Fresno Poets archives

About the archives
For more than 30 years, the Fresno Poets’ Association reading series has attracted hundreds of poets and prose writers of all kinds to Fresno for world-class literary readings in Central California. Some of the earliest readings in the 1980s and ’90s not only featured the best of the best Fresno poets and writers but also some of the most renowned national and international authors of their day.

In spring 2016, poets C. G. Hanzlicek and Corrinne Hales made a generous donation to the Creative Writing Program: They granted access to nearly 80 VHS, Beta, and reel-to-reel recordings of the earliest FPA readings. Most of these aging tapes have since been rescued and brought into the digital age by the staff at Horn Photo, with funding from the College of Arts and Humanities. Additional recordings are also now starting to surface.

Communications staff Jefferson Beavers is currently working with undergraduate English and Creative Writing interns, with the support of faculty Tim Skeen and Ruth Jenkins, to make these recordings accessible to the world on the Fresno State MFA YouTube channel. Each recording will be fully closed captioned with accurate transcriptions of the literature, and it will be accompanied by a blog post written by the intern for historical and personal context.

About the FPA
The Fresno Poets’ Association is a decades-old community reading series that features poetry and prose readings hosted by the Creative Writing Program. The FPA series is committed to bringing talented and creative writers to campus to share their work with the community.

Poet Chuck Moulton founded the Fresno Poets’ Association as a community organization in the 1980s. Originally as much a social group as a literary one, the FPA provided opportunities for local poets to gather regularly at the old Wild Blue Yonder night club in the Tower District. Readings were later held inside the Bonner Auditorium at the Fresno Art Museum. In 1994, C. G. Hanzlicek became the director of the FPA, bringing noted poets from across the country for readings. Hanzlicek retired as director in 2009. After a brief time directed by the Henry Madden Library, the FPA series is now hosted by the Creative Writing Program, in conjunction with the College of Arts and Humanities. MFA faculty Corrinne Hales and Randa Jarrar currently serve as co-coordinators.

List of episodes
Coming soon — Episode 5: Larry Levis and Philip Levine (August 1984)
6/05/17 — Episode 4: Sherley Anne Williams (February 1986)
5/08/17 — Episode 3: Robert Vasquez, Gary Soto, Ernesto Trejo, Leonard Adame, and Luis Omar Salinas (November 1989)
4/03/17 — Episode 2: Suzanne Lummis and C. G. Hanzlicek (March 1992)
3/06/17 — Episode 1: Ernesto Trejo tribute (November 1991)