBTQIA+ voices, Youth voices, Black voices, Latinx voices, Asian and South Asian voices, Native American/Indigenous People’s voices and those of other non-white cultures. Disabled persons will be treated with respect, and accommodated graciously.
Innovation and creativity are encouraged.
Everyone’s art and culture is celebrated here. We celebrate the creative process as much as the expressed creations of all forms of verbal and written expression at every level. We recognize that every form of poetry was experimental at some point, and we celebrate the innovative spirits of poets without regard to performance style, poetic form or genre, or presentation.
We make space for the next generation with honor to the previous generations.
We honor those before us with heartfelt expressions of homage and respect. Our experienced poets will mindfully create space for young people and new/emerging poets at readings, celebrating and encouraging them, and making ourselves available to mentor interested young people and new poets.
We will acknowledge and address conflict promptly, transparently, and respectfully with leadership.
Please help us create a safe space inclusive of all. Please know you can come to us with any issues and conflicts that may arise in our environment. Our Board of Directors is dedicated to quickly resolving them.
We do not exploit power dynamics.
Our hosts and leadership will not to exploit their positions for personal gains whether financial, professional, romantic, or otherwise. Please report any instances of power dynamic exploitation to a trusted member of the Board of Directors.
These are our commitments to you.