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Cupertino welcomes its new poet laureate

By Kasia Grobelny | 18 Nov 2013

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On Nov. 10, Cupertino welcomed its new poet laureate, Jennifer Swanton Brown.

David Denny, the city’s first poet laureate, handed over the new title to Brown, a longtime Cupertino resident. Along with being a writer, she is an educator involved with California Poets in Schools, a literary program that provides poetry residencies in grades K-12. Brown is also a research nurse at the Stanford School of Medicine where she is currently a manager of Regulatory Services and Education in Spectrum, the Stanford Center for Clinical and Translational Education and Research.

The Cupertino poet laureate is an honorary volunteer position sponsored by the city and library. Brown’s term will run until Sept. 30, 2015.

The city website describes the poet laureate position as a role that creates public events that promote the literary arts in the community and inspire creativity in residents.

At the ceremony, Brown thanked her supporters and noted she was excited for the opportunity to share her passion of poetry.

“The position of poet laureate is primarily a public one, a civic responsibility,” Brown said. “It’s got less to do maybe with writing poems and more to do with promoting poetry, promoting art, promoting reading and creativity.”

She has already made her first move as poet laureate, penning the poem-a-day project, during which she will write a poem a day for the first year of her tenure. Her work for that project can be found on the poet laureate Facebook page and a Tumblr blog Brown created for the project.

Brown is excited about her new role and ready to bring poetry to the forefront of the city.

“Poetry cheerleading can be a lonely thing to attempt in the high-tech suburbs but it’s something I am committed to wholeheartedly,” Brown said.

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