Multimedia feature: The poetry of Palo Alto | News | Palo Alto Online |


Multimedia feature: The poetry of Palo Alto

Palo Alto poets highlighted in poet laureate's contest

In order for all area residents to have important local information on the coronavirus health emergency, Palo Alto Online has lifted its pay meter and is providing unlimited access to its website. We need your support to continue our important work. Please join your neighbors and become a subscribing member today.

Four Palo Alto poets have been chosen for Santa Clara County's "Thirty Poems in 30 Days" contest, a poetry-awareness project developed by Santa Clara County Poet Laureate Nils Peterson.

Peterson held the contest during the month of April, each day publishing online a poem chosen from hundreds of entries. Peterson's mission is to "elevate poetry in the awareness of Santa Clara County residents" and "to contribute to Santa Clara County's poetry and literary legacy."

The Palo Alto poets weave picturesque tales of their city experiences through their poems: stories of new neighbors and closing shops; of immigrants and a changing environment; of the bravery and beauty of a single, homeless person waiting patiently at the city border; and of the transformational power of a day hike at Foothills Park.

Bill Burns remembered his father in "My Father's Booming Cough"; Pearl Karrer merged with the Santa Cruz Mountains during a February walk at Foothills; Shirley Gaines wrote of the changes of peoples, culture and the familiar; and Susanne Smith saw beauty come out of the despair of a an anonymous homeless man sitting while cars rushed by.

To read about Palo Alto experiences captured in poetry, readers can access "Thirty Poems in 30 Days" at

Multimedia video by Veronica Weber/Palo Alto Online.

We need your support now more than ever. Can we count on you?


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Stay up to date on local coronavirus coverage with our daily news digest email.

Food Safety and Coronavirus: A Comprehensive Guide
By Laura Stec | 11 comments | 29,720 views

These local restaurants are donating meals to Bay Area residents in need. Here's how to help.
By Elena Kadvany | 6 comments | 10,846 views

Coronavirus: Plan ahead now for a big outbreak
By Diana Diamond | 18 comments | 3,924 views

Will the Coronavirus Save Lives?
By Sherry Listgarten | 29 comments | 3,742 views

How COVID-19 Affects Communities
By Jessica Zang | 10 comments | 1,053 views



The 34th Annual Palo Alto Weekly Short Story Contest is now accepting entries for Adult, Young Adult and Teen categories. Send us your short story (2,500 words or less) and entry form by April 10, 2020. First, Second and Third Place prizes awarded in each category. Sponsored by Kepler's Books, Linden Tree Books and Bell's Books.

Contest Details