Laureate Archive 2018

September 2018

Note how the Summer Light Turns

Maya KhoslaSo much of this year has been full of new beginnings. If you have a moment, stop and think about one snapshot. It could be a photo you took with your phone or camera, or it could be in an image that has remained with you. You might have been in a rush, but for some reason that moment, that image, was important. And you hoped to keep in mind.

Consider the details of that image and take a moment to write about it. Perhaps you can simply create a short sketch in words, a sketch that expresses just a few details of that image. Or perhaps it can go a little beyond that moment – how you felt, why it was important, who else was present, and who was absent. There’s no pressure here – the minute you put yourself under pressure to write is the minute the words tend to escape like so much water in a stream. So begin small and simple, just a few words to celebrate that image. Your lines don’t have to follow any rules – just as long as they recapture that moment…

Maya Khosla
Poet Laureate, Sonoma County (2018-2020)

California buckeye, sprouting after the 2017 wildfires

California buckeye, sprouting after the 2017 wildfires. Photo taken on Jan 3 2018.
KRCB TV Sonoma fire update







Iris Dunkle

January 2018

Let’s Poem a Day our Way into 2018!

For most of us in Sonoma County, 2017 has been a challenging year with the most dramatic and devastating event being the wildfires that blazed through and forever changed our lives this past October. To begin 2018 on a positive note, I’m leading a free, online poem-a-day group on Nicenet Each morning, I will post a prompt and you will have all day to write a poem in response to it and post it under the day’s prompt. You will also be able to see all your fellow group member’s poems posted and you can leave brief comments on these poems if you like. (We try to stay positive though in a poem-a-day environment though because let’s face it it’s tough to write a poem in a single day!) Many of the prompts will be about the Sonoma and Napa county wildfires: remembering and reflecting on all that we lost and all that we gained as a community from this tragedy.

All are welcome to join! (There is no age limit!) So, please tell a friend! Also, if the idea of writing a poem-a-day terrifies you, don’t worry! You can join and only write a few poems.

Here are the instructions to join:

Go to
Set up an account.
Find our class: Poem a Day January 2018
Enter the key: 838ZZ63P36

I look forward to writing with you! Please feel free to send me an email ( if you have any questions!

Iris Jamahl Dunkle
Sonoma County Poet Laureate 2016-2017


Iris Jamahl Dunkle’s  poetry collections, Gold Passage (2013) There’s a Ghost in this Machine of Air (2015), and Interrupted Geographies (2017), are available at:


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

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