Categories: Kristen Schweizer, THE BUZZ

THE BUZZ: 2023 Kowit Awards kick off in time for National Poetry Month

by Kristen Schweizer

March 25, 2023

Ethnic studies professor Jason Magabo Perez was recently named poet laureate of the city of San Diego. Photo by Alicia Lores

National Poetry Month has arrived! There are numerous opportunities to partake – especially taking up one’s own pen – but the city’s biggest celebration will be the 2023 Kowit Awards and Poetry Celebration hosted at the San Diego Central Library on Friday, April 7, from 6:30 – 9:00 PM.

The free, public event will feature keynote speaker Lee Herrick, California’s newest Poet Laureate, who will be joined on the awards stage by San Diego Poet Laureate, Jason Magabo Perez and 2023 Kowit Award winner, Julia Levine, along with other local poets of note, including Ron Salisbury, Jeff Walt, and two-time Grand Slam Poetry Champion Gill Sotu. The evening includes food, music, and a mini-bookfair reception.

CA Poet Laureate Lee Herrick

The awards recognize the legacy of Steve Kowit, one of San Diego’s most prominent poets. Poets from all over the globe sent in work to be considered by the San Diego Poetry Annual award committee for the prestigious honor.

Marni Freedman, Director of Programming for the San Diego Writer’s Festival, co-hosts the event. She says, “not only [is this] an opportunity to showcase some of the best poetry being written today, but also to bring together San Diego’s diverse literary arts organizations, cultural leaders, and supporters in joyful celebration.” The evening will include leaders and representatives from Write Out Loud, San Diego Writer’s Ink, Friends of SD Public Library, and more. Poets Underground will host an Open Mic Afterparty immediately following the awards ceremony.

The event is co-sponsored by the San Diego Poetry Annual, San Diego Writers Festival, and Library Foundation SD.

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