On December, 11th, 2018, two 6th grade poetry students from West Marin School, Zoë Rocco-Zilber and Bella Schlitt, attended the Marin County Board of Supervisors meeting in San Rafael, to recite poems. Brian Kirven, Poet-Teacher from Marin, had the privilege of working with their class for three consecutive school years, and of witnessing their development as poets, creative writers and as citizens. In Brian's teaching, he emphasizes
poetry of place and human empathy for all living species, using the imagination and observation to praise and transform into who or what the writer is writing about. Bella, a writer full of rich descriptive ability, had written persona poems entering points of view as diverse as raccoons, Greek columns, squirrels and even a mouth retainer. The poem she presented to the Supervisors, “Point Reyes Farmer’s Market,” where she and Zoë happen to lead historical tours of the town, captures her excitement leading up to the first market of the year. Zoë’s poem, “If Point Reyes Was a Person,” was conceived on the bench outside of Point Reyes Books and the Bovine Bakery, where Zoë watched a woman with amazing energy hold the door for people and greet everyone she met. “If Point Reyes was a person,” Zoë exclaimed, “it would be her.” At the Board of Supervisors meeting, where the majority of the time is spent on left-brain logistical matters, this particular morning got sprinkled with a lot of heart, from two young girls full of love for their home place.