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Does El Cerrito Need a Poet Laureate?

A golden laurel wreath from the 3rd or 4th century BCE.
A golden laurel wreath from the 3rd or 4th century BCE.

Albany has one. So do Richmond and Fresno. Should El Cerrito?

At its meeting Monday night, the Arts and Culture Commission will discuss adding El Cerrito to the growing list of cities boasting an official poet laureate.

The tradition of a poet laureate reaches back to classical times and was revived in Italy during the age of Petrarch. The appointment of a national poet by the Librarian of Congress started in 1937. As is often the case, California was ahead of the curve. Can any Golden State literature or history geeks name the person Gov. Hiram Johnson designated California’s first poet laureate in 1915?

The state’s current poet laureate is Juan Felipe Herrera.

Have you composed verse about El Cerrito? Do you know a contender for the crown if the commission creates the title?
Larry A Chrispyn September 23, 2013 at 05:11 PM
SINCE 2011, I HAVE ADVOCATED FOR A POET LAUREATE for all of WEST CONTRA COSTA COUNTY. IT WOULD BE GREAT IF EL CERRITO CHOOSES A POET LAUREATE. THE FIRST POET LAUREATE OF CALIFORNIA, OR ANY STATE, WAS INA COOLBRITH IN 1915. JOHN ROWE WOULD BE THE IDEAL POET LAUREATE FOR EL CERRITO. THE FOLLOWING IS FROM ONE OF MY POEMS, "POETRY STRIKE." I DO NOT KNOW IF HE WILL ACCEPT. HE IS A GREAT LEADER OF OTHER POETRY GROUPS. "THE GREAT LOCAL WRITER JOHN ROWE HE IS A POET THAT YOU MAY KNOW COMBINING LAO TSU AND STEVEN WRIGHT WE COULD DREAM TO HAVE HIS INSIGHT" LARRY A CHRISPYN published poet
Alex Gronke (Editor) September 23, 2013 at 10:31 PM
Hi Larry, Ina Coolbrith was indeed the state's first poet laureate.
Martha Colburn November 09, 2013 at 11:25 AM
Yes, I think El Cerrito should have a poet laureate. Many years ago I composed a poem about Castro School, which I attended K through 6th. If I can find it, maybe I will post it.

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