Ina Coolbrith Landmarks


Ina’s Ever Widening Circle...

 Normally meets monthly on Saturdays, September through May.

See "Meetings" for information on our upcoming
"virtual" meetings held via Zoom

See Below For 2023 ICC Contest Rules:

  NOTE:  To qualify as a Member, dues must be paid by September 30!


The Ina Coolbrith Circle


ENTRY DEADLINE: September 30, 2023

Event will be held on Saturday, December 2, 2023 via Zoom from 1:00pm – 3:30pm.

Guest Speaker: Kathleen McClung

1. NUMBER OF ENTRIES: FOUR (4) poems per contestant, no more than one (1) poem per category
2. CATEGORIES: A. Poems about California  B. Journeys  C. Love  D. Humor  E. Nature  F. People  G. Theme: Childhood  H. Poet’s Choice

3. DEADLINE: Postmarked no later than Saturday, September 30, 2023
4. WHO MAY ENTER: All Circle members (including out-of-state); nonmember California residents
5. FEE: No fee to Circle members with $25 annual dues paid by 9/30; $8 per poem for nonmembers
MEMBERSHIP DUES must be received by September 30 to qualify for free entry.
*Please send any awards donations to the ICC Treasurer:
Gayle Eleanor, 1245 Pine Creek Way, #J, Concord, CA. 94520
• have a title
• be original, in English, and not have appeared online or in any journal or newspaper   professionally published

• not have been award winners in any previous contest (honorable mentions acceptable)
• not exceed 42 lines, not counting spaces between stanzas
• be submitted in triplicate, i.e., three (3) clear copies of each poem on 8 1/2 x 11 paper
• have the category of each poem typed in the upper right corner of all copies
• if traditional/classical in form, have the form noted on entry (all forms of poetry encouraged)
• include on ONE COPY ONLY in upper left corner the typed name, address, phone number, email, and status (member or nonmember) of the poet (address labels OK)

• be mailed in one envelope with sufficient postage (certified/registered mail is not accepted)
• be sent with check payable to The Ina Coolbrith Circle (if including submission fee or dues)

MAIL ENTRIES (and any entry fees or dues) TO: Johanna Ely , 366 Military East, 

Benicia, Ca. 94510


Keep copies of your poem(s) a
s none will be returned to you. Authors retain all rights. Decisions of judges are final.

*Donations are welcomed to sustain awards.
Winning poems will be read and awards given at the Ina Coolbrith Circle’s 103rd Annual Poetry Contest. Saturday, December 2, 2023 --- via Zoom (link to be sent out the morning of December 2nd)



In 1919, poet/librarian/teacher Ina Coolbrith began meeting with kindred literary spirits at her home in San Francisco. "I want," she said, "the Circle to live and be ever widening... to perpetually keep the history and literature…of California alive...."

Today, about 200 members of the Ina Coolbrith Circle continue to pursue her mission to nurture the poetry and history, past and present, of the Golden State. Our members include poets, writers, historians, artists and readers with a particular interest in books by and about Californians.

The new Ina Coolbrith Anthology, Gathering 15, is here!

 These beautiful books will make treasured

additions to your bookshelf.


Price includes postage.

To order copies,

please send a check, made out to The Ina Coolbrith Circle,

to our treasurer:

Gayle Eleanor

1245 Pine Creek Way, #J, 

Concord, CA 94520.

Please include your name and the address

where you would like your order shipped.  

2020 Poets Dinner Results

Step into the Circle!

for member benefits and membership form

go to our "Join the Circle" page

About Ina Coolbrith

Born in Nauvoo, Illinois, Ina Coolbrith was the first white child to enter California, making the journey with noted scout Jim Beckwourth in 1851. Poet, teacher, librarian, her "circle" of poet/writer friends included Joaquin Miller, Bret Harte, Ambrose Bierce, Jack London, George Sterling and Gertrude Atherton.

In 1915, by a resolution of the State Legislature she was crowned the first Poet Laureate of California by Edwin Markham at the Panama Pacific International Exposition. A biography and selection of Ina Coolbrith's poetry is available in our publication "At The Heart of the Circle" (2002). Please see the Publications page for more information.