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Poet Laureate Program

About the Program

The City of San Ramon's Poet Laureate Program is a person selected to serve as a public advocate for the appreciation and advancement of the literary arts, particularly poetry in the City of San Ramon.

 The poet selected for the position does not receive compensation, as the post is voluntary. They receive the title of Poet Laureate and will be presented with a certificate recognizing them in their official capacity as Poet Laureate at a City Council meeting.  The Poet Laureate serves a two year term following their appointment to the position.

 The Poet Laureate is called upon to create and read poetry at civic events such as public ceremonies and dedications. He or she serves as a resource and liaison between the City’s Cultural Arts Programs and local literary organizations. He or she acts as a resource on the topic of poetry should the Arts Advisory Committee need that expertise. He or she may also have the opportunity to conduct poetry workshops or staged readings.

 Each candidate for the position of Poet Laureate must:

  • Be a San Ramon resident or work in San Ramon
  • Be Age 18 or older
  • Be the author of published poetry or be willing to publish poetry during their term
  • Be willing to create and read poetry for civic events and dedications
  • Be willing to have their poetry posted on the City Web Site
  • Be willing to share their love of poetry with people of all ages
  • Be ready to serve a two-year term with no compensation
  • Be willing to orient and train the next Poet Laureate
  • Affiliation with literary organizations is preferred but not necessary

 

​Current Poet Laureate, Jenyth Jo Gearhart-Utchen

Poet Laureate

Jenyth has been a San Ramon resident since 1994 and has witnessed great growth and change in our community, progress she wishes to commemorate and celebrate. As Poet Laureate, her mission is to “Value our Voices” and include the multiple points of view which form the mosaic of San Ramon's diverse citizenry.  Her poetry is commemorative, uplifting at times, and always honest, authentic expression. 

 A lifelong lover of learning, Jenyth earned a bachelor’s degree in English and Creative Writing/Fiction from Stanford University, and an M.A. in Creative Writing/Fiction from U.C. Davis.  She earned a certificate in College Admissions Counseling at U.C. Berkeley and spent many years helping students craft terrific college applications.

 She has served as the co-director of the Poetry Out Loud program at Monte Vista High School since 2008 and has coached many county champions.  After 25 years of teaching, she will be taking a sabbatical from 2019-2020 to pursue an M.F.A. in Poetry at St. Mary’s College in Moraga.

 As the former Poet Laureate of the small community of Serene Lakes in the Sierra Nevada, she wrote about otters and eagles and the history of the Donner Summit.  You may read about her adventures from Nieuwpoort, Belgium, to central France, finding the graves of WW1 poets along the Western Front in 2018, at Jenythink.blogspot.com.  

Jenyth looks forward to creating and publishing poems specific to our San Ramon Valley during her appointment, as well as expanding poetry opportunities for the arts community.  Follow her on Twitter:  @jenythjo (rhymeoreason)  


Previous Poet Laureate, Kathy Moore - Term July 2016 - August 2018

Kathy Moore, Poet Laureate
Kathy Moore is honored to be the City of San Ramon’s Poet Laureate for 2012-2018. In this role, in addition to writing poems for civic events, she has written and performed jazz poetry with Lady K and the Kings of Swing and choreographed poetry with the Jumpin’ at the Sun Dance Company. Kathy also teaches poetry writing workshops throughout the greater Bay Area. In addition to her poetry work, she serves as Director of Educational Services for the San Ramon Valley Unified School District. She was honored as SRVUSD Teacher of the Year in 2007 and San Ramon Chamber of Commerce Educator of the Year in 2009.

In addition to holding a Doctorate in Educational Leadership for Social Justice from California State University East Bay, Kathy holds an M.A. in Teacher Leadership from St. Mary’s and a B.A. in English Education from the State University of New York at Albany.

Kathy’s passion is promoting social justice through poetry. Her work has been published in several journals and anthologies including Finding Poetic Justice: How Teacher Inquiry Impacts Elementary Math Instruction, CSUEB Press, 2012; Postcards from the Schoolhouse, NCPEA Publications, 2013; The Exchange, International Reading Association, 2013; Found Poetry Review, 2014; and Digital Paper, 2013, 2015. Kathy blogs at https://eduk8te.wordpress.com/ and her twitter handle is @wordcrazy.

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