Published January 23rd, 2019
Live Poets Society - second episode
By Sophie Braccini
The three invited poets from left: Dani Gabriel, Jeremy Benson and Lisa Rosenber Photo provided
A community that prides itself in its sophistication and prizes literary achievements could only welcome with warmth the initiatives taken by Lafayette-Orinda poet laureate Amy Glynn. Last year she organized the first Live Poets Society reading, which was excellent; enthused by the talents of local poets, the laureate is proposing a second iteration. Glynn has invited professional poets to share their work, and is giving the opportunity to budding talents on Sunday, Jan. 27 to be confronted, sometimes for the first time, with a live audience.
The Sunday afternoon presentation from 1 to 3 p.m. will feature three presenters who are all current or recent city poet laureates from different Bay Area municipalities. In October Glynn attended a gathering of California poet laureates in Los Angeles, hosted by state poet laureate Dana Gioia, who has just ended his term. She remembers the amazing day of readings and discussions of their various programs and how they got inspired to include each other in upcoming events.
The readers will be Dani Gabriel, Jeremy Benson, and Lisa Rosenberg. Benson is the current poet laureate of Napa County who has also written novels, short stories, articles, personal essays, stand-up comedy routines, and short films. Benson is also a consummate live presenter and Glynn anticipates that he will be a big success during the poetry session.
Rosenberg is the author of "A Different Physics," winner the 2017 Red Mountain Poetry Prize. A former Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, she has degrees in physics and creative writing, and worked for many years in engineering. She served as the 2017-18 poet laureate of San Mateo County.
Gabriel is the author of a forthcoming children's book by Penny Candy Books, "The Woman You Write Poems About" (Civil Defense Press) and coauthor of "Molotov Mouths" (Manic D Press). She earned a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley in peace and conflict studies and a master's in fine arts from Mills College in creative writing. She is a postulant for the diaconate in the Episcopal Diocese of California.
Glynn chose to host this second gathering at Orinda Books for its cozy atmosphere. She hopes that the Sunday afternoon time will be more convenient for her targeted audience than an evening during the week. Glynn's objective for these types of gatherings is to attract families and she has opened wide the door of the society to young writers.
Glynn believes that a very large portion of the mission of a poet laureate is education. She has started reaching out and inviting young writers, connecting with writing programs such as the Intuitive Writing Project. She is working on establishing a closer connection to the schools and is inviting high school students to contact her if they are interested, "or simply show up to the reading and introduce themselves," she adds.
The Poet Laureate is a program of the Lamorinda Arts Council and is supported by the cities of Lafayette and Orinda. Glynn's tenure as poet laureate is two years.

Reach the reporter at:

Copyright Lamorinda Weekly, Moraga CA