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Fri, Jul 05


San Juan Bautista

Flourishing! California Poets in the Schools' 60th Anniversary Statewide Poetry Symposium

CalPoets announces our statewide symposium, featuring Danusha Laméris. Join us for a weekend of poetic exploration, learning, and networking as we explore the theme, FLOURISHING! Under "About the Event" click "Show More" for the full event description.

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Flourishing!  California Poets in the Schools' 60th Anniversary Statewide Poetry Symposium
Flourishing!  California Poets in the Schools' 60th Anniversary Statewide Poetry Symposium

Time & Location

Jul 05, 2024, 4:00 PM – Jul 07, 2024, 2:00 PM

San Juan Bautista, 549 Mission Vineyard Rd, San Juan Bautista, CA 95045, USA

About the event

click "Show More" for the full event description.

Please click here to view a full Symposium schedule including workshop descriptions & presenter bios

Please note that this is a live event.  Due to staff capacity, we do not intend to stream or zoom any portion of the workshops.  Thanks for understanding.

Space for overnight guests is limited at this event.  If overnight tickets are sold out, please refer to "Other Lodging Options" below.

For 60 years, California Poets in the Schools (CalPoets) has brought poetry creation and performance to over a million students across the state, and provided a vital professional network for thousands of California poets.  

This symposium is open to the public and geared towards literary teaching artists (for all audiences), classroom educators, poets, MFA candidates, and more. Content will be engaging for those brand new to teaching the literary arts and to the "old hats" among us. CalPoets' Poet-Teachers will lead workshops sharing their skills and expertise.

Workshops will be geared towards the theme of Flourishing! Celebrating CalPoets' 60th year How can poetry serve as a tool for wellness, or, flourishing? How do we encourage California youth to unplug, find their unique voices, speak out against injustices, and thrive?   How can any of us be truly well - unless all of us are well?  How can we best encourage healing through poetry in wartime?  How can we best take care of ourselves, and our unique organization, in order to ensure our future resilience and sustainability? We will learn from experts in our midst and pool our best practices for a weekend of learning, networking, community-building, poetry readings, and some good old-fashioned fun.

Please note:  CalPoets deeply subsidizes this event in order to ensure that all Poet-Teachers are able to attend, regardless of financial barriers.  We appreciate donations, above the minimum ticket price, in order to ensure our organization's financial resilience.  You can add a donation to your ticket, or donate through our website here.  THANK YOU!

Please click here to view a full Symposium schedule including workshop descriptions & presenter bios.

Danusha Laméris is a poet and essayist raised in Northern California and born to a Dutch father and Barbadian mother. Her first book, The Moons of August (Autumn House, 2014), was chosen by Naomi Shihab Nye as the winner of the Autumn House Press Poetry Prize and was a finalist for the Milt Kessler Poetry Book Award. She’s also the author of Bonfire Opera, (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2020), which was a finalist for the 2021 Paterson Poetry Prize, and winner of the 2021 Northern California Book Award. Some of her work has been published in The Best American Poetry, The Sun, The New York Times, The American Poetry Review, The Gettysburg Review, Prairie Schooner, POETRY Magazine, Ploughshares, The American Scholar, Kenyon Review, The Southern Review, and Orion. Recipient of the 2020 Lucille Clifton Legacy Award, she is on the faculty of Pacific University’s Low-Residency MFA Program. Her third book, Blade by Blade, is forthcoming September 10th, 2024 from Copper Canyon Press.


Active Poet-Teachers

All active Poet-Teachers are encouraged to attend and we offer deep attendance discounts to people in this category.  It is our hope that cost will not be a barrier for any active Poet-Teacher who wants to attend the 2024 symposium.  Discounted rates are available ONLY to Poet-Teachers who are active and certified with the organization.  This means that you have successfully completed a training program with California Poets in the Schools, are actively leading programs as a CalPoets' Poet-Teacher, and have filled out our certification paperwork in 2023. If cost is a barrier to participation, please contact us at  Further discounts and payments plans can be made available by request.

Poet-Teachers in Training

It is our hope that cost will not be a barrier for any Poet-Teacher in training who wants to attend the 2024 symposium.  Poet-Teachers in training must have conducted an interview with CalPoets' staff, been officially accepted into the program by the Executive Director or Program Manager, and have a clear plan for completing all elements of their training within one year.  No Poet-Teacher in training who meets these criteria will be turned away for lack of funds.  Poet-Teachers in training should choose from the Active Poet-Teacher ticket options when registering.

Everyone else

Day-use and overnight packages are available to the public, even if you are not an Active Poet-Teacher.   The cost of attendance with lodging, for a single room, including all meals and workshops, is $500.  This is the actual cost of the event.   The cost of attendance without lodging is $250 for all three days, which includes all meals and workshops.  There is also a ticketing $100 ticket option for Saturday only, which includes meals but no lodging.


All Workshops & Events

The symposium schedule is forthcoming. Danusha Laméris will lead a creative writing workshop Saturday afternoon, followed by a reading, Q&A and book signing.


Lodging at St. Francis Retreat Center is basic.  Single and Double accomodations are available.  Learn more about accomodations here.  If you feel that the lodging at St. Francis Retreat Center will not meet your needs, please review Other Lodging Options below.

OTHER LODGING OPTIONS:  If you have housing priorities that may not be able to be met by California Poets in the Schools, or if overnight tickets are sold out, please consider opting to purchase your own hotel room at Hacienda de Leal or Posada de San Juan, both about a 10 minute drive from the retreat center. California Poets in the Schools will not pay for or subsidize outside lodging, and reservations must be made directly by you.  If you opt to stay at a hotel, or anywhere else besides the retreat center, simply select a ticket option upon registration that does not include lodging.  


Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be provided by the retreat center.  Please click here for more information. 

Meals included:

Friday, July 5, 2024

6pm: Dinner

Saturday, July 6, 2024


12pm: Lunch

6pm: Dinner

Sunday, July 7, 2024


12pm: Lunch


Parking is free and will be provided for all registered guests.


Cancellation Policy: CalPoets will offer a full refund, minus a $25 processing fee for all cancellations made prior to June 21st  at 4pm.  After June 21st at 4pm, no refunds will be issued.  

Pets:  Please leave your furry friends at home.  If you have a service animal required for a disability, please contact so that we can discuss how to accommodate you both at this event.


This venue is ADA accessible. We value inclusion and access for all participants and are pleased to provide reasonable accommodations for this event.  Please refer to the registration page, where there is an opportunity to make a reasonable accommodation request. Alternatively you may call Program Manager Fernando Salinas at 415-221-4201 or  Requests must be submitted by June 14th. 

Masks/Covid Protocols: California Poets in the Schools will follow all current California Covid 19 recommended safety measures, found here.  At this time (April, 2024) we do not intend to mandate masks, vaccines or negative covid tests for anyone to take part in this event.  Of course you are welcome to mask if you wish. Please do not attend if you are sick or have tested positive for covid.

For more information, please contact California Poets in the Schools at (415) 221-4201, For more information about St Francis Retreat Center, please review thier website:

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