NAPA, CA – Aisha Rivera has been selected as the 2023-2025 Napa County Poet Laureate. As an ambassador for poetry, the Napa County Poet Laureate is expected to promote poetry, strive to forge a meaningful connection with the community, and undertake projects that make poetry more available and more accessible to people in their everyday lives.
“I have a passion for poetry, but also for diversity and giving back to my community. I believe that poetry can be a powerful tool to not only move us emotionally but illuminate topics that we may otherwise not talk about,” said Rivera in their application. “Diverse poetry that speaks about intersectional issues, I believe, can be the start of very important conversations. I also want to serve our community and be a Poet Laureate who supports diversity and positive social change. I want to see the written arts thrive and support the creative voices of those in our community. I have always been a poet, but I believe poets are born, made, and found every day. And even if one is not a poet, they can benefit from hearing or reading a really good poem."
Rivera graduated from California State University, Fullerton with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Theater Art. They also attended Napa Valley College where Rivera earned an Associate of Arts in Psychology and Associate of Science in Natural Science and Mathematics. Rivera’s experience includes working as Equity and Inclusion Committee Head at Arts Council Napa Valley, Social Justice Educator at LGBTQ Resource Center, and more. Rivera currently serves as a board member for Arts Council Napa Valley.
Prior to Rivera, Marianne Lyon served as Napa County’s Poet Laureate from 2021-2023. After a 43-year career as a vocal music teacher, Lyon returned to the Napa Valley to write poetry and has 240 poems published in various literary magazines, journals, and reviews.
Napa County’s Poet Laureate is an honorary volunteer position appointed by the Napa County Board of Supervisors.