The Berkeley Poets Cooperative
A History of the Times

Edited by Charles Entrekin

Available for $25.00 from your local bookstore or

This is a collection of thirty-two essays, memoirs, and poems about tumultuous times. Universities were under attack and free speech was in question. The byword of the culture rang out, "Question authority." It was also a time to come together and discuss such things as the worth of a word in a poem. The young writers who started The Berkeley Poets Cooperative decided to have a say-so about what was important in literature and in the culture. The combined voices form a patchwork quilt of a unique era in Berkeley, California 1960-1990.

Why revisit literary history? Nearly half a century since the founding of the Berkeley Poets Cooperative, the difficult times have returned. The Great Recession of 2007, the rise in poverty, a rise of the super-rich, inequality of the 1% versus the 99% --the culture is beginning to fear the closing down of the "American dream." The intention is to share this amazing period in history, from the point of view of poets and writers who were there and lived the experience, and remind the reader of the optimism of "the way we were," when everything seemed possible.


"The Berkeley Poets Cooperative publishes some of the most accomplished work I have thus far come across in my efforts to define what is being done... in Bay Area Poetry."
– Peter Dreyer, San Francisco Magazine, 1974

"...the oldest and most successful poetry cooperative in the country."
– Kenneth Lamott, "Poetry Here! Hot Off the Press!", The New York Times, August 29, 1976

"[T]he Berkeley Poets Cooperative forges a significant alliance between writers and their community... a signpost to the future."
– Fred Cody, of Cody's Bookstore, "The Bards of Berkeley", Berkeley Monthly, February, 1981