Pixel Tracker

Tuesday, January 22 , 2019, 8:24 pm | Fair 47º


Santa Barbara Selects Chryss Yost as Next Poet Laureate

The Santa Barbara City Council on Tuesday approved the appointment of Chryss Yost as the city’s next poet laureate.

Chryss Yost (George Yatchisin photo)
Chryss Yost (George Yatchisin photo)

Yost has been active in the Santa Barbara literary community for 15 years. She is nationally as well as locally recognized as a poet, editor and teacher and has received significant awards and honors.

She will be officially installed at the April 9 City Council meeting at City Hall and will serve in the role of the city’s poet laureate until April 2015.

This is a fitting occasion to take place in April, which has been designated a National Poetry Month by the Academy of American Poets and celebrated as such since 1996. The entire month will be filled with myriad readings and events throughout the city all celebrating poetry.

The City of Santa Barbara established a position of poet laureate in 2005 in order to direct proper attention and honor to the spoken word by utilizing poetry to celebrate and elevate community events. Since the establishment of the position, the city has been remarkably fortunate of have four exceptional poets laureate emeriti — Barry Spacks, Perie Longo, David Starkey and Paul Willis. All have served to engage the community in greater appreciation for the spoken word, and have enhanced our experience of community events and celebrations through their poetry.

“I am so pleased that the city’s poet laureate program has been both popular and successful throughout the community these past eight years, and I look forward to hearing our fifth poet laureate, Chryss Yost, inspire us with her words on behalf of the City of Santa Barbara,” Mayor Helene Schneider said.

Of her new role as poet laureate, Yost said, “Santa Barbara’s poetry community has been a tremendous source of fellowship to me through the years. It’s an honor to be part of it. Poetry requires a close attention to words and a respect for their meanings. Because poetry’s language is the language of empathy, poems can help us understand and communicate with each other in new ways. The more options we have for sharing ideas, the more those ideas can expand. I feel poetry can help us become a stronger and more united community, and I look forward to finding opportunities to bring more poetry to Santa Barbara.”

Since 1997, Yost’s poems have appeared in selected poetry anthologies, journals and magazines. She has edited a number of poetry books, including California Poetry: From the Gold Rush to the Present, with Dana Gioia and Jack Hicks (Heyday Press, 2003) and Poetry Daily: A Year of Poems for the World’s Most Popular Poetry Website, with Don Selby and Diane Boller (Sourcebooks, 2003). Yost has a full-length manuscript, TBD: Poems soon to be released by Red Hen Press, which is among the top rated poetry publishers in the nation.

Yost has been a lecturer at UCSB’s College of Creative Studies, publications manager at the Center for Black Studies Research at UCSB, a Poet-in-Residence for California Poets in the School Program, is on the faculty for Santa Barbara Music & Arts Conservatory working with gifted teens and is host of Library Radio, a weekly broadcast on KCSB for writers, readers, and researchers. In the last eight years, Chryss has been instrumental in helping shape Santa Barbara’s April Poetry Month by compiling and creating the annual poster that lists all the independently organized events in one place.

A brief reception for the new city poet laureate will take place at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 9 in the mayor’s office on the second floor of City Hall prior to the City Council meeting. For more information, contact the Santa Barbara County Arts Commission at 805.568.3992 or by clicking here.

— Linda Gardy represents the Santa Barbara County Arts Commission.


Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.