POET LAUREATE OF EL DORADO COUNTY 2016 - 2018
Taylor Graham served as the inaugural Poet Laureate of El Dorado County from 2016 – 2018. Taylor was named the inaugural El Dorado County Poet Laureate on Tuesday, April 19, 2016. The two-year post began on July 1, 2016, and ended on June 30, 2018.
Already very active in the regional poetry scene she took up her post with spirit and enthusiasm. During her time as Laureate she organized, promoted, and attended many readings, read-arounds, workshops, gatherings, and contemplative moments.
Taylor took poetry to every corner of the county with the Laureate Trail, during which she made a stop in each supervisorial district, inviting local poets to join her for readings in each district’s library. The readings were held during her second year as Laureate and many “closet poets” came out to share with Taylor and the audience. And many of them went on to join Taylor at several of her weekly or monthly events.
What Taylor has done for poetry in the county has been nothing short of heroic. She is a true “boots on the ground” poet with her works rooted deeply in the soil, fauna, and flora of the region. Her words evoke immediacy and lend grandeur to the everyday natural beauty around us. She has been a true gem of the county and exactly the right person to inaugurate the post of Poet Laureate in El Dorado County.
Personifying the working poet, Taylor spent her time organizing read arounds, workshops, formal readings, and even participated in Improv Poetry events at several gatherings in El Dorado County. Taylor wrote many “occasional poems” for official events throughout her tenure. These poems can be found in the collection Laureate Trail, A Collection of Works, published by El Dorado Arts Council and available on Amazon.
We owe a great debt of gratitude to Taylor for her amazing service to the written word and tireless efforts to share poetry throughout the county. Her time as Poet Laureate will serve as a high bar for future Poets Laureate in El Dorado County.
This Is My Office
I’m up before first light,
let the dogs out into the dark wild
and listen for Screech Owl whispering
her soft falling call from somewhere
very close, maybe an oak over-leaning
the tool shed. This is the time
when sight gives over to sound, smell,
touch – if it might rain, or a breeze
stirring news off the higher hills.
My office is between
bedrock mortar and hydraulic monitor,
roadside chicory, a glimpse of fox.
Driving the gold trail, I’ll see
field and orchard disappear into a haze
of distant forest, the Crystal Range.
This is my office. It has to do
with the work of seeing, telling.
It has to do with wonder
on becoming Poet Laureate, April 2016