Poetry is a division of literature. It's an ancient form that has gone through many revisions over time. Perhaps it's an attempt to identify life through words, rhythms and sounds. Really, it's hard to pin.

One could argue that if there was a shoe in front of a fiction writer, she might pick it up and observe it. He might also poke at it, then unlace it. Furthermore, they might look at the shoe from every angle, then write about it.

Given the same shoe, the poet might observe, poke, unlace and look at the shoe. Then they might lick it. Then rub it all over his body. Then make love to it. Then cut it into pieces with a knife. Then swallow it, letting the shoe pass through her system and defecating it into a pile on the floor. Then feeding that pile to a pigeon who would fly to a bridge leaving tiny shoe droppings en route. The poet would pick up each dropping, writing about them as if they were tiny shoes.

The definition is not so important as the poetry itself.

Poets in Davis

There are tons of poets in the area — some famous, some not; some published, some not.


Former and Current Undergraduates

Local Poets



SickSpits is a UCD-based poetry collective of students dedicated to creating a forum in which members of the Davis community can make their voices heard. During the school year, SickSpits hosts open mics in the Art Annex/ Technocultural_Studies_Building on campus on the first Wednesday of every month. In addition, SickSpits hosts an annual event, The Movement, in which they showcase the four pillars of hip hop culture, MCing, DJing, Break Dancing and Graffiti. Members of SickSpits can often be seen performing at community and student events throughout the greater Sacramento and Bay area. In addition, SickSpits has placed 5th Nationally twice in the College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational (CUPSI). SickSpits poets have shared the stage with artists such Quincy Troupe and Marc Bamuthi Joseph, Def Poets Amir Sulaiman, Skim, Chinaka Hodge, and Michelle "Mush" Lee, and iLL-Literacy.

Poetry Nights

The Poetry Night Reading Series is now held on the first Wednesday of the month beginning at 8pm iat Bistro 33, and on the third Thursday of the month beginning at 8pm at the John Natsoulas Art Gallery. The host is Dr. Andy Jones, and the executive producer is Brad Henderson. The Open Mic begins after the featured poet concludes. Open Mic participants have included Heidi Bekebrede, Rob Roy, Rondu Gantt, Wesley Sughrue, Allegra Silberstein, Elyssa White, and Joe Wenderoth. Their website is http://PoetryInDavis.com.

["SickSpits'] Poetry Collective holds monthly open mics every first Tuesday of the month from 7 to 10pm in the Griffin Lounge of the Memorial Union on campus. Sign ups begin at 7 with the open mic beginning at 7:30.



by Josh Fernandez

He sits quietly
as his teacher
the simplicity
of quadratic formulas.

The boy reaches around his own head,
gently unhooking it from his neck,
removes his left arm,
unzips himself
from his body
and calmly sets his fleshy parts,
one by one,
before him on a desk.

He moves apart his ribs,
plucks a rusted knife
from where his heart should be
and flings it
toward the open window.

The teacher:

a) puts down his chalk
b) throws his book to the floor
c) sits in his chair
d) softly begins to weep
Sundown, Summer, The World 

by  James Lee Jobe

Look, sundown walks slowly in summer, darkness
creeps out first from the shadows of plants --  a little
at a time. Shadow lengthens from under the lavender,
the rosemary, the anise. Over a sultry stretch of minutes
and hours shadow meets shadow and connects. The Mulberry
joins in this skulking carpet, low, as does the Crepe Myrtle,
the redwoods. Once darkness covers the yard, the sky
then flickers a burnt red, a glowing orange -- long dashes of purple
slash the western heaven. The magpie grows quiet, then night
swims in over all this world, ebony, shimmering, soft. 

UCD Contests

The Pamela Maus Contest in Creative Writing The Ina Coolbrith Memorial Poetry Prize Poet Laureate Contest (discontinued) The Celeste Turner Wright Poetry Prize

UCD Programs

The Tomales Bay Workshops


Sacramento Area Poetry

Sactown Poetry is a new site that recognizes the poets and poetry of the greater Sacramento area. From Davis to Elk Grove to 35th St. this site posts videos of poets performing their work. It was started in September 2007 as an attempt to document the Sacramento area poetry scene. The site is new, so poets and friends of poets- help spread the word and contact the creator of the site with poetry news, videos or just to introduce yourself.

Poet's Corner