The 2014 George Drury Smith Award

January 4, 2014 — George Drury Smith Award

Beyond Baroque’s Winter 2014 reading schedule arrived in the mail the day before and folded into it was a separate sheet with the first public announcement of the poets who will be the recipients of awards at Beyond Baroque’s annual banquet and fundraiser, which has moved from mid-summer to the first week of April this year. I am grateful that Richard Modiano has changed the date of this event, since I was never able to attend it the first three years. I’ve been teaching a fiction writing class for teenagers at the Idyllwild Summer Arts since 1995, and that job is just far enough away that I could not easily get down the mountain, attend the event, drive home to Long Beach to sleep overnight, and then hustle back to Idyllwild to resume the next week’s instruction.

I brought up the logistics of all this when Richard quietly informed me before a reading at Beyond Baroque several months ago that I was the poet who had been selected by BB’s board of directors to receive the George Drury Smith award in 2014. When I mentioned the difficulty that being in Idyllwild posed for my attendance at the event, Richard mentioned that the board had decided to change the date of the banquet to coincide with National Poetry Month. I’m gratified, therefore, not only to have been chosen for this award, but to know that I will be more easily able to attend this event in future years.

I’m not the only one being honored, however. Rick Lupert is also being recognized with the “Distinguished Service Award,” which I hereby propose should be named (and retroactively bestowed with the full name) as the Alexandra Garrett Distinguished Service Award. I can’t think of anyone else who gave Beyond Baroque so much substantial and continuous service as Sandy Garrett (1926-1991). In fact, should she have lived into her nineties (as my mother has), I can’t think of anyone who would have been more deserving of being the first recipient of any awards ceremony held by Beyond Baroque. That’s a decision to be made by the board of directors at BB, however. I make this suggestion, however, in hopes of getting the discussion of this idea underway.

Here are the details for the upcoming event:


4th Annual Awards Dinner

This year’s honorees are:

William Mohr

George Drury Smith Award


Rick Lupert

Distinguished Service Award

Sunday, April 6, 2014 , 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Church in Ocean Park

235 Hill Street, Santa Monica, CA 90405

Tickets: $65 per person

Tickets may be reserved by emailing Beyond Baroque at: or at Eventbrite:


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