City of Cupertino Names Second Poet Laureate
Jennifer Swanton Brown to Enrich Cultural Interaction of Community
The City Council of Cupertino unanimously approved the recommendation of the Cupertino Library Commission naming Jennifer Swanton Brown as the second Poet Laureate of Cupertino. Her term will be from October 1st, 2013-September 30th, 2015, a two year period. David Denny, the City’s first Poet Laureate fulfilled a “very successful” first term, engaging all ages of the community in poetry.
Brown “has many ideas about increasing poetry knowledge, enjoyment and participation in Cupertino.” The experience of writing and publishing poems as a school girl “was transformative, and something I believe I can offer the children of our community.” She will also focus on international styles of poetry. “A community as diverse as Cupertino should celebrate the ancient and varied poetic traditions of its citizens’ literature and cultures,” notes Brown.
“I am delighted to be chosen to promote poetry in my home town” said Brown, an educator, writer, and long-time teacher of California Poets in the Schools. “Cupertino has given this community a powerful opportunity to explore together, young and old, the values of imagination and creativity. My favorite inspirational quote is attributed to Picasso, but it applies to poets and all creative experience: ‘Inspiration does exist, but it must find you working.’ Becoming the second Cupertino Poet Laureate will give me a chance to work with so many and hopefully to inspire some!”
Ann Stevenson, Selection Committee member, and member of the Library Commission, commented: “Our selection committee had a robust process of vetting the candidates, and a ranking process that has proved quite beneficial when we have competent candidates, as we did this year.” Four final applicants from Cupertino were interviewed.
Members of the Poet Laureate selection committee were: Adrian Kolb, chair, member of the Cupertino Library Commission; Roz Davis and Beverly Lenihan, Board members of the Cupertino Library Foundation; Kathy Stakey, longtime member of the Friends of the Cupertino Library; Deborah Vanni, English teacher, Homestead High School; Thomas Ray, dean of language arts at DeAnza College; and preceding Cupertino Poet Laureate, David Denny.
Adrain Kolb, Library Commissioner, said, “Helping to select our city's new poet laureate was fulfilling and enjoyable. I was honored to work with a dedicated team of people who wanted to see this program continue. I have much faith in Jennifer and believe that our community will love her.”
In December 2010, the City Council of Cupertino unanimously adopted a resolution put forth by the Library Commission establishing the office of the Cupertino Poet Laureate. During the two years that the Cupertino Poet Laureate presides there are personal presentations and hosted educational events. The Laureate will introduce adults and youth to the benefits of personal and community expression which, among other qualities, highlight the benefits of living and working in Cupertino.
Cupertino Poet Laureate, Where Art Thou?
Poet Laureate is an honorary volunteer position sponsored by the City of Cupertino and seated in its public library. Sponsors and support network include the Library Commission, Friends of the Cupertino Library, and the Cupertino Library Foundation. The Poet Laureate is a practicing poet with professional recognition and a talent for performance. The Poet Laureate is expected to create and host public events that promote the literary arts in our community and inspire creativity in all residents. Such events might include poetry contests, writing workshops and lectures, public readings, etc. The Poet Laureate works in collaboration with the City, sponsors, and support network to schedule and promote events.
Download Application Form
Applications for the Poet Laureate of Cupertino will be accepted through July 26, 2013. The formal application, deliverable to Cupertino City Hall, can be downloaded through this webpage, or can be picked up at Cupertino Library Reference Desk or at a number of locations around the City, including City Hall and Quinlan Community Center.
In December 2010, the City Council of Cupertino unanimously adopted a resolution establishing the office of the Cupertino Poet Laureate. The individual selected by the Cupertino Poet Laureate Committee, through an application and interview process, will be the second person in Cupertino to officially promote poetry and other literary forms to the City’s diverse population.
The Poet Laureate will preside for two years, until September 2015. Through personal presentations and hosted educational events, the Laureate will introduce adults and youth to the benefits of personal and community expression, highlighting living and working in Cupertino.
Applicants for the Poet Laureate position must be 21 years of age, reside or have worked in Cupertino in the last two successive years, and have been published or otherwise publicly recognized as a poet. Applicants with disabilities, even speech, and candidates fluent in languages in addition to English, are encouraged to apply. Poems must be submitted in English. Final interviews will be scheduled on August 5-16, 2013.
Members of the Cupertino Poet Laureate Selection Committee are: Dave Denny, Adrian Kolb, Ann Stevenson, Thomas Ray, Roz Davis, Kathy Stakey, Deborah Vanni, Ron Miller and Beverly Lenihan. Read the selection committee members bio.
Download Application Form
Download Application Brochure
Please submit application and related documents to Cupertino City Hall, 10300 Torre Avenue, Cupertino, CA 95014. For more information email PoetLaureate@cupertino.org.
Cupertino's First Poet Laureate
David Denny served as Cupertino's inaugural Poet Laureate (2011-2013). Through a variety of public events for youth, teens and adults, he brought people together (some new to the art of poetry and some seasoned writers) to share and celebrate creativity. Coffeehouse readings, events with other local laureates, a citywide contest, and poetry writing workshops were a few of the happenings that Denny sponsored as ways to engage our diverse community and encourage literary expression. As Denny said near the end of his term, "It's been such a pleasure to bring the literary arts to the forefront of our community. Cupertino is a great city, and it has been my honor to serve its residents in this capacity. Keep scribbling everybody".
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