Tuesday, October 23 , 2018, 10:22 am | Fog/Mist 62º


Poet Laureate Osborn Well-Versed in Her Craft

Enid Osborn will be installed as Santa Barbara’s next poet laureate during a City Council ceremony 2 p.m. April 11 at City Hall, 735 Anacapa St. Osborn will serve as poet laureate until April 2019.

Enid Osborn Click to view larger
Enid Osborn (Steve Braff)

Osborn, who has been active in the Santa Barbara literary community for nearly 30 years, received numerous nominations from a diverse group of educational institutions, poets and local organizations. Her work has been widely published in books, journals and anthologies.

Beginning this month, the Santa Barbara Public Library, which celebrates its centennial in 2017, will serve as the home of the Poet Laureate Position and Archive.  
“With words and rhythms, poets are our prophets and our believers, our advocates and our healers,” said Library Director Jessica Cadiente.

“We are thrilled to welcome Enid Osborn and we look forward to working with her to create and facilitate new programs that will bring poetry to a wider audience, ” she said.

In partnership with the library, the city and the Office of Arts & Culture, the poet laureate will offer complementary programs and even a blog.

Community relations librarian Jace Turner, along with Arts Advisory members Elizabeth Owen and Marylove Thralls, served on a nominating committee with sitting Poet Laureate Sojourner Kincaid-Rolle.

The subcommittee made a formal recommendation to the city Arts Advisory Committee, which voted unanimously to recommend Osborn.

Owen, who served as chair of the Poet Laureate Selection Committee, praised Osborn’s fitness for the role.

“Enid writes wonderfully vivid, emotional poems that evoke a unique sense of place. Her poems are accessible and inclusive, appealing to a wide audience. She is well known in the local poetry community for hosting and organizing poetry events,” Owen said.

“By all accounts she has a particularly graceful presence, is a gifted public speaker and interpreter of poems. Her readings are inspiring and she is adept at networking, organizing events and bringing people together,” she said.

Mayor Helene Schneider shared her confidence in the 2017 poet laureate recommendation from the Arts Advisory Committee:

“I welcome Enid Osborn as the city’s newest poet laureate who is joining an amazing group of poets, all who have elevated the spoken word at various events these last 12 years on behalf of the city of Santa Barbara.”

Of the appointment, Osborn said: “It’s an honor to be chosen poet laureate of Santa Barbara. I see this as recognition of my work thus far, and a call to service that I take much to heart.

“I hope to be an energetic ambassador for poetry and the many gifted poets in our area, including quieter voices we may not have heard,” she said. “I am proud to join the ranks of distinguished past laureates who have given — and continue to give — so generously.

“And what a fine thing to partner with our library — the very heart of Santa Barbara literary life. I have some good ideas and look forward to working with our great, arts-loving city and county over the next two years,” Osborn said.

Osborn's book of poems released in 2015 by Big Yes Press, When The Big Wind Comes, set in Southeast New Mexico, “begins as a road-trip to the poet’s hometown and becomes a journey through childhood, a soul-wandering among elementals —  the forces that carve us, land and storm and kin…” writes Marsha de la O, author of Antidote for Night.

In 2011, Osborn co-edited and co-published the anthology A Bird Black as the Sun: California Poets on Crows & Ravens with Yucca Valley poet Cynthia Anderson. The celebrated anthology features the work of 80 California poets, both living and bygone.

Osborn has self-published a series of themed chapbooks, titled Worm Lore, Ring of Sun: Poems and Stories, The Burden of Decency, Witness, Queen in Exile, Milagro and Pedregosa St.

Her poem The Place of Loss was nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and she received a Billee Murray Denny award for her sound poem Flax Sun, a paean to running horses.

The city of Santa Barbara established a position of poet laureate in 2005 to direct proper attention and honor to literary arts by utilizing poetry to celebrate and elevate community events.

Since the establishment of the position the city has been fortunate of have six exceptional poets laureate emeriti: the late Barry Spacks, Perie Longo, David Starkey, Paul Willis, Chryss Yost and Sojourner Kincaid-Rolle.

All have served to engage the community in greater appreciation for poetry, and have enhanced the public’s experience of community events and celebrations.

The public is invited to join the city in celebrating National Poetry Month at the April 11 City Council meeting and public installation ceremony.

For information on the city Poet Laureate Program or citywide Poetry Month programs, contact the Office of Arts & Culture, 568-3992, or visit sbac.ca.gov or www.sbpoetry.net.

— Gina DePinto for city of Santa Barbara.


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.