Two nature poets, Maya Khosla and Geri Hulse-Stephens, are featured readers at a poetry reading at the Willits Community Theatre on Saturday September 10 at 7 p.m.
Maya Khosla is a wildlife biologist and writer. Her poetry books include “All the Fires of Wind and Light” from Sixteen Rivers Press (2020 PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Literary Award), “Keel Bone” from Bear Star Press (Dorothy Brunsman Poetry Prize), and “Web of Water: Life in Redwood Creek” (from Golden Gate Parks). Her writing has been featured in documentary films including “Village of Dust, City of Water,” about the water crisis in rural India. Maya served as Sonoma County Poet Laureate from 2018 to 2020, and, as such, brought Sonoma’s communities together through poetry gatherings and field walks after the 2017 fires.
Little Lake Valley resident Geri Hulse-Stephens has been writing poetry for over thirty years. On New Year’s Day of 2020, before the word “pandemic” had integrated into our daily vocabulary, she resolved to write a poem every day for a year. She mostly succeeded, with the exception of about 5 nights that year. This poetry fetish continues, but with slightly less regularity.
Geri’s poetry is inspired by her devotion to nature and to spirit. In midlife, she worked in the field of counseling, as she used esoteric healing techniques to promote personal transformation. For the past 20 years she has worked as a botanical consultant and wetland specialist. Of her work as a botanist, Geri writes, “I work much of the year as a botanist, which means I spend most days from dawn to the close of day outside, in wild places, and in all kinds of weather. These places feed my poetry. They shake me into new perspectives and sometimes offer up surprising sights and insights.”
An open reading will follow the featured readers. Entrance to the reading is by donation, but no one will be turned away due to lack of funds. With regard to Covid-19, masking and vaccinations are recommended but not required.