Laure-Anne Bosselaar, a Belgian-born author who taught at UCSB, had her work featured on NPR’s “A Writer’s Almanac” and is the recipient of numerous awards, is Santa Barbara’s new Poet Laureate.
She will be officially installed March 26 at City Hall.
The Poet Laureate is a local resident and distinguished poet “tasked with seeking to advance awareness of and appreciation for literary arts and humanities,” according to the Santa Barbara County Office of Arts and Culture. He or she “represents and celebrates the diversity and history of Santa Barbara” serves as a spokesperson for the city’s literary community and “shall endeavor to promote the artistic achievements of the city.”
Established in 2005, the Santa Barbara Poet Laureate Program is aimed at inspiring and reminding the community “of the power and beauty of poetry and the spoken word.”
Outgoing Poet Laureate is Enid Osborn.
Past laureates are:
• 2015-17, Sojourner Kincaid Rolle
• 2013-15, Chryss Yost
• 2011-13, Paul Willis
• 2009-11, David Starkey
• 2007-09, Perie Longo
• 2005-07, Barry Spacks
Born in 1943, Ms. Bosselaar grew up in Belgium and moved to the U.S. in 1987. Her many works include “The Hour Between Dog and Wolf” and “Small Gods of Grief,” which won the Isabella Gardner Prize for Poetry for 2001, and “A New Hunger,” an American Library Association Notable Book. “Rooms Remembered” — a chapbook — was published by Sungold Editions in 2018, and her latest collection, “These Many Rooms,” is out from Four Way Books.
According to her biography from the Academy of American Poets, she and her late husband, Kurt Brown, translated a book by the Flemish poet Herman de Coninck, “The Plural of Happiness.” She is a recipient of the Pushcart Prize, recognizing the best of small-press works, and is editor of four anthologies. In addition to UCSB, she taught at Emerson College, Sarah Lawrence College, University of Southern Maine and she teaches at the Solstice Low-Residency MFA in creative writing program at Pine Manor College, in Massachusetts.
Her poems have appeared in Ploughshares, The Washington Post and Harvard Review, and numerous anthologies. Ms. Bosselaar is fluent in four languages; she has published in French and Flemish, and translates American poetry into French, and Dutch poetry into English.
On April 7, Ms. Bosselaar will join Emma Trelles and Taylor Tejada reading at the Santa Barbara Poetry Series, at Central Library’s Faulkner Gallery, 40 E. Anapamu St.
The event, part of Santa Barbara’s April National Poetry Month and the kick-off of National Library Week at the Santa Barbara Public Library, starts at 7 p.m. Admission is free.
The National Library Week 2019 theme is “Libraries = Strong Communities.”