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Santa Cruz Poetry Project

Santa Cruz Public Library

Downtown Branch
Life Literacies Center

The Santa Cruz Poetry Project facilitates poetry and writing workshops throughout Santa Cruz County with the mission to bring poetry to underserved populations. We do this through our Poetry in the Jails project, which offers poetry workshops to incarcerated men and women. We are pleased to once again bring workshops to the downtown library, in partnership with the Life Literacies Center. Anyone who would like to establish a writing practice in a safe and encouraging environment is welcome.
All library programs are free.

For the Seventh Generation
An Oceans Festival in Lincoln City OR

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In early 2021, were asked to submit our students' work for an oceans festival taking place in Lincoln City, OR. We set them the challenge to write about specific beaches that meant a lot to them. Four poets were chosen, Justin Marc, R. Walsh, Chad Bachman, and Bennett Healy. We are so proud of their efforts and creativity! 

The reading took place on July 22, 2021. We will post a link to a video of the reading. Click on the photo above for a link to the event Web site.


Class Schedule

We resumed in-person classes in May 2022. We also are resuming our partnership with the Santa Cruz Public Library's Life Literacy Center (see above).

There are two men's classes in Watsonville: Unit S Rountree, and R&R (Re-Entry & Rehabilitation). 

We are teaching three classes at the Main Jail facility in Downtown Santa Cruz: two for men, and one for women.

The Blaine Street Women's Facility is currently closed, temporarily, and we look forward to getting back to in-person classes there.

We have very much appreciated the dedication of the Santa Cruz Sheriff's Office in keeping the program going, with some (and sometimes many) logistical challenges, throughout the COVID pandemic.

Benefit for Poetry in the Jails 2019

Our July 2019 event was a success! Thank you to everyone who donated their time and talents to organizing and carrying out the event, and who donated items to our silent auction.


Gary Young

Tess Taylor

Danusha Lameris

Amanda Moore

Renee Winter

Deb Culmer

Erik Anderson

Jaime Zuder

Journey Employer Solutions

Tina Cervin

Ken Haas

The Becker Foundation

Barbara Leon

Cindy White

Idea Fabrication Lab

Ellen Bass

Nancy Miller Gomez

1440 Multiversity

Janet Bryer

Sally Neas

Max Bryer-Bass

Joel Gomez

Laurie Brooks

The William James Association

The Santa Cruz Arts Council

Alfaro Winery

Missy Schnapps

Salon on the Square

Jewel Theater

Jim Potterton

David Van Brink


Kim Beecher

Tri-Yoga Center Santa Cruz

Powell Peralta


Ruth Smith

SeSe Geddes

Ashlie Sadri

Bellydance Basics

Bargetto Winery


La Posta

Elizabeth Good

Max Gavrich

Laurie Guerin

Gail Newman

Many Hands Gallery

Tauna Coulson

Shakespeare Santa Cruz

The Santa Cruz Warriors

Briya Leung

Noelle Weatherwax

Concrete Rose Hair Salon

Megan Welch

Dion O’Reilly

Aldo’s Bakery

Faust Hair Salon


Scott Thornburg

Sebastian DeEldon

Emily Keinholz

Buttercup Bakery

The Food Lounge

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Lampwork Glass

Jackie Marr

Cindy Mori

Kate Nolan

Logan Austeja Daniel

Lindsay Spencer

Jory Post


Kate Tripp

Robert Sward

Kiss My Glass

Luma Yoga

John Orlando Distinguished

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