Malibu Poet Laureate Eleanor “Ellen” Reich - 1934-2020

The Canyon ChronicleBy The Canyon Chronicle

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Malibu Poet Laureate Eleanor “Ellen” Reich - 1934-2020
Malibu Poet Laureate Ellen Reich passed away at home on Friday, May 1, of cancer, with family and loved ones around her. Reich was named as the city’s second Poet Laureate after Ricardo Means Ybarra, by the Malibu City Council on March 11, 2019. The two-year term would have continued to March 27, 2021. “Ellen was pure giving through and through,” said long-time friend and poet Ann Buxie. “She was determined to find the best in everyone. When she did, she encouraged and celebrated it. Her last words to me were, ‘Let’s all be peaceful.’ That has become a timely directive for these times. How can we be peace-makers?” Reich was a longtime Malibu resident who was widely published and taught poetry and writing classes at the Malibu Senior Center, and creative writing and autobiography in Malibu for Emeritus College, a division of Santa Monica College. Reich was also an active fine artist and had her work exhibited in the Weisman Museum of Art and the Ojai Valley Gallery. The Malibu City Council created the Poet Laureate program following a recommendation by the Cultural Arts Commission in November 2016, following the Commission’s goal to forever keep poetry as an integral piece of the community’s artistic landscape. The Poet Laureate acts as the official Consultant in Poetry to the City of Malibu and the Malibu Library, and participates in or creates a Poetry Invitational event each year, represents the City at literary and poetry events, and works with the Laureate Committee to promote poetry and literary arts in local schools and the broader community. Learn more about the City’s Poet Laureate Program at malibucity.org/883/Poet-Laureate. “I am saddened by the news of Ellen’s passing, but I am deeply grateful for her passion for keeping poetry and literature alive and well in Malibu,” said Mayor Karen Farrer. “Our Poet Laureate will be missed but never forgotten, and her spirit lives on in the wonderful work she left behind.” Reich is survived by four children, nine grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren.
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