An Iranian American poet and writer, Farnaz Fatemi is Santa Cruz County Poet Laureate for 2023 and 2024. She is a founding member of The Hive Poetry Collective, a member of Writers of Color–Santa Cruz County, and a former Lecturer in Writing at UCSC. In summers she teaches new transfer students in UCSC’s Transfer Edge program. Her book, Sister Tongue زبان خواهر, was published in September 2022. It won the 2021 Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize, selected by Tracy K. Smith, won an honorable mention from the Foreword Indies, and received a Starred Review from Publisher’s Weekly. Some of her poems and lyric essays appear in Poem-a-Day (Poets.org), Tab Journal, Pedestal Review, Nowruz Journal, Grist Journal and Tupelo Quarterly and the anthologies Essential Voices: Poetry of Iran and its Diaspora and Halal If You Hear Me.
Cabrillo Festival has long pursued collaborations with artists in different disciplines to expand connections to the music we make and the community we build. This season included many connections to poetry—Kevin Puts’ Concerto for Orchestra is inspired by Amanda Gorman’s Hymn for the Hurting and Anna Clyne’s new work takes its inspiration and title from Mary Oliver’s Wild Geese. So it is fitting that we welcomed our fourth-ever poet-in-residence to help weave a poetic thread through this very special season.
Our 2023 Poet-in-Residence, Farnaz Fatemi, invited you to write and share words inspired by your Festival experience for the creation of a 2023 Cabrillo Festival Community Poem. Before and during the season, she offered open prompts (below) to stimulate ideas and feelings engendered by our rehearsals and performances. You submitted your responses through our website or in the Poetry Donation Boxes in the lobby of the Civic Auditorium. Working from your words, she curated our 2023 community poem, a collaborative poem, that we’re delighted to share with you HERE as a final flourish to a glorious season.
Submissions are now closed. Below were the season’s prompts.
POETRY PROMPTs #1
Write a phrase (or line) that captures the essence of a favorite festival moment or memory.
Write a phrase (or line) that distills the answer to this question: What brings you to/back to the Festival this year?
POETRY PROMPTS #2
In a line or phrase: How is music a testament, an offering, a prayer, for you?
Respond to the phrase: As my fears dance all their jigs…
POETRY PROMPTS #3
In a line or phrase: When you sleep, what unwinds?
Respond to the phrase: The fanfare inside me….
FINAL POETRY PROMPT
Submit a phrase (or line) that captures the essence of a favorite festival moment or experience. Anything goes