We are thrilled to host an evening with several local poet laureates as well as the editor of Undocumented: Great Lakes Poets Laureate on Social Justice, for an evening to present work on and discuss the topic of social justice. This event is presented in conjunction with the Napa Center for Thought and Culture.
Napa Poet Laureate Jeremy Benson (2017-2021) writes poems; he has also written novels, short stories, articles, personal essays, stand-up comedy routines, short films, and many letters. Jeremy aims to cultivate a rich community of writers, readers, and artists, whether as a participant, patron, or planner. He has emceed open mics, curated readings, hosted craft-ins, led workshops, and cof-founded the Broken Nose Collective, an annual exchange of hand-made chapbooks.
Vallejo Poet Laureate D.L. Lang (2017-2019) is the author of twelve books, most recently Midnight Strike, and one spoken word album, Happy Accidents. Her work has been anthologized in Marin Poetry Center Anthology, Vol. 21, A Poet’s Siddur, and Light & Shadow. She edited the 2019 anthology Verses, Voices & Visions of Vallejo. Lang has been a featured act at numerous events in Vallejo and poetry shows around the bay area. Her poems have been transformed into songs, liturgy, and used as a means to advocate for causes. Her website is: www.poetryebook.com
Sonoma County Poet Laureate Iris Jamahl Dunkle's (2017-2018) poetry collections include Interrupted Geographies (Trio House Press, 2017) Gold Passage (Trio House Press, 2013) and There's a Ghost in this Machine of Air (Word Tech, 2015). Her poem "Listening to the Caryatids on the Palace of Fine Arts" poem will be featured on 100 buses as part of the San Francisco Beautiful and Poetry Society of America Muni Art 2020 campaign. Her works have been published in Tin House, San Francisco Examiner, Fence, Los Angeles Review of Books, Split Rock Review, Taos Poetry Journal, Pleiades, Calyx, Catamaran, Poet's Market, Women's Studies and Chicago Quarterly Review. Her biography on Charmian London, Jack London's wife will be published by University of Oklahoma Press in 2020. Dunkle teaches at Napa Valley College and is the Poetry Director of the Napa Valley Writers' Conference.
Sacramento Poet Laureate Indigo Moor is also a playwright and author. His first book, Tap-Root, was published as part of Main Street Rag’s Editor’s Select Poetry Series. His second book of poetry, Through the Stonecutter’s Window, won Northwestern University Press’s Cave Canem prize. As with Tap-Root, Indigo’s third book, In the Room of Thirsts & Hungers, is a 2017 Editor’s Select choice from Main Street Rag. Three of his short plays, Harvest, Shuffling, and The Red and Yellow Quartet debuted at the 60 Million Plus Theatre’s Spring Playwright’s festival. His full-length stageplay, Live! at the Excelsior, was a finalist for the Images Theatre Playwright Award and has been optioned for a full-length film. Indigo is a Cave Canem fellow and is on the advisory boards for the Sacramento Poetry Center the Modesto Stanislaus Poetry Center. He is the resident artist at 916 ink, and a graduate member of the Artist's Residency Institute for Teaching Artists.
Richmond Poet Laureate Robert Lipton is helping develop a literary arts center for the city. He has been a Pushcart nominee and Gregory O’Donoghue Competition winner. His work has appeared in Interbang, Jacaranda Review, King Log, Shades of Contradiction, The Texas Observer, Parthenon West, New Orleans Quarterly, Journal of Human Architecture, Quillpuddle, Opium Magazine, Red Wheelbarrow, Oberon, Written Here, and Southword. His book, A Complex Bravery was published by Marick Press. He works as a spatial epidemiologist.
Ron Riekki, our emcee, wrote My Ancestors are Reindeer Herders and I Am Melting in Extinction (Loyola University Maryland’s Apprentice House Press), U.P.: a novel (Ghost Road Press), and Posttraumatic: A Memoir (Small Press Distribution). He edited Undocumented: Great Lakes Poets Laureate on Social Justice (Michigan State University Press), And Here: 100 Years of Upper Peninsula Writing, 1917-2017 (MSU Press), Here: Women Writing on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (MSU Press, Independent Publisher Book Award), The Way North: Collected Upper Peninsula New Works (Wayne State University Press, Michigan Notable Book), and The Many Lives of The Evil Dead: Essays on the Cult Film Franchise (McFarland). He is contracted for seven upcoming books.
The Napa Center for Thought & Culture (NCTC) brings provocative and heart-soul programs to the Napa Valley. NCTC’s vision is grounded in the pursuit of knowledge, building community, and understanding of the human condition. Please see their website for programs: www.nctcnapa.org.