Foust’s Poet Laureate project, “Poetry as Sanctuary,” ties in with California’s status as a Sanctuary State and also has broader application. Of it Foust says “poetry is a sacred space—church, a hospital, a hospice bed—offering a safe place for our most private, urgent, and otherwise ineffable expressions. Reading and writing it opens an escape from technology, stress, life-overload, grief, and other emotional pain. Perhaps the most important service poetry can provide now is respite from or way to respond to current political events. Poetry can build community, and I’d like to use it to raise the awareness and empathy for what is at stake under the new Administration for our undocumented immigrant population here in Marin.” Foust is organizing a series of community open mikes on themes such as Peace, Immigration & Diversity, and Gender, along with readings featuring immigrant poets in the County libraries.
“Requiem Mass for the Yuma Fourteen” has become the signature poem of Foust’s project.
Rebecca Foust has published five prizewinning books of poetry, most recently Paradise Drive (Press 53, 2015), a collection of sonnets featuring a modern-day Pilgrim living in Marin. Paradise Drive was reviewed in the Marin Independent Journal, San Francisco Chronicle, and Rumpus in the Bay Area and widely in national venues including Times Literary Supplement, Harvard Review, Hudson Review, Huffington Post, Philadelphia Inquirer, and Washington Independent Review of Books.
Recognitions include the 2015 James Hearst Poetry Prize judged by Jane Hirshfield, the 2015 American Literary Review Fiction Award, and fellowships from the Frost Place, MacDowell, Sewanee, and West Chester Poetry Conference. Foust is the Poetry Editor for Women’s Voices for Change and has been a board member at Marin Poetry Center since 2008.
Poet Laureate Appearances
Stay updated on scheduled appearances, as well as news and photos from past events, on Rebecca Foust’s Facebook page .
9/2/17 Beast Crawl, reading representing Middle Age, curated by Jon Sindell, The Hatch in Oakland, 8 pm
9/10/17 Library Foundation event for Literacy, Family Fun Day, South Novato Library 1:30-2:30 pm
9/21/17 Community Read-Around: Peace, Corte Madera Library, 7 pm
9/28/17 Marin Poetry Center Anthology Read-Around, Falkirk Cultural Center, 7:30 pm
10/20/17 Smith College Poetry Center: introduce Robert Hass, Northampton, MA, 7:30 pm
10/3/17 Reading with Prartho Sereno and CB Follett at Villa Marin in San Rafael, 7 pm
10/6/17 Marin County Library Staff Service Day Talk and Activity, Marin JCC, 1:30 pm
10/7/17 Litquake Poet Laureate reading with Prartho Sereno, Joe Zaccardi, CB Follett & Albert Flynn de Silva, curated by Margaret Stawoway, San Rafael Library, 7 pm
10/12/17 Litcrawl Poetry World Series emceed by John Roderick, The Makeout Room, SF
11/4/17 Reading with Javier Zamora, O’Hanlon Center in Mill Valley, 7 pm
11/14/17 Community Read Around: Immigration, Civic Center Library, 7 pm
12/3/17 Community OPEN MIKE: The Gender of Things, Mill Valley Library, 3 pm
12/4/17 Book Launch for Javier Zamora’s Unaccompanied, Book Passage Corte Madera, 7 pm
12/5/17 POETRY AS SANCTUARY: Reading by Latino/Latina Students from ForWords Literacy Lab, Fairfax Library, 7 pm
2/13/18 Poet Laureate in conversation with Jasmin Darznik, author of new novel about Iranian poet Forugh Faroukazad, Song of a Captive Bird Book Passage in Corte Madera, 7 pm
2/23/18 Pilot shoot for new series for on younger, rising poets in Marin; Brian Jones, co-producer of Marin Poets Live! For Marin Community TV has invited me to host and help plan the series
2/24/18 International Association of Sufism Songs of the Soul Poetry and Sacred Music Festival series, Celebrate the Sacred Songs of the Soul: Rebecca Foust and Reverend Canon Charles P. Gibbs – Moderator: Safa Ali Michael Newman. Embassy Suites, San Rafael, 10:40-11:20 am.
3/31/18 Introduce “Word Up” workshop taught by Marlon Richardson with Hiphop for Change at the Marin City Library, Sat. 2 pm
4/10/18 Feature at Poetry Santa Cruz, 7:30 pm, venue TBA, 7 pm
4/12/18 Introduce Javier Zamora at his reading with teen poets, Pickleweed Library, 7 pm
4/24/18 Hosting Copper Canyon Reading with Dana Levin, Dean Rader, Melissa Stein, and Javier Zamora, Mill Valley Library, 7 pm
4/26/18 Judge and Emcee for MPC High School Awards Ceremony, The Marin School, 7 pm
4/27/18 Arbor Day celebration, Marin Civic Center, 12 pm
5/11/18 Host Poetry World Series featuring Daniel Handler as emcee, celebrity judges Lee Herrick and Molly Giles, and rising Marin Poets, Mill Valley Library, 7 pm
5/19/18 Ina Coolbrith Feature, Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian Church, 49 Knox Dr., Lafayette, Room 201, 2 pm (45 minutes)
6/5/18 Poetry and Community Panel with Prartho Sereno, and Albert Flynn De Silver, 4:30 pm. Reading, 7 pm. Both events at Dominican University, Garden Room of Edgehill Mansion (next to the Santa Sabina Center).
6/30-7/4/18 Marin County Fair: Events every day at the indoor sound stage in the Exhibit Hall, 11:30-1 pm, including Readings for Creative Writing Competition Awards and an open mike. Walk-In poetry consults daily 3-5 pm.
11/5/18 Reading new poems and talking generally about my term as PL at the monthly Left Coast Writer’s meeting, Book Passage in Corte Madera, 7 pm.
11/7/18 “Rising Voices” screening with Javier Zamora, Novato Library, 7 pm.
11/10/18 Hosting a screening of the first installment of the Marin Community TV show I’m co-producing with Brian Jones, “Rising Voices,” featuring Javier Zamora, Fairfax Library, 1 pm. Javier’s parents and Students from ForWords Literacy Lab will also read and answer questions. Javier will be reading in person at College of Marin on November 7!
11/11/18 Poetry Flash reading with Lisa Dordal, East Bay Booksellers (formerly Diesel Books) in Oakland, 2 pm.
11/13/18 Reading with Roy Mash, Barking Dog Café in Stockton, 6 pm.
11/16/18 Reading with Peter LaBerge for Marin Poetry Center, Falkirk Community Center in San Rafael, 7:30 pm.
Community Open Mike on Gender at the Mill Valley Library, a reading for Marin Interfaith Council, and more installments for “Rising Voices”, a TV show devoted to showcasing emerging poets in Marin County.
Poet Laureate booth at Marin County Fair 2017
About the Marin Poet Laureate Program
The Marin Poet Laureate Program is dedicated to building community through poetry by appointing and supporting a Poet Laureate for the county. As an ambassador for poetry, the Laureate promotes citizens’ awareness of poetry as well as heightens their appreciation of the art form. The Laureate strives to forge a meaningful connection between poetry and the populace, undertakes projects that will make poetry more available and more accessible to people in their everyday lives, and demonstrates a dedication to the art of writing poetry.
PREVIOUS POET LAUREATES
Prartho Sereno, 2015-2017
Joe Zaccardi, 2013-2015
Lyn Follett, 2010-2013
Albert Flynn DeSilver, 2008-2010
MARIN POET LAUREATE PROGRAM COMMITTEE MEMBERS:
Sara Jones (Director, Marin County Free Library), Gabriella Calicchio (Director, Cultural and Visitors’ Services), Richard Brown (Chair), Suzie Pollak, Calvin Ahlgren, Joe Zaccardi, Suella Kennedy