News | 7 May 2012

Poet Gary Young named Santa Cruz County’s Artist of the Year


Gary Young

Santa Cruz County's first Poet Laureate Gary Young, named in 2010, was named Santa Cruz County Artist of the Year for 2012. (Shmuel Thaler/Sentinel file)

For more than four decades, Young has been one of the most prominent names in the Santa Cruz poetry community and, in 2010, was named the county’s first Poet Laureate.

Young, whose work will be celebrated at the Museum of Art & History on May 25, is also an accomplished printer and visual artist, having shown his work at the MAH and several other venues in Santa Cruz and on the campus at UC Santa Cruz. His print work has been represented in collections and libraries across the country.

He has designed, illustrated and produced a number of books, including limited edition letterpress books.

But he is most known for his poetry, most recently in his new book of collected poems “Even So.” His poetry has won several awards, including the Pushcart Prize, the James D. Phelan Award, the William Carlos Williams Award, the Peregrine Smith Poetry and the Shelley Award of the Poetry Society of America. His work has appeared in a number of journals and anthologies including the Nation, the Kenyon Review and the American Poetry Review.

Closer to home, Young has taught at the Georgiana Bruce Kirby School and for UC Extension. He has been part of the SPECTRA program, teaching poetry in middle schools and has taught poetry at UCSC since 2005.

He is also the director of the Cowell Press, where he teaches printing and book arts.

Young is the 26th artist to be honored as Artist of the Year by the Santa Cruz County Arts Commission. In the past, artists such as James Houston, Manuel Santana, Morton Marcus, Jack Zajac, Laurie R. King, Lou Harrison, Tandy Beal and the late Adrienne Rich have received the honor.

For information on the Santa Cruz County Artist of the Year, go to

This story was published on 05/03/2012 by a staff writer at the Santa Cruz Sentinel. Click here to view the original post. Photo: Shmuel Thaler/Sentinel file.