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Poetry event at Sonoma library

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Three poets laureate and two student poet award winners will gather for a poetry reading at Sonoma Valley Library on Saturday, Jan 11.

Dana Gioia, a former California Poet Laureate, will join former Sonoma County poets laureate Iris Jamahl Dunkle and Terry Ehret at the reading. Zoya Ahmed and Hannah Minton, two student winners of the previous Poets Out Loud (POL) competitions, will recite poems. POL was launched by Gioia.

During the event, the work of the late Geri Digiorno, also a former Sonoma Poet Laureate and founder of the Petaluma Poetry Walk, will be honored.

The reading will be held at the library at 3 p.m. Refreshments will be served.

The author of five books of poetry and four books of essays, Gioia is the former chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. Winner of the 2018 Poets’ Prize for “99 Poems: New & Selected,” Gioia’s collection of essays “Can Poetry Matter?” was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle award. The first person in his family to attend college, he received a B.A. and M.B.A. from Stanford and a master’s degree from Harvard in comparative literature. He has launched such programs as Poetry Out Loud, the Big Read and Shakespeare in American Communities.

Jamahl Dunkle is the author of three poetry collections. Her biography on Charmian London, Jack London’s wife, is due to be published by University of Oklahoma Press in 2020. Jamahl Dunkle teaches at Napa Valley College and is Poetry Director at the Napa Valley Writers Conference.

The author of three poetry collections, Terry Ehret’s poetry, essays, stories and reviews have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies, and her poems have won literary awards including the National Poetry Series, California Commonwealth Club Book Award and four Pushcart Prize nominations. Ehret is the co-founder of Sixteen Rivers Press, a publishing collective for Northern California poets.

The event is being organized by Maya Khosla, Sonoma County’s current Poet Laureate. Learn more at socolitupdate.com/poet-laureates-news/.

The library is located at 755 W. Napa St.

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