Award-winning poet Dorianne Laux to read at 8th annual Morton Marcus memorial event

ucsc poster for morton marcus poetry event

Award-winning American poet, Dorianne Laux will be the featured guest at the eighth annual Morton Marcus Poetry Reading, Thursday, November 16, at 5:30 p.m. in the Humanities Lecture Hall at Cowell College.  

The event is held each year to honor poet, teacher, film critic, and Santa Cruz cultural icon Morton Marcus (1936-2009).

It was created to continue Marcus’s tradition of bringing acclaimed poets to Santa Cruz County, to acknowledge the significant role poetry has played in the community's history, and to help preserve poetry's influence in the county's culture.

UC Santa Cruz humanities lecturer and alumnus Gary Young--Santa Cruz's first ever poet laureate--will emcee the program and present a $1,000 prize to the winner of the annual Morton Marcus Poetry Contest.

Admission is free, and the public is invited.

Dorianne Laux’s most recent collections of poetry are The Book of Men (winner of The Paterson Prize and The Roanoke-Chowan Award for Poetry) and Facts about the Moon (winner of the Oregon Book Award).

The Book of Men was reviewed in the New York Times as one of five books of poems suggested for summer reading shortly after its release.

Publisher’s Weekly noted that ”Laux's fifth collection continues in her descriptive, storytelling vein…Something of a baby boomer's field guide, this book portrays the legacy of the 1960s from the perspective of one who has survived and must look back on what that decade did and didn't change. And so, the Vietnam War, Bob Dylan, the Beatles, Mick Jagger, Cher, Frank O'Hara, and Superman all make appearances.”

A finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, Laux is also the author of Awake, What We Carry, and Smoke, as well as three fine press editions, Superman: The Chapbook, Dark Charms, and The Book of Women.

Laux teaches poetry in the MFA Program at North Carolina State University and is a founding faculty member at Pacific University’s Low Residency MFA Program. She is also co-author of a handbook on writing, The Poet's Companion: A Guide to the Pleasures of Writing Poetry.

Her reading will be followed by a book signing and reception.

This is a community event, co-sponsored by Ow Family Properties; Cabrillo College English Department; UC Santa Cruz’s Institute for Humanities Research and Special Collections and Archives; Poetry Santa Cruz; Santa Cruz Writes; The Porter Hitchcock Poetry Fund; and Bookshop Santa Cruz.

For more information, contact the UC Santa Cruz Institute for Humanities Research at (831) 459-1274.