Bruce Isaacson. Photo: PtD
Poet Notes: Murals are not the only way to tell a story. The new Clark County Poet Laureate to hold workshop. Our national laureate speaks. Another regional laureate prays.
LAS VEGAS: Bruce Isaacson, the newly appointed Clark County Poet Laureate, jumps into one of his self-assigned duties by holding "Beat Poetic" workshops. With his beat background, Isaacson will help poets explore the urban word terrain of Las Vegas and Southern Nevada. "Sessions are free but it's not the 'workshop-your-poems' thing," says Isaacson.
The workshops will be on three Saturdays: July 18, August 15, and September 12, at the Winchester Cultural Center (3130 S. McLeod Drive). They begin at 2 p.m. and will end at 3:30. To register, email Isaacson at PoetLaureateClarkCounty (at) cox.net. Other details at Las Vegas Poets.
Juan Felipe Herrera. Photo courtesy UCR.
NATIONAL: A day after Bruce Isaacson was introduced to a gathering of poets and poet listeners at Winchester Cultural Center June 6, news leaked that the incoming PLOTUS, the poet laureate of the United States, would be Juan Felipe Herrera. The University California Riverside professor of creative writing emeritus (my hometown) and former California Poet Laureate, is the first Latino to be the national voice.
Herrera’s first public appearance was as Keynote speaker during the commencement ceremony for UCR College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences. He said in part:
We want you to make room for the new you. And people are waiting for you. You must give it your life, you must give it your time, you must give it your friendship, you must give it the breath you breathe.
LAST WORD: While the Clark County poet position was being formed, some wondered what is the duty of a poet laureate? Isaacson will introduce the idea to a county and give local poets a higher profile. Herrera moves to speak for a nation.
Others speak for a region. The poet laureate of South Carolina, Marjory Wentworth, penned a dedication to those who lost their lives in the attack at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston. The poem is titled “Holy City” and opens with a quote from one of nice victims, Reverend Clementa Pinckney: "Only love can conquer hate." BBC has the full recital.