Tag Archives: Poet Laureate

Transition: Handing off!

Hand Passing Baton, Motion BlurWhat a privilege it’s been for me to serve poetry and You, the residents of Santa Clara County, as your Poet Laureate these past nearly three years! It’s been a blast, and I think we accomplished a lot of good things together: the Favorite Poems project, Poetry on the Move, our beautiful Invention: Poetry on the Move Anthology,  as well as readings, talks, and events, all the ways that our paths have crossed. Unforgettable.

Thanks so much for the opportunity to get to know you, for your kind attention, for your time and support, and most of all for your love of poetry that helps make our County, and the world, thriving and vital. And keeps the little wheels turning in my heart.

You are in good hands! Expect to hear from Santa Clara County Poet Laureate David Perez sometime very soon. He’ll give the blog a new look, and I know he has more in store for you than that. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, if you’d like to keep up with my shenanigans, you can check in at The Bloggery (sallyashton.com) where I’ll be posting my event calendar and various musings in the days ahead. Follow the blog, and you’ll get updates as they appear.

One of my favorite poems at  times of transitions such as this is Emily Dickinson’s #76. The poem speaks to the excitement and mystery of leaving the known world, whether on a real journey or a journey of the imagination.

Exultation is the going
Of an inland soul to sea,
Past the houses—past the headlands—
Into deep Eternity—

Bred as we, among the mountains,
Can the sailor understand
The divine intoxication
Of the first league out from land?

But as in all good things, “going” is both happy and sad. As David and I sail out on our next adventures, he as Laureate, me as poet and friend, I know we both look forward to seeing you soon at upcoming events. Cheers!

Sally Ashton
Santa Clara County Poet Laureate
2011-2013, Over and out!



Filed under Laureate's News

Poet Laureate #3: Deadline approaching!

Anyone considering applying to be the next Santa Clara County Poet Laureate, get to it! The deadline, September 30th, approacheth. Find full details in the August 2 post, below, including how to contact me or the first Poet Laureate, Nils Peterson, for general questions.

If you have specific questions regarding the application process, please contact the folks at Arts Council Silicon Valley, now known as Silicon Valley Creates! I’ve been assured that someone named Audrey will reply to your queries as soon as possible. Use this email. grant.apps@svcreates.org

Nils and I are looking forward to the next laureate appointment to carry on the torch for poetry in Silicon Valley. We’re rooting for you.

AND, if Poet Laureate is a bit rich for your tastes, here’s another opportunity. Silicon Valley Creates is accepting applications for a variety of Artist Laureates including Emerging Artist. (scroll down). Scrolling down further you will see that they are holding a series of workshops for those interested in applying. Get busy! What are you waiting for?

Let’s keep literature and the arts thriving in Silicon Valley together. What a cool place to live. Thanks for being out there.

Sally Ashton
Santa Clara County Poet Laureate

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Filed under Laureate's News, On Poetry

The Better Part: Poet Laureates read on Public Access TV

Cupertino Poet Laureate Dave Denny, former Los Gatos Poet Laureate Parthenia Hicks, and I were recently hosted on The Better Part, a Cupertino Senior TV Production. It will be Cablecast during the week of January 20, but here it is now as posted on YouTube.

Many thanks to Cupertino Senior TV Productions, and especially to our congenial host, Phil Lenihan, whose interest in poetry made the program possible. Phil added in a recent note that the New Yorker now has the poets reading their poems in the online edition. Good work, Phil!

I hope you enjoy. I’m not sure what my necklace was thinking, something creative apparently, but there you have it.

Cheers in the New Year!

Sally Ashton
Santa Clara County Poet Laureate


Filed under Favorite Poem, Laureate's News, On Poetry

News you can use: from the Poet Laureate

Greetings on a chilly fall afternoon! I have two important announcements for you and the poetry community at large, so spread the word.

First, long-time Poetry Center San Jose president Kevin Arnold is being honored upon his retirement with two events. This Tuesday, October 23 at 9a.m., he will receive a commendation from the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors. The meeting is open to the public and will be held in Board Chambers, 70 West Hedding Street, San Jose, CA 95110. There is usually street parking. Let’s give him a strong turn-out in honor of his years of service to poetry and the larger poetry community of the Bay Area.

Kevin also will  be celebrated at an afternoon reception, Sunday, November 18 where he will give a reading from his work amid toasts and good cheer. Event details and ticket info can be found at the Poetry Center San Jose website. Tickets must be purchased by November 11. I hope to see you there.

Second, (yes, I know it’s actually third), applications for Santa Clara County Poet Laureate are being accepted through November 19th. If you are interested or know of someone who might be, please take note. Candidates should have a record of publication as well as some history of public service to the literary community. Full details can be found at the county’s website.

My term runs through the end of March, 2013, so have no fear. I’m not through yet!

Thirdly/Fourthly, (poet’s don’t need to be good at numbers), I’ll be making more regular announcements of upcoming events here, so stay tuned. Otherwise, keep an eye on the “Laureate Schedule” at the link above. I have been a busy Poet Laureate and would love to see more of you at these events.

Be seeing you soon,

Sally Ashton
Santa Clara County Poet Laureate

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Filed under Laureate's News, On Poetry