Iris Jamahl Dunkle is our New Poet Laureate

Sebastopol resident Iris Jamahl Dunkle has been named the ninth poet laureate of Sonoma County for 2016 and 2017.  Dunkle is the author of two full-length collections of poetry, Gold Passage (Trio House Press, 2013) and, most recently, There’s a Ghost in this Machine of Air (Wordtech Editions, December 2015).  Her latest collection focuses on the history of Sonoma County and includes poems titled “Dear Sebastopol”, “Before the Union Man Caused the Apple Strike”, “Moon Over Laguna de Santa Rosa” and “Pleasant Hill, Cemetery, Sebastopol, CA”, among others.  Dunkle, is planning a number of projects over her two-year term including teaching local history via a writing workshop for Sonoma County teachers; writing workshops at historic sites throughout the county; an anthology of poetry about the history of Sonoma County and a monthly column in the Press Democrat called “Poet’s Corner.” 

The Sebastopol Center for the Arts will celebrate the passing of the laurel wreath to her on Sunday January 31 at 3pm, as well as the traditional poetry reading at the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors meeting.  Pick up your pen and get involved!

Congratulations, Iris, and congratulations Sonoma County.


Previous Poets Laureate:

Don Emblen,  2000-2001

David Bromige,  2002-2003

Terry Ehret,  2004 - 2005

Geri Digiorno, 2006-2007

Mike Tuggle,  2008-2009

Gwynn O'Gara, 2010 - 2011

Bill Vartnaw, 2012-2013

Katherine Hastings  2014-2015


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