Bruce Isaacson, Poet Laureate for Clark County Nevada i Photo: Ed Fuentes / Paint This Desert
Bruce Isaacson has been selected the first Clark County Poet Laureate, an honorary position formed by The Clark County Board of Commissioners to encourage poetry in Southern Nevada. Isaacson, 59, will serve a two-year term beginning June 1 and will be introduced with readings at Winchester Cultural Center on June 6 at 7 p.m. From the release:
The Clark County Commission established the honorary position to encourage poetry as an art form in Southern Nevada and a medium for inspirational public commentary. A committee of poets and writers chose Isaacson. Isaacson’s term starts on Monday, June 1, and will last two years. The committee also selected Jessica “Jes Flo” Washington as alternate poet laureate during the term. Both Isaacson and Washington and other local poets will participate in the June 6 reading.
Isaacson has lived in Las Vegas since 1995 and brings a beat poetry and slam performance pedigree to the appointment. He's been mentored by Allen Ginsberg and Robert Haas, and while in New York City participated in the first season of Nuyorican Poets Café. He also publisher and co-editor of Zeitgeist, which has more than 100 titles. Isaacson has added big plans for his laureate duties, including working with other poets to educate the public about poetry and publishing an anthology of poetry by the poets of Clark County.
Plans for a local poet laureate have been ongoing for over a year and there's been a groundswell of regional spoken word: " . . . a rapidly growing list of cities and towns across the nation with their own official bards," reported the NYTimes in May 2013. "Not only have Houston and Los Angeles established poet laureateships but so have Boise, Idaho; Key West, Fla.; McAllen, Tex.; and San Mateo County, near San Francisco."
A Poet Laureate for Clark County Nevada will have Las Vegas under their word watch.
Abraham Abebe at Clark County Government Center Rotunda Gallery May 22, 2015. His exhibition "ጉዞ =Journey" runs through July 10. From the release:
"ጉዞ" is an Amharic word pronounced “guzo” and meaning “journey.” Artist Abraham Abebe began depicting probability in his paintings after ruminating about his own odds-defying journey from his birthplace of Ethiopia to Las Vegas. Provoked by thoughts of his improbable trek to another country so different from his own and the correlation of the role “probability” plays in his new home of Las Vegas.
Photo: Simba Anbassa
Above: Stephen Hendee created sculpture for the celebration of 30 years of public art programming in the City of Las Vegas.