Poet & Laureate of Santa Clara County, Mighty Mike McGee was our featured reader at the Third Thursday reading in May 2018, right about the time his Laureateship was announced to the public. To some of us, this came as no surprise. For those of you who had not yet heard Mighty Mike recite, it was indeed, a most fortunate opportunity to have heard him at our Third Thursday reading. He is no stranger to San José, where he has been widely popular for his poetry slam, his generosity, and his sense of humor. He has encouraged youth poetry, as well as, themed events in Downtown San José where crowds have gathered, and possibly, never left until, or after midnight. He is very much an entertainer, but can also make you weep like a baby, listening to him recite—definitely,  a moving experience.

To get to know a little more about Mighty Mike McGee, you have to get it from the Horse’s Mouth—his own Bio, in 192 words: 

“Mighty Mike McGee is a well-traveled “stand-up poet” and storyteller from San José, California. In the world of poetry slam, he is the first to win both the 2003 National Poetry Slam Individual Grand Championship and the 2006 Individual World Poetry Slam Grand Championship. He has toured very extensively throughout United States, Canada and Europe. Since 2002, he’s covered several hundred thousand miles performing his brand of poetry and humor. McGee has been featured on HBO’s Def Poetry Jam, CBC Radio and Television, and NPR’s Snap Judgment. He was one of the first Americans to perform spoken word at the University of Paris, la Sorbonne in 2005. He was appointed Poet Laureate of Santa Clara County (Silicon Valley) for 2018 & 2019. McGee’s first collection of humor and poetry, In Search of Midnight, is available through Write Bloody Publishing.” 

This, from the Santa Clara County Poet Laureate website…

As a poet, Mike McGee has toured throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe. He has performed at the University of Paris, HBO’s Def Poetry Jam, on CBC Radio & Television, and is a regular on NPR’s Snap Judgment. He is also a board member for Poetry Center San José.

Through McGee’s travels in North America and Europe, he has seen the lasting impact that performance poetry can have on youth development and creativity. He is an advocate of expanding opportunities for youth to discover the poetic arts, and instilling an early interest, love and appreciation for poetry.

McGee will visit schools, libraries, and community spaces to introduce performance poetry and offer them a curriculum of poetry for their young community. He is already engaging youth in poetry through a workshop at Willow Glen High School.



Getting Gutiérrez to read again at Willow Glen was a splendid idea. His recent collection of poems are beautifully put together in A World Less Away, and his reading, exhilarating. A World Less Away, was published in 2016.

A World Less Away

“A World Less Away is a honeycomb, blackbox, dream codex and memory palace. These poems traffic in the interstices of our lives where the quotidian is imbued with meaning and hums with  metaphysical unrest. By turns existential, surreal and elegiac, the poems in this collection take swerves that are sure to transport the reader to the oneiric side of reality, while never losing sight that flesh was the first simile/ we were given/ to feel, conjure, / never truly inhabit.

Jose Luis G

José Luis Gutiérrez is a San Francisco-based poet. His work has appeared in Margie, Poemeleon, Cortland Review, Hawaii Pacific Review, Xavier Review, Caliban, and Kestrel. His poems have been included in the anthologies Mutanabbi Streets Starts Here and 99 Poems for the 99 Percent, and is forthcoming in Poetry Salzburg Review, Ilanot Review, and Chiron Review, Lotus-Eater Magazine, and Bitterzoet Magazine among others.  

https://www.joseluisgutierrez.net ***** https://www.joseluisgutierrez.net/book/




Bert clicks with our Willow Glen audience. His pensive face is most welcoming when he gets to the podium to read. Then, like the morning sun it glimmers with mischief—the glint in his eye, ready to break out into hysterical humor—his words measured, and holding your attention.

Bert has been featured in many venues across California and also at the Green Mill in
Chicago, as well as various radio readings, including KPFA. He has produced an
Animation DVD of five of his poems in collaboration with the Santa Cruz artist Vanessa Stafford that can be viewed at www.Bert Glick.comAlso, Bert finished in Second Place for a poem in a juried contest that he read at the California Palace Legion of Honor, in San Francisco, September 2015. In December 2016, he was a featured poet at The Felix Kulpa Gallery in Santa Cruz. Most recently, in 2017 he was a featured reader on Channel 27 in Santa Cruz. 

Bert Glick in Santa Cruz CA USA, 1996 on Pacific Ave.

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