Leonore Wilson on her Goals During her Term as Poet Laureate of Napa Valley

Leonore Wilson, author of Western Solstice [Hiraeth Press June 2011], has been named Poet Laureate of Napa Valley. Recently she gave an interview expounding on what she hopes to achieve during her term.


We asked Leonore what 10 things she would like to accomplish as Poet Laureate. Here are her top ten dreams for poetry in Napa County- though she gave us many more!

1.) Bring poetry into local schools, hospitals, jails, libraries (just about anywhere where I can transmute indifference into artistic passion!)

2.) Work with other artists collaboratively- Not just poets but also with
painters, musicians, and photographers.

3.) Bring a passel of extraordinary Bay Area poets to read in our valley.

4.) Donate more books as well as start a broadside series that will feature local poets as well as poets who write or wrote about the valley.

5.) Create ‘Poetry Homes.’ Ronna Leon (former Poet Laureate of Benicia) had these imitation mailboxes installed in her town. Poems of all sorts reside in these boxes and the public can contribute and take a poem at will.

6.) Coordinate poetry contests, especially in the schools. One of those contests would involve the River of Words. Former Poet Laureate of America Robert Hass began this competition so that children would get to know their local watersheds as well as the wildlife that thrive there. I have helped him with this contest in the past. I also taught children using the guidelines from the teacher’s handbook he developed.

7.) Form a magazine featuring local poets and writers

8.) Write a column for the local newspapers

9.) Host readings and poet picnics, and teach free workshops!

10.) Present movies based on poets throughout history

Arts Council Napa Valley and the County of Napa are pleased to welcome Leonore Wilson as the 2012-14 Poet Laureate. Wilson, Wilson, a former creative writing instructor at Napa Valley College, has won grants and fellowships including Writers and Work (University of Utah) and Villa Montalvo Center for the Arts in non-fiction and poetry respectively. Her writing has been featured in the Quarterly West, Madison Review, Third Coast, and Trivia: Voices of Feminism, with her latest collection of poems, Western Solstice, published by Hiraeth Press and available at Copperfield’s Bookstore in Napa. Wilson received her B.A. and M.A. degrees in English/Creative Writing from U.C. Davis, and is an alumna of St. Apollinaris School and Justin-Siena High School, both in Napa. She continues to live on her 1200 acre cattle ranch in the eastern hills of Napa that has been part of her family since 1915.


Read the original article on the Napa Valley Council of Arts’ homepage: http://www.artscouncilnapavalley.org/programs/poet_laureate.shtml


Western SolsticeWestern Solstice is now available to purchase in the Hiraeth Press bookstore.

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