Poet Laureate’s News

December 2022

ElizHerron-reverseDear Friends,

Another busy month and as I write, we are officially in the holiday season with Thanksgiving two days past.

The Being Brave Poetry Workshops are off the ground and have taken wing with three behind me and four more ahead. The first was sponsored by the Unitarian Church of Santa Rosa and the most recent by the Burbank Community of Sebastopol. Each workshop is a little different depending on the chemistry of the group, but each centers on the subject of bravery. With prompts to overcome inertia we write the bones of poems, letting them teach us what being brave means in our own lives. The workshops have led into conversation about what it means to live courageously and the role of community in that process. I’m privileged to facilitate these workshops which I find surprisingly exciting, creative and thought-provoking. I’m eager to present the Being Brave Poetry Workshops in all areas of the county, so please contact me if you are interested in participating. I’ve also had the opportunity to do several readings this past month.

Most exciting was Ada Limon’s reading last week at SRJC. Thanks to Steve Trenam for persuading first Ada to come and second the JC Arts & Lectures series to sponsor her. Ada read to a full-house, and she charmed us all with her generosity of spirit, her gentle humor, and her commitment to bringing personal poems that lift the spirit and open the heart of every audience. Her new book, The Hurting Kind is now on my shelf and you might like it on yours!

On November 18, Maya Khosla and I presented poems along with Merlin Coleman’s sound installation, Quarry, a Song Cycle, at Sebastopol Center for the Arts in a program to accompany the exhibition of Jos Sances magnificent sculpture, Or the Whale (on exhibit there for two more weeks). This event was a further extension of the international EXTRACTION, Art at the Edge of the Abyss project supported locally by the Sebastopol Center for the Arts. We had a wonderfully responsive audience and I’m grateful to SebArts for the opportunity to present this work.

As usual, Rivertown Poets, Poetic License, and now Larry Robinson’s Saturday Morning poetry reading have sallied forth bringing more poetry for the people with lively readings by some of the Bay Area’s best.

When next I write we will be on the cusp of a new year. May your coming days be joyful, may we have peace, and may there be poems to fill your cup, your stocking and your heart.

With all good cheer,

Elizabeth Carothers Herron
Sonoma County Poet Laureate 2022-2024


Archives of previous Poet Laureate columns may be found here for 2012,  2013, 2014,  20152016-2017, 2018-2020, 2020-2022 and 2022-2024.

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