South Pasadena has its own Poet Laureate as noted local author Ron Koertge was approved for the esteemed position Wednesday night during the City Council meeting. Koertge, author of 12 poetry collections, is a nationally acclaimed poet as well as a highly honored children and young adult novelist. Koertge, who was nominated to the post of South Pasadena Poet Laureate by Librarian Steve Fjeldsted, has been awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a California Arts Council grant, and has had his work featured in the Best American Poetry series, “Poetry 180,” and “American Life in Poetry.” Koertge’s poem “Negative Space” inspired an animated short film of the same name that was nominated for an academy award during last year’s ceremony as Best Animated Short. He lost to Kobe Bryant’s animated short film, “Dear Basketball.” Upon being named South Pasadena’s Poet Laureate, Koertge said he will be available to anyone, anytime to read and discuss poetry. He is going to come back to the City Council in the future to read some of his work. Mayor Pro Tem Marina Khubesrian said she was looking forward to that reading.
Steve Whitmore is the assistant editor for the San Marino Tribune and the South Pasadena Review. Steve has spent more than four decades as an award-winning print and broadcast journalist with a 16-year stint as the senior media advisor for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Steve comes to us from the Keene Sentinel in Keene, New Hampshire, where he covered politics and was a columnist.