Thank you, Cupertino!

ill-try-to-keep-calm-but-ill-miss-youMy term ends at the close of February, and it’s with both great joy and sadness that I leave the position of Cupertino Poet Laureate. Joy because I’ve had the privilege of celebrating creativity with hundreds of community members in workshops and open mics, at speaking engagements and public events, and in small gatherings of creative-minded people. Sadness because I will miss these CPL programs and contacts.

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Although my time as CPL has come to an end, my work of igniting the creative fires in the community is just beginning. Beginning in March with a workshop at World Poetry Day Festival and continuing into April with four different offerings in honor of National Poetry Month, I hope to see you all at different programs and events in the months and years to come.

Celebrate Creativity COVER KINDLEOne of the things I’m most proud to have accomplished as Cupertino Poet Laureate is the community anthology, Celebrate Creativity. This book is a beautiful collection of voices from Cupertino and Silicon Valley, and it shares over 80 unique experiences through poetry and prose.

It was a true labor of love to produce this book, but it was well worth the effort. Please come out on April 23 at 7 PM to the Cupertino Library to hear contributors read selected works and for the dedication of community copies to the library system. I’ll be signing copies of the book as will the contributors in attendance, so bring your copy to have it autographed by our local creatives!

To view or purchase your copy of Celebrate Creativity: A Cupertino Community Anthology, please click here.

I look forward to joining you all in celebrating creativity with our new Cupertino Poet Laureate, Jing Jing Yang. I am excited about what Jing Jing’s passion for poetry and the CPL program will bring to our town. Check out the photos below from last night’s Farewell Kaecey, Book Launch, and Welcome Jing Jing Celebration.

Do you have photos from last night? Please share them with me here! I am missing photos from my events, and I’d love to have more to cherish the memories. I will add them to the carousel!

Until we meet again, don’t be a stranger! Connect with me on Facebook or join my email list to stay up-to-date on my latest programs and creativity offerings. As always, please send me your creative works, thoughts, and questions — I love engaging with everyone, and that includes you!

With warmth and spirit,

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Local Poetry Contest!

filoliWinter at Filoli Haiku Contest

Haiku poets and those new to the haiku form are invited to submit up to three original poems that reflect the beauty of Filoli’s garden in winter. Haiku must be in the 5-7-5 format.

Entries should be submitted by February 15, 2020, at 12:00 pm

Finalists will be announced on February 19 and invited to a special event at Filoli on March 1, where the winners will be announced. Judging the contest will be San Mateo County Poet Laureate, Aileen Cassinetto. Winners will have the opportunity to read their haiku at the event. Prizes for First, Second and Best under 18 under years old will include free Filoli membership for the year and more.

Please click here for the guidelines and submission form.

Good luck!

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Anthology Update!

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I’ve been busy at work, compiling and editing poetry and prose for the Cupertino community anthology, Celebrate Creativity. The book is over 300 pages of poetry and prose from local poets and writers. It’s been an honor to compile this beautiful collection of community voices.

The book’s release date is set for February 27, 2020.

On this day, we’ll celebrate with a launch party at the Quinlan Center in Cupertino from 7pm – 9pm. This will also be the date we celebrate the end of my term as Poet Laureate and welcome the next Cupertino Poet Laureate.

Mark your calendars and plan to join us at this fun-filled event! (More details to come in January.)

Celebrate Creativity will be available in both Kindle e-book and paperback.

The Kindle version is available for pre-order effective today. If you select this option, the book will automatically arrive on your Kindle on the release date. Paperback copies of the book will be available to order from Amazon on February 27, 2020. While you cannot pre-order the paperback, I will update if the release date moves up.

In the meantime, enjoy the winter holidays and have a wonderful and safe New Year!

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The poetry of winter nights and holidays

Last night, I hosted my final Community Poetry Night as Cupertino Poet Laureate. I feel honored to have had the opportunity to celebrate creativity with an amazing community.

What a true gift I have received from all of you. Thank you.

If you weren’t able to join us last night, you missed a beautiful gathering of communityIMG_20191212_190057 members, poets, and poetry supporters. Like my heart, the room was full.

Standing-room only is a wonderful problem to have at any poetry event!

I began the evening with a discussion of the poetry of winter and the holidays, and we were then treated to the soulful works of our invited readers and the poems of community members who shared during open mic.

If you took pictures, please share them with me! As the person at the front of the room, I rarely get the opportunity to snap photos of my events!

I left the event on a true poet’s high, excited for the new season that’s about to arrive. Those who shared their work provided me with inspiration and food for contemplation. I left with the message to be on the lookout for poetry in unexpected places this winter and holiday.

IMG_20191212_190017I will miss serving as Poet Laureate. But my work in the community is not over. I will celebrate creativity and the deep well of creative genius that resides in us all with my continued work teaching and coaching in the community.

If you’re interested in joining me at a future event, sign up for my newsletter!

Below is a list with links to the poems I shared last night. Do you have a favorite winter or holiday poem? Please share it with us in the comments!

Again, thank you to those who came out to celebrate in community with me last night.

And although my term won’t end until early in 2020, I want to thank you for making serving as CPL one of the most memorable experiences of my life.

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Winter and Holiday Poetry Reading List

PS — If you love poetry and the Cupertino community, consider applying to be the next Cupertino Poet Laureate! Applications are due January 10, 2020, by 5pm. Email me for more information or click here to apply

Calling Cupertino Poets! Are You The Next Poet Laureate?

cpl logoIf you’re passionate about poetry and live or work in Cupertino, California, consider applying to be the City’s 6th Poet Laureate!

Feel free to email me for more information about what it’s like to serve as Cupertino Poet Laureate, and be sure to visit the City’s program page, which has information on the application process.

I’ve copied the page below. APPLICATIONS ARE DUE 1/10/2020!

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From https://www.cupertino.org/residents/arts-and-culture/cupertino-poet-laureate

Celebrate Creativity

Apply to Become Cupertino’s Poet Laureate

Our Vision:

The Cupertino Poet Laureate program will stimulate cultural and literary awareness in Cupertino; introduce youth and adults to the personal and community benefits of poetry both as personal reflection and as a reflection of our history and culture; reveal, recognize, and engage literary talent residing in our community; and promote our library as a cultural center in Cupertino.

Our Mission:

To provide the residents of Cupertino with programs, workshops, and events that introduce and reinforce poetry as an enriching cultural artform open and accessible to all.

Objectives:

  1. Raise awareness of poetry as a viable cultural art form for Cupertino residents, as
    measured by media presence, event variety, and increasing participation.
  2. Build interest in the various poetry forms, as measured by event and workshop
    participation.
  3. Build a desire for residents to be involved in further art and cultural activities.
  4. Increase active participation in all art forms, especially poetry, by all ages and
    ethnic communities who form the rich fabric of Cupertino as measured by
    offerings and involvement.

About the Position:

The Cupertino Poet Laureate is an honorary, volunteer position sponsored by the City of Cupertino and seated in the Cupertino Library. Sponsors and support networks include the Cupertino Library Commission, Friends of the Cupertino Library, and the Cupertino Library Foundation.

The Poet Laureate is a practicing poet with professional recognition and a talent for performance. The Poet Laureate is expected to host public events that promote the literary arts in our community and inspire creativity in all residents. Such events might include poetry contests, writing workshops, lectures, and public readings.

Each Poet Laureate brings a unique set of skills, attributes and interests to the position
along with varied and unique approaches to poetry. It is preferred that the Cupertino
Poet Laureate (CPL) come to the position with a willingness and experience in:

  • Planning
  • Budgeting/Fiscal Management
  • Scheduling
  • Writing
  • Marketing
  • Teaching/Facilitating
  • Speaking
  • Social Media

To apply, please submit the application (link above) and required attachments
to the Cupertino Poet Laureate Selection Committee at 10185 N. Stelling Rd.
Cupertino, CA 95014 or by e-mail to PoetLaureate@cupertino.org by
5:00pm, January 10, 2020.

 

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS!

SUBMIT YOUR WORK!If you live or work in the South Bay or Peninsula area, consider submitting your creative writing for inclusion in this community anthology! This is a chance for the many varied and beautiful voices of our community to come together. I would love to include pieces in other languages with English translation.

If the work you submit was inspired by a CPL event or program, let me know!

EVERYONE is welcome to submit — kids, teens, adults, new writers, and established!!

Check out the flyer below and email with questions!
Deadline is 9/30.
No more than 10 poems or pages of short prose pieces.
Previously published is fine (include the relevant information).

Email your work to poetlaureate@cupertino.org

First Lines

This week, I had the privilege of spending 90 minutes with sixteen fabulous poets from the community at my Nature-made Poetry Workshop. We explored nature through an up-close and personal lens, and then from a distance. I was humbled by the beautiful poems that were shared with the group at the end of the session.

Before we started writing our own poems, however, I had everyone participate in a warm-up exercise called “First Line.” In this exercise, the first line from an existing poem is provided, and the poem is then passed around the table with each poet adding a subsequent line.

Like our nature exploration, this exercise has the poet first focusing narrowly on the line that came before, then from a distance to take into account the whole of the emerging poem. What resulted from each group was a meaningful poem, which you can enjoy below.

Interested in trying a workshop?

Come join me on Wednesday 8/7 from 12:00-1:30PM in the final Nature-made Poetry Workshop. You do not need to have attended the previous workshops to join in the fun.

And don’t forget to RSVP to the Nature-themed Community Poetry Night happening on Thursday 8/8. Details and tickets available here.

Enjoy the sunshine and the natural world in its summer state!

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WARM-UP “FIRST LINE” POEMS FROM 7/31/19 CPL WORKSHOP

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Nature-made Workshop Group Poem A
after “Packing” by Sampurna Chattarji

I put in a butterfly, first
and a drop of cherry juice
watched its wings turn the color of sunset
in the blazing sun
brushed with the flowers of the clouds
its wings carried it through, to the heavens
and beyond
into my dreams from which I woke
and rose through the day, butterfly

 

Nature-made Workshop Group Poem B
after “Replication of Desire” by Lee Herrick

How much delight before we collapsesilhouette photo of couple standing outdoors
Thoughts tumble as I grapple with my heart
Hearts expand, smiles abound
We strive to connect to all
Give me ten more seconds, I’ll survive
When you tickle me unconscious

 

Nature-made Workshop Group Poem C
after “California Hills in August” by Dana Gioia

I can imagine someone who foundphoto of person walking on deserted island
a redwood growing in the desert
kelp rising up from a bed of fern
stood there stricken with awe
color, dry sand, green and alive
on this planet, I can thrive

 

 

Nature-made Workshop Group Poem D
after “Beauty is brief and violent” by Snehad Vadher

Beauty is brief and violentflour
Punching a fist in the flour that will be cake
A splash of strawberry icing has lent
Its sweetness to the chill of celebration
Family gathers around and sings, and sings
Until hoorah explodes and the crowd ebbs

My new chapbook, Pixelated Tears, is published!

I’m excited to share that my chapbook, Pixelated Tears, is now available from Prolific Press. Here’s the postcard:

Chapbook Announcement - Pixelated Tears

And here’s the press release that went out this weekend:

https://www.prlog.org/12734824-prolific-press-has-published-pixelated-tears-by-kaecey-mccormick.html?embed

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via My new chapbook, Pixelated Tears, is published!

Poetry Prompt: Horoscope Poetry

Some people swear by the messages in the stars, some find them amusing and harmless, and others find them offensive. No matter your take on horoscopes, you can use the daily messages as a poetry prompt, either refuting the message, writing a narrative poem that explores the hidden story, or taking a word or two as a jumping-off point for further poetic explorations.

Here are today’s horoscopes from The Mercury News (September 25, 2018). Try your hand at writing a poem based on or in response to your horoscope, and if the stars are with you (or even if they’re not), send me what you write! I guarantee your poetry will serve me better than my horoscope! 🙂

HOROSCOPES – September 25, 2018 (The Mercury News)

    • Aries (March 21-April 19):
      Consider your options before letting your emotions take over. ★★★
    • Taurus (April 20-May 20):
      A change will do you good, but it may not please some of the people you work or live with. ★★★
    • Gemini (May 21-June 20):
      Get the facts before you help someone looking for a handout. ★★★★
    • Cancer (June 21-July 22):
      Stay focused on what you are doing. Let your creativity take over. ★★
    • Leo (July 23-Aug. 22):
      Travel, meetings and educational pursuits are highlighted. ★★★★★
    • Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22):
      Get out and try something new. A change to the way you live is favored. ★★★
    • Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22):
      Emotions can hold you back. You have to think clearly about what you should do next. ★★★
    • Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21):
      Don’t let anyone take advantage of you, and don’t 
      pay for someone else’s mistake. ★★★
    • Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21):
      A change you make to the way you earn your living or to your arrangement at home will be to your benefit. ★★★★★
    • Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19):
      Professionalism at work and diplomacy at home will be in your best interest. 
      ★★
    • Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18) :
      Money matters should be handled smartly. Emotions and joint ventures can lead to loss. ★★★★
    • Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20):
      Concentrate on yourself and how to project your very best into whatever you take on. ★★★

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