Press Esc to cancel
Learn about Stephen Kessler's history and work below.
Writer and translator Stephen Kessler has been named 2023 Artist of the Year by the Santa Cruz County Arts Commission. The Artist of the Year award is presented to local artists for outstanding achievement in the discipline of performing, visual, or literary arts who have also made a substantial contribution to the cultural enrichment of Santa Cruz County.
Join us for a Profile Performance on Saturday, May 20, 7-9 p.m. at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center. Stephen will present some of his favorite poems and translations of recent years. Admission is FREE to the public; seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis the night of the event.
Kessler has distinguished himself over the last 50 years as one of his generation’s most versatile and prolific writers, author of a dozen volumes of original poetry, 16 books of literary translation, three collections of essays, and a novel, The Mental Traveler (Greenhouse Review Press, 2009). He has edited numerous literary journals and community newspapers and is the editor and principal translator of The Sonnets by Jorge Luis Borges (Penguin Classics, 2010). Locally in recent years he is best known as a wide-ranging and freethinking opinion columnist in the Santa Cruz Sentinel. During most of the 1970s and ’80s he was active as an organizer of and advocate for the Santa Cruz poetry community, putting on readings, writing reviews and essays in the local weeklies, and cohosting with Gary Young The Poetry Show and Bards After Dark on KUSP radio. He is known nationally and internationally as a translator of modern Spanish and Latin American poets including the Argentine master Borges, Nobel laureates Vicente Aleixandre and Pablo Neruda, the exiled Spaniard Luis Cernuda, and the Argentine expatriate Julio Cortázar.
Learn about the nomination process for Artist of the Year!
(831) 454-7901 (General)
Monday – Friday 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM, except holidays
Our physical office is open, but staff availability is limited.