ANNOUNCING THE NEW SONOMA COUNTY POET LAUREATE

 

KATHERINE HASTINGS  2014-2015

 

Katherine Hastings grew up in the Cow Hollow neighborhood of San Francisco, a city that has deeply influenced her poems.  She is the author of Nighthawks (Spuyten Duyvil NYC, 2014) and Cloud Fire (Spuyten Duyvil NYC, 2012) and several chapbooks, including Updraft (Finishing Line, 2010).  Her poems have appeared in numerous journals, anthologies, and other publications including The Book of Forms — A Handbook of Poetics, Lewis Turco, ed. (2012); the Comstock Review; Parthenon West Review; Rattle; Beatitude Golden Anniversary; Calyx; and many others. 

Katherine's  well-known projects   include   the  WordTemple  Poetry   Series,   which   she founded  in 2005.  In  this series  she brings  established poets,  including several  U.S.  and California State Poets  Laureate, together  with  local poets.  She has hosted  the companion WordTemple program  on KRCB  FM since 2007. And has recently launched  the WordTemple Arts & Lectures  series,  in which pairs of writers  read and discuss  their work  together  and then take questions from the audience.

Perhaps  not as widely-known is her Small Change Series of WordTemple Press,  which published chapbooks by Gwynn  O'Gara, who  went  on to become  poet  laureate,  Nancy Dougherty, beat poet David  Meltzer, former  San Francisco Poet Laureate devorah  major and  others.  In the face  of the  imminent closure  of 70  California State  Parks,  Katherine published What the Redwoods Know: Poems from California State Parks, which included 14  poets,  the  majority  Sonoma  County  poets.   Published as  a benefit  for  the  CA  State Parks Foundation, it brought  statewide attention  to these poets. 

Katherine is a promoter of poetry  rather  than a self-promoter. However, when you hear her read, you are moved  by the power  and musicality of her poetic  voice.  She exemplifies all that a poet laureate should  embody.  She is generous  with  her  time  and  energy,  benefitting both  local  audiences and  local  poets. Most of all, she is a fine poet.

Previous Poets Laureate:

Don Emblen,  2000-2001

David Bromige,  2002-2003

Terry Ehret,  2004 - 2005

Geri Digiorno, 2006-2007

Mike Tuggle,  2008-2009

Gwynn O'Gara, 2010 - 2011

Bill Vartnaw, 2012-2013