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Judith Tannenbaum


Judith Tannenbaum, who currently serves as training coordinator for San Francisco’s WritersCorps program, has been poet-in-residence in many community settings, from primary schools to maximum security prisons. Her books include the memoir Disguised as a Poem: My Years Teaching Poetry at San Quentin (Northeastern University Press/University Press of New England, 2000), Teeth, Wiggly as Earthquakes: Writing Poetry in the Primary Grades (Stenhouse Publishers, 2000), and many small books of poems. Judith also edited WritersCorps’ Jump Write In!  Creative Writing Exercises for Diverse Communities, Grades 6-12 (Jossey-Bass, 2005).



Solid Ground

Edited by Judith Tannenbaum

One hundred years after San Francisco's Great Earthquake of 1906, WritersCorps gathers the powerful voices of San Francisco youth reflecting on solidity, violence, upheaval, and regeneration in their lives and in the world. The poems on these pages are a moving story, eloquent, fragile, courageous, and shattering.


Amazing metaphors dance in between the seamless lines and white spaces of these poems, proof once again that young people are natural to poetry, that they are carrying most of the poetry of our time, and that something is amiss when we don't respond poetically as a world, as community, to their dreams, their ideas, their sentiments, and their hopes. Solid Ground is solid work deserving of serious attention.

— Luis J. Rodriguez, author of Always Running and My Nature is Hunger


The tectonic upheavals of adolescence, urban living and adult/civic failures have sparked these fierce and tender poems. Each one articulates its own universe; using words as light to help us scramble across the frightful chasms that exist between all of us.

— Jewelle Gomez, poet


WritersCorps and its bright young poets make San Francisco a city of possibility, where the imagination truly leads us to a more solid future.

— Gavin Newsom, Mayor of San Francisco


WritersCorps has found some remarkable voices, as pure and beautiful as any you might find in the most acclaimed journals. As we commemorate the centennial of one of the world's great disasters, let us celebrate another phenomenon for which San Francisco is known: it is the birthplace of great writers. As long as marvelous voices like these continue to emerge, there is hope.

— James Dalessandro, author of 1906 and Canary in a Coal Mine

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