The 2017-19 Poet Laureate project, “Poetry as Sanctuary,” ties in with California’s status as a Sanctuary State, and of it, current Laureate Rebecca Foust says “poetry is a sacred space—church, a hospital, a hospice bed—offering a safe place for our most private, urgent, and otherwise ineffable expressions. Reading and writing it opens an escape from technology, stress, life-overload, grief, and other emotional pain. Perhaps the most important service poetry can provide now is respite from or way to respond to current political events. Poetry can build community, and I’d like to use it to raise the awareness and empathy for what is at stake under the new Administration for our undocumented immigrant population here in Marin.” Foust hopes to organize a series of community read-arounds on political themes and readings featuring immigrant poets in the County libraries.
Foust has published five books of poetry, most recently Paradise Drive (Press 53, 2015), sonnets featuring a modern-day Pilgrim living in Marin County, reviewed in the Marin Independent Journal, San Francisco Chronicle, and Rumpus in the Bay Area and in national venues including the Harvard Review, Huffington Post, Philadelphia Inquirer, and Washington Review of Books. Recent recognitions include the James Hearst Poetry Prize judged by Jane Hirshfield, the American Literary Review Fiction Award, and fellowships from the Frost Place, MacDowell, Sewanee, and West Chester Poetry Conference. Foust is the Poetry Editor for Women’s Voices for Change and has been a board member at Marin Poetry Center since 2008.
Upcoming Poet Laureate Events
I’ve got a full plate of appearances set for the Fall of 2017 and forward; hope to see you at some of these!
9/2/17: Beast Crawl, representing Middle Age, curated by Jon Sindell, The Hatch, 8 pm
9/10/17: Library Foundation event for Literacy, poetry activity for school age kids, South Novato Library 1:30-2:30 pm
9/21/17: Community Read-Around: Peace, Corte Madera Library, 7 pm
9/28/17: Marin Poetry Center Anthology Read-Around, Falkirk Cultural Center, 7:30 pm
10/3/17: Reading at Villa Marin with Prartho Sereno and CB Follett, 7 pm
10/6/17: Marin County Library Service Day Talk and Activity, 1:30 pm
10/7/17: Litquake Poet Laureate reading with Prartho Sereno, Joe Zaccardi, CB Follett, and Albert Flynn de Silva, curated by Margaret Stawowy, San Rafael Library, 12:30 pm
10/12/17: Litcrawl Poetry World Series emceed by John Roderick, The Makeout Room, SF
10/20/17: Smith College Poetry Center celebration: introduce Robert Hass, Northampton, MA
11/4/17: Reading with Javier Zamora, O’Hanlon Center in Mill Valley, 7 pm
11/14/17: Community Read Around: Immigration, Civic Center Library, 7 pm
12/3/17: Community Read Around: The Gender of Things with co-host Selena Anne Shephard, Mill Valley Library, 3 pm
12/11/17: Book Launch for Javier Zamora, Book Passage Marin, 7 pm
2/24/18: International Association of Sufism Songs of the Soul Poetry and Sacred Music Festival series, Embassy Suites, San Rafael
4/24/18: Copper Canyon Reading with Dana Levin, Dean Rader, Melissa Stein, and Javier Zamora, Mill Valley Library, 7 pm
5/11/18: Poetry World Series, Mill Valley Library, 7 pm