by Brian Dunlap
Los Ángeles poet and writer John Brantingham has been chosen as Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks’ first Poet Laureate.
The post is an appropriate choice since each summer Brantingham leads free week long writing (poetry and fiction) and art camping workshops in the parks. The goal of these workshops is to find artistic inspiration and new ways of seeing the world as participants camp, hike, write, draw, paint, make new friends, and enjoy the great outdoors. He acknowledges in a September 2015 interview with authersinterviews that, “Mentors have been and remain important to me,” and Brantingham reciprocates this importance with the impact he has on participants in his workshops and the countless writing students he teaches as a full time professor at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, California. In the same interview he says, “Community college saved me, and the professors there showed me that I had value,” and he undoubtedly does the same for the aspiring new writers that take his classes.
“Writing…is part of who I am and I want to do it all the time. I work the rest of my schedule around it.”
Hats off to John Brantingham (The Green of Sunset and East of Los Angeles) for being named the first Poet Laureate of Sequoia and Kings National Park.