Grass Valley, California May 20, 2021 – The Nevada County Board of the Arts announces 2021 Nevada County Poet Laureate Kirsten Casey following a resolution from the Nevada County Board of Supervisors accepting the Board’s resolution, in partnership with Nevada County Libraries, during late April, and a subsequent laurel ceremony in early May.
The Nevada County Poet Laureate Program opened with the Sierra Poetry Festival in 2017 in the presence of California Poet Laureate Dana Gioia. Nevada County’s inaugural Poet Laureate was a celebrated poet, Molly fisk, who set the bar high after receiving a Laureate scholarship from the Academy of American Poets, leading to the publication of his important anthology, Fire and Water in California: An Anthology of the Climate Crisis.
In 2019, Chris Olander was named Nevada County’s New Poet Laureate. Chris navigated the COVID-19 pandemic by writing copiously, and in early 2021 by releasing his second collection, Dusk roses.
According to Eliza Tudor, executive director of Nevada County Arts Council, “Kirsten Casey has been with us throughout the process. Long before the inauguration of the Sierra Poetry Festival and our Nevada County Poet Laureate program, she was an active member of California Poets in the Schools and, after sixteen years, is now a regional coordinator. She annually trained our county judges for Poetry Out Loud in Schools and was the founding coordinator of the Nevada County Art Council’s International Children’s Poetry Exchange, Dream a Difference, in 2017. ”
Casey’s first book of poetry, Ex Viv0: Outside the living body, was published by Hip Pocket Press in 2012. His next collection of poems explores historical and literary figures struggling with the use of social media in the modern world. In 2020, she co-edited the Molly Fisk collection Fire and water in California.
Said Tudor: “When Amanda Gorman stole the show at President Joe Biden’s inauguration with The hill that we climb, she moved America and the world with her performance. She made the idea of a “healed” humanity tangible, sharing a dream that finds hope in suffering but does not resign itself to letting conflict and division prevail.
Accepting her nomination as the 2021 Poet Laureate, Kirsten Casey said, “I am honored and thrilled to be this year’s nominee for Nevada County Poet Laureate. As a resident of the city of Nevada for 28 years, I truly consider this my home. After more than a year of isolation, fear and civil unrest, it is more important than ever to recognize what connects us as a community… My goal is to bring poetry to life, in person, in this community. artistic haven. I hope that as the county opens up, I can organize events to enrich the experience of poetry: create it, share it, read it – together. It will be a time of healing and recovery, and I especially want to reach out to the children and teens who have spent an enormous amount of screen time over the past 12 months.
Nick Wilczek, Nevada County Librarian, said of Casey’s appointment to the post and the opportunity to partner with the Nevada County Arts Council: “I am also happy that we are working together. We have all kinds of partnership opportunities, especially as the library continues to reopen! “
For more on Kirsten Casey, check out nevadacountyarts.org/nevada-county-poet-laureate and keeping an eye on the Council’s community arts calendar for literary events as they happen.