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

Poetry Workshop Wonders: List-Definition Poems & Defining Home

This afternoon, I had the privilege of spending time in one of my favorite places with my favorite people: a community creativity workshop.  This October and November, I’m leading my last Lunch Hour Language Artists Workshop Series as Cupertino Poet Laureate.

Perhaps it’s because the end of my term is drawing near, or perhaps it’s because the group of attendees at these workshops never fail to inspire and humble me, but I find myself looking more and more forward to each session.

46R4BWGDYUI6NJK7YYP2B6SSAQThe theme for LHLA 3 is “Poetry of Place.” In the first session, we wrote about our childhood homes. Today the focus was on finding and defining home, and I introduced the concept of List-Definition Poetry — a form I made up that combines the list poem and the definition poem.

I structured the workshop so participants would consider the juxtaposition of “Home Then,” and “Home Now.” I like to join in during writing time whenever possible, and I was amazed by how my brainstorming around “Home Now” centered on the people I’ve met and worked with during my time as CPL and how much I’ll miss hosting these community events.

I feel truly blessed to have had my life touched by so many amazing people and their moving poetry. I can’t wait to see where the poem I started today leads as I continue to work on it over the next few months.

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At the start of our writing period, the group and I brainstormed words and phrases related to the concept of “Home, Then and Now” to generate ideas for our own List-Definition poems. If you weren’t able to join us, you can use the same concept as a poetry prompt!

I thought it would be interesting to turn our brainstorming lists into a poem using every word and phrase generated.

Let me know what you think in the comments!

Then and Now

Then we were fearless
running in clean air
with the outside cats
through mustard yellow fields
playing with the neighbors
on rope swings in fruit trees.

Then we were joyful and safe
in our backyard adventures
our trust in friends expansive
jumping from diving boards
into swimming pools.

Then we were playful
trudging through white snow
splashing into cedar hot tubs,
seldom lonely and only
sometimes confused.

Now we are isolated
amidst the tall green spires
in a sea of dusty earthquakes,
suffocating in politics
and exhausting chaos.

Now our expensive empty nests
feel claustrophobic and tiny,
leaving us alone but safe
in our book-filled havens.

Now, as then, we find love and gratitude
hidden in Sunday dinners and boba tea,
waiting between cracks on the sidewalks
and countless cars parked on freeways.

Then and now we are Cupertino.
                                                            © 2019 Kaecey McCormick

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