Sunday, January 14th – 2-4 pm
Benefit for North Bay poets
who lost their homes in the fires

Sonoma County Poet Laureates, past and present, and California State Poet Laureate Dana Gioia converge on Bird & Beckett to aid poets and artists of the county who suffered loss in the Santa Rosa and Sonoma fires in October.

Past laureates Terry Ehret, Gwynn O’Gara, Bill Vartnaw and Katherine Hastings, current laureate Iris Jamahl Dunkle and Mr. Gioia will be reading their work on Sunday, January 14th at 2:00 PM.  

The reading is free.  We are asking for donations, with all money raised going to poets who suffered from the Sonoma County fires.  Those unable to attend who wish to donate can send a check made out to Bill Vartnaw care of the bookshop or can go online to make a donation to creativesonoma.org/fire-recovery-resources  or to http://www.poetsinneed.org/. Please be sure to notate your check or online donation to indicate that it’s in connection with this benefit.

Terry Ehret, the author of four books of poetry, the latest, Night Sky Journey from Kelly’s Cove Press, is also one of the founders of Sixteen Rivers Press and Sonoma County Literary Update.  Gwynn O’Gara is the author of several books including Snake Woman Poems (Beatitude Press) and Sea Cradles (WordTemple Press).  Bill Vartnaw, publisher of Taurean Horn Press, is the author of a few books including Suburbs of my Childhood (Beatitude Press).  Katherine Hastings is a multi-media poet.  She runs the Word Temple reading series in Sebastopol, is founder of WordTemple Press and has a Word Temple poetry radio show on KRCB FM.  Katherine is also the author of three books from Spuyten Duyvil, the latest being Shakespeare & Stein Walk Into a Bar.  Iris Jamahl Dunkle just had her third book of poems, Interrupted Geographies (Trio House Press) published in 2017 and has co-written a biography of Jack London’s wife, Charmian London, that is due out soon. We regret that Sonoma County Poet Laureate Emeritus Geri Digiorno is unable to attend due to health considerations, and we send her our fond regards and best wishes.

Dana Gioia, Poet Laureate of California, is internationally recognized as both a poet and a critic, and is the author of five collections of poetry, including Interrogations at Noon (2001), which won the American Book Award, and 99 Poems: New & Selected (2016). His critical collections include Can Poetry Matter? (1992), which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Award. He has written three opera libretti and edited twenty literary anthologies. He served as Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts from 2003 to 2009. He has been awarded 11 honorary doctorates. He is the Judge Widney Professor of Poetry and Public Culture at the University of Southern California where he teaches each fall semester. He divides his time between Los Angeles and Sonoma County, California. His statewide tour as poet laureate became the subject of the BBC Radio 3 documentary, “Every County in the State of California.”