I would like to chime in with my perspective on the appointment of Kate Buckley to the position of poet laureate for the City of Laguna Beach.
To begin, she is not known as a full-time resident but as someone who splits her time between California and Kentucky. This should have raised obvious questions.
From my observation over a few years, her primary focus seems to be more on self-promotional blogging more befitting a socialite than a true, committed artist.
She calls herself a “poet”, although what I have read is not eyebrow-raising, by any stretch.
She also calls herself a painter. As a gallery owner, curator and artist, I would be hard-pressed to ascribe her work to a “talented amateur.”
That stated, I am baffled how she could winnow herself into a position that was created to lead our citizenry toward poetry and culture. Surely we have plenty of real talent in this city to come up with someone who represents the latter rather than a brand.
The $10,000 in money that the city has honored Ms. Buckley with would mean a lot more to a true artist/poet who would use these finds to promote the culture that this position was intended to.
The Arts Commission and City Council should have been better briefed and done their homework accordingly before bestowing a position of honor that is a first for our city.
The author is the owner of Forest & Ocean Gallery.