In honor of National Poetry Month, the Napa Valley Writers' Conference will host an evening of readings featuring California poet laureate Dana Gioia Saturday, April 15, at 6:30 p.m., at the Napa Valley College Upper Valley Campus, 1088 College Ave., St. Helena.
Gioia has published five full-length collections of poetry, most recently 99 Poems: New & Selected. His volume Interrogations at Noon won the 2002 American Book Award. An influential critic as well, Gioia's 1991 volume Can Poetry Matter?, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle award, is credited with helping to revive the role of poetry in American public culture.
As Chairman of the National Endowment of the Arts from 2003 to 2009, Gioia garnered bi-partisan support in the United States Congress and strengthened the national consensus in favor of public funding for the arts and arts education. (Business Week magazine referred to him as "The Man Who Saved the NEA.")
The Napa Valley Writers' Conference is a project of Napa Valley College. The event, which is part of Arts Council Napa Valley's Arts in April festival, will begin with a wine reception at 6:30 p.m., followed by the presentation at 7 p.m. Also featured in the lineup of poets:
- NVC English instructor Iris Jamahl Dunkle, the current Poet Laureate of Sonoma County, the untold history of which is the subject of her second poetry collection, There's a Ghost in this Machine of Air.
- Caroline Goodwin's third book, The Paper Tree, will be published this year. From 2014 – 2016 she served as the first Poet Laureate of San Mateo County.
- Rachel Richardson has written two books of poetry, Copperhead and Hundred-Year Wave, both selections in the Carnegie Mellon Poetry Series. She is the co-founder, with David Roderick, of Left Margin Lit.
- David Roderick is the author of two volumes of poetry and writes the poetry column "State Lines" for the San Francisco Chronicle. He is the co-founder, with Rachel Richardson, of Left Margin Lit.
- Napa County Poet Laureate Beclee Newcomer Wilson is the author of four collections of poetry, the most recent of which, Reflections, was released in February.
Admission is free, with a suggested donation of $20 per person payable at the door. To reserve a seat, and for more information, visit napawritersconference.org. To join the conference community online, "like" the conference at facebook.com/napawriters or follow twitter.com/napawrit