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December 8, 2019
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Poetry program returning to library

WATSONVILLE — For four years, Santa Cruz resident Magdalena Montagne led a poetry workshop in the Watsonville Public Library.

The Poets’ Circle Poetry Reading Series included a featured poet, a discussion afterword and an open-mic, which typically filled up with people eager to share their work.

The readings drew a crowd, but they fell by the wayside as Montagne focused on her poetry writing workshops.

Now, she is bringing back the popular series, with the inaugural event slated for Thursday. It will feature Lisa Allen Ortiz, an award-winning local poet.

Watsonville Librarian Watonka Addison said that the readings bring people together, important in a time when partisan politics are increasingly driving them apart.

“It creates a special space for the community to thrive and shine,” she said.

The event is funded by Friends of the Watsonville Public Library.

Montagne said she moves the chairs into a large circle, to create a sense of inclusion for all the participants.

“It’s a great opportunity for people to come together,” Montagne said. “It’s intimate, and people can feel comfortable asking questions. There is a real dialogue that happens.”


The Poets’ Circle Poetry Reading Series is from 7–9 p.m. in the meeting room of Watsonville Public Library at 275 Main St.

Readings are scheduled for Feb. 8, April 12, June 7 and Nov. 8. Refreshments will be provided.

For information, visit


Lisa Allen Ortiz is the author of “Guide to the Exhibit,” winner of the 2016 Perugia Press Prize as well as the author of two books of poetry: “Turns Out” and “Self Portrait as a Clock.” She is the recipient of two Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg prizes, and her work has appeared in Narrative, Zyzzyva, Beloit Poetry Journal and in Best New Poets 2013 and been featured on Verse Daily. For information, visit


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