NASAA Notes: March 2019

March 6, 2019

California: Gathering of Poets Laureate

California Poet Laureate Dana Gioia recites the final poems of the gathering. Photo by Farah Sosa courtesy of the California Arts Council

This fall, California Poet Laureate Dana Gioia—who served as the chair of the National Endowment for the Arts from 2003 to 2008—completed his term of literary public service to the state by organizing and hosting the first large-scale gathering of California’s poets laureate past and present. The event, which was designed not only to celebrate creative expression but also to build a stronger network of poets throughout the state, featured a collaborative group reading by more than 60 city, regional and county poets laureate. Other highlights were solo readings by special guests, including current Los Angeles Poet Laureate Robin Coste Lewis, former California Poet Laureate Carol Muske-Dukes and Gioia. The daylong event also included panel discussions and breakout sessions for participating poets. The California Arts Council (CAC), which manages the poet laureate nomination process and supports appointed poets throughout their terms, cosponsored the celebration with the Engaging the Senses Foundation. The McGroarty Arts Center, which is the former home of California’s third poet laureate (1933-1944), hosted the event. Contact CAC Director of Public Affairs Caitlin Fitzwater to learn more about the gathering of California’s poets laureate

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