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Poet Laureate

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 23, 1999
If "Expect No Light Verse From San Francisco's Poet" (Feb. 16) is correct, then Lawrence Ferlinghetti got it wrong when he consulted Plato's "Republic" on the role of the poet as gadfly. There is no place in a well-ordered commonwealth for the poet, Socrates says. His creations are "poor things by the standard of truth and reality" and he appeals "not to the highest part of the soul, but to one which is equally inferior." If we let them, poets will set up a "vicious form of government in the individual soul."
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NEWS
January 13, 2014 | By Patt Morrison
Mayor Eric Garcetti is getting to wield a pretty big broom, with vacancies everywhere from the DWP chief to choosing a new head of cultural affairs and the three city animal commissioners he just replaced. There is one post that was not going to be empty but has become so: the city's poet laureate. Its first, Eloise Klein Healy, chosen under Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa just over a year ago, resigned in September after falling ill with encephalitis, which left her with aphasia - a stunning theft for a poet.
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OPINION
December 11, 2012
Re "Poet laureate is chosen for L.A.," Dec. 7 In the early 1980s, I was a restless transfer student at Cal State Northridge, an undeclared major and uncertain in most things. On a whim, I attended a poetry reading in a packed CSUN office. Eloise Klein Healy read from her book, "A Packet Beating Like a Heart," and I was set free. The ache of my young life did not disappear, but I credit Healy with my decision to pursue a bachelor's degree in English. The craft of poetry is to this day my balm in a still uncertain world.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 10, 2014 | Steve Chawkins
Never shy about his revolutionary views, Amiri Baraka gave New Jersey's governor fair warning of possible fireworks when he was named the state's poet laureate. "You're gonna catch hell for this," said Baraka, who began his lengthy literary career as LeRoi Jones. "I can take it," then-Gov. James McGreevey told Baraka at a ceremony in August 2002. A month later, McGreevey was among the many officials angrily calling for Baraka's resignation after the African American poet outraged much of New Jersey with a piece called "Somebody Blew Up America.
NEWS
December 7, 2012 | By Patt Morrison
She writes poems about our freeways, our food, and, true-blue fan of the Dodgers that she is, she dreams that one day she might see a poem up there on the big lighted board at Dodger Stadium. And now she just might. The city of Los Angeles' first poet laureate is Eloise Klein Healy. Her selection was announced Friday in the children's literature section at the Central Library by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who selected her from a number of finalists drawn from more than three dozen applicants for the laureate post.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 13, 2013 | By Jenny Hendrix
The Poetry Foundation announced Tuesday that "Revenge of the Lunch Ladies" author Kenn Nesbitt will be its next children's poet laureate, a position the foundation created in 2006 to recognize that "children have a natural receptivity to poetry and are its most appreciative audience. " The two-year appointment comes with a $25,000 prize. This honor is not related to the U.S. poet laureate, who is named by the Library of Congress. Nor is it connected to regional poets laureate, such as Eloise Klein Healy in Los Angeles or Juan Felipe Herrera , California's poet daureate.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 20, 2012 | By Larry Gordon, Los Angeles Times
Wearing jeans, green sneakers, a hipster straw bowler and a Buddhist symbol around his neck, the new poet laureate of California opened his weekly poetry workshop at UC Riverside with stretching and breathing exercises. "Let's detox our cluttered academic brain. That's what the poet does," said Juan Felipe Herrera, 63. "People call it daydreaming, detoxing our minds and taking care of that clutter. It's being able to let in call letters from the poetry universe. " Herrera then launched into poems by Federico García Lorca and other 20th century masters and had students recite their own compositions for group critiques.
WORLD
May 2, 2009 | Janet Stobart
For the first time since the post was created in 1668, Britain has selected a woman as its poet laureate, the long-acclaimed Scottish-born Carol Ann Duffy, who has written on topics including Shakespeare and Elvis Presley. Duffy, 53, won the Dylan Thomas Prize for poetry in 1989, and is known for tackling down-to-earth subjects such as crime, prostitution and housework. Her poetry has been hailed by fellow writers as original, imaginative and often bitingly satirical or plain humorous.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 6, 1993 | CHRIS WILLMAN
PAUL WESTERBERG "14 Songs" Reprise * * * * There are perhaps a handful of artists who come along in a generation and reflect the trenchancies and truancies of their time honestly enough that, if you're of a similar age, you sort of latch on to them for the long haul, maybe even look forward to growing older and having them document your experience.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 7, 2012 | By Hector Tobar
The first poet laureate of the city of Los Angeles accepted her post in a room surrounded by books - books for children and her own slender volumes of poetry. Eloise Klein Healy, 69, was officially named L.A.'s poet laureate in a ceremony Friday at the Central Library downtown. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa chose Healy from a list of three finalists named by a selection committee and introduced her to the public at a press conference on Friday. “One of our most beloved governors … once said famously, 'You campaign in poetry, and you govern in prose,'” Villaraigoisa said, quoting former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 9, 2014 | By Hector Tobar
Once you had met him, the poet Amiri Baraka was a tough man to forget. I saw Baraka read once, here in Los Angeles, at the Beyond Baroque literary center in Venice, circa 1990. He was already white-haired and white-bearded then, and he cut a not-especially-happy-to-there pose as he stood behind the lectern, reciting some of his newer work. When he had finished, an enthusiastic member of the audience yelled out the names of some of his poems from the 1960s and '70s. I don't remember which ones, but perhaps it was one like “ An Agony.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 23, 2013 | By Elaine Woo
Wanda Coleman, a provocative Los Angeles poet who wrote lyrically and often angrily about the trials of life in her native metropolis, commenting on poverty, sexuality, racial politics, crime and other urban tensions, died Friday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center after a long illness. She was 67. Her death was confirmed by her husband, poet Austin Straus. A native of Watts, Coleman was long regarded as the city's unofficial poet laureate, who during a four-decade career wrote 22 books, including novels and collections of short stories and essays.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 4, 2013 | By Reed Johnson
The little farm towns of Central California held a poetry all their own for Jose Montoya. From childhood he knew their people, mostly immigrant laborers like his own family. He knew the labyrinthine rows of fruit trees, the dirt-floor houses and trailer camps. He knew the hardship and humanity of places named Del Rey and Fowler and Laton, Yuba City and Delano. "He just marveled that they had such a singsongy ring to them," said the poet's son, actor-playwright Richard Montoya of the L.A. performance group Culture Clash.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 2, 2013 | By Anthony York
Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom will take over ceremonial responsibilities for Gov. Jerry Brown at Monday's ceremonies to mark the opening for the new eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. Brown, who has defended the bridge's construction amid questions about its safety, is in Michigan with his wife, Anne, for her family reunion. The ceremonies have been scaled down somewhat in light of the controversy surrounding the new span, but it will include a ceremonial chain cutting, a parade of antique cars and an offering from the state's poet laureate, Juan Felipe Herrera.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 4, 2013 | By Hector Tobar
When the poet laureate of California is invited to receptions and his hosts ask if there's anything special he'd like to eat, Juan Felipe Herrera likes to give an irreverent answer: "How about some cilantro?" Cilantro, an herb used in making guacamole and other dishes with roots in Latin America, is an essential element of California cuisine, though many Californians have never heard of it. Until recently, Herrera was also unknown to many Californians. These days, however, the self-described "laureate cilantro" speaks in an official capacity for California's multitudes.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 13, 2013 | By Jenny Hendrix
The Poetry Foundation announced Tuesday that "Revenge of the Lunch Ladies" author Kenn Nesbitt will be its next children's poet laureate, a position the foundation created in 2006 to recognize that "children have a natural receptivity to poetry and are its most appreciative audience. " The two-year appointment comes with a $25,000 prize. This honor is not related to the U.S. poet laureate, who is named by the Library of Congress. Nor is it connected to regional poets laureate, such as Eloise Klein Healy in Los Angeles or Juan Felipe Herrera , California's poet daureate.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 4, 2013 | By Hector Tobar
When the poet laureate of California is invited to receptions and his hosts ask if there's anything special he'd like to eat, Juan Felipe Herrera likes to give an irreverent answer: "How about some cilantro?" Cilantro, an herb used in making guacamole and other dishes with roots in Latin America, is an essential element of California cuisine, though many Californians have never heard of it. Until recently, Herrera was also unknown to many Californians. These days, however, the self-described "laureate cilantro" speaks in an official capacity for California's multitudes.
NATIONAL
August 3, 2007 | From the Associated Press
Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Charles Simic, who learned English as a teenage immigrant from Yugoslavia, will be the new U.S. poet laureate, the Library of Congress announced Thursday. Simic, who lives in Strafford, will succeed another New Hampshire resident, Donald Hall of Wilmot. The poet laureate program promotes poetry across the nation. "I'm overwhelmed," Simic said. Simic taught at the University of New Hampshire for 34 years before moving to emeritus status.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 1, 2013 | By Jenny Hendrix
Rider Publishing, a Random House imprint, acquired world rights to "Crossing the Border," the memoirs of former North Korean State Poet Laureate Jang Jin-sung, the Guardian reports . In 2004, unable to reconcile his privileged position with the suffering endured by most North Koreans, Jang traveled to China on a pass and from there he found sympathizers who got him to South Korea. Accounts of North Korea by insiders are rare. North Korean Kang Chol-hwan authored the prison camp memoir "The Aquariums of Pyongyang.
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