The City of Santa Barbara has selected its newest Poet Laureate, Enid Osborn. The foremost responsibility of the Poet Laureate is to foster an environment within the Santa Barbara community where the literary arts and humanities are appreciated and celebrated. Throughout the two-year term, the honorary individual partakes in varying community events, serving as a spokesperson for the city’s literary community.
Osborn has been an active participant in Santa Barbara’s literary community for nearly three decades. Her masterfully crafted poems have been published in books, journals and anthologies. Numerous individuals from the community nominated Osborn to be the city’s Poet Laureate, a testament to her wide involvement and influence. Mayor Helene Schneider states, Enid Osborn “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.”
Celebrating its centennial, the Santa Barbara Public Library will act as the home of the Poet Laureate Position and Archive. Speaking on the library partnership, Osborn says,“What a fine thing to partner with, our library—the very heart of Santa Barbara literary life!” The collaboration between the Poet Laureate program and the library serves to create and facilitate new programs to share poetry with the largest possible audience. Library Director, Jessica Cadiente, epitomized the importance of the Poet Laureate program, “With words and rhythms, poets are our prophets and our believers, our advocates and our healers.”
In 2015, Osborn released her book of poems, When The Big Wind Comes. Some of Osborn’s other noteworthy accomplishments, which no doubt helped pave her way to becoming the Poet Laureate, include co-editing and co-publishing the anthology, A Bird Black as the Sun: California Poets on Crows & Ravens, self-publishing a series of themed chapter books, and receiving a Billee Murray Denny Award for her poem, Flax Sun.
The Poet Laureate program was first established in 2005, since then, six local poets have assumed the role. Osborn, joining the ranks as lucky number seven, is following in the footsteps of the late Barry Spacks, Perie Longo, David Starkey, Paul Willis, Chryss Yost and Sojourner Kincaid-Rolle. “I am proud to join the ranks of distinguished past laureates who have given—and continue to give—so generously,” Osborn says.
Every April, poets across the country join together to celebrate National Poetry Month. On April 11, the Santa Barbara public is invited to gather at City Hall to celebrate and witness Osborn’s installation ceremony, where she will officially become the newest Poet Laureate. Osborn has had her work published in Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine in the past, and we are looking forward to featuring one of her poems in our upcoming summer issue.
For information visit www.sbpoetry.net.