Foust’s Poet Laureate project, “Poetry as Sanctuary,” ties in with California’s status as a Sanctuary State and also has broader application. Of it Foust says “poetry is a sacred space—church, a hospital, a hospice bed—offering a safe place for our most private, urgent, and otherwise ineffable expressions. Reading and writing it opens an escape from technology, stress, life-overload, grief, and other emotional pain. Perhaps the most important service poetry can provide now is respite from or way to respond to current political events. Poetry can build community, and I’d like to use it to raise the awareness and empathy for what is at stake under the new Administration for our undocumented immigrant population here in Marin.” Foust is organizing a series of community open mikes on themes such as Peace, Immigration & Diversity, and Gender, along with readings featuring immigrant poets in the County libraries.
“Requiem Mass for the Yuma Fourteen” has become the signature poem of Foust’s project.
Rebecca Foust has published five prizewinning books of poetry, most recently Paradise Drive (Press 53, 2015), a collection of sonnets featuring a modern-day Pilgrim living in Marin. Paradise Drive was reviewed in the Marin Independent Journal, San Francisco Chronicle, and Rumpus in the Bay Area and widely in national venues including Times Literary Supplement, Harvard Review, Hudson Review, Huffington Post, Philadelphia Inquirer, and Washington Independent Review of Books.
Recognitions include the 2015 James Hearst Poetry Prize judged by Jane Hirshfield, the 2015 American Literary Review Fiction Award, and fellowships from the Frost Place, MacDowell, Sewanee, and West Chester Poetry Conference. Foust is the Poetry Editor for Women’s Voices for Change and has been a board member at Marin Poetry Center since 2008.
Poet Laureate Appearances
Stay updated on scheduled appearances, as well as news and photos from past events, on Rebecca Foust’s Facebook page .
9/2/17 Beast Crawl, reading representing Middle Age, curated by Jon Sindell, The Hatch in Oakland, 8 pm
9/10/17 Library Foundation event for Literacy, Family Fun Day, South Novato Library 1:30-2:30 pm
9/21/17 Community Read-Around: Peace, Corte Madera Library, 7 pm
9/28/17 Marin Poetry Center Anthology Read-Around, Falkirk Cultural Center, 7:30 pm
10/20/17 Smith College Poetry Center: introduce Robert Hass, Northampton, MA, 7:30 pm
10/3/17 Reading with Prartho Sereno and CB Follett at Villa Marin in San Rafael, 7 pm
10/6/17 Marin County Library Staff Service Day Talk and Activity, Marin JCC, 1:30 pm
10/7/17 Litquake Poet Laureate reading with Prartho Sereno, Joe Zaccardi, CB Follett & Albert Flynn de Silva, curated by Margaret Stawoway, San Rafael Library, 7 pm
10/12/17 Litcrawl Poetry World Series emceed by John Roderick, The Makeout Room, SF
11/4/17 Reading with Javier Zamora, O’Hanlon Center in Mill Valley, 7 pm
11/14/17 Community Read Around: Immigration, Civic Center Library, 7 pm
12/3/17 Community OPEN MIKE: The Gender of Things, Mill Valley Library, 3 pm
12/4/17 Book Launch for Javier Zamora’s Unaccompanied, Book Passage Corte Madera, 7 pm
12/5/17 POETRY AS SANCTUARY: Reading by Latino/Latina Students from ForWords Literacy Lab, Fairfax Library, 7 pm
2/24/18 Reading for International Association of Sufism Songs of the Soul Poetry and Sacred Music Festival series, Embassy Suites, San Raphael
4/24/18 Hosting Copper Canyon Reading with Dana Levin, Dean Rader, Melissa Stein, and Javier Zamora, Mill Valley Library, 7 pm
Poet Laureate booth at Marin County Fair 2017
About the Marin Poet Laureate Program
The Marin Poet Laureate Program is dedicated to building community through poetry by appointing and supporting a Poet Laureate for the county. As an ambassador for poetry, the Laureate promotes citizens’ awareness of poetry as well as heightens their appreciation of the art form. The Laureate strives to forge a meaningful connection between poetry and the populace, undertakes projects that will make poetry more available and more accessible to people in their everyday lives, and demonstrates a dedication to the art of writing poetry.
PREVIOUS POET LAUREATES
Prartho Sereno, 2015-2017
Joe Zaccardi, 2013-2015
Lyn Follett, 2010-2013
Albert Flynn DeSilver, 2008-2010
MARIN POET LAUREATE PROGRAM COMMITTEE MEMBERS:
Sara Jones (Director, Marin County Free Library), Gabriella Calicchio (Director, Cultural and Visitors’ Services), Richard Brown (Chair), Suzie Pollak, Calvin Ahlgren, Joe Zaccardi, Suella Kennedy