Montara writer to be named county’s first Poet Laureate

(A little background: San Mateo County Supervisor Warren Slocum has led an effort to create a “Poet Laureate” for the county. Montara resident Carline Goodwin has been chosen–the formal appointment by the full board is scheduled for Tuesday. You can learn more about Goodwin and her work at, or purchase her new book of poetry, Traplines, available at Amazon and maybe at local bookstores, too.)




Poet Laureate Advisory Committee recommends
Caroline Goodwin be Appointed as San Mateo County’s First Poet Laureate

(Redwood City, CA) – On Tuesday, October 8th, the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors will consider appointing Caroline Goodwin of Montara to the honorary post as the County’s first Poet Laureate. Her role as Poet Laureate will be to elevate poetry among San Mateo County residents and to celebrate the literary arts.

The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors created the honorary post of Poet Laureate at their April 23rd meeting. A San Mateo County Poet Laureate Advisory Committee was formed and co-chaired by San Mateo County Supervisors Warren Slocum and Carole Groom. The Committee held seven meetings and 15 nominations were received by the Committee during the 6-week nomination period. Five finalists were selected for interviews, culminating in the choice of Caroline Goodwin as Poet Laureate.

Goodwin is a poet, writer and professor who was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska. She moved to San Mateo County in 1999 to attend Stanford as a Wallace Stegner Fellow in Poetry. Goodwin is a professor at the California College of the Arts in the MFA Writing and undergraduate Writing and Literature programs, and also teaches workshops through the Stanford Writer’s Studio. She earned her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia. Goodwin is an avid poet with a variety of published poems as well as a book of poems, Trapline. If approved, she will take the two-year post which commences on January 1, 2014 and will conclude on December 31, 2015.

“I am looking forward to meeting people throughout San Mateo County in the coming months to discuss, explore and celebrate the role of poetry in our lives,” said Caroline Goodwin. She added, “Poetry is rhythm, poetry is music, poetry has many histories and roots and can act as a healer in our turbulent times. I love our diverse and beautiful County and am grateful for this opportunity to share poetry and serve.”

“Caroline Goodwin has the heart and soul and passion to spread the power of poetry to the people of San Mateo County,” said Supervisor Warren Slocum. “All of our 15 nominees were amazing poets which speaks to the thriving literary arts community in our County. We are proud to name Caroline Goodwin as the very first Poet Laureate in San Mateo County. She will greatly enhance the art of the spoken word.”

Supervisor Carole Groom added, “San Mateo County has a rich undercurrent of poets, poetry and other literary traditions. Our new Poet Laureate will inspire us with her wonderful poetry, as well as elevate this art form, giving it an inclusive voice and a visible presence in our day to day lives.”

Members of the San Mateo County Poet Laureate Advisory Committee include: San Mateo County Supervisors Warren Slocum and Carole Groom, California Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera; Jackie Berger, Director of the Master of Arts in English Program at Notre Dame de Namur University; Kalamu Chaché, East Palo Alto Poet Laureate; Maryann Moise Derwin, Chair of the San Mateo County Library JPA Governing Board and Portola Valley Town Council; Anne-Marie Despain, Director of Library Services for San Mateo County Library; Julie Fellers, President, Peninsula Arts Council; Mary Gutierrez, Dean of Language Arts at Skyline College; Clark Kepler, local business advocate; Bardi Rosman Koodrin, Literary Director of the San Mateo County Fair; Donald Mulliken, San Mateo County Arts Commissioner; Christopher Wachlin, President of the CA Writers Club, San Francisco-Peninsula Branch; and Bonny Zanardi, Arts Columnist for the San Jose Mercury News.

The Poet Laureate Advisory Committee will continue to work with and support the Poet Laureate as she introduces new programs the celebrate poetry and engage the community.

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