Gary Snyder and Will Staple set to read at Sierra Poetry Festival | TheUnion.com

Gary Snyder and Will Staple set to read at Sierra Poetry Festival

Submitted to The Union

San Juan Ridge Community Library and Nevada County Arts Council will co-present a special reading with Gary Snyder and Will Staple at 7 p.m. Friday, according to a release.

Designed as a benefit for both the library and the Sierra Poetry Festival, the two organizations are using this opportunity to support one another.

"A friend wrote 'How would it be if the governments had to raise money for planes and battleships with bake sales and poetry readings?'" Snyder said. "Well, we're still trying with programs for kids, free books to borrow, and streams that run free. This benefit reading on April 6 might not save the world but it's going the right direction."

The Sierra Poetry Festival began last year in recognition of the rich literary landscape in Nevada County. Poets, presenters and performers came from across California and beyond to celebrate National Poetry Month, with California Poet Laureate and former Chairman of National Endowment for the Arts, Dana Gioia, attending as keynote speaker.

A founding principle of Sierra Poetry Festival is its commitment to local youth, the release stated. School age children can enjoy mainstage readings, attend workshops, and participate in the free fringe festival poetry pop-up events that take place all the way through National Poetry Month each April. Festival tickets for youth are offered free of charge.

As part of this effort, Nevada County Arts Council offers Poetry Out Loud high school finalists the chance to present their pieces to friends, family, peers, and new audiences. It also offers middle school students the opportunity to present poems at the festival and mingle with high school students to get a taste of Poetry Out Loud.

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New to the festival this year is Dream a Difference, a poetry project connecting children in small schools in the United Kingdom and the United States with children in Syria, Palestine, Malaysia and Zimbabwe. This year, Nevada County Arts Council has partnered with Twin Ridges Schools District to coach children in poetry at Washington and Grizzly Hill Schools.

These students are part of an emerging global community of young people who are gaining awareness and learning empathy for the way others live and, in the spirit of sharing the poetry they write in the form of song and recitation, share their own experience of life in rural California.

The 2018 Sierra Poetry Festival's culminating event takes place all day on April 28 at Sierra College in Grass Valley. Activities will include a keynote address by national Los Angeles Poet Laureate Robin Coste Lewis, author of Voyage of the Sable Venus, winner of the National Book Award for Poetry.

Three other California poets laureate and an array of local, national, and international poets and performers will join Coste Lewis. Among the day's line-up are Kim Shuck, Indigo Moor, Marcelo Hernandez Castillo, Judy Halebsky, V.S. Chochezi and Staajabu as Straight Out Scribes, Neeli Cherkovski, Bill Gainer, Molly Fisk, Charles Entrekin, Gail Entrekin, Sands Hall, Mel Pryor, Kirsten Casey and more.

Source: Nevada County Arts Council

KNOW & GO

What: Gary Snyder and Will Staple, A Benefit Reading for San Juan Ridge Community Library and Sierra Poetry Festival

When: 7 to 9 p.m. Friday (doors open at 6:30 pm)

Where: Shady Creek Event Center, 18601 Pathfinder Way, Nevada City

Tickets & Registration: Go to http://www.nevadacountyarts.org/poetry-pop-ups or https://conta.cc/2Defc4e. Information about Sierra Poetry Festival is available at http://www.nevadacountyarts.org, by emailing info@nevadacountyarts.org or calling 530-718-0727

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