February 16th SPEAKER—Jan Steckel on Poetry and Activism

social promo for CWC Berkeley February event
Jan Steckel, award-winning poet and activist

On February 16th the California Writers Club – Berkeley branch welcomes award-winning poet and activist Jan Steckel as a featured guest of the club. Steckel will speak on how poets and writers can affect change through their writing. She will speak on advocacy, representation, and documenting social conditions. Steckel has experience to share on using your writing to inspire empathy and using your notoriety to draw attention to injustice. She will share the ways poets and writers can participate in acts of resistance and move others to action.

Steckel will briefly survey activist poets of the past. Many poets who rarely wrote overtly political poetry have felt moved to do so over the last few years. Online and print venues for political poetry have recently multiplied; a list of 22 journals that publish poetry about current events, including poems that take a political stance, will be provided. Local and national organizations of activist poets and publishers and ways to be an activist poet will be discussed.

About February Guest Jan Steckel

Jan Steckel
February CWC-Berkeley speaker
Jan Steckel


Jan Steckel is a former pediatrician who stopped practicing medicine because of chronic pain. She is an activist for bisexual people’s, disabled people’s and immigrants’ rights. Her latest book Like Flesh Covers Bone (Zeitgeist Press, December 2018) won two Rainbow Awards (for LGBT Poetry and Best Bisexual Book) and was a finalist for the poetry category of the Bi Book Awards. Her poetry book The Horizontal Poet (Zeitgeist Press, 2011) won a 2012 Lambda Literary Award. Her fiction chapbook Mixing Tracks (Gertrude Press, 2009) and poetry chapbook The Underwater Hospital (Zeitgeist Press, 2006) also won awards. Her writing has appeared in Scholastic Magazine, Bellevue Literary Review, Rise Up Review, Poetry Reading the News, The New Verse News, and elsewhere. She lives in Oakland, California and works as a medical editor. Learn more at JanSteckel.com or follow her on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Full Schedule of Events

12:00 pm Setup
12:30 Doors open & member services
1:00 Raffle & Announcements
1:30 Featured Member: Henry Hitz
1:45 Keynote Speaker: Jan Steckel
2:30 Book Sales & Networking
3:00 Marketing Group*
4:00 Craft Group*
5:00 Byeeee!

$5 for members, $10 for non-members*

  • Coffee is provided, bring cookies and treats to share!
  • Admission includes 1 free raffle ticket

PLEASE PLAN TO PURCHASE A RAFFLE TICKET! Only $1 each or 6 for $5, every ticket supports the club’s equity program. You can win a book written by our club authors!

* Support groups are members-only but guests may audit
Empty pockets? Ask about our sponsored guest program at the door. We are writers helping writers, a welcoming community.

1204 Preservation Park Way, Oakland, CA 94612

Our meetings are right off 980 in downtown Oakland, at beautiful Preservation Park. Just off 12th Street, naturally you can get there from the 12th St. BART station. Those with limited ability can use the parking lot off of MLK Way; otherwise there should be plenty of FREE parking within the park and on surrounding streets.

We meet in Robinson Classroom ‘B’ 

Say you’re coming on Facebook!

Our Forthcoming Events:

  • February 22 – New Member Orientation
  • March 15th – Panel: Small Press Publishers
  • April 21st – Tanya Egan Gibson feat. Lynn Fraley
  • May 17th – Andy Ross feat. Nicole Berg
  • June 20th – Member Book Launch at Great Good Place for Books, Oakland

Check for support groups and more member events on our Calendar.


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