Poet Laureate’s News

January 2020

Happy New Year 2020! 

Maya Khosla

OK, let me be more specific since many people are probably wishing you a happy New Year right now. I wish you a 2020 where poetry has a place on your bookshelf, desk and screen, among your cups, on your stove (yes, let it cook for a while), on your shoe soles, out along muddy trails, in waters whacked by salmon tail-fins, at the nodes of stems where new leaves grow despite the odds, in the quick, in the slow, in buds and knots of wood — so that poetry is there for you in darkness and in the peach and pale yellow light, where “country is just a little way out of town.”

Geri DiGiorno

Geri Digiorno

The “peach and pale yellow” and that last phrase about the country are from Geri Digiorno’s poem “people ask me how I like living in petaluma” (yes, the poem title is all lower case). In case you’re looking for the poem, it’s from her collection White Lipstick, which I pulled off my bookshelf this morning. I bought it after one of her readings years ago; I see she had signed her name under the title page. Geri was Sonoma Poet Laureate Emerita and founder of the Petaluma Poetry Walk. She passed away in December 2019.

sunset in sonoma

“the red sun disappears behind the silhouette of hills…” from the poem “people ask me how I like living in petaluma” by Geri Digiorno.

On the note about bringing poetry into your New 2020, I’m inviting you to a reading at Sonoma Valley Regional Library— Saturday, January 11 2020 at 3 p.m. To be precise, the invitation is coming from my colleagues at Sonoma Valley Regional Library in the town of Sonoma and also from me. We are thrilled about the poetry reading, which will feature Dana Gioia, California Poet Laureate Emeritus, Iris Jamahl Dunkle and Terry Ehret, Sonoma Poets Laureate Emerita. Zoya Ahmed and Hannah Minton, two student winners of the previous Poets Out Loud (POL) competitions, will recite poems (the POL program was launched by Dana Gioia, and thank you Phyllis Meshulam for inviting students).

During the gathering, we will take a few moments to honor the work of Geri Digiorno. The reading will be held at the library’s Forum Room. Refreshments will be served. Author books will be available for sale. Please do come to the library on January 11. We’ll celebrate together.

Maya Khosla
Sonoma Poet Laureate (2018-2020)


Archives of previous Poet Laureate columns may be found here for 2012,  2013, 2014,  20152016-2017 and 2018-2019.

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