Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Local journalist to discuss California's first poet laureate at Fairfield Library

(Originally published in the 3/30/16 edition)

   In honor of National Poetry Month, Bay Area journalist Aleta George will be at the Fairfield Cordelia Library to discuss her new book “Ina Coolbrith: The Bittersweet Song of California's First Poet Laureate.”
   George, who has written for the San Francisco Chronicle and Los Angeles Times, has read passages from her book in several Bay Area locations and even promoted it on C-SPAN. 
   The book talks about the life of Coolbrith, who was named as the first poet laureate of California during the Panama-Pacific International Expansion in 1915 as well as the first poet laureate of any state in America. She was born in Nauvoo, Ill. as the daughter of Don Carlos Smith, the youngest brother of Mormon Church founder Joseph Smith. Coolbrith's views were rather progressive, as she fought gender discrimination in the workplace and even flirted with the idea of same-sex marriage, according to George.
   Coolbrith also had a respectable career as Oakland's first public librarian where she mentored a young Jack London. Additionally, she befriended John Muir and Mark Twain and continued writing poetry until her death in 1928.

   The discussion will take place at 7 p.m., Tuesday, April 12 at the Fairfield Cordelia Library, located at 5050 Business Center Drive in Fairfield. For more information, call 1-866-572-7587 or visit

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