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.
Above: Krystal Ramirez “I Want to See More Brown Bodies” from 2017 will be reassembled at UNLV’s Barrick Museum of Art in Spring 2018.