GRASS VALLEY, Calif. February 27, 2017 – Nevada County Arts Council (NCArts) will present the inaugural Sierra Poetry Festival on April 1, 2017 all day at Sierra College in Grass Valley. With partial support from the California Arts Council, activities will include a keynote address by California State Poet Laureate Dana Gioia and an array of local, national and international poets and performers. Among the day’s line-up of poets and presenters are Al Young, Kazim Ali, Genny Lim, Molly Fisk, Pablo Frasconi, Maya Khosla, Charles Entrekin, Gail Rudd Entrekin, Sands Hall, Gayle Brandeis, MK Chavez, Mel Pryor, Jahan Khalighi, Kirsten Casey and more.
Eliza Tudor, Executive Director of NCArts, says: “Readings, open mics, workshops, discussion, parties, youth voices and activism will celebrate the many ways that poetry can act as an agent for change. We chose our theme, Soul of Place, because it calls out to each of us in different ways, yet remains somehow grounded in what is meaningful to us here in the Sierra.”
As a lead-up to the Festival, fringe events will take place in the streets, cafes, art galleries, and local libraries to create active and engaging poetry experiences for everyone. The day of the Festival will also feature Poetry Place, a literary vendor fair with books, information, literary items, and interactive multimedia activities. Karen Terrey, coordinating this portion of the festival, says: “We welcome authors, poets, performers, publishers and teachers whose work relates to poetry and the literary arts, especially those that offer participatory experiences.”
NCArts will also be working with Poetry Out Loud and California Poets in the Schools to showcase student poets and Poetry Out Loud champions. Poet Teacher and Editor Julie Valin says: “We want young people to dive in and get motivated by poetry, as we demonstrate that poetry not only includes our youth, but it depends upon them.” During the festival, in partnership with the Board of Supervisors, the County’s first Poet Laureate Program will be announced, and a core group of festival partners is growing. One such partner is KVMR, whose General Manager, Julie Chiarelli, says: “Radio offers an oral-aural commitment which live-streaming can render well. Pre-Festival pop-up poetry will bring poetry off its pedestal and onto the streets – and this is just what we need. We love that the Festival is geared as much to our young as to our establishment.”
Briar Patch is also a founding sponsor of the festival, and will offer a coffee bar with coffee, tea and baked goods, as well as brown bag lunch options for purchase. Community of Writers at Squaw Valley is a key Festival partner, and Brett Hall Jones, Executive Director, says: “A poetry convergence that introduces the written and spoken word in a dynamic and participatory way – that’s interesting. I’m excited for Nevada County and pleased to be working with NCArts on such a fun and meaningful project.”
Meanwhile, in Eastern Nevada County, Co-Coordinator Karen Terrey of Tangled Roots Writing says, “I’m honored that NCArts has asked me to help curate Truckee’s participation. We have a fantastic emerging literary arts scene. Presenting a countywide festival will bring our two communities together and harness a growing talent base.”
1st Annual Sierra Poetry Festival
Saturday April 1, 2017 | 10 am – 6:30 pm | Sierra College Nevada County Campus