South Pasadena has never had one of its own – until now.
Resident Ronald Koertge, as part of a resolution adopted by the South Pasadena City Council, was proclaimed as the city’s official poet laureate on Wednesday’s night.
The City of South Pasadena joins a growing number of cities that have appointed an accomplished writer to serve as its ambassador for literary arts.
Koertge, a nationally-honored writer, is the author of 10 acclaimed poetry collections and has written 12 novels. He is also a distinguished college writing instructor.
In his new role, Koertge will serve as a living focal point “to enhance the appreciation of poetry and other literary arts in the community,” according to a city report. “The appointment of Mr. Koertge would raise public awareness of the power of the spoken and written word and help to inspire multiple generations of residents to more fully recognize the value of the reading and writing of literature.
California State Poet Laurate Dana Gioia, a South Pasadena resident, nominated Koertge as South Pasadena’s Poet Laureate in a letter to the City Council in March.
The public heard a sampling of Koertge’s work when the local poet read a classic poem “In Flanders Field” by John McCrae during the city’s Memorial Day commemoration event at the War Memorial Day Celebration.