Monday, December 21, 2009

Poet laureate recruiting for her successor

In only a few short months, it will be time to welcome another Lake County Poet Laureate. Whomever is selected will have to fill the shoes of giants. Five pairs of them, in fact.

Five poets have served Lake County as its poet laureate: Jim Lyle, James Bluewolf, Carolyn Wing Greenlee, Sandra Wade and incumbent Mary McMillan. Each has made his or her contribution to the office and each continues to enrich our community.

You may recognize two of those names from "Creative Expressions," which is published on second and fourth Saturdays in the Lake County Record-Bee. Wade and McMillan co-edit "Creative Expressions" with local writer Lourdes Thuesen.

The addition of "Creative Expressions" to the Record-Bee was a win-win in my opinion. The limitations of newsprint normally make it difficult to publish poetry. Narrow column widths wreck havoc with the line breaks in a poem when you have to squeeze the poem in among other stories.

In response to the question of why a newspaper should be involved in publishing poetry, I would ask readers to consider the words of Lake County's first poet laureate, Jim Lyle: "In 50 years, teenagers will not recognize most of the names of today's world leaders. In 100 years, our current wars, periods of peace, triumphs and catastrophes will be mere lines in a text book. In 200 years, history will be understood only as explained and illuminated by the arts. In 500 years, our only history will be the arts."

And because I like to envision newsprint as being the first draft of history -- and because it is a medium that is ideally suitable for being archived and saved for posterity -- it only makes sense that newspapers provide a forum for what may prove to be the most enduring commentary about today's society.

"Creative Expressions" also provided a place for creative fiction in the Record-Bee. The section's co-editors have also featured excerpts from authors' longer works including fiction and personal essays.

McMillan said she plans to continue her involvement with "Creative Expressions" after she departs from office. She also intends to continue coordinating an on-air literary magazine, "Word Weavers," which broadcasts at 4 p.m. Saturdays on KPFZ 88.1 FM.

"I'm looking forward to providing as much support and encouragement to the next poet laureate as I have received from Sandra Wade, Carolyn Wing Greenlee, Jim Lyle and James Bluewolf," McMillan added.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Robust debate and even unusual opinions are encouraged, but please stay on-topic and be respectful. Comments are subject to review for personal attacks or insults, discriminatory statements, hyperlinks not directly related to the discussion and commercial spam.