We are thrilled to host an evening with several local poet laureates as well as the editor of Undocumented: Great Lakes Poets Laureate on Social Justice, for an evening to present work on and discuss the topic of social justice. This event is presented in conjunction with the Napa Center for Thought and Culture.
Napa Poet Laureate Jeremy Benson (2017-2021) writes poems; he has also written novels, short stories, articles, personal essays, stand-up comedy routines, short films, and many letters. Jeremy aims to cultivate a rich community of writers, readers, and artists, whether as a participant, patron, or planner. He has emceed open mics, curated readings, hosted craft-ins, led workshops, and cof-founded the Broken Nose Collective, an annual exchange of hand-made chapbooks.
Vallejo Poet Laureate D.L. Lang (2017-2019) is the author of twelve books, most recently Midnight Strike, and one spoken word album, Happy Accidents. Her work has been anthologized in Marin Poetry Center Anthology, Vol. 21, A Poet’s Siddur, and Light & Shadow. She edited the 2019 anthology Verses, Voices & Visions of Vallejo. Lang has been a featured act at numerous events in Vallejo and poetry shows around the bay area. Her poems have been transformed into songs, liturgy, and used as a means to advocate for causes. Her website is: www.poetryebook.com
Richmond Poet Laureat Robert Lipton is helping develop a literary arts center for the city. He has been a Pushcart nominee and Gregory O’Donoghue Competition winner. His work has appeared in Interbang, Jacaranda Review, King Log, Shades of Contradiction, The Texas Observer, Parthenon West, New Orleans Quarterly, Journal of Human Architecture, Quillpuddle, Opium Magazine, Red Wheelbarrow, Oberon, Written Here, and Southword. His book, A Complex Bravery was published by Marick Press. He works as a spatial epidemiologist.
Ron Riekki, our emcee, wrote My Ancestors are Reindeer Herders and I Am Melting in Extinction (Loyola University Maryland’s Apprentice House Press), U.P.: a novel (Ghost Road Press), and Posttraumatic: A Memoir (Small Press Distribution). He edited Undocumented: Great Lakes Poets Laureate on Social Justice (Michigan State University Press), And Here: 100 Years of Upper Peninsula Writing, 1917-2017 (MSU Press), Here: Women Writing on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (MSU Press, Independent Publisher Book Award), The Way North: Collected Upper Peninsula New Works (Wayne State University Press, Michigan Notable Book), and The Many Lives of The Evil Dead: Essays on the Cult Film Franchise (McFarland). He is contracted for seven upcoming books.
Focusing on contemporary issues, this text showcases a large collection of regional poets laureate writing on subjects critical to understanding social justice as it relates to the Great Lakes region.