INTRODUCING Sidney Regelbrugge MENDOCINO COUNTY’S NEW YOUTH POET LAUREATE
Ukiah, CA January 10, 2022 – California Poets in the Schools (CalPoets) announces the county’s new Youth Poet Laureate – Sidney Regelbrugge, a sophomore at Point Arena High School. Mendocino follows the lead of the nation, the state and sister counties (Alameda, Los Angeles, Sonoma and Ventura) in acknowledging a student who has achieved excellence in poetry, allowing them to be a leader for the county in raising the profile of poetry and developing its audience.
Sidney Regelbrugge was selected from a qualified pool of applicants by a panel of judges on December 8, 2021. The judging panel included distinguished poets and teachers from throughout the county including Blake More, the current (adult) Poet Laureate of Point Arena, CA. Sidney Regelbrugge was the 2021 winner of Point Arena HS Poetry Out Loud recitation contest and the Runner Up for Mendocino County. She also was the Mendocino Writer’s Conference High School Scholarship Winner in the Summer of 2021, where she won 3rd place for her short story “Promises for Another Life” in the YA category. When Sidney is not writing, she slips into the world of music. She is known for her concert piano and saxophone talents, as well as her skill as a multi-sport athlete. She is the daughter of Heather and Dan Regelbrugge of Gualala.
The YPL competition was extremely competitive, with 12 applicants from schools across Mendocino County. Finalists in the contest were Nia Rich – a 12th grade student at Ukiah High School and Amy Lui, also in 12th grade at Developing Virtue Girls School. Both of these young poets write with great skill and understanding, and the judges wanted to make sure they were mentioned to the public as well.
Blake More, current Poet Laureate of Point Arena, and longtime Poet-Teacher and Mendocino County Area Coordinator with CalPoets, states: “’To me, poetry is my heart and soul, the unjudged place where everyone is welcome.’ This statement from Sidney Regelbrugge is one reason I’m so thrilled that she will be our youth poet laureate for Mendocino County. She is a remarkable young woman, and she sees poetry as a way to give voice to those who don’t have one themselves. One of her goals as YPL for Mendocino County is to help youth and others in the community to discover the safety of poetry. It will be an honor to read with her and experience the joy and marvel of others as they witness and are inspired by her grounded intelligence and depth of expression.”
Sidney’s term as Mendocino County’s Youth Poet Laureate begins February 1, 2022 and continues through April 2023. Within that time, Sidney is committed to conduct at least five public appearances/readings/workshops – ideally one within each supervisorial district, however virtual events are likely and encouraged at this time. Sidney will receive a $500 prize and an opportunity to publish a collection of her own poems or spearhead a broader, youth publication opportunity. Schools and community organizations are encouraged to contact Sidney (through Blake More, at California Poets in the Schools – firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are interested in hosting her at a public event.
In Sidney’s own words:
“I’ve spent my entire life stuck between the forest and the Pacific ocean. I am a fifteen-year-old poet, who also exists in the world of music and mixed literature. I am an only child, who speaks her mind and at times when words are hard to say out loud. Written emotions on a page are my other communication. Poetry is the outsourcing of emotions when everything and everyone in the entire world feels like they are against you. Poetry is the expression of all emotions and feelings, it’s the feeling of love by a wood fire, it’s crying on the front porch watching your first love drive away. Poems are the outbursts of anger when no matter how much you scream no one hears you. To me, poetry is my heart and soul, the unjudged place where everyone is welcome. It gives voices to those who don’t have one themselves. Poetry is home. It’s always safe and has been my home for many years and one I hope to invite others too.”
The Mendocino County program is organized by California Poets in the Schools and supported by the Bill Graham Supporting Foundation, with additional support from the Arts Council of Mendocino County and Mendocino County Office of Education.
Here are Sidney’s Poetry Out Loud videos.
Click here to access the 2022 Mendocino Youth Poet Laureate Media Kit including photos: https://www.bmoreyou.net/2022/01/13/mendocino-county-youth-poet-laureate/ or https://tinyurl.com/YPL2022
About California Poets in the Schools
California Poets in the Schools, a non-profit founded in 1964, is one of the nation’s largest literary Artists-in-the-Schools programs. Over one hundred trained, professional Poet-Teachers deliver poetry sessions throughout California to students in K-12 classrooms and a variety of other venues, such as children’s homes, juvenile halls and hospitals. Students are empowered to express their creativity, imagination, and intellectual curiosity through writing, performing and publishing their own poetry.
Since its founding in 1964, CalPoets has inspired over one million students in sixty
thousand classrooms to create six million poems. Many of the young people reached through our programs are low-income, rural or second language learners. Student poetry is published in an annual, juried statewide anthology. High-school students from many counties are coached by our Poet-Teachers to compete in tiered Poetry Out Loud competitions from the classroom to the national level. Poet-Teachers gather at yearly symposia for ongoing professional development and community building.
For immediate information, please contact:
Blake More, Mendocino County Area Coordinator
California Poets in the Schools