- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July 28—Growing up with a poet as her mother, Genea Brice was exposed to poetry from a young age.

“My home was lyrical,” Brice, 45, said.

As a published poet and author herself, it was natural that Brice has been named as Vallejo’s first poet laureate.

“I’m so honored to be able to do this,” said Brice. “It’s a singular honor. This stands by itself … to be able to bring such a program worthwhile to my city. To pay homage to my teachers, my family, fellow citizens.”

Not only is she the poet laureate, Brice has also been the drive behind the founding of the program in Vallejo.

Brice, who was born in Oakland but raised in Vallejo, first introduced the poet laureate program to the city about three years ago after regularly attending Benicia’s poetry meet up organized by its poet laureate program.

“Everyone has it, but why not Vallejo?” she said. “I began to meet with all different organizations and people, but for some reason it never really caught hold.

“I don’t understand why no one loves poetry as much as I do,” she said with a laugh.

After countless meetings, she later met Elissa Shanks Stewart, of the Solano County Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, who brought the idea to the board. Along with the Vallejo Community Arts Foundation, both organizations agreed to sponsor Vallejo’s first poet laureate program.

They also agreed that Brice was the perfect candidate as the city’s first poet laureate.

“Because of her diligence, perseverance, and she has been working behind the scenes for three years,” Shanks Stewart said. “I also know for a fact that she has been involved in this kind of thing since high school.

“This is something she has in her heart for a long time.”

Her passion for the written word, Brice said, began years before high school — proven by the fact that she can still recite an Easter poem that she memorized in first grade.

Though she has always wanted to bring the poetry program to her hometown, she never thought of being the poet laureate.

“I didn’t think I would be it, but I wear this title proudly and humbly,” Brice said.

As a teacher, Brice said it’s important for her to create a program that introduces poetry to children at a young age.

“Maybe we can have an assembly every few months at the schools to have children be exposed to poetry,” she said.

Also in her agenda is to organize a monthly poetry gathering for anyone interested.

The two-year term is a non-paid position — something Brice said she doesn’t mind one bit.

“You do this for the love of poetry,” she said. “It won’t feel like work at all.”

She will be formally announced as the city’s poet laureate at the Vallejo City Council meeting at 7 p.m., Tuesday at City Hall.

When asked about her thought on the notion that poetry is a dying art, Brice said “no” without any hesitation.

“I see it as being reborn,” she said. “Something that can be passed on can never die.”

Contact Irma Widjojo at 707-553-6835.

___

(c)2015 Times-Herald (Vallejo, Calif.)

Visit Times-Herald (Vallejo, Calif.) at www.timesheraldonline.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

_____

Topics: t000002409,t000132757,t000189380,t000002421,t000002423

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times is switching its third-party commenting system from Disqus to Spot.IM. You will need to either create an account with Spot.im or if you wish to use your Disqus account look under the Conversation for the link "Have a Disqus Account?". Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide