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David Perez Named Santa Clara County Poet Laureate

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF.—Today, the County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors appointed David Perez to the honorary post of Santa Clara County Poet Laureate for a two year term (January 14, 2014 - December 21, 2015).  Perez was recommended to the Board following the call for applications, and a two step review process organized by the County and Silicon Valley Creates.
 
“David Perez brings a wealth of creative experience to the post of Poet Laureate,” said County Executive Jeffrey V. Smith.  “He will do a fine job in helping to make poetry accessible to the community.”
 
Perez is a poet, writer and educator. He is a professor of English at Ohlone College and has toured throughout the United States and Canada to give readings and book signings. He is the author of Love in a Time of Robot Apocalypse under Write Bloody Publishing, and his poem Surgir appears on the San Jose Mexican Heritage Plaza Founder’s Plaque.
 
“I’d like to express my gratitude to the Santa Clara Board of Supervisors and to Silicon Valley Creates for establishing the position of Poet Laureate. They have opened new opportunities to create and celebrate poetry,” said Perez. “I intend to help Santa Clara County’s poetic voices become more visible to the communities in which they belong in the hopes that poetry’s ability to help us connect, transform and heal might be more widely accessible.”
 
In July 2012, Perez was voted “Best Author in the Bay Area” in the San Francisco Bay Guardian’s annual readers’ poll. He also received the Arts Council Silicon Valley Fellowship for Literary Art in April 2011 for his contribution to empowering Silicon Valley communities through the arts.
 
"David Perez represents the remarkable energy, diversity and creativity of our region through his power of language," said Connie Martinez, CEO of Silicon Valley Creates. "I look forward to experiencing his genuine ability to bring poetry to life for audiences of all kinds as our next Poet Laureate."
 
Perez will take the two-year post in January 2014.  He is the third poet laureate to be appointed by the County of Santa Clara. Nils Peterson was the County’s first Poet Laureate (2009-2011), and Sally Ashton served as the second Poet Laureate of Santa Clara County (2011-2013).
 
Perez holds a Master of Arts degree in Creative Writing from Goddard College and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Literature from University of California, Santa Cruz.
 
The poet laureate post was approved by the Board in November 2008 in an effort to elevate poetry in the awareness of Santa Clara County residents and to help celebrate the literary arts. The Poet Laureate acts as a resource for poetry and literary activities to the Santa Clara County Library, represents the County of Santa Clara through outreach related to poetry, conducts presentations of appropriate works at the annual State of the County ceremony and other selected County sponsored events, as well as at activities to celebrate Poetry Month.
 
The County issued a call for applications on August 9, 2013. The final deadline for applications was September 30, 2013. A Peer Review Panel reviewed applications and rated candidates based on artistic merit, commitment to the community, and alignment of the proposed project with the Poet Laureate mission. Perez emerged as the recommended nominee for appointment by the Board.
The Poet Laureate will receive a modest honorarium. To learn more about the Poet Laureate program, go to www.sccgov.org/poetlaureate.
 
About Silicon Valley Creates
The mission of Silicon Valley Creates is to ignite investment and engagement in arts and creativity by raising the visibility and value of the arts, growing investment in arts and culture, increasing participation in arts and creativity, and building the capacity of our creative ecosystem. For more information, visit www.svcreates.org
 
 
Media Contact:  Gwendolyn Mitchell, Office of Public Affairs (408) 299-5119; Ben Daniels, Silicon Valley Creates (408) 998-2787, ext. 219
Posted: January 14, 2014