Poet Laureate’s News

Iris DunkleJune 2017

Gaye LeBaron giving her introductory remarks

Gaye LeBaron giving her introductory remarks.

One of the great things about being Poet Laureate are the events you get asked to attend.  Last Sunday, I got to take part in the first Finding History in Sonoma County Day held at the De Turk Round barn in Santa Rosa.  It was a bustling event. Gaye LeBaron kicked off the event with a history lesson about the historic building we were standing in.  The entire balcony was filled with exhibitors from the California Indian Museum & Cultural Center, Luther Burbank Home and Gardens, Sonoma State University, Special Collections, West County Historical Society and so many more! All day, the air was alive with history.

The Ceiling of the De Turk Round Barn

The Ceiling of the De Turk Round Barn

Posing for a photograph with Kris Murphy at the Glen Ellen Historical Society Booth

Posing with Kris Murphy at the Glen Ellen Historical Society Booth








Another historical event is coming up in June, that you won’t want to miss. On Sunday, June 11 at 4:00 pm we will be celebrating the winners of the History of Sonoma County Poetry Contest sponsored by the Sebastopol Center for the Arts.  Below is a list of the winners.  Please join us as we listen to them read their incredible poems about the history of our county in the dining room of the Sebastopol Center for the Arts on June 11.

Adult Category:

1 Suzanne Maxson Not a Place
2 Sandy Eastoak basket
3 Christine Walker For the Orchard
Honorable Mention Nina Tepedino Russian River Voices
Honorable Mention crystal ockenfuss One True Cross
Honorable Mention Terry Ehret Petaluma, Who Calls You Home?
Honorable Mention Steve Trenam Running Fence
Honorable Mention Ernesto Garay The Relentless Farmworker
Honorable Mention Cynthia Poten The Joe Redota Trail
Honorable Mention Cynthia Poten Tso’noma Song
Youth Category:
1 Mira Sugino History
2 Owen Dawson Bloomfield Road
Junior High
1 Carmen Jimenez My Home Only
2 Zoey Sugino Steel Horses
High School
1 Dane Beatie Of Sonoma’s People


Finally, you won’t want to miss it! June 17 is the Sebastopol Lit Crawl! I’ll be reading with the winners of the History of Sonoma County Poetry Contest at Copperfield’s in Sebastopol from 3:00 – 4:00 pm. Hope to see you at one of these upcoming events!

Iris Jamahl Dunkle
Sonoma County Poet Laureate 2016-2017


Iris Jamahl Dunkle’s new poetry collection, There’s a Ghost in this Machine of Air, is now available at: www.irisjamahldunkle.com. Also now available in audio book:


Archives of previous Poet Laureate columns may be found here for 2012,  2013, 2014,  2015 and 2016-2017.

Sonoma County Literary Update logo

%d bloggers like this: