2019 marks the 10th anniversary of Morton Marcus' passing. It's hard to believe some many years have flown by so quickly. Yet, it also marks the 10th year of the annual memorial poetry reading and poetry contest in his name.
These events keep the spirit of Marcus' work and writing alive, bringing the best national poets to Santa Cruz and the art of poetry to a new generation. This was a huge part of Mort's work when he was alive, and we are thrilled that his legacy continues through this annual event.
Please join us on November 7, 2019, as we present Gary Soto for the 10th annual memorial reading at UCSC.
Gary Soto is a man who writes from experience. He grew up in one of the many barrios (poor Mexican American neighborhoods) of Fresno, California, and since the mid-1970s he has borrowed from that community to create an astonishing number of works. Soto, however, does not see himself as strictly a Chicano author. True, in his over twenty books of poetry and prose for adults and in over thirty books for younger readers, he focuses on the daily trials and tribulations of Spanish-speaking Americans. But, through crisp, clear imagery and his true-to-life characters, Soto connects with readers of all ages and backgrounds. As he explained in his Scholastic Booklist biography, "Even though I write a lot about life in the barrio, I am really writing about the feelings and experiences of most American kids." As a result, Soto is considered to be one of the most important contemporary authors in the United States.