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Sonoma County poet at Readers Books on Nov. 2

“Land of My Father’s War” by Sonoma County poet Phyllis Meshulam, was inspired by the author’s parents’ World War II-era love letters.

“One of the inspirations for this book was reading my parents’ love letters from the time of their separation during World War II,” says Meshulam. “But it’s about more than my family’s intense relationship with Italy. It’s also about how we all look for the places of our roots and redemption.”

Joy Harjo, winner of the 2017 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, said of Meshulam’s book, an “urgency of spirit has emerged eloquently here in these poems of perception and even prophecy….”

Meshulam first went to Italy, where her father had been stationed during World War II, at age 5. Threads of those journeys are woven into her poetry.

Meshulam taught for 10 years at Prestwood Elementary School as an enrichment poetry teacher, and has also done several residencies at El Verano, Sassarini, Adele Harrison and Creekside. She is the author of “Doll, Moon,” “Doors” and “Valley of Moon.”

Meshulam is a veteran teacher for California Poets in the Schools and coordinator for Poetry Out Loud, and has been a presenter at the nation-wide writing conferences, AWP and Split This Rock. For the 50th anniversary of California Poets in the Schools, she edited, “Poetry Crossing,” which Poetry Flash called “a truly joyful collection of lessons, inspirations, and children’s poems.” Numerous students from Sonoma Valley are published in this book.

Meshulam will be reading from her new book at Readers’ Books at 7 p.m. on Nov.2.

She will likely be joined by several former Prestwood students who will share poems of their own.

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