Poetry Within Reach Reading Series
The inaugural “Poetry Within Reach” Series took place July-August 2016 and provided an important civic consciousness about the importance of poetry as a connector to accessibility of this art form. Through “Poetry Within Reach in Unexpected Places,” Border Council of Arts and Culture/Consejo Fronterizo de Arte y Cultura (COFAC) I created the Pasadena Rose Poets who brought diverse cultural backgrounds that represents the diversity of our community. We are a group of citizen poets committed to weaving poetry into our everyday lives. Professional and skilled poets at the “top of their game” who could be our neighbors, attend the same church, shop at the same stores, gather at City Hall—within reach. We have a vested interest in serving as citizen poets to bring poetry out of the shadows and on to center stage—the Town Square that City Council represents. We are unique and put their words together in ways that can ease difficult conversations one word at a time, round sharp corners and offer “food for thought.” Poetry is the key to creativity that promotes awareness, access to new experiences, which inspires understanding and reflection.
Poetry Within Reach at Pasadena City Council Meetings
In February 2017, I developed weekly poetry readings at City Council Meetings, a rarity. After six month we were invited by Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek with the support of the Council to continue on a regular basis, which we continue to do. By providing our poetry we underscore our civic mindedness and unveil poetry as an art form that is available to the public, for example, in restaurants, businesses, outdoor and pop-up underutilized spaces throughout the City. Our goal is for the City of Pasadena to be known as the home of the Pasadena Rose Poets who serve as ambassador poets for the City. We have read at the Pasadena Museum of California Art, Book Show Bookstore, Avenue 50 Studio, Pasadena Libraries, private gardens, parks, workplaces, Flintridge Center, Open Studio Art Collective, Altadena Library District and John Muir High School.