Santa Cruz Arts Commission names Humanities lecturer Artist of the Year

Celebration to take place at Museum of Art & History on May 25

Gary Young, UCSC Lecturer in Creative Writing
UC Santa Cruz humanities lecturer Gary Young has been named 2012 Artist of the Year by the Santa Cruz County Arts Commission

A nationally recognized poet, Young is the county’s 26th artist to be honored with the award.

Past winners have include James Houston, Manuel Santana, Morton Marcus, Jack Zajac, Laurie R. King, Lou Harrison, Tandy Beal, and Adrienne Rich.

Recipients must live in Santa Cruz county and have a national and/or international reputation, as well as contribute significantly to the cultural enrichment of the local community.

In 2010, Young  was named the first-ever Poet Laureate of Santa Cruz County.

He also received the prestigious Shelley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America in 2009.

Young graduated from UC Santa Cruz in 1973 and received his M.F.A. from UC Irvine in 1975. He has taught poetry as a lecturer in creative writing in the UCSC Literature Department since 2005.

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

Since 1975, Young has designed, illustrated, and printed limited-edition books and broadsides. His print work is represented in many collections, including the Museum of Modern Art and the Getty Center for the Arts.

Young's books include Pleasure, Hands, The Dream of A Moral Life (winner of the James D. Phelan Award), Days, Braver Deeds (winner of the Peregrine Smith Poetry Prize), and No Other Life (winner of the Poetry Society of America's William Carlos Williams Award for best book of the year published by a university, literary, or independent press).

A celebration of Young’s work will take place on Friday, May 25, at 7 p.m. at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History.

Admission is free and open to the public.

The evening will include a discussion and demonstration of poetry, typography and letter press printing. Seating is limited and advance tickets are not available.

For more information about the event, go to, or call 454-7901.