Officially appointed on December 7, 2010, by the Fairfield City Council, Ms. Juanita J. Martin assumed the volunteer role as the city's first poet laureate. Ms. Martin is a poetry ambassador, who is poised to share her uncommon love of poetry with the community.
Her duties consist of coordinating poetry events, reading at official city functions, writing commemorative poems, and documenting her period of service by writing an original poem about the city of Fairfield. Ms. Martin, the first African-American poet laureate in Solano County, will share her dedication to poetry in this capacity for the city until 2012.
Poet laureates date back to the 1600s in England. "Laureate" comes from the placement of a laurel wreath or crown for military or literary accomplishments. Today, a poet laureate is a poet appointed by a city or state government, and has been streamlined and redefined to fit today's City and State purposes.
Ms. Martin is an award-winning poet, freelance writer, and performing artist. Her poetry appears in journals such as Blue Collar Review, Soma Literary Review, and Rattlesnake Review. She created and hosted the open mic poetry series at Barnes & Noble from 2001 to 2003. Ms. Martin is an active member in the Ina Coolbrith Circle, the Sacramento Poetry Center, California Writers Club-Redwood Branch, and the Marin Poetry Center.