Governor Gray Davis declares April as ‘California Poetry Month’

By Jennifer Coleman, The Associated Press
Saturday April 06, 2002

SACRAMENTO — State’s poets honored/April devoted to verse/Governor’s order. 

Gov. Gray Davis on Friday declared April “California Poetry Month” to celebrate the state’s cultural life and literary heritage — from the 17-syllable haiku to epic verse. 

“Poetry allows language to free our imaginations and expand our creative horizons,” Davis said. “It offers opportunities for those seeking self-knowledge, but it especially encourages children to discover the wealth of language and expression in their own lives.” 

The governor’s executive order encourages Californians to read, perform and discuss poetry in all its forms, said Adam Gottlieb, spokesman for the California Arts Council. 

“What poetry month means is a celebration of literature, a celebration of learning,” Gottlieb said. “How we use language defines us and shows our humanity.” 

The event is a “wonderful opportunity to demonstrate our love of language and share the spark of creativity,” he said. 

The monthlong celebration, which Gottlieb said may be California’s first, includes events this weekend in Venice, San Francisco and Sacramento. 

The event comes as the governor is deciding among three finalists for the state’s poet laureate. The finalists are Francisco X. Alarcon, 48, of Davis; Diane DiPrima, 67, of San Francisco; and Quincy Troupe, 59, of La Jolla. 

The winner will serve a two-year term and be eligible a stipend that hasn’t yet been determined. Past poets laureate were appointed for life. 


On the Net: 

For more information about specific poetry events, visit the California Arts Council at http://www.cac.ca.gov.