COFFEE SHOP IN THE LATE AFTERNOON
The beautiful woman gone
leaving the shop to young men making
their way in the January world
with cell phones and computers â
Outside, a sunny day.
too warm for the season.
A phone rings â a barista calls out
âTall vanilla soy latte.â
Strange talk to one who grew up
with a nickel cup of joe.
There are fewer and fewer
native speakers of oneâs born language.
You learn to live with translations.
The SJSU Department of English and Comparative Literature, the Creative Writing Program, and the Poets and Writers Coalition will sponsor a special program, âA Tribute to Nils Peterson,â Santa Clara County poet laureate,Â at 7 p.m.Â March 18 in the Student Union Barrett Ballroom.Â The event is free and open to the public.
âThe program, organized in affiliation with the Arts Council Silicon Valley and co-sponsored by Poetry Center San Jose, will feature readings and tributes to Nils Peterson by former California Poet Laureate Al Young and by a group of Petersonâs former students and literary colleagues, many of whom are distinguished writers and poets and teachers active in the Bay Area,â said SJSU ProfessorÂ and Creative Writing Program Director Alan Soldofsky.
Petersonâs two-year term as Santa Clara Countyâs first poet laureate will come to a close in April 2011.Â He is professor emeritus atÂ SJSU where he taught from 1963 to 1999.Â He was coordinator of the creative writing emphasis for more than 20 years, and served as coordinator of the creative arts and chair of the Humanities Department.