Fernando Albert Salinas is a father, a poet, and an educator. He works to teach others to storytell through spoken word while speaking the truths and passions of their lives. He helps others find their voice and speak up for those who are not heard.
Eva Poole-Gilson has published poetry, stories, and journalism nationally in over 20 journals and newspapers. In Jan. 2016 she was selected with eleven others to study with former U.S. Poet-Laureate Billy Collins at the Key West Literary Workshop. Eva has also written two plays: BAREFOOT IN THE SANCTUARY and WHO’S LYING DOWN IN YOUR HEART? Eva is a long-standing Poet-Teacher with CalPoets.
Nels Christianson joined the Board in 2009 after judging that year’s Poetry Out Loud Contest in Madera County. Nels is a published poet and former Area Coordinator for LA County. Nels recently retired from the International Relations department at UCLA Medical Center. He now spends his time writing, making ceramic pots, gardening and traveling to visit cacti and succulents in habitats around the world.
B.A. UC Santa Barbara
Rob Eskridge is a grandfather of five munchkins who are growing up with poetry in their lives. Rob’s career as a strategic planning consultant for businesses has taken him to more than 40 industries and 15 countries. His Board service with Cal Poets, reading poetry and mountain biking at the coast offer a wonderful balance to the world of work. Santa Clara University BA Economics. Univ. of Southern California MBA. UCLA postgraduate work.
Tim Blair is President of Native Trails, a sustainably focused kitchen and bath fixtures manufacturer in San Luis Obispo, CA and Certified B Corporation. He helps several non-profits with social media and marketing, plays guitar and writes poetry for fun.
Angelina Leaños is a student at California Lutheran University with the hopes to become a published author, as well as an English teacher. In high school, she won the Poetry Out Loud competition both at the school and county level and has since returned as a coach to other participants. Leaños has had several poems published and organizes a monthly poetry open mic with the Ventura County Arts Council in partnership with the Oxnard public library.
SAGE ON THE STAGE - R.I.P.
John Oliver Simon - one of the legendary poets of the Berkeley Sixties who grew by steady dedication to his calling. Published from Abraxas to Zyzzyva, he has received an NEA fellowship for his work. For his lifetime of service to poetry, the Mayor of Berkeley, California proclaimed January 20, 2015, as John Oliver Simon Day. In May, 2016, the Berkeley Poetry Festival presented him with its Lifetime Achievement Award.
Daryl Ngee Chinn has been a Poet-Teacher since 1987. As an artist in residence, he has taught in Montana, Nevada, Utah, South Dakota, Wyoming, and Alaska.
M.A. Johns Hopkins University
B.A. UC Santa Barbara