Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 8 / 22 February 2018

‘Family’ member named SF poet laureate

Kim Shuck. (Photo: Doug Salin Photography)

Kim Shuck. (Photo: Doug Salin Photography)

San Francisco officials announced Wednesday (June 21) that Kim Shuck has been named the city’s poet laureate.

Shuck, whose poetry draws from her experiences as a lifelong San Francisco resident and her multiethnic background, which includes Cherokee and Polish heritage, declined to say in a Facebook message exactly how she identifies, but she said she’s part of the LGBT “family.”

“Kim’s stirring poetry celebrates the spirit of San Francisco and reflects the open and inclusive values of this city,” Mayor Ed Lee said in a news release. “She embodies the legacy of our city’s bold and fearless storytellers, and as a fifth-generation resident she has a unique appreciation for what makes San Francisco special.”

City Librarian Luis Herrera stated, “As San Francisco Poet Laureate [Shuck] will celebrate our strength of language and culture. … We’re excited to work with her to further our city’s literary and poetic tradition by engaging our communities and bringing us together through poetry.”

Shuck, who lives in the Castro, has published several poetry books, including “Clouds Running In,” and “Rabbit Stories,” among other works. She teaches at the California College of the Arts, and she’s volunteered for the San Francisco Unified School District for over 20 years. Her visual art has been displayed in exhibits around the world. She was also once a member of the San Francisco Human Rights Commission’s LGBT Advisory Committee..

“This is an honor, it’s a responsibility, and it’s an invitation to continue the good work of previous laureates,” Shuck stated. “It’s also an opportunity to add some of my own touches, both political and silly. The San Francisco Public Library was a good friend when I was a kid, primarily the Mission, Noe Valley and Castro branches, and I’m looking forward to working on these new projects.”

As the poet laureate, Shuck will give an inaugural address at the public library, and she’ll participate in poetry events that serve multiethnic and multigenerational city residents, among other duties.

Lee appointed Shuck after she was nominated by a nine-member committee comprised of past poet laureates, city officials, and others. She’s succeeding Alejandro Murguía, San Francisco’s sixth poet laureate.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, June 21, 2017 @ 2:34 pm PST
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