Past Napa County Poet Laureates

Portrait of Jeremy Benson

2017-2021, Jeremy Benson

Jeremy Benson is an organic farmer who also writes poetry.  He began writing in high school and continued in college, taking classes at Hope College in Michigan.  He often combines his love of language and his love of nature when he writes.  Prior to the pandemic, Benson held "office hours" at local venues, such as the Napa Main Library, attended poetry slams, and judged the Napa Valley County library's teen poetry slam.  In 2017, he was appointed by the Napa County Library, in partnership with Arts Council Napa Valley, as Napa's poet laureate.  In this capacity, Benson wanted to share his love of poetry with young folks and get them writing.

Portrait of Beclee Wilson

2015-2017, Beclee Wilson

Beclee Wilson is a resident of St. Helena and was selected as the Napa Poet Laureate in 2015 and served until 2017.  A graduate of Northwestern University’s School of Speech, where she earned an MA, and a graduate of the University of Michigan with a Ph.D., Wilson is no stranger to the power of language.  She understands the performative power of poetry and the impact that hearing, rather than simply reading poetry, has.  She has shared her love of the written word with fourth and fifth graders at St. Helena Elementary School, helping them access their inner poets. She is especially interested in making April's Poetry Month a much more visible and important part of the local elementary schools' language arts curriculum. Wilson also attends the Napa Valley Writer’s Conference almost every year.  She is passionate about providing more opportunities for local poets to publish their work, advocating for poetry to be published in local newspapers.