Monday, May 12, 2008

A nominaton for Laureate

David Alpaugh has been nominated by the Ina Coolbrith Circle as Poet Laureate. What does a Poet Laureate in California do? Ask the California Arts Council. Why would David make a good P.L.? For one thing, California desperately needs a Poet Laureate with a deep sense of ironic humor, especially one who's willing to undertake this monumental job with virtually no budget at a time when the State is cutting back on funding even for the disabled. Poets in Schools? Please! We don't even have music classes in schools right now. So it would also take a magician to prestidigitate a program that could enhance the visibility of poetry at the moment.

If anyone can be a poetry wizard, it's David Alpaugh, who has tirelessly produced poetry books and performed and hosted poetry readings for decades. He has also pointed out the Poetry's Emperor's lack of attire, skewering the poetry book contest mill, the poetry publishing establishment, and the generally dismal economics of poetry book publishing, in essays published in Poets and Writers, letters to the editors of Poetry, and elsewhere.

This gadfly with a mordant sense of irony and slapstick is just the ticket. I'm voting (if they'd give me a vote) for David. And if you want to support this nomination, please email the CA Arts Council by May 15: info@caartscouncil.com