First poet laureate in years is named
Gov. Ted Kulongoski has named Lawson Inada of Medford to a two-year appointment as the poet laureate of Oregon.
Inada will be the fifth such appointment and the first poet to be so honored since William Stafford served in the position, which he left in 1990.
Christine D'Arcy, the executive director of the Oregon Arts Commission, said it is notable that Inada is a Japanese American and a person of color, a first for this position.
Oregon's statewide cultural agencies, the Oregon Arts Commission, Oregon Council for the Humanities, Oregon Historical Society, Oregon Heritage Commission and State Preservation Office, designated new funding from the Oregon Cultural Trust to support a first-time, $10,000 annual stipend for the laureate.
As much as $10,000 in additional funds will support the laureate's work and travel across the state.
Ok, so that should be the $20,000 question but anyways, let me take a crack at this liberal style:
Homeless people are freezing on the street, working families don't have health care, junkies are in desperate need of clean needles, and the PERS pension of retired school administrators needs to be funded, why on earth are we paying a poet $20,000 to "give as many as six public readings" across the state?