Plunge by Alice Jones, Open Book by Valerie Coulton, My Rice Tastes Like the Lake by Tsering Wangmo Dhompa, and Equinox by Edward Smallfield, four of the featured titles from Apogee Press in Berkeley. These four just-released books are slated for the Naomi Clark Library upstairs in the Markham House at History San José, California.


Ed and wife Valerie Coulton are living in Barcelona, Spain, but we keep in touch. Ed was in on the founding of Apogee and my first poetry mentor. So Apogee graciously sends the library newly-published books from this innovative and experimental press. The featured books have good design, colorful covers, and promote diverse and original language. Worth a visit to the Markham House to check them out.

The Edwin Markham House contains a collection of poetry books, now over 700 donated, along with anthologies, reference books, and small press publications. The library is located on the second floor, which also has a reading/writing room equipped with a copier. Downstairs, a resource room contains Markham’s original bookcase, holding poetry books for children—classics, new publications and reference books for those interested in teaching poetry to their classes. This section has television, DVD’s, and magnetic boards for writing. For more information, check out the website for the Poetry Center San José.

At the moment, the entire library is cataloged online (except the just-donated poetry books from Pat Compton), and can be accessed by visiting the Naomi Clark Library through LibraryThing. Our goal is to have the house at History Park open, first on Tuesday afternoons, and later, two days a week.

The children’s library was made possible by a grant from Air Systems Foundation, Inc. Both libraries are open to book donations; we ask that you go through your own library and set aside what you can spare. We are looking for volunteers to man access to the library.

We could certainly use your help, and you’d have at least part of the docent time to read and write. Please give this some thought.

Markham House at History San José


  1. Currently Markham House is open most Fridays from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. PCSSJ member and Markham House docent Renee Schell is at the house at this tiome. Feel free to ext her at 650-793-8117 if you wish to double-check access for a particular Friday.

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