Competitors may choose from a list of poems chosen by the National committee. They must learn about the poet and the poem before using their work.
Champion Arwa Awan chose two poems by living, American poets for her recitation, as did runner-up Malia Graciani. Read the rest of this story »
For the second year in a row, Arwa Awan has taken County honors in Poetry Out Loud for her stirring recitations of first, “Becoming a Redwood” by Dana Gioia and secondly “The Legend” by Garrett Hongo. Read the rest of this story »
Now it’s on to Sacramento for Pacific Grove’s fourth year running
Arwa Aram took first prize at the county level of Poetry Out Loud with her dramatic recitations of Emily Dickinson’s It was not Death for I Stood Up and The Meaning of the Shovel by Martin Espada. Lyla Mahmoud, PGHS runner-up, recited Cartoon Physics by Nick Flynn.
Runner-up in the County competition was Chloe Reimann of Santa Catalina, who recited Spring and Fall by Gerard Manley Hopkins and The River Merchant’s Wife: A Letter by Ezra Pound. Santa Catalina’s runner-up was Mary Cho who recited Ecology by Jack Collom.
Former Pacific Grove Poet-In-Residence Garland Thompson acted as emcee for the event. He told how, in 2007, he was driving down the highway near Spreckels and heard a broadcast on NPR about Poetry Out Loud. He was so amazed and excited that he pulled his car over and made the phone contacts that eventually brought the opportunity to Monterey County schools.
Arwa will now go on to Sacramento to compete at the state level. Her three predecessors, Kylie Batlin (2009), Morgan Brown (2010) and Robert Marchand (2011) all went to the State level, and Brown and Marchand went on to the national level.
Washington, D.C., for Thanksgiving, and in honor of our parents, whose remains lie in Arlington National Cemetery, heroes, both photographers, poets, and teachers, steadfast in fighting for doing right by earth and each other.
I am giving Ansel Adams’ images and words to the Occupy Washington tent library Poetry/arts section.
Adams lobbied in Washington, D.C., on behalf of earth policies. His work is intrinsic to our national spirit and how we rise to honor the legacy of American imagination and challenge. He responds to the majesty of natural landscapes preserved in national areas by laws representing civic values that in turn were shaped by words of poetry and artistic images responding to natural landscapes . . . . Art and public policy, art and law, art and civic life, moving us forward, in ceaseless rhythm, as humans and trees feed each other in vital breath exchange, inextricably connected for mutual survival and flourishing.
The challenge of our nation’s natural beauty, now preserved: how to do justice to the human life on this land of equivalent beauty, equivalent clear respectful sight. Adams’ philosophy of respect is conveyed through artistry.
What laws of kindness are equal to our mountains? Kindness, a word of “kind” which is three-quarters “kin”–we are related, all of us are relations, and humanity has everything at stake in figuring out how we belong to each other and our earth.
Americans originally lived here in tents. Here where people camp in the rain to express hope in better ways of common kindness, poetry and art belong, are central to the call to our national imagination, rooted in conscience, to see majesty in the human spirit, to preserve the grounds which nurture and sustain this spirit of possibility and mandate for doing things better for each other.
Your Handy Epigraphical Guide to Poetic Butterflies and a Portrait of the Poet as Butterfly: Notes on Blessing the Return of Butterflies at the Monarch Sactuary, Pacific Grove, AKA Butterfly town USA (Featuring Emily Dickinson, W.S.Merwin, Wendell Berry and Pablo Neruda, among others).
Live from Butterfly Town, USA. We’re talking about butterflies today, in honor of their incredible desire and ability to migrate thousands of miles―straight here. The haven Monarch butterflies come home to is Pacific Grove, where I’m Poet in Residence, and in this role I was asked this week to recite a poem and blessing at the annual event for the Monarch Sanctuary as the butterflies once again begin to return. Local citizens have roused to care for their habitat; with about fifty enthusiastic welcomers including Essalen Nation Tribal Chairwoman Louise Ramirez, and Cedar Street Times Editor and community arts leader Marge Ann Jameson greeting about three abashed (but glorious) butterflies, I confess to you that I titled my address, Glorious R Us. Or: This is What Comes of Taking Care of the Trees, Please. Read the rest of this story »
The Cultural Arts Commission of Pacific Grove announced that Dr. Barbara Mossberg has been selected as the Poet in Residence for Pacific Grove for a second year. Dr. Mossberg is currently serving as Director and Professor of Integrated Studies at the California State University Monterey Bay. She began her service as Poet in Residence in June, 2010.
Dr. Mossberg is a poet, an academic scholar and a teacher. She brings a long list of academic achievements to the position including a PhD. in American literature, British literature and linguistics from Indiana University, several senior Fulbright awards and she has represented higher education as the American Studies Specialist for the U.S. Department of State.
The Poet in Residence will occupy the Poet’s Perch, the historic home in downtown Pacific Grove that was bequeathed to the City of Pacific Grove by the Whitney Latham-Lechich Trust with the stipulation that the home be used to promote poetry in Pacific Grove. Dr Mossberg, who has been a poet since she was in grade school, believes in the power of poetry to change the world. As Pacific Grove’s Poet in Residence, she will produce poetry events and workshops that will “promote poetry in and for the community”.
Dr. Mossberg will be the fourth Poet in Residence to occupy the Poet’s Perch since it was gifted to the City in 2002. The cottage, which was constructed in 1890, has been vacant for the past year to allow for foundation repairs required to stabilize the structure. Funds provided by the Trust for the upkeep of the property financed the repairs and made it possible to upgrade the existing bathroom, add a second bathroom and to restore the wood floors. The Poet’s Perch now has a fresh new face as well as new footing.