About The Petaluma Poetry Walk

The Petaluma Poetry Walk is an annual poetry festival founded by the late poet Geri Digiorno in September 1996. Digiorno, a former Sonoma County Poet Laureate, established the event to celebrate poetry and create a community-centered experience in downtown Petaluma. The event features poets reading their works at various venues such as cafés, bookstores, theaters, and museums throughout the city.

The Petaluma Poetry Walk has hosted many notable poets during the years, including Diane DiPrima—a female voice in the Beat poetry movement, Poets Laureate from California, Sonoma County and beyond, award-winning poets of all ages, and emerging poets.

Over the years, the event has attracted notable poets and a diverse audience. It typically takes place on the third Sunday in September and includes readings in both English and Spanish. The event is a day-long “movable feast,” where participants walk to different locations to enjoy a variety of poetic performances. It has become a cherished tradition in Petaluma, reflecting the city’s rich cultural and literary heritage.

Petaluma Poetry Walk Founder

Geri Digorno is the author of multiple poetry books including White Lipstick (Red Hen Press) and I’m Tap Dancing. She founded the Petaluma Poetry Walk in 1996. Learn more about Digiorno here.

2024 Petaluma Poetry Walk Producers

Bill Vartnaw

Bill Vartnaw, Sonoma County Poet Laureate Emeritus (2012-13) has produced the Petaluma Poetry Walk for over a decade, following founder Geri Digiorno. He’s publisher of Taurean Horn Press, and the author of two books: In Concern: for Angels (Taurean Horn Press), and Suburbs of my Childhood (Beatitude Press).

Dave Seter

Dave Seter is the 2024-26 Sonoma County Poet Laureate. He’s an environmental engineer, poet, essayist, and the author of Don’t Sing to Me of Electric Fences (Cherry Grove Collections) and Night Duty (Main Street Rag) and an emerging translator of contemporary Lithuanian poetry. daveseter.com

Kary Hess

Kary Hess is a writer, artist/designer, and filmmaker. She’s the editor of Made Local Magazine, the author of 1912: Poems of Time, Place & Memory, the SparkTarot® Deck + Guidebook, and writes for North Bay Bohemian, Marin Pacific Sun, Faces Magazine, Explore Magazine, 50up Magazine, and Bohème magazine. karyhess.com

Photo by Jim Johnson

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