The ceremonial passing of the laurel branch from Elizabeth Austen, the out-going State Poet Laureate, to her successor, Tod Marshall, will happen on Tuesday, February 9. This tradition, begun at Open Books, will take place at the Hugo House. Christine and John of Open Books will begin the evening with a few words about the symbol of the laurel while laurel sprig is passed through the audience so that all can take a physical part in the ceremony. The evening will be emceed by former State Poet Laureate Kathleen Flenniken and include brief readings by Rick Barot, Karen Finneyfrock, Jourdan Keith, Jane Wong, and Maged Zaher. The event will culminate with Elizabeth handing the office over, in the form of the laurel sprig, to Tod. It will be a special event.