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