James Morehead to Serve as Dublin, California Poet Laureate


DUBLIN, CA–At the June 1, 2021 City of Dublin Council Meeting, the Council voted to confirm the selection of James Morehead as the City of Dublin’s Poet Laureate for an 18-month term starting July 1, 2021.

On May 13, 2021 the Heritage and Cultural Arts Commission reviewed applications and invited each applicant to read an original poem. Following deliberation, the Commission voted to recommend to the Mayor Melissa Hernandez that Morehead serve as the next City of Dublin Poet Laureate. The Mayor concurred with this recommendation.

Morehead is an accomplished poet. His debut book “canvas” (featuring Morehead’s poetry and the art of Kari Byron and Alla Tsank) will be published on June 15, 2021. In over twenty years since moving to Dublin, Morehead has been an active member of the community including founding OneDublin.org (City of Dublin 2001 Organization of the Year, ACSA 2014 Partners in Education Award), serving terms on both the Fallon Middle School and Dublin High School School Site Councils, and serving on the Dublin High School Engineering and Design Academy Advisory Council. Morehead was also a recipient of the City of Dublin 2015 Mayor’s Award.

“I am honored and thrilled that the City of Dublin recognizes the importance of poetry in helping create vibrant communities, and look forward to serving as Poet Laureate,” said James Morehead. “During my term I plan to advocate for the appreciation and advancement of poetry in classrooms and public spaces, to build a community of local poets, and to bring Dublin’s unique culture to life through the power of the spoken word.”

“James Morehead’s canvas opens itself to the poetry of everyday life, where stanzas are etched in sand, and poems end in sunset. Combining micro-narratives of Boston bullies cornering a young boy, with minute descriptions of time in quarantine, it draws us into moving tableaus of tenacious attention to what went down, what might come up, and where we might find ourselves. These are poems to be savored, re-read, kept handy for those times when only poetry will do.” W. J. T. Mitchell, Senior Editor, Critical Inquiry and Gaylord Donnelley Distinguished Service Professor, English and Art History, University of Chicago

In 2007, Dublin City Council approved the creation of the honorary volunteer position of Poet Laureate with the first volunteer appointed to the position in 2008. Duties of the Poet Laureate include:

  • Create and read poetry for civic events, public ceremonies, and dedications, as coordinated through City Staff.
  • Serve as a resource to Staff, the City Council, and the Commission; may act as a liaison between the City and local schools, literary organizations, and bookstores.
  • Assist with the development of classes and workshops devoted to poetry; potentially coordinate and participate in staged poetry readings.
  • On an annual basis, have at least one original poem displayed in a City facility.

James Morehead can be reached at dublinpoetlaureate@gmail.com.

James Morehead holding his debut book “canvas”

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