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Ode to the Word! It's Poetry Month!

Three events in Los Gatos will help poets and writers enjoy the written word; winners of Poetry on the Move contest have been selected by county poet laureate and winning poems will appear on VTA buses and light-rail trains.

April is National Poetry Month and Los Gatos will be celebrating with several events that will sure inspire many to enjoy the pleasures and benefits of reading the written language.

On Monday evening, Los Gatos Mayor Steve Rice declared April National Poetry Month saying he hoped the observance would bring poets and poetry to the public in innovative ways and make poetry an important part of children's lives.

In a proclamation read during the Town Council meeting, Rice said the town has appointed longtime Los Gatos resident Parthenia Hicks as poet laureate who has established the growing and popular Poetry Los Gatos movement.

Hicks and Poetry Los Gatos are engaged in activities to make poetry an essential part of the arts and humanities in town affecting every part of life, including education, the economy and community pride, Rice said.

During the Council meeting, Raymond J. Fisher Middle School eighth-graders Mason Babb, Elaine Hsieh, and Diangelo Reyes read poems they had written about where they were from.

Hicks thanked Rice on behalf of all town poets and writers and to Poetry Los Gatos, a group of poets, writers and lovers of language, who support her as poet laureate.

Hicks said Los Gatos boasts its own Poet's Canyon and poets such as Sara Bard Field, Charles Erskine Scott Woods as well as many visiting writers including  John Steinbeck and Frank Norris have deep connections to the town. She said it was an honor to carry on and revitalize the strong literary tradition.

In the past two years, Poetry Los Gatos has produced or participated in more than 35 events, Hicks added. Most have taken place in town with the audience coming from surrounding areas.

Its Monday night poetry group brings published and new poets together who read works to each other and offer encouragement and support "for the unique way that language spills off of each one of us," she said.

The Poetry Los Gatos 2012 project is a collection of poems focused on the town, which will be published this coming fall, she added.

So far, 75 people have submitted poems for inclusion in the collection, with the youngest submission coming from an 8-year-old girl who lives in Wyoming and wrote about riding her bike at Vasona Lake County Park with her grandfather.

Poetry Los Gatos is also planning the following events:

  • Exposures: 6-8 p.m., Thursday, April 5, Los Gatos poets respond to the art of photography on exhibit in the town Council Chambers.
  • Poetry Movie Night, Il Postino, Friday, April 20, at the Los Gatos Adult Recreation Center.
  • Community Open Mic at Great Bear Coffee, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 24, open to poets, writers and nonwriters.

Countywide, led by Los Gatos resident Sally Ashton, Santa Clara County's poet laureate, the winners of Poetry on the Move contest have been announced and their short poems will appear on "car cards" in VTA buses and light rail cars.

The contest, which ran from mid-December through Jan. 31, asked county residents to send their best poem, 50 words or less, with the contest theme, "Invention."

More than 100 residents answered the call, Ashton said, but only five were selected:

  • Dennis Noren, Campbell: “Accelerate”
  • Diana Clarke, Sunnyvale: “Tangents of Invention Early On”
  • Mark Heinlein, San Jose: “Gravity”
  • Samantha Lê, San Jose: “From the Platform on First Street”
  • Danielle Roberts, Santa Clara: “The Inventor”
Irene Aida Garza-Ortiz April 04, 2012 at 02:57 AM
This should be a enjoyable event. Too bad I work at those hours. Enjoy!
Parthenia M. Hicks April 04, 2012 at 04:08 AM
Exposures: Poets reading for the first time at a Poetry Los Gatos event are: Renee Schell, Christine Van Winkle, Joelle Di Carlo, Kathy Morgan, and photographer Gene Faucher. Come and see rich photography and hear new poems.
Parthenia M. Hicks April 04, 2012 at 04:10 AM
Poetry in Motion is a fantastic idea and a wonderful way to bring poetry into our lives. Thanks, Sally, and congratulations to all of the winners! I can't wait to see the poems in motion!
Sally Ashton April 04, 2012 at 05:09 AM
So much poetry to choose from in Los Gatos where even the Mayor declares April as National Poetry Month. Find a way to include poetry in your life this month, and support Poetry Los Gatos!
Erica Goss April 04, 2012 at 07:02 PM
Los Gatos is a great place to enjoy the arts. Thanks to the Mayor and the Town of Los Gatos for their support of poetry during National Poetry Month.
Victoria M. Johnson April 07, 2012 at 08:13 PM
Sheila-- Nice article about Poetry in Los Gatos! I attended the Exposures event and it was fabulous. Thanks for letting us know about these interesting events in Los Gatos. Victoria--

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