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New Alameda Poets Laureate to be Inaugurated on September 5th at City Hall

Cathy Dana. New Alameda Poets Laureate Gene Kahane and Cathy Dana will be inaugurated on September 5th at City Hall. (Cathy Dana website)

New Alameda Poets Laureate Gene Kahane and Cathy Dana will be inaugurated on September 5th at City Hall. A reception will follow next door at the Elks Lodge.

The new laureates, a ceremonial role appointed by the mayor, were announced at the end of July; at the inauguration, they will be officially appointed.

They will jointly hold the third appointment of an Alameda laureate, after Mary Rudge, who served from 2002 to 2014, followed by Julia Park Tracey, who served from 2014 to this year.

Nominees must be an Alameda resident and actively involved in the literary community. Responsibilities include creating community-based poetry events that reflect Alameda’s diversity.

Gene Kahane has been teaching for over thirty years, most of that time in Alameda at Haight Elementary School, Wood Middle School, and Encinal High School. He is also an actor, drama director, and poet. He has written poetry to commemorate events, honored colleagues and students for their milestones in life, and has encouraged people to find their voice and share their talents.

Cathy Dana is the president of Alameda Island Poets, and regularly leads two workshops at the Home of Truth and facilitates “Storytelling Swap” at Frank Bette Center for the Arts. She also teaches creative writing at Alameda Community Learning Center, where she began the Mighty Pens teen poetry group, as well as the first poet laureate program. Her first published book of poetry, “My Dad Believed in Love,” was released in early 2016.

Immediately following the appointment, Kahane and Dana will host a reception next door at the Elks Lodge downstairs in the Rathskellar.

The public is welcome to enjoy champagne, nonalcoholic beverages, cake, and desserts.

Live music will be provided provided by Sara Noah, Vida Neu, Tom McEntyre, ukulele group Trinity Troubadours, and others.

A short program will include the sharing of the Laureate vision and poems by Alameda students, including Alameda Community Learning Center Poet Laureate Truly Edison.

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