By Varsha Vaidyanath
Poetry, an ancient art form, is a reflection of our society’s expression illustrated in words. Touching diverse points of view or even wild imagination, poetry stretches our thoughts to discover and reflect within. Above all, poetry brings joy to the readers and listeners.
The Pleasanton community has been promoting and appreciating the literary arts for a long time. In 1998, Pleasanton City Council approved the Civic Arts Commission’s recommendation to create the position of Poet Laureate. In 2012, the Pleasanton Civic Arts Commission established a formal process to appoint Teen Poet Laureates annually. Since then, the Teen Poet Laureates have been uniting the community via poetry-related projects and events. This year, Varsha Vaidyanath and Nithya Swaminathan (Amador Valley High School) and Irene Sha and Yasmin Ghaemmaghami (Foothill High School) have been chosen as Pleasanton’s Teen Poet Laureates, and they are excited to work under the expert guidance of Ms. Julie Finegan, Visual and Literary Arts Coordinator at the Firehouse Arts Center.
The role of the Teen Poet Laureates is to continue the tradition of Poetry readings, increase awareness of arts in our community, and engage with our community via the many events throughout the year. Examples include a performance at the Youth Music Festival and a booth at The IGNITE! Art + Innovation event, pioneered this year. On October 14th, the Firehouse Arts Center in Pleasanton will be hosting this free family event from 5-9 pm. There are opportunities to be a sponsor, volunteer, or a participant at IGNITE. Come join us for food, fun, art, entertainment, and innovation!
Picture: Pleasanton Teen Poet Laureates (right to left) Yasmin Ghaemmaghami, Irene Sha, Varsha Vaidyanath, and Nithya Swaminathan with Pleasanton Literary Arts Ambassador Ms. Meg Fleming
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