Quick. What rhymes with Clara?
Father Junipero Serra.
The goddess Hera?
It's time to get your assonance in gear because the Arts Council Silicon Valley is searching for the first-ever poet laureate of Santa Clara County. It's a sweet gig: to elevate the status of poetry in the valley, a place far more famous for high-tech than haiku.
I found this hilarious article in the Mercury today. What do you say, dear Readers? Should I run? I am a model candidate! 1. I have lived in Santa Clara County all my life. 2. I have published ONE POEM in a Real Magazine, and I have been recognized with ONE PUSHCART NOMINATION (poetic fame is so relative, you know). 3. Diversity is fine by me. 4. I have shown my passion for engaging in civic discourse about poetry by writing this blog.
Duties of Santa Clara County Poet Laureate
1) Represent Santa Clara County and the art of poetry through outreach related to poetry
2) Present appropriate works at the annual State of the County ceremony and at least four selected County-sponsored events, dedications, or memorials per year
3) Act as a resource for poetry and literary activities of the Santa Clara County Library
4) Participate in National Poetry Month events and activities
5) Undertake a project that will make poetry more available and accessible to people in their everyday lives
The Poet Laureate will receive a modest honorarium.
It sounds like the Poet Laureate will actually have to produce a substantial amount of public occasional verse. (This is not required of the US Poet Laureate!) And that honorarium is only $4000 for two years. It will be interesting to see who they get.
If the official poet of Santa Clara County ends up immortalizing home, sweet home in a poem, so much the better. The result might be a sonnet that captures the pulse of life here in the valley. Might we suggest: A Valediction Forbidding Blogging? To His Soy Mistress? Ode on a Grecian URL?
"Right now there are many local poets writing about the valley, about the transition from agriculture to technology and our changing status in the world," Jones notes. "I think the great Silicon Valley poem is still out there."