Great Overland Book Company poetry reading with fellow Writing Salon teachers Ben Jackson, Alison Luterman, and Julie Bruck. (April, 2014)

Great Overland Book Company poetry reading with fellow Writing Salon teachers Ben Jackson, Alison Luterman, and Julie Bruck. (April, 2014)


I’m excited to be a contributor to the forthcoming Fog and Light: San Francisco Through the Eyes of the Poets who Live Here, selected by Diane Frank, Chief Editor, Blue Light Press

Twenty of my poems appear in Three Soul-Makers: Poems That Bring Us Together, issue 5 of Poetrylandia published by Wapshott Press. My co-authors Mary Kennedy Eastham and Eileen Malone are my longtime colleagues at the Soul-Making Keats literary competition.

Three formal verse poems appear in the Fall 2020 print issue of The MacGuffin, and late in 2020 I joined the journal’s poetry staff.

I was delighted to have work featured online at Women’s Voices for Change in September of 2020. Poetry Editor Rebecca Foust reviews my Rattle chapbook, A Juror Must Fold in on Herself, and I read a pantoum and sestina from the collection.

My sonnet “The Forewoman Speaks” appears in Spillway 28. Many thanks to editors Marsha de la O and Phil Taggart

Thrilled to win the 2020 Rattle Chapbook Prize for A Juror Must Fold in on Herself.  Three winners were selected from over 1,800 entries.  Stay tuned for a San Francisco launch party in the fall!

My sonnet, “After Pneumonia, After Acquittal” appeared in New Verse News in February, 2020.  Kudos to editor James Penha for curating this terrific blog of poems responding to current events.

Thank you to Rebecca Foust for featuring my sestina “Crab Feed” at Women’s Voices for Change in July 2019. I’m grateful for her incisive commentary.

My poem, “The Sequestered Juror Writes a Sestina,” won Grand Prize in the 2019 Ina Coolbrith Circle Poetry Contest. Many thanks to judge Andrea Hollander. The poem appears in the forthcoming chapbook, A Juror Must Fold in on Herself.

My villanelle, “For the Young Man Unimpressed with the Sky,” was awarded the Grand Prize at the 93rd annual Poets’ Dinner contest on March 30, 2019. Many thanks to judge Alexandra Teague and to the arrangements committee, sponsors and readers. Congrats to fellow winners in the eight contest categories. I’m so honored to be among these extraordinary northern California poets. For the winners list, visit

I’m delighted to be the featured poet in the Winter 2019 issue of Mezzo Cammin, an online journal of formal verse by women. Thank you to editor Kim Bridgford for publishing the work of 22 writers across the country and for awarding me the Mezzo Cammin scholarship to the Poetry by the Sea Conference in Connecticut in May.

Happy New Year! I was delighted to begin 2019 by learning my poem, “Inverness   Late March” won a first prize in the Bay Area Poets Coalition 2018 contest (under 15 lines category.) I’m also thrilled that my Hush Hour student Cecile Earle won a first prize for “Centos for John Haines” (under 40 lines category.) The awards reading is Feb 2 at 3 pm in Berkeley. All are welcome!

My book, The Typists Play Monopoly, is available now on Amazon.  Everyone is invited to my launch party on Sunday, May 6, 2018 from 6-8 pm at The Artisans of San Francisco, 2549 Irving Street (at 27th Avenue). I’ll be giving a short talk/reading, selling/signing books, and making merry. Join us for the festivities in a vibrant, locally-owned frame shop in San Francisco’s Sunset district.

Received thrilling news that my pantoum, “Biking Circle Drive” won the 2017 Morton Marr Poetry Prize, which comes with a $1,000 check and publication in Southwest Review. I’m a three-time finalist for this prize, which celebrates formal verse, and I’m so grateful to judge Erica Dawson for awarding me the prize. Persist!

I was overwhelmed to receive the Grand Prize for my sestina, “Crab Feed,” at the 98th annual Ina Coolbrith Circle Poetry Banquet. Of over 300 poems, mine was selected by judge H.L. Hix. I was also honored to receive awards in four contest categories: Poets Choice, Theme: Wabi Sabi, Love, and Poems about California. Many thanks to the judges and contest organizers and kudos to fellow winners. Here is the full winners list.

A thousand thanks to the editors of the online literary journal cahoodaloodaling for nominating my poem, “The Comrade,” for Best of the Net 2017. My pantoum celebrates Anne Sullivan, who taught, loved, and radicalized Helen Keller. Sullivan’s voice resonates with new urgency for us in August of 2017. To read the poem, visit

Calling California writers! Submit your best unpublished poems for the 2017 Jane Underwood Poetry Prize, sponsored by The Writing Salon. The winning poem will be published on the WS website and the prize winner receives $250 and a featured reading. Entries are accepted now through Nov 1 via Submittable. WS teachers Julie Bruck, Alison Luterman and I are excited to serve as final judges. For details, please visit

Writing Salon director Ben Jackson and I are interviewed in a feature article in the June 2017 issue of San Francisco’s Richmond ReView, “New Balboa St. home for Writing Salon.” We’re so happy to return to San Francisco!

Thank you to judge Sandra Alcosser for awarding 1st Prize to my sestina, “Subletter in the Therapists’ Suite,” in the Spaces & Places category of the 91st annual Poets’ Dinner Contest. I also received Honorable Mention in the People category for “Cento for a Sister at a Distance.” The April 1 banquet in Pleasant Hill, California was a festive celebration for members and friends of the Ina Coolbrith Circle.

Congratulations to these poets for winning 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prize in the sonnet category of the 2016 Soul-Making Keats literary competition, which I judged:  Diane Moomey (CA), Christopher Goff (NY), and Lucille Gang Shulklapper (FL). Honorable mentions: Marilyn L. Taylor, John Oliver Simon, Grace Marie Grafton, Robert Eastwood, Catharine Clark-Sayles, and Katharyn Howd Machan.  I look forward to cheering on winners in all 12 categories at the awards reading March 5 in the Koret Auditorium of San Francisco’s Main Library.

I’m deeply honored to be the first recipient of the Shirley McClure Poetry Prize from the 2016 Los Gatos-Listowel Writers’ Festival. My villanelle, “Across and Down,” was selected by contest judge Jane Clarke who traveled to California from Ireland to participate in the October 6-9 festival celebrating writers from Ireland and the U.S.

At the Nov 5th Ina Coolbrith Circle awards banquet I was delighted to receive 2nd Prize in the category of Poems about California for my pantoum, “How to Drive in San Francisco.” Many thanks to judge Elizabeth Bradfield. Two other poems received Honorable Mentions in the categories of People and Poet’s Choice.

My book manuscript, “The Typists Play Monopoly,” was a finalist for the 2016 Barry Spacks Poetry Prize. Congratulations to Kurt S. Olsson, whose manuscript, “Burning Down Disneyland” was selected by judge Thomas Lux and will be published by Gunpowder Press.

Thank you to Massachusetts State Poetry Society for awarding my work two 1st Prizes in the 2016 National Poetry Day Contest. “May the Road Rise Up” won the Louise Bogan contest and “Sweet Creek” won the Natalie North memorial contest.

What a thrill to receive Honorable Mention for my sonnet sequence, “Lighter Than Her Lace,” in Winning Writers’ 2015 contest! Marilyn L. Taylor, former poet laureate of Wisconsin, won first prize for traditional verse, and I was one of seven finalists for the $1500 award. The contest received over 2,000 entries. Enjoy my poem and all of the winning work, as well as comments from judge Ellaraine Lockie at

I am so honored that my sonnet, “Gualala Winter,” is among the Top Three of the 2016 Great River Shakespeare Festival/Maria W. Faust sonnet contest. Congrats to fellow winners John Reed and Sandra Graff and to 30 Laureates’ Choice winners from around the country. Many thanks to the judges and to contest director Ted Haaland for the generous cash prize. Winning poems may be read at

Very happy to receive a check in March from Chaparral Poetry Forum and Redrock Writers (Utah) for winning First Prize for my villanelle, “The Year We Memorize Planets.” Thank you to judge Bill Ruesch and congrats to fellow winners from around the country. The Forum produces a handsome print chapbook of the winning poems in each category, and these works will also be published online soon at .

My sonnet, “Clara Peeters, Vanitas Self-Portrait c. 1610-20″ appears in a beautiful anthology of poetry from England. Chronicles of Eve, published by Paper Swans, celebrates women throughout history, and my poem honors a gifted 17th century painter. I was there in spirit at the May 1, 2016 launch in London!

At the Ina Coolbrith Circle banquet on November 7, I was honored to receive two First Prize awards in the categories of Poems about California and Legacy: “Whistle Keepers, 1883” and “Considering Chess, Tomales Bay.”  Many thanks to judges Prageeta Sharma and Sean Hill, congrats to fellow prize winners in all eight categories, and kudos to keynote speaker Aleta George, author of the biography Ina Coolbrith: The Bittersweet Song of California’s First Poet Laureate.  “Whistle Keepers, 1883” appears in the elegant online journal Heron Tree,

I received a check from the Connecticut Poetry Society in October for my sestina, “Considering Chess, Tomales Bay,” which won Third Prize in the Connecticut River Review annual contest. Thanks to judge Dennis Marone and congrats to fellow winners Jack Powers and Amy Nawrocki. Our poems are published online at CPS and in the next issue of Connecticut River Review.

My villanelle, “Nashville Labyrinth,” won Sixth Place in the Rhyming Poetry category for the 84th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition. The poem appears in the 2015 Marin Poetry Center anthology.

A villanelle, “Gilbert and Ed Washing the Wheelchairs, Telegraph Avenue Coin-Op,” received Honorable Mention in the 2015 contest sponsored by the Mendocino Coast Writers Conference. My poem will be published in November in Noyo River Review with other winning works. I had the pleasure of studying with poet/playwright Indigo Moor at the 2015 conference.

Congrats to the winners of the Formal Verse category of Poets & Patrons 59th annual Chicagoland Poetry Contest, which I had the pleasure of judging. 1st prize: Catherine Moran (Arkansas)  2nd prize: Dalene Stull (Ohio)  3rd prize: Kate Hutchinson (Illinois). For the complete winners list across 12 categories, see

My sestina, “My Mother’s Cold War,” was a finalist for the 2015 Elinor Benedict Poetry Prize judged by Lynn Emanuel.Congrats to my fellow poetry and nonfiction finalists! Our names and more information can be found at

Thank you to judge Claire Zoghb for awarding first prize to my poem, “Manhattan Ghazal,” in the category of Love in the 89th Annual Poets’ Dinner contest. Thanks also to judge Pam Bernard for awarding second prize to “My Mother’s Cold War” in the category of Poet’s Choice. Close to 100 California poets entered the contest and celebrated at the April 11 awards banquet. For more info, visit

I was happy to be interviewed on March 26, 2015 by Evan Karp in SF Weekly’s Write Stuff column. Check out a short (4 minute) video at the end of the Q & A. I read 3 poems in the garden outside my office.…/the-write-stuff-kathleen-mcclung-on-fierce-tenderness-and-dreaming-big

For the month of March 2015 my poem, “The Traffic Reporter’s Retirement Speech,” was printed and placed in buses in Emeryville, California. Thanks to Sarah Kobrinsky, Poet Laureate of Emeryville, for selecting my work to be shared with 5,000+ riders each day. More info can be found at or, better yet, climb onboard the bus. It’s free!

Many thanks to Peg Alford Pursell, editor of the Marin Poetry Center Anthology, for nominating my work for a Pushcart Prize. She selected my sonnet, “For the Man at Macy’s Lurking in Swimwear,” along with five other poems in Volume XVII: 2014. Winners will be announced in the spring of 2015.

My villanelle, “Gilbert and Ed Washing the Wheelchairs, Telegraph Avenue Co-op” won first in the Midi category of the 2014 Bay Area Poets Coalition contest. Congrats to all of the winners and many thanks to judge Melanie Henderson of Washington, D.C. For more info about the Bay Area Poets Coalition visit

In late December my villanelle, “Souvenir Corkscrew,” was Poem of the Week at West Trestle Review, a terrific online journal of poetry by California and Nevada women. I also salute Dawn McGuire’s book, The Aphasia Café, in the News & Reviews section. Enjoy the site and visit the archives for my poem.

“Lighter than Her Lace: A Crown of Borrowed Self-Portraits” appears in Unsplendid’s special double issue on women and form. My sonnet sequence celebrates women painters over five centuries. I’m delighted to be among nearly fifty women poets featured in the issue and I encourage you to listen to my audio recording of my reading at

My sonnet, “The Elder,” won first prize in the formal poetry category of the Illinois State Poetry Society 2014 contest. I’m especially honored to be the only Californian in the winners circle this year.

Green River Writers in Kentucky notified me that my work won two first prizes in the 2014 contest in the categories of Persona Poem and Nature, Animal, Spirit. I was delighted to see fellow Californian Ellaraine Lockie on the winners list also. For more info/winners list, see

Congratulations to the winners of the Formal Verse category of Poets & Patrons 58th Annual Chicagoland Poetry Contest, which I had the pleasure of judging. 1st prize: Lee Pelham Cotton (Virginia), 2nd prize: Madelyn Eastlund (Florida), 3rd prize: Barbara Blanks (Texas)

“The Driver’s Earthquake,” part of my Bridgework sonnet sequence, won 1st Honorable Mention in the Journeys category of the 2014 Ina Coolbrith Circle Poetry Contest. Nearly 100 poets gathered November 1st for the 95th annual awards banquet. Thanks to Judge Susan Elbe and congrats to all the winners!

My poem, “Renter Sonnet #6” won a Laureates’ Choice award in the seventh annual Great River Shakespeare Festival sonnet contest. Over 400 poems were submitted from the U.S. and abroad. Thanks to contest sponsor Ted Haaland and to judges Emilio DeGrazia, Ken McCullough, and James Armstrong, esteemed Minnesota scholars and poets. Congrats to all the winners!

I’m honored to be one of 12 finalists for the 49th Parallel Award for Poetry sponsored by the Bellingham Review in Washington. Congratulations to first place winner Jackleen Holton and to my fellow finalists, several of whom are from California. For more details, see

My sonnet, “Alice Neel, Nude Self-Portrait, 1980,” won second prize in the category of People in the 88th Annual Poets’ Dinner Contest. I also received an honorable mention for “Renter Sonnet (3)” in the Nature category. For the winners list and more information about the March 8 event, see

A tiny poem, “Ribs,” inspired by William Carlos Williams, won first prize in the Mini category of the Bay Area Poets Coalition Maggi H. Meyer Memorial Poetry Contest 2013. Many thanks to judge Judy Halebsky and congrats to winners in all three categories. To read the winning poems, see

I’m honored to be a finalist for the 2013 Morton Marr Poetry Prize. Congratulations to Michael Shewmaker whose 1st prize-winning poem, “The Baptist,” will appear in February in Southwest Review. For the winners list, see

Three of my poems received awards in the 94th annual poetry contest sponsored by the Ina Coolbrith Circle. The October 12 banquet featured a keynote by Matthew Zapruder and readings/cash prizes for poems in eight categories.

My sonnet, “At the Marin Art Festival,” won first prize in the 2013 annual contest sponsored by the California State Poetry Society. I’m honored to receive this recognition, as well as a $100 check. Winning poems will appear in California Quarterly 39:4 in late 2013.

I performed my poems “Time Lady, Adieu” and “Freefall” with the versatile Wakefield Jazz Quartet on Saturday, August 10 at a fundraising concert for the Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists. Accompanied by sax, guitar, bass, and drums, I read to an appreciative crowd of jazz fans. Thanks to sax player Pete Greenstein for inviting me to join his combo of gifted musicians onstage.

My poem, “Anticipators,” received Third Prize from judge Carol Christy White in the category of Beginnings & Endings in the 87th Annual Poets’ Dinner Contest. Nearly 200 poets attended the March 23 celebration in Oakland and enjoyed a keynote address/reading by Dana Gioia, former Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts.

My poem, “Alumni,” received 1st Honorable Mention from judge James Valvis in the 33rd Annual Maggi H. Meyer Memorial Contest, sponsored by the Bay Area Poets Coalition. Writers submitted over 200 entries in three categories.

Congratulations to prizewinners in the sonnet category of the 2012 Soul-Making Keats Literary Competition, which I judged.

1st prize: Jeanetta Jones Miller of Gualala, CA for “A Quick Surprise”
2nd prize: Moira Egan of Rome, Italy for “Insomnia Sonnet (4)”
3rd prize: Robin Leslie Jacobson of San Anselmo, CA  for “My Father Remembering as He Was Forgetting”

Honorable Mentions:  Catherine Moran, Lucille Gang Shulklapper, Robin Leslie Jacobson, Maria Theresa Maggi, Monda Van Hollebeke The free awards reading took place Sunday, March 24, 2013 in the Koret Auditorium, San Francisco Main Library.

Poet Connie Post and novelist Patricia Powell read from their work and signed books at WOW! Voices Now on Saturday, March 2 at Skyline College. The crowd of close to seventy women and men welcomed these acclaimed authors with warm, sustained applause and a robust Q & A. For the past four years I’ve coordinated this spring literary celebration to honor International Women’s Day.  Featured authors have included Camille Dungy, Jean Hegland, Alison Luterman, Li Miao Lovett, Genny Lim, and Dorothy Bryant.

retreat Salt Point 001I enjoyed brief retreats in January and August on northern California’s Mendocino coast. For creative renewal, it’s important to slow down and quiet down, depart from  routines and responsibilities, and reflect on the rhythms of water and wind, stones and sunlight.