The honorary post of Santa Clara County Poet Laureate was created by the County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors on November 18, 2008. The County works in partnership with Silicon Valley Creates to select a nominee every two years for Board appointment.
Candidates go through a peer review and interview process, and are rated on artistic merit, commitment to the community, and the alignment of the proposed public projects with the mission of the post of Poet Laureate. The ratings were compiled and the top three candidates are referred for interviews.Sally Ashton
, a poet, writer, teacher and editor of the DMQ Review, was appointed to take the post of poet laureate beginning April 1, 2011, for a two year term expiring March 31, 2013. She is the second poet laureate, following Nils Peterson, Professor Emeritus, San Jose State University.Mission
The Santa Clara County Poet Laureate is an honorary post. The nominee is appointed by the County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors. The mission of the Poet Laureate is to:
- Elevate poetry in the awareness of Santa Clara County residents and to help celebrate the literary arts;
- Serve as an advocate for poetry, literature, and the arts;
- Lead a community project that makes poetry more accessible; and
- Contribute to Santa Clara County’s poetry and literary legacy.
APPLICATION PROCESS FOR THE 2014 -2016 SANTA CLARA COUNTY POET LAUREATE IS NOW OPEN
POETRY ON THE MOVE NEWS CONFERENCE - April 6, 2012
April is National Poetry Month. To celebrate, the County of Santa Clara Poet Laureate Sally Ashton launched “Poetry on the Move,” featuring five winning poems of the Poetry on the Move Contest which ran from mid-December through January 31. Residents were asked to send their best poem that celebrates who we are and what we do in Silicon Valley. The poems were to be 50 words or less. Some ideas given to kick-start the creative process were to write about “invention,” think of the poem as an invention and capture the spirit of “making new” that shapes Santa Clara County. The collaborative project was funded by the City of San Jose Office of Cultural Affairs.
More than 100 residents answered the call. Commuters are able to read and reflect on the spirit of invention and change as they make their way around the valley. Poems are also on display at County libraries.
The County of Santa Clara and Arts Council Silicon Valley held a news conference on April 6 to recognize the winning poets.
Attending the news conference were: Poet Laureate Sally Ashton, Councilmember Sam Liccardo, City of San Jose Councilmember and VTA Board Member, Mayor Mike Kotowski, Campbell; Mayor Tony Spitaleri, Sunnyvale; Poets - Mark Heinlein, San Jose; Dennis Noren, Campbell; Danielle Roberts, Santa Clara; Patricia McDonald, Arts Commissioner & Vice Chair Public Art Committee, City of San Jose; Nancy Glaze, Executive Director, Arts Council Silicon Valley; and Joe Miller, Project Artist. Mayor Tony Spitaleri read for Diana Clarke, Sunnyvale who could not attend.