Earlier this month, Thursday night, January 7, 2016, I was honored by the City of Cupertino for my two+ year term as the city’s second poet laureate. In a lovely ceremony at the Cupertino Senior Center, dignitaries from the city, the library foundation, and the library gathered to wish me well. The first half of the show was for me, and with the flowers, gifts, and speeches, I was truly moved. The second half of the show was to welcome Amanda Williamsen, the city’s third poet laureate, to honor her, shower her with gifts and flowers, and take lots of photos of us all together.
Here are some of the photos, taken by my daughter and her friend. I hope the city got some better ones, or at least some closer ones!! Many friends and family came to share in the evening, including poets laureate from Santa Clara County and San Mateo County, and from the city of Los Gatos.
This photo shows Cupertino’s mayor, Barry Chang, me, Amanda and David Denny (Cupertino’s inaugural PL, sporting his Walt Whitman hat), and city council member Savita Vaidhyanathan, who spoke wonderfully about the poet laureate program and what it means to the city. Savita read her own poem, too, which is exactly the spirit we want from our community — don’t worry if you’re not a pro, write!
This photo shows Bev Lenihan, Adrian Kolb and Ann Stevenson, the Cupertino Poet Laureate steering committee members (from the Cupertino Library Foundation, the Friends of the Cupertino Library and the Cupertino Library Commission respectively, left to right) speechifying and being gracious and kind.
In the photos below, I’m reading a poem, and chatting with Amanda, with her arms full of flowers after I’ve handed her the trophy with our names engraved.
You can read about Amanda’s plans for the city in this really nice article from the Cupertino Courier, by Kristie Myllenbeck.