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Clark County names new poet laureate

Heather Lang-Cassera loves it when people listen to poetry. She loves it even more when she can get others — particularly newcomers — to take a stab at writing a line or two themselves.

She will have plenty of time to promote poetry in all of its dynamics over the next two years as she serves as Clark County’s third poet laureate. Her term begins June 1.

Lang-Cassera’s work has been published by multiple journals, and her most recent book, “I Was the Girl with the Moon-Shaped Face,” was published last year by Zeitgeist Press. She also edited “Legs of Tumbleweed, Wings of Lace,” an anthology of work by Nevada women.

Lang-Cassera also teaches composition, creative writing and world literature at Nevada State College,where she also serves as adjunct faculty coordinator for the school of liberal arts and sciences. She runs a poetry workshop at Green Valley Library and hosts a First Friday poetry event at the Nevada Humanities Program Gallery.

“I have been looking for a while for ways to give back to the community,” Lang-Cassera said. “I’m really excited by the opportunity to reach more deeply and also more broadly into our community, and that’s something I feel I can do more as poet laureate than just Heather.”

Lang-Cassera was born in Utah and lived in Wisconsin, Seattle and China before moving here. “I never thought such a big place would be home, but when I moved here about five years ago, I just knew,” she said.

Lang-Cassera is developing initiatives to promote poetry and poets here, including workshops that would encourage Southern Nevadans to write their own poetry.

”I’ve done haiku workshops at Winchester (Cultural Center) and I’ve done single-sentence workshops at Green Valley Library,” she said. “What I love about these are … folks who have never written a poem or didn’t think they could write a poem.”

Lang-Cassera succeeds Vogue Robinson, the county’s second poet laureate, and Bruce Isaacson, its first.

Contact John Przybys at jprzybys@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0280. Follow @JJPrzybys on Twitter.

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