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Poetry Month 2021: The Napa Valley Poets

Poets and Their Works

Jane Hirshfield

Brief Biography

Jane Hirshfield is an award-winning poet, essay writer, translator, and teacher.  She was one of the faculty for the 2013 Napa Valley Writer's Conference.  She graduated from Princeton University and practices Zen Buddhism, which had a profound effect on her poetry.  Hirshfield has been a visiting poet at Stanford University and UC-Berkeley, and she has also served on the faculty for Bennington’s MFA Writing Seminars. Her many awards include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Guggenheim Foundation. Other honors include the Poetry Center Book Award, Columbia University’s Translation Center Award, the Bay Area Book Reviewer’s Award, the California Book Award, and the Hall-Kenyon Award.  In 2004, Hirshfield received the Academy Fellowship from the Academy of American Poets, and in 2012, she was elected a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. In 2019, Hirshfield was inducted into the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.  In particular, Hirshield's works occupy a fascinating liminal space between poetry, the sciences, and the crisis of the biosphere.  

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Jane Mead

Brief Biography

Jane Mead was a Napa resident who has managed her family's ranch and grape growing operation until she succumbed to cancer in 2019.  She wrote five collections of poetry, and she was also a finalist for the Griffin Prize and the Los Angeles Times Poetry Prize.  In addition to these, Mead was honored with a Whiting Writers Award, as well as a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship.  Mead taught at the Iowa Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa and participated in the Napa Valley Writers' Conference.

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Gary Silva

Brief Biography

Gary Silva is a resident of Napa and has lived in California most of his life.  He completed his M.A. in literature and poetry writing at CSU, Fresno, and his M.F.A. in poetry writing at UC Irvine.  He taught at Napa Valley College from 1990 until he retired in 2008.  He was also Poet Laureate of Napa County from 2008-2010.  Gary Silva has had a lifelong passion for poetry and published poems in literary magazines across the United States.  He also has four chapbooks:  The Back-up Café, Photograph of a Nude, Ceramics, and Elemental Tanka.

Poetry Collections Available for Check out at Our Library

Articles of Interest