Poetry and Music in the Garden

Saturday, June 29, 12-3pm at the Alan Chadwick Garden

Surrounded by redwood groves and fruit trees, birds and roses, Poet Laureates and youth poets will read from their work at the 30th anniversary of Poetry and Music in the Chadwick Garden.

This year’s lineup features Santa Cruz County’s first Poet Laureate Gary Young and current Laureate Farnaz Fatemi, and El Dorado County Poet Laureate Steven Meadows. We also welcome newcomers to this event, Madeline Aliah and Sylvi Kayser.

Plus, enjoy live music by Keith Greeninger.

This free event is presented by the Friends of the UCSC Farm & Garden. No RSVP is required.

    Meet the Poets

  • Steven Meadows

    Steven Meadows


    Stephen Meadows is a Californian poet with roots in both the Ohlone and the pioneer soil of his home state. He was born and raised on the Monterey Bay of Central California and received his secondary education at U.C. Santa Barbara, U.C. Santa Cruz where he earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree and went on to earn a Master’s Degree at San Francisco State University. 

    Stephen has published poems in anthologies and collections nationwide; The Sounds of Rattles and Clappers from the University of Arizona Press, The Dirt is Red Here from Heyday Books and his first book also from Heyday Releasing the Days. Stephen is included in; Fire and Rain: Ecopoetry of California from Scarlet Tanager Books edited by Lucille Lang Day and Ruth Nolan and Red Indian Road West also from the same press. In addition, his poems can be found on the spoken word CD Red Smoke Dawn Wind with background music by David Blonski as well as appearing on the CD from Mignon Geli entitled Under a Buffalo Sun.
    Pulled from https://blacklawrencepress.com/authors/stephen-meadows/ 

  • Gary Young

    Gary Young

    Gary Young’s most recent books are That’s What I Thought, and American Analectsboth from Persea Books. Other books include Even So: New and Selected PoemsPleasure; No Other Life, winner of the William Carlos Williams Award; Braver Deedswinner of the Peregrine Smith Poetry Prize; The Dream of a Moral Life which won the James D. Phelan Award; and Hands. Precious Mirror, translations from the Japaneseand Taken to Heart: 70 poems from the Chinese, were published by White Pine Press. He has received grants from the NEH, NEA, and the Shelley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, among others. He teaches creative writing and directs the Cowell Press at UC Santa Cruz.

  • Farnaz Fatemi

    Farnaz Fatemi

    Farnaz Fatemi, an Iranian American poet and writer, and current Santa Cruz County Poet Laureate, is a founding member of The Hive Poetry Collective. She was formerly a writing instructor at UC Santa Cruz. Her book, Sister Tongue زبان خواهر, was published in September 2022. It won the 2021 Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize, selected by Tracy K. Smith, is a finalist for the Foreword Indies, and received a Starred Review from Publisher’s Weekly. Some of her poems and lyric essays appear in Poem-a-Day (Poets.org), Tab Journal, Pedestal Review, Nowruz Journal, Grist Journal and Tupelo Quarterly. More at farnazfatemi.com

  • Madeline Aliah

    Madeline Aliah

    Madeline Aliah started writing poetry as an 11-year-old boy, the year she had two poems published in Cabrillo College’s Porter Gulch Review. She developed her voice further when she came out as a woman, naming herself Madeline Aliah on her 16th birthday. The next day, she wrote and presented a poem at a Pride flag-raising ceremony, so her birth as a woman and her growth as a poet went hand in hand. Since then, she has published a chapbook of poems, This is My Body: Poems by a Teen Trans Fem, and delivered a talk at TEDx Santa Cruz. She was a finalist for the Youth Poet Laureate contest and an emcee and awardee at this year’s QYLA—the Queer Youth Leadership Awards. A member of the local Queer Trans Youth Council, Maddie uses her poetic voice to comfort and to challenge. Watsonville Poet Laureate Bob Gomez put it best when he said, “Madeline is a dragon spirit who sees what the rest of us cannot see, bringing soft rain and thunderous rage, unbound, fierce, indomitable.”

  • Sylvi Kayser

    Sylvi Kayser

    Sylvi Kayser is an avid writer who has been penning for as long as she can remember. They are a sophomore at Aptos High School and discovered his love for poetry in eighth grade. Sylvi’s poems span the inner works of her mind, reflecting his thoughts, humanity as a whole, and mental health, among other topics. Through poetry, she has been able to uncover their mind, as poems are an outlet for Sylvi to jot down self expression. Sylvi is in the cohort for the Youth Poet Laureate program of Santa Cruz County. Sylvi has also written research papers for her school and an article for Youth for Environmental Action, a group he has been a part of on the leadership team with the County Office of Education, which ran in both the Aptos Times and the Scotts Valley Times. With their written work, Sylvi hopes to share her voice and create a space for sentiment to be shared.