San Mateo County Poet Laureate to open Board of Supervisors’ Meeting in Celebration of National Poetry Month
April 21, 2014
  • Caroline Goodwin

    (Redwood City, CA)  - As part of her duties as San Mateo County’s first Poet Laureate, Caroline Goodwin will open tomorrow’s Board of Supervisors’ meeting with a poetry reading and Supervisor Warren Slocum will present a proclamation to the Board of Supervisors naming April 2014 as National Poetry Month.  Ms. Goodwin also plans to announce her poetry blog that can be read on the Poet Laureate website,

    Ms. Goodwin will read her poem RANA DRAYTONII (California Red-Legged Frog) written in the style of English poet Christopher Smart (1722-1771).  Ms. Goodwin noted: “I love Christopher Smart's poetry, partly because the list poem is one of my favorite forms. There is a sense of urgency and fear that can develop in the voice of a list poem, right alongside a sense of celebration, hope and connection with the world. Smart's long poem Jubilate Agno reflects an abandonment of traditional poetic structures in order to explore complex religious thought. I wanted to praise our particular red-legged frog, a threatened species and an important food source for the endangered San Francisco garter snake in San Mateo County. I also wanted to highlight the connections we share with one another and how we are all part of the environment.”

    The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors created the honorary post of Poet Laureate in April 2013. The San Mateo County Poet Laureate Advisory Committee was formed and co-chaired by San Mateo County Supervisors Warren Slocum and Carole Groom.  The Committee held seven meetings and received 15 nominations, culminating in the choice of Caroline Goodwin as Poet Laureate.

    Caroline Goodwin began her two-year post as Poet Laureate on January 1, 2014.  Born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska, Goodwin moved to San Mateo County in 1999 to attend Stanford as a Wallace Stegner Fellow in Poetry. She is a professor at the California College of the Arts and teaches in both the MFA Writing and undergraduate Writing and Literature programs; she also teaches workshops through the Stanford Writer's Studio. Goodwin earned her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia. She is an avid poet with a variety of published poems as well as her recent collection, Trapline.