Month: May 2016

Don Thompson first Poet Laureate of Kern County



Photos by Martin Chang

    In 2016, Don Thompson was selected as the first Poet Laureate of Kern County.  Thompson has written poems about Kern County for fifty years.  He is prolific in his publication, of over 150 journal publications and dozen books. His love for Kern County is expressed in his poems.  He has influenced the poets in Kern County and shared his poem at various readings and workshop over the years.  Also reading were students from local high school, college and university.  The vitality of the poetry community was reflected in the reading of the works by these talented poets.  These students were Liz Greynolds, Mateo Lara, Adriana Sanchez, and Alex Victoria.

    National Poetry Month, April, was inaugurated in our country by the Academy of American Poets in 1996.  In Kern County, National Poetry Month started in 2010, and celebrated each year.  It was started by local community poets in memory of two poets who have passed on, Helen Shanley and Lee McCarthy. 

Open Mic at Dagny’s for February to May 2016

Photos by Martin Chang

At each First Friday, poets perform their original works to standing room only crowd at Dagny’s Coffee located in downtown Bakersfield.  Most months a poet or songwriter is featured sharing their original works, then the event becomes an open mic to poets, spoken word artists and musicians performing their original creations.