October 4, 2013

Campaign Promises: County Gets A Poet Laureate

IN THE course of a political campaign, promises are made.

One promise I made during my year long campaign for the Board of Supervisors was to start a San Mateo County Poet Laureate program with the goals of sharing the art of the written word - promote literacy - and inspire children to read and write using poetry as the vehicle.

Now I am pleased to announce that an award-winning Montara writer and professor with a long involvement in the literary arts is poised to be the county's inaugural poet laureate.

On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors is expected to formally appoint Caroline Goodwin.

I owe a big thank you to Marci Dragun of my staff for doing so much work related to this months-long process. I also would like to thank Supervisor Carole Groom who served as committee co-chair. And finally let me recognize all of the members of the Poet Laureate Committee who did lots of home work and attended many meetings - and share their ideas and perspectives on this undertaking.

The members of the committee includes California Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera; Jackie Berger, director of the master of arts in English program at Notre Dame de Namur University; Kalamu Chaché, East Palo Alto poet laureate; Maryann Moise Derwin, chair of the San Mateo County Library JPA governing board and Portola Valley councilwoman; Anne-Marie Despain, director of library services for San Mateo County Library; Julie Fellers, president, Peninsula Arts Council; Mary Gutierrez, dean of language arts at Skyline College; Clark Kepler, local business advocate; Bardi Rosman Koodrin, literary director of the San Mateo County Fair; Donald Mulliken, San Mateo County arts commissioner; Christopher Wachlin, president of the California Writers Club, San Francisco-Peninsula Branch; and Bonny Zanardi, arts columnist for the San Jose Mercury News.

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