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Jeff Knorr
Sacramento Poet Laureate

Email: knorrj at

Sacramento Metropolitan Art Commission
Poet Laureate Inauguration Ceremony
New City Hall
Sacramento, California
October 26, 2012

New City Hall
Sacramento, CA

Metropolitan Art Commission

Rather than love,
than money,
than fame,
give me truth.
Henry David Thoreau

Five minutes are enough to dream a whole life,
that is how relative time is.
Mario Benedetti

All I need
is a sheet of paper
and something to write with,
and then I can turn the world upside down.
Friedrich Nietzsche

Words are things.
A small drop of ink,
falling like dew upon a thought,
produces that which makes thousands,
perhaps millions, think.

You must be
the change you wish to see in the world.

I am seeking.
I am striving.
I am in it with all my heart.
Vincent van Gogh

Only those who will risk going too far
can possibly find out how far one can go.
T.S. Eliot

John Nicolaus, Chair
Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission

Anja Aulenbacher
Sacramento Metropolitan Art Commission
Grants & Cultural Programs Coordinator

Poetry is an act of peace.
Peace goes into the making of a poet
as flour goes into the making of bread.
Pablo Neruda

Scott Stine

Scott Stine & Jeff Knorr

Poet Albert J. Garcia and Judi Keen

(From Left to Right)
Dan Horwood, Sue Horwood, Jessica Cadena, Maria Alvarez,
Doris Knorr with Gabriel Knorr, and Jim Keddy

At times our own light goes out
and is rekindled by a spark from another person.
Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude
of those who have lighted the flame within us.
Albert Schweitzer

(Poets From Left to Right)
Mary Zeppa, Graciela Ramirez, NSAA, & JoAnn Anglin

Joyce Hsiao, Jeff Knorr, Jessica Cadena, and Karisa Hirabayashi

Don’t try to figure out
what other people want to hear from you;
figure out what you have to say.
It’s the one and only thing you have to offer.
Barbara Kingsolver

the imagination seizes
as beauty must be truth
whether it existed before or not.
John Keats

No matter what anybody tells you,
words and ideas can change the world.
Tom Schulman

Poetry is what happens
when nothing else can.
Charles Bukowski

Late Peaches

Poet Albert J. Garcia with Poet Bob Stanley

Jeff with his son, Gabriel Knorr

Gabriel Knorr

Ben Hirabayashi

Jan Lee

Great things are not accomplished by those
who yield to trends and fads and popular opinion.
Jack Kerouac

If there were no poetry
on any day in the world,
poetry would be invented that day.
For there would be an intolerable hunger.
Muriel Rukeyser

Jeff Knorr and Donna Pacini-Christensen

Poetry is all that is worth remembering in life.
William Hazlitt

How to write a poem:
Catch the air around the butterfly.
Katerina Stoykova Klemer

I hunger for your sleek laugh
and your hands the color of a furious harvest.
I want to eat the sunbeams flaring in your beauty.
Pablo Neruda

A poet's autobiography is his poetry.
Anything else is just a footnote.
Yevgeny Yevtushenko

Dare to love yourself
as if you were a rainbow
with gold at both ends.

Coco, our beloved wine pourer!
Revolution Wines

The poet's job
is to put into words
those feelings we all have
that are so deep, so important,
and yet so difficult to name,
to tell the truth in such a beautiful way,
that people cannot live without it.
Jane Kenyon

Poetry is the liquid voice that can wear through stone.
Adrienne Rich

Brenna Badekar

Nancy Knorr, Alice Alvarez, and Richard Alvarez

Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.
William Wordsworth

Gayle Pitman and Scott Stine talk poetry and teaching.

Carlin Naify and John Nicolaus
Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commissioners

If you would tell me the heart of a man,
tell me not what he reads,
but what he rereads.
François Mauriac

Don't tell me the moon is shining;
show me the glint of light on broken glass.
Anton Chekhov

Lisa Danner and Tammy Montgomery sipping Revolution wine.

City Councilmember Sandy Sheedy and Manny Gale

Jolie and Josh Roberts

Lesley Gayle and Tammy Montgomery

County Supervisor Phil Serna, Maria Alvarez,
and City Councilmember Sandy Sheedy

Talent is a gift
that brings with it
an obligation to serve the world,
and not ourselves,
for it is not of our making.
Jose Marti

(From Left to Right)
Mary Turner, VP of Instruction at Sacramento City College
shares a laugh with professors Gayle Pitman and Sheri Patton.

Mary Turner, VP of Instruction at Sacramento City College

Allegra Allesandri and husband.

Doug Carney and Mary Bean

Poetry is language at its most distilled and most powerful.
Rita Dove

Poets Albert J. Garcia and Troy Myers

(From Left to Right)
Fred and Linda Fechter, Pat Hansen, and Shawn McFetridge

Fred Fechter

Doris Knorr

Write what should not be forgotten.
Isabel Allende

(From Left to Right)
Jolie Roberts, Janice Hans, Dahlia Aguirre, and Nora Blanco

Jolie Roberts and Janice Hans

You never have to change anything
you got up in the middle of the night to write.
Saul Bellow

True storytelling reveals meaning
without committing the error of defining it.
Hannah Arendt

I am not sure that I exist, actually.
I am all the writers that I have read,
all the people that I have met,
all the women that I have loved;
all the cities I have visited.
Jorge Luis Borges

Jeff Knorr and Maria Alvarez

I want to be clear about this.
If you wrote from experience,
you'd get maybe one book,
maybe three poems.
Writers write from empathy.
Nikki Giovanni

Bob Stanley, Poet Laureate

Write only if you cannot live without writing.
Write only what you alone can write.
Elie Wiesel

Julia Connor, Sacramento Poet Laureate

A good poem is a contribution to reality.
The world is never the same
once a good poem has been added to it.
A good poem helps to change
the shape and significance of the universe,
helps to extend everyone's knowledge of himself
and the world around him.
Dylan Thomas

Poet/Songwriter Tim Christensen

I would hurl words
into this darkness
and wait for an echo,
and if an echo sounded,
no matter how faintly,
I would send other words
to tell, to march, to fight,
to create a sense of the hunger
for life that gnaws in us all.
Richard Wright

Arts Commission Chair John Nicolaus makes welcoming remarks.

Bob Stanley honors Jeff Knorr with a poem.
Always Fishing

Bob Stanley

Julia Connor
Sacramento Poet Laureate

Julia Connor

In poetry, you must love the words,
the ideas and the images and rhythms with all
your capacity to love anything at all.
Wallace Stevens

Poet Albert J. Garcia

A poet is a man who manages,
in a lifetime of standing out in thunderstorms,
to be struck by lightning five or six times.
Randall Jarrell

I don't really
feel my poems are mine at all.
I didn't create them out of nothing.
I owe them to my relations with other people.
Robert Graves

Jeff Knorr
Sacramento Poet Laureate
Two Poetry Selections

Most people do not believe in anything very much
and our greatest poetry is given to us by those that do.
Cyril Connolly

Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world.
Percy Bysshe Shelley

Everything in creation
has its appointed painter or poet
and remains in bondage
like the princess in the fairy tale
'til its appropriate liberator
comes to set it free.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nothing's a better cure for writer's block
than to eat ice cream right out of the carton.
Don Roff

Art is when you hear
a knocking from your soul
and you answer.
Terri Guillemets

Creative work
is not a selfish act
or a bid for attention
on the part of the actor.
It’s a gift to the world
and every being in it.
Don’t cheat us
of your contribution.
Give us what you’ve got.
Steven Pressfield

Jeff Knorr's Family

You should always be trying
to write a poem you are unable to write,
a poem you lack the technique,
the language, the courage to achieve.
Otherwise you're merely imitating yourself,
going nowhere, because that's always easiest.
John Berryman

No iron can stab the heart with such force
as a period put just at the right place.
Isaac Babel

With writing, we have second chances.
Jonathan Safran Foer

The seed of your next artwork lies
embedded in the imperfections of your current piece.
David Bayles

Poetry is not only dream and vision;
it is the skeleton architecture of our lives.
It lays the foundations for a future of change,
a bridge across our fears of what has never been before.
Audre Lorde

If you can quit, then quit.
If you can't quit, you're a writer.
R.A. Salvatore

Jeff Knorr is crowned with laurels by two former poet laureates.

A poet must leave traces of his passage, not proof.
Rene Char

Poetry is boned with ideas,
nerved and blooded with emotions,
all held together by the delicate,
tough skin of words.
Paul Engle

A poet is,
before anything else,
a person who is passionately
in love with language.
W.H. Auden

A word is not
the same with one writer as with another.
One tears it from his guts.
The other pulls it out of his overcoat pocket.
Charles Peguy

If there's a book
you really want to read,
but it hasn't been written yet,
then you must write it.
Toni Morrison

Donna Pacini-Christensen

We at ASTARRYNIGHTPRODUCTIONS were honored to have Jeff Knorr, Albert J. Garcia, and Danny Romera as featured poets in 2011. To review photographs of those poetry showcases, please click the links below:

Jeff Knorr

Albert J. Garcia

Danny Romero

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