Public Event Brings Together State, City, and County Poets Laureate of California

Saturday, Oct. 6 at McGroarty Arts Center in Tujunga

PHOTO: Steven Lawrence | | Author Ron Koertge

California’s literary community will come together for a historic gathering of California poets laureate on Saturday, October 6 at the McGroarty Arts Center in Tujunga. California. Dana Gioia, the state’s current Poet, Laureate, with his city, regional, and county counterparts, along with former state laureates, to celebrate California’s creative expression through words.

The occasion will be marked by a collaborative group reading by more than 60 city, regional, and county poets laureate, followed by special guest readings from renowned California laureates, past and present, including Gioia, Los Angeles Poet Laureate Robin Coste Lewis, and former California poets laureate Carol Muske-Dukes and Al Young. A morning session open to participating poets, featuring panel discussion and breakout sessions, will precede the afternoon’s public event. Ron Koertge, the new South Pasadena Poet Laureate will be among those briefly reading for the public event

The free event is the first large-scale gathering of California’s poets laureate since the termed position was first established in 2001. Poets laureate are recognized for their civic achievement in the art of poetry and selected to serve as a literary representatives for their city, county, region, or state to promote poetry to their communities through readings, lectures, or educational projects.

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  • “This gathering celebrates the contributions of local laureates who do so much on behalf of poetry, literature, and literacy across the state,” said California Poet Laureate Dana Gioia. “Most laureates have never had the opportunity to meet one another and share ideas. It will be an exciting event.” The Gathering of California’s Poets Laureate public event, showcasing 60+ city, regional, and county Poets Laureate from across the state, will be presented from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The Poets Laureate Group Reading will commence at 2 p.m. and at 5 p.m. the Main Reading will be presented, followed by a reception and signingRegistration by the public is strongly recommended at . .Media attendance is also encouraged. For press event RSVPs and inquiries, contact Kimberly Brown, Public Affairs Specialist of the California Arts



PHOTO: Dana Gioia | | Author of Can Poetry Matter, Dana Gioia

Dana Gioia is California’s state Poet Laureate. Appointed by Governor Jerry Brown in December, 2015, Gioia serves as the state advocate for poetry and literature in libraries, classrooms and boardrooms. An award-winning poet, Gioia is the author of Can Poetry Matter?, credited for helping revive poetry’s role in American public life. He is also the former Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts and a South Pasadena resident who has read at the South Pasadena Library for two Author Nights before full house audiences. .

Robin Coste Lewis (photo by Dunya Alwan) is the

PHOTO: Dunya Alwan | | Poet Laureate of Los Angeles Robin Coste Lewis

poet laureate of L.A. and writer-in-residence at the USC. In 2015 she published her poetry debut, Voyage of the Sable Venus, which was honored with the 2015 National Book Award for Poetry—the first poetry debut to do so since 1975.


PHOTO: Carol Muske Dukes | | Former Poet Laureate of California

Carol Muske-Dukes is a professor at USC and a former Poet Laureate of California. She is an author of eight books of poems and four novels and is also an essayist and anthology editor.

Al Young is author of 22 widely translated books,

PHOTO: Al Young | | author of 22 widely translated books Al Young

including poetry, fiction, essays, anthologies and musical memoirs. Appointed in 2005 by Governor Schwarzenegger, Young served as California’s poet laureate through 2008. Al has performed twice at the South Pasadena Library with a cookin” quintet, the Suezenne. Grents Chamber Jazz Ensemble