Arts Council Napa Valley (ACNV) announces the newly selected Napa County Poet Laureate Marianne Lyon, unanimously appointed by the Napa County Board of Supervisors on March 16, 2021. Lyon succeeds the position of Jeremy Benson and will serve a two-year term through 2023.

Marianne was a vocal music teacher for 43 years. Her career includes teaching in Minneapolis, Brussels, Belgium, NVUSD and Hong Kong. After teaching in Hong Kong from 2009 -2012, Lyon returned to the Napa Valley to seriously write poetry. To date, she has 240 poems published in various literary magazines, journals and reviews including Ravens Perch, Leaping Clear, Slippery Elm, Black Fork Review.

Marianne endeavors to immerse our community in the art of poetry as writers, readers and audiences alike. She is honored to be a member of the California Writers Club, Solstice Writers in St. Helena and Cofounder of Wordsmiths of Yountville.

“I want to offer those who have never viewed themselves as a poet many venues and talented mentors to ignite their inner-poet. Through my teaching career, there are few people I have met who have not been brushed by poetry. Their stories inspired songs, verse, even quirky rhymes. Often their memories haloed their verse. Poetry is a part of everyone’s life even if they are not aware of it,” Lyon explained.

As an ambassador for poetry and literary arts, the Napa County Poet Laureate is expected to promote citizens’ awareness of poetry as well as heighten their appreciation of the art form. The Poet Laureate forges a meaningful connection between poetry and the community, undertaking projects that make poetry more available and more accessible to people in their everyday lives.

During the Laureate’s two-year appointment, she will officiate at selected public gatherings both virtual and in-person when safe, initiate a dialogue between poets and the community, inspire others in writing and personal expression and bring recognition to the history and tradition of poetry in Napa County. “I want to build a movement in Napa county that bespeaks Poetry as a Revolution. As poets emerge and are honored more will attempt to write a verse, share it, publish it,” said Lyon.