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Speaker Series


Congratulations to Linda Toren

 Calaveras County Poet Laureate



Sponsored by Calaveras County Friends of the Library

The Friends of the Calaveras County Library are pleased to announce Linda Toren as Calaveras County’s 2022-24 Poet Laureate.

Linda Toren is an accomplished poet and taught elementary school for twenty-five years. She participated at the State level in various Literacy programs. Linda has produced a bi-monthly poetry show on KQBM’s A Way with Words for over four years. Last year, she collaborated with Amador County’s Poet Laureate and Amador Arts Council to bring poetry to over 35 different classrooms, as well as working with Calaveras Arts Council’s Poetry Out Loud grant program at the High School level.

Besides her poetry publication, Linda has published with different presses. She has edited and helped produce anthologies in Calaveras, for both children and adults.

The Poet Laureate’s two-year term provides many activities, including public readings throughout urban and rural locations and educating civic and community leaders about poetry. A major goal is bringing poetry to school children who might otherwise have little opportunity
to be exposed about the value of poetry and creative expression. There is also a significant cultural project component.

Since 2001, California Poet Laureates have been chosen by both State and Local Officials. Different townships and Arts Councils have also chosen their community Poet Laureates. Qualifications for Calaveras County’s Poet Laureate position include producing works reflective of the County and its people.

In 2020, Friends of the Calaveras County Library, the local 501C-3 volunteer group established to support Calaveras County Libraries, delivered a County Proclamation announcing their Poet Laureate position.

Conrad Levasseur was the previous Calaveras County 2020-2022 Poet Laureate ,whose work is available in various publications. He continues as “Director of Community Relations and Development” at Ironstone Vineyards.

Submitted By:
Pru Starr
President FOTCCL


                  Linda Toren

The foothills have been my home for forty-four years. My husband and I have raised our family and been part of the community--working, teaching, and volunteering. I obtained my teaching credential and taught in Calaveras Unified School District from 1984-2008. During that time, I also worked state-wide on early literacy with the California Reading and Literature Project and High-Scope Educational Research Foundation (doing trainings and consultations with Navajo schools in Arizona and New Mexico). 

My on-going passion has been poetry.  I've worked on county-wide poetry projects in Calaveras and Amador counties and volunteered at several schools and produced anthologies of student work for the past 20 years. I've had the pleasure of presenting poetry workshops at Asilomar with other writers and poets. Celebrating poetry and Calaveras County is an honor and joy.

Linda Toren

Poet Laureate Calaveras County ’22-‘24
"A Way With Words” radio program
“Raven Braids the Wind”
(March 2022 Manzanita Writers Press)
Director - Voices of Wisdom Writers

Community sourced poems.jpg

Laureate Projects

  • Visit each library branch (including the book mobile branch) each year 2022-2024.

  • Presentations to community organizations

  • Annual presentation to Calaveras County Board of Supervisors

  • Zoom workshops

  • Visit senior centers

  • School visits (Workshops)

  • Write a poem for districts 1-5 in Calaveras County

Projects already in place:

  • Launch of 1st annual “Poetry of the Mother Lode” (will occur during April “Poetry Month”)

  • Facilitate Voices of Wisdom, Poetry, and Memoir groups through Manzanita Writers Press

  • Radio show featuring poets, authors, and literary news

  • Support Poetry Out Loud program in Calaveras County

  • Poem to appear as a permanent installation in West Point Art Path (Fall 2022)

About the position:

The selection and announcement of the Calaveras County Poet Laureate is a process administered by the non-profit Friends of the Calaveras County Library.

The title of Poet Laureate is a time-honored tradition.  In 1668, England officially established the post as a royal office. In the 19th century some local Poet Laureates were recognized in their communities. In 1937 the U.S. created the position of National Poet Laureate. The position of California Poet Laureate was established as a part of the California Government Code in 2001 through AB 113.

The position of Calaveras County Poet Laureate, as established by Friends of the Calaveras County Library, will honor local outstanding poets, integrate poetry into the community, enrich the education of our young people, and enhance the County’s position as a cultural center.

Appointments will be for two-year terms. The honorary position is without salary although an annual stipend will be provided. Applications will be accepted March 1 through May 13. The poet must reside in Calaveras County.

Each application must contain:

  1. Cover letter from the applicant.

  2. Name and resume of the applicant with contact information, a website address (if applicable) and a statement of interest by the poet.

  3. Three to six poems by the poet.

The Poet Laureate’s named duties over the period of his/her appointment include:

  1. Presentations of his/her poetry at a Calaveras County Board of Supervisors meeting.

  2. Presentations at other appropriate public events, at least once each quarter for his/her term.

  3. Presentations at branch libraries in the county.

  4. Advocacy of poetry in the community, including, but not limited to, bringing poetry to school children, projects or programs that promote the appreciation of poetry, or poetry workshops with underserved populations in the community

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