Photo Credit: Lynda Koolish

Frances Payne Adler

Current City, State, Country

Portland, Oregon

Birth City, State, Country

Montreal, Quebec, Canada


Canadian American poet Frances Payne Adler is the poetry editor of Tikkun Magazine, and Professor Emerita and founder of the Creative Writing & Social Action Program at California State University Monterey Bay, where she and her colleagues transformed the former Fort Ord military base into a university.

Adler is the author of five books: two poetry collections, Making of a Matriot (Ren Hen) and Raising The Tents (Calyx); and three collaborative poetry-photography books and social action art exhibitions, with photographer Kira Carrillo Corser, about health care access and homelessness, that have shown in galleries, universities, and state capitol buildings across the country, as well as in the U.S. Senate in Washington, D.C.

Adler also co-edited Fire and Ink: An Anthology of Social Action Writing (University of Arizona Press) with poet Diana Garcia and novelist Debra Busman, that won the ForeWord Book of the Year Award for Anthologies. Her other awards include a California State Senate Award for Artistic and Social Collaboration, a National Endowment for the Arts Regional Award, and the New Millennium Obama Award. She was a finalist for the Western States Book Award and the Montreal International Poetry Prize. Adler has an MFA in Creative Writing, studying with Rita Dove and Carolyn Forche. Adrienne Rich has called her “an artist of the difficult.”

What is the relationship between Judaism and/or Jewish culture and your poetry?

Jewish culture and my Judaism are central to my poetry, as subject matter and as a way of being in the world. Currently, I’m the poetry editor for Tikkun Magazine. And my most recent poetry-photography exhibition, “Dare I Call You Cousin,” focuses on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with images and stories from both Israeli and Palestinian points of view, showing the simmering conditions underpinning their lives. The exhibition was done in collaboration with Jerusalem photographer Michal Fattal, who works for Haaretz, and Tel Aviv videographer Yossi Yacov, who has been filming the Israeli & Palestinian peace movements for years. The art’s peace-building aim is to create breathing space for discussion. A portion of the exhibition can be seen at:

Published Works

Making of a Matriot (Red Hen Press, Second Edition, 2017)
Raising the Tents (Calyx Books, 2003)
Making of a Matriot (First Edition, Red Hen Press, 2003)
When the Bough Breaks: Pregnancy and the Legacy of Addiction: with photographer Kira Corser (New Sage Press, 1993)
Struggle to Be Borne: with photographer Kira Corser (San Diego State University Press, 1988)
Home Street Home: with photographer Kira Corser (American Red Cross, 1984)

Edited Works
Fire and Ink: An Anthology of Social Action Writing: Co-Editor with Diana Garcia and Debra Busman (University of Arizona Press, 2009)

Links to Sample Works

Video Reading

Current Title

Poetry editor, Tikkun Magazine.


Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, San Diego State University, 1980
Master of Arts in English, San Diego State University, 1986
Master of Fine Arts Creative Writing/Poetry, Arizona State University, 1989

Subject Matter