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Morton Marcus Poetry Reading with Gary Young

November 18, 2021 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm  |  Virtual Event


Please join us for the 12th annual Morton Marcus Poetry Reading, featuring honored guest Gary Young. Poet Danusha Laméris will host the program, and the evening will include an announcement of the winner of the Morton Marcus Poetry Contest (recipient receives a $1,000 prize).


Gary Young is the author of several collections of poetry. His most recent books are That’s What I Thought, winner of the Lexi Rudnitsky Editor’s Choice Award from Persea Books, and Precious Mirror, translations from the Japanese. His other books include Even So: New and Selected Poems; Pleasure; No Other Life, winner of the William Carlos Williams Award; Braver Deeds, winner of the Peregrine Smith Poetry Prize; Days; The Dream of a Moral Life, which won the James D. Phelan Award; and Hands. He has received a Pushcart Prize, and grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, the California Arts Council, and the Vogelstein Foundation, among others. In 2009 he received the Shelley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America. Young was the first Poet Laureate of Santa Cruz County, and in 2012 he was named Santa Cruz County Artist of the Year. Since 1975 he has designed, illustrated, and printed limited edition letterpress books and broadsides at his Greenhouse Review Press. His fine print work is represented in numerous collections including the Museum of Modern Art, the Victoria and Albert Museum, The Getty Museum, and special collection libraries throughout the U.S. and Europe. He teaches creative writing and directs the Cowell Press at UC Santa Cruz.

The Morton Marcus Poetry Reading honors poet, teacher, and film critic Morton Marcus (1936–2009). Marcus was the 1999 Santa Cruz County Artist of the Year and a recipient of the 2007 Gail Rich Award. Among his published works are eleven volumes of poetry, including The Santa Cruz Mountain Poems, Pages from a Scrapbook of Immigrants, Moments Without Names, Shouting Down the Silence, Pursuing the Dream Bone and The Dark Figure In The Doorway; a novel, The Brezhnev Memo; and a literary memoir, Striking Through the Masks. He taught English and Film at Cabrillo College for thirty years, was the co-host of the radio program, The Poetry Show, and was the co-host of the television film review show, Cinema Scene. Learn more at:

The Morton Marcus Poetry Archive can be found at UCSC Special Collections. Mort’s personal papers, manuscripts, and recordings reflect his legacy as a poet and educator, and his collection of poetry books, broadsides, literary magazines and correspondence with other poets and writers illuminate his deep involvement in, and passion for, the literary art of poetry.

Organizing Committee
Len Anderson, Danusha Laméris, Donna Mekis, Mark Ong, Maggie Paul, Irena Polić, Teresa Mora, and Joseph Stroud.

The Morton Marcus Poetry Contest
phren-Z, an online literary magazine, whose mission is to celebrate the Santa Cruz literary community, has established a national poetry contest, The Morton Marcus Poetry Prize, in honor of Morton Marcus, “whose life and work inspired the writing of many students, friends, and emerging poets.” For more information visit:

David Sullivan, a poet and faculty member at Cabrillo College, has honored phren-Z by serving as the judge for this year’s contest.

Support Poetry in Santa Cruz
The Annual Morton Marcus Poetry Reading continues to be offered free to the public. Please consider donating to the Morton Marcus Poetry Reading at as well as to Poetry Santa Cruz at:

Mort was a donating member of Poetry Santa Cruz from its inception in 2001.

This community event is presented by the The Humanities Institute and co-sponsored by:

Bookshop Santa Cruz
Cabrillo College English Department
Cowell College
Living Writers Series
Ow Family Properties
Poetry Santa Cruz
Porter Hitchcock Modern Poetry Fund
Porter College
Santa Cruz Writes
Special Collections & Archives

If you have disability-related needs, please contact us at or call 831-459-1274 by November 11th, 2021.


November 18, 2021
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm