Ina Coolbrith Landmarks


Ina’s Ever Widening Circle...

 Normally meets monthly on Saturdays, September through May.

See "Meetings" for information on our upcoming
"virtual" meetings held via Zoom

Guidelines For The

The Ina Coolbrith Circle


Entry Fee $20   Open to All Poets   Presence Required to Claim Awards

Awards and Picnic at Fernandez Park, 595 Tennent Ave., Pinole, CA 

Saturday, June 8, 2024, Noon to 4 pm

THEME: SUGAR & SALT           GUEST SPEAKER: Francesca Bell




Poems must be original, in English, not have appeared online or in any journal or newspaper professionally published, and not beprevious cash prizewinners (Honorable Mentions OK). Winning poems may be included in a future anthology. 42-line maximum, any form or style. Up to four entries (4) per person; one (1) per category

1.  Type entry on ONE side only of 8 1⁄2 x 11 white paper.

2.  Type category in upper right-hand corner of each page. 

3.  DO NOT put your name, etc. ANYWHERE on any entered poem. 

4.  Send three (3) clear copies of EACH entry (with no illustrations). 


6.  BRING: a Chair, Lunch, Drinks (water, soft drinks [no alcohol]), Sun Hat, Title and First Line of Poems Submitted. 

MAIL ENTRIES and FEE ($20 checks to POETS’ DINNER) TO CONTEST CHAIR: Louise Moises, 1315 Santa Clara St.,Richmond, CA 94804                                        Questions? Please contact Louise Moises at

PRIZES: One POETS DINNER GRAND PRIZE: $100 -- To be chosen from among the first three prize winners in each category. For each CATEGORY: Three Prizes --- $50, $30, $20, plus three Honorable Mentions.

Last Year’s Grand Prize Poem will be read by the author, Kathleen McClung

AWARD PROCEDURE: Winning entries will be read and awards presented only at this event. On slips provided at the event, write your name and the title and first line of each poem submitted. Use the slip to claim a winning poem after it is read. If there is NO CLAIM, the prize will go to the next ranked submission. Judges’ decisions are final. NOTE: The Ina Coolbrith Circle invites all those interested in poetry to its September meeting (place and date TBA) where winners are invited to read their winning poems.

DONATIONS: Books and contributions to sustain awards may be sent to Awards Co-Chair Natica Angilly, 1515 Poplar Ave.,Richmond, CA 94805-1662. (Donor calls only, please): (510) 235-0361. POETRY BOOK TABLE: Please prearrange sale space for your books by contacting Book Table Chair Debra Fruchey before June 1, 2024 at

Find us at:  

Tear off slip below and enclose with entries and entry fee check

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In 1919, poet/librarian/teacher Ina Coolbrith began meeting with kindred literary spirits at her home in San Francisco. "I want," she said, "the Circle to live and be ever widening... to perpetually keep the history and literature…of California alive...."

Today, about 200 members of the Ina Coolbrith Circle continue to pursue her mission to nurture the poetry and history, past and present, of the Golden State. Our members include poets, writers, historians, artists and readers with a particular interest in books by and about Californians.

Step into the Circle!

for member benefits and membership form

go to our "Join the Circle" page

About Ina Coolbrith

Born in Nauvoo, Illinois, Ina Coolbrith was the first white child to enter California, making the journey with noted scout Jim Beckwourth in 1851. Poet, teacher, librarian, her "circle" of poet/writer friends included Joaquin Miller, Bret Harte, Ambrose Bierce, Jack London, George Sterling and Gertrude Atherton.

In 1915, by a resolution of the State Legislature she was crowned the first Poet Laureate of California by Edwin Markham at the Panama Pacific International Exposition. A biography and selection of Ina Coolbrith's poetry is available in our publication "At The Heart of the Circle" (2002). Please see the Publications page for more information.