Poetry in El Cerrito

City Launches New Poet Laureate Program

In October, 2015, the Arts and Culture Commission (ACC) established the Poet Laureate Program with funding from the City’s Arts in Public Places Program. After a competitive process, El Cerrito resident Maw Shein Win was selected to serve as the City's Poet Laureate (2016-2018).

Introducing Maw Shein Win

photo of Maw Shein WinMaw Shein Win is a poet, editor, and educator who lives and works in the Bay Area. She often collaborates with visual artists, musicians, and other writers. As Laureate, she plans to coordinate a series of literary and acoustic music events featuring El Cerrito poets, local musicians and other performers as well as an all ages open mic.

Her most recent chapbook, Score and Bone, will be published by Nomadic Press in September 2016.

Ruins of a Glittering Palace, her collaborative chapbook, with paintings by Mark Dutcher, was published by SPA/Commonwealth Projects.

Her writing has appeared in various journals, including Cimarron Review, Fanzine, Big Bridge, Eleven Eleven, the Fabulist, and most recently in the anthology Cross-Strokes: Poetry Between Los Angeles and San Francisco (Otis Books/Seismicity Editions).

Maw is also a poetry editor for Rivet: The Journal of Writing that Risks and a poetry instructor at the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto.

Learn more about Maw.

Upcoming Poet Laureate Events

Poetry & Place | El Cerrito

"Poetry & Place | El Cerrito” is a new poetry reading series which will happen in the spring, summer & fall in different places throughout the city. The series will feature one poet from El Cerrito & one from a nearby city. There will also be an all ages open mic.

Poetry Reading on Sunday, July 30, 2017
at Arlington Park & Clubhouse from 2 pm-5pm.

The spring reading will be hosted by El Cerrito poet laureate, Maw Shein Win. Featured readers include former U.S. poet laureate Robert Haas and El Cerrito poet Michelle Lin, plus an all-ages open mic.

For more information, visit Maw's event page.

Program Goals

In October 2015, the Arts and Culture Commission unanimously agreed to establish a Poet Laureate Program funded by the City’s Art in Public Places Program. The Commission envisions that the laureate will create and lead activities that will raise the status of poetry in the everyday consciousness of El Cerrito residents and inspire writing and performances of poetry among all age groups.

The goals of the Poet Laureate Program are to:
• Promote literature and the arts in the City
• Inspire/encourage residents in their writing and personal expression
• Bring attention to poetry in less traditional settings
• Initiate a dialogue between local poets, cultural organizations, and community institutions

Keep In Touch

You can contact Poet Laureate Maw Shein Win directly by email.

You can also sign up to receive notifications from the Arts and Culture Commission about the Poet Laureate Program, other arts events and call to artist announcements.