Our poetry group owes so much to Nils Peterson, the featured reader of our December gathering. Christine Richardson, who co-hosts the Willow Glen Poetry readings with her husband, Dennis Richardson, introduced Nils with these words:
Tonight we celebrate together our final poetry reading for 2015. Who other than our own Nils Peterson should be the one to tie a big red ribbon around this gift! Nils was a dear friend of the poet, William Stafford, and like him, believes in “following the golden thread, it will lead you in”.
Stafford was inspired by the William Blake poem that begins with this mysterious concept. Holding onto that thread will lead you into not only a poem, but as in the case of both William and Nils, into a life that is a continuous poetic journey. This is why I can say Nils Peterson is our golden thread. He has led us in: the thousands of students he enriched as a professor at San Jose State University, the establishment and maintenance of Poetry Center San Jose, the poets he influenced as the first Santa Clara Poet Laureate and especially this community here at the Willow Glen Library. This third edition of our anthology can be traced back to the support and encouragement Nils has provided so generously to all of us for decades.
It is with deepest gratitude we thank you, Nils, our golden thread. We are all holding on and following you in.