Yuba-Sutter poet laureate invites residents to share their best poems

March 30, 2018 GMT

Jonathan Kinsman fell in love with creating poetry in high school. He met his wife as a result of his words.

He wants others to feel that love of the art form.

Kinsman, the Yuba-Sutter poet laureate, is inviting residents to share their best original poems – dealing with self-identity and diversity – as part of National Poetry Month (April).

Yuba Sutter Arts – for which Kinsman is a board member – will be hosting events with poetry readings throughout the month.

“I fell into a pond of words in my teenage years. The mud of it permeated my skin. I was in a local band (in Southern California) and there was no better outlet for angst and ennui and desire and awe than writing a 12 bar progression Love Anthem in the style of Muddy Waters. Bob Dylan. Ray Davies. Paul Simon. Don McLean. Carol King. Jim Morrison. Eddie Holland,” Kinsman wrote in an email. “These musicians also wrote poetry and to a young teenager it was the perfect sturm und drang (storm and drive).”

That passion for poetry drove him to explore other disciplines of writing.

“I met my wife in high school and it was my (juvenile) poems that impressed her. It certainly wasn’t my singing or guitar playing,” he said. “Memorization of poetry helped through college and I was awarded a Brouse Foundation scholarship that gave me a full ride to the University of California, at Riverside. My love of words (I read dictionaries: mea culpa) led me to theater and playwriting.”

As part of National Poetry Month, Yuba Sutter Arts will present three opportunities for local poets and writers of all ages to share their work and Kinsman hopes participants are bitten by the poetry bug as a result.

“The joy of the music and meaning of words. The humor and insight that our fellow citizens share in that most ancient of acts: the communal poetry reading,” he said. “And those who need to connect to other poets for help in publishing and writing in the craft will have their needs met.”

There will be two “Stand As 1” open mic events in the Yuba Sutter Arts’ continuing series of spoken word and poetry readings.

On April 5, the event will be at the Burrows Theater at Yuba Sutter Arts in Marysville and on April 19 at Justin’s Kitchen in Yuba City.

The grand finale for National Poetry Month will be a celebration of poetry on the theme of “What Makes You…You.”

The event will be Thursday, April 26, at the Burrows Theater at Yuba Sutter Arts, 630 E St., Marysville. All events are free and open to the public.

“Poetry is so common that it is overlooked as an essential part of our humanity and gift of language,” Kinsman said. “When we write and recite a poem, we are continuing a tradition in mankind’s culture that predates written history, written music and theater.”

In 1996, the Academy of American Poets created National Poetry Month and it has become the largest literary celebration in the world with schools, publishers, libraries, booksellers and poets, according to the Academy of American Poets website.

“The Academy of American Poets in their collective, metaphoric wisdom chose the month of April to push poetry back into its proper place as First among the Arts,” Kinsman said.

“This public acknowledgement of poetry’s importance in our culture and lives should be appreciated by those forlorn souls who want more than one day to celebrate love.”