For immediate release: April 15, 2022
(Nevada City) The Nevada County Arts Council announces the culminating event of its sixth annual Sierra Poetry Festival. This day-long event will take place on Saturday, April 30th at the Miners Foundrfy Cultural Center, as National Poetry Month and Arts, Culture & Creativity Month collide and wind down following a month-long celebration of poetry.
During April local and regional poets of all ages will have been reading, reciting, or singing out their poetry at over twenty pop-up events across Nevada County – all leading up to a mainstage event on April 30th at the Miners Foundry in Nevada City. Attending will be some of our most exciting local, national and international poets and performers.
Nevada County Arts Council inaugurated Sierra Poetry Festival in 2017 alongside California Poet Laureate Dana Gioia. Eliza Tudor, Executive Director at the Council says: “It was a seminal moment for poetry in rural Northern California. Not only were we acknowledging our own rich culture of literary arts, but inviting some of the nation’s most inspiring poets and presenters. We were bringing poetry in from the margins. Five years on, and having thrived during the pandemic as one of the most successful online festivals nationwide, we are back in person.”
This year’s festival will welcome several leading figures in the literary world to Nevada County for the first time. Shangyang Fang and Jenny Qi will be joining as headliner poets alongside Amy Gerstler, celebrated author of Penguin’s Index of Women, and Danusha Laméris, whose most recent book, Bonfire Opera, was winner of a 2021 Northern California Book Award.
Returning to the stage this year are Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, Forrest Gander, and former California Poet Laureate and National Endowments for the Arts Chair, Dana Gioia. Local veteran poets such as Doc Dachtler will be joining Sierra Poetry Festival, as well as Kirsten Casey, Nevada County Poet Laureate.
“Perhaps one of the most unique elements of our festival is that it highlights poetry in all its forms, through music, film, dance and theatre. It really is an exceptional and participatory experience, with workshops of all kinds running throughout the day,” says festival director, Eliza Tudor. Kirsten Casey adds, “another unique aspect of our festival is our emphasis on youth participation. This year we look forward to welcoming our talented Poetry Out Loud finalists to the stage. Poetry Out Loud is a national recitation program that begins in our classrooms. For two years, our high school students have been isolated from each other and regular classroom activities. It’s a miracle to have them join us in such fine form, having thrown their hearts into their poetry. We hope many people will show up in support of them!”
Amidst the many forms of poetry expression an attendee can expect is Poetry and The Clown, a segment performed by one of the most respected clowns worldwide, Ukranian-born, Russian trained artist, Mikhail Usov. Usov worked with Cirque du Soleil to create a new character called “Fisherman” which he performed as part of Totem from its premier in 2010 until 2019. Also at the festival will be an ensemble of dancers who will premier NXT WRLD MAP – a dance Inspired By Joy Harjo’s A Map To The Next World, and choreographed by Lisa Barker. Joining Barker will be Raquel Santiago Boluda, Azriel LaMarca, Eileen Jorgensen, Juliet Lin, Marni Marshall and Marcy Risque.
Nevada County Arts Council welcomes students free of charge, assuming they can share their ID. Similarly, it is partnering with the County of Nevada through its Military Appreciation Program through which it offers registered discounts and special offers for active military, veterans and Gold Star parents who show accepted forms of identification.
Kirsten Casey, Nevada County Poet Laureate, a program of the Council’s says: “We couldn’t be more grateful to our wonderful sponsors for this year’s festival. A special shout out to Coldwell Banker Grass Roots Realty Commercial Division, the Entrekin Family Foundation, Caseywood, Volz Bros., The National Exchange Hotel, Grass Valley Courtyard Suites, and Elevation 2477′. When we support poetry, we invest in our youth, support positive dialogue, and shine a light on our amazing community as we emerge from a crippling pandemic.”
For more information about Sierra Poetry Festival, and to buy tickets, visit sierrapoetryfestival.org/tickets.
For more information about California Arts, Culture & Creativity Month, see NevadaCountyArts.org