On November 12, 2020, the 11th annual Morton Marcus Poetry Reading was held, hosted by poet Gary Young and featuring honored guest, Morgan Parker.
You can also stay engaged by watching our video of the event.
Scott Rappaport wrote about Morgan Parker for UC Santa Cruz News.
Listen to Danusha Lameris and Dion O’Reilly cover the event on The Hive.
Gary Young is the author of many volumes of poems and translations, and has edited several anthologies and poetry textbooks, including Bear Flag Republic: Prose Poems and Poetics from California and The Geography of Home: California’s Poetry of Place. His most recent books are Precious Mirror, translations from the Japanese published by White Pine Press (2018), and That’s What I Thought, which won the Lexi Rudnitsky Editor’s Choice Award from Persea Books (2018). His book No Other Life won the William Carlos Williams Award, and in 2009 he received the Shelley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America. Young teaches creative writing and directs the Cowell Press at the UC Santa Cruz.
Morgan Parker is a poet, essayist, and novelist. She is the author of the young adult novel Who Put This Song On?; and the poetry collections Other People’s Comfort Keeps Me Up At Night, There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé, and Magical Negro, which won the 2019 National Book Critics Circle Award. Parker’s debut book of nonfiction is forthcoming from One World. She is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship, winner of a Pushcart Prize, and has been hailed by The New York Times as “a dynamic craftsperson” of “considerable consequence to American poetry.” Parker received her Bachelors in Anthropology and Creative Writing from Columbia University and her MFA in Poetry from NYU. She is a Cave Canem graduate fellow, and creator and host of the live talk show Reparations, Live! at the Ace Hotel. She co-curates the Poets With Attitude (PWA) reading series with Tommy Pico. With Angel Nafis, she is The Other Black Girl Collective. She lives in Los Angeles.
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: www.mortonmarcus.com
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.
Len Anderson, Danusha Laméris, Donna Mekis, Mark Ong, Maggie Paul, Irena Polić, Jory Post, Teresa Mora, Joseph Stroud, and Gary Young.
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: http://phren-z.org/poetry_contest.html
Dennis Maloney, editor and publisher of White Pine Press 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 thi.ucsc.edu/projects/morton-marcus-poetry-reading as well as to Poetry Santa Cruz at: http://www.baymoon.com/~poetrysantacruz/
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
Living Writers Series
Ow Family Properties
Poetry Santa Cruz
Porter Hitchcock Modern Poetry Fund
Santa Cruz Writes
Special Collections & Archives