Bass Lake council rejects ‘Poetry in the Park’

From duplicate staff reports

Bass Lake Town Council has denied a request for “Poetry in the Park,” a proposed poetry gathering proposed by local arts activists, to be held at a local park sometime “when the weather’s nice.”

Emilee Van Dickinson, organizer of the would-be inaugural event, approached council members about the plan at a recent meeting. Many of them backed away.

The request failed by a majority vote.

Council vice-president Carolyn Shee was among those who voted against the request.

“I can’t speak for all of us, but I think I can speak for all of us when I say we all support arts and crafts in our community, and I do, too, but this just isn’t the time or the place,” Shee said.

Council member M. Adam Bradbury (R-Bass Lake, PhD history), said he was “adamant” that the board “quash” the proposal, calling it “arts-niche run amok.”

“I believe a so-called poetry manifesto would appeal only to angst-ridden college students,
pre-teen diarists, quasi-novelists, English teachers, flag-burners and middle-age men who look like Allen Ginsberg,” Bradbury said.

Bass Lake town clerk/treasurer Olden A. Goodway also voted “no.” Goodway said that, although he might personally enjoy an event of this type, his decision was based solely on a zoning issue.

“It would violate established community code,” he said. “I’m not sure which one. I’ll have to look it up. I can’t right now — I’m on vacation starting tomorrow.”

Those who voted in favor of the proposal said nothing.

Van Dickinson, 33, declined comment, because she was “seriously bummed out.”

Clara Glendale and Max Fontaine co-wrote this report.
Both attended the meeting due to a newsroom planning error. We regret the error.

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