On Monday I was instituted as poet laureate* for the Village of Wales. It marked the last day of Paula Anderson's tenure after a year and nine months.
I showed up at the Village hall and awaited my turn on the agenda. I came after a couple of zoning changes and new business approvals. Being in government, it was a process I was quite familiar with as part of the Parks and Land Use staff at the county.
Before I was brought before the board for approval, they recognized Paula with an appreciative word and after her outgoing poem, they presented her with a cake. The cake was frosted with the words to one of her short poems. Paula was a publisher of a small poetry journal and was one of my first acceptances as someone new to the craft. I always hold folks like that near to my heart. Her and Sarah Sadie, another poet and ex-laureate for the City of Madison, are two of those people.
I was introduced next and invited to speak. I felt extremely welcome and warmed up to the board right away. They seemed to like my work and even laughed at a few of my jokes about my writing and my journey afterward.
And so my tenure is one year and it involves reading at the monthly board meeting as well as some outreach activities. I've plans to do a couple of things including trying to gather signed poetry books for donation to the local high school library. Additionally I plan to help organize the poetry open mic's at Mama D's in Wales once a month.
So, while it is all part of my sub-atomic-micro-fame, it is still a lot of fun. Beats working, anyways.
More on it as it progresses.
*For those who don't know a poet laureate is charged with increasing awareness and appreciation for poetry.