Sunday, May 9

Marianne Lyon, music teacher who turned to verse, named Napa County’s poet laureate | Lifestyles

A stint teaching at the Hong Kong International School from 2009 to 2012 set Lyon on a road to writing standalone verses, a path she estimates has produced about 240 published poems.

“I really had some experiences in my travels that inspired me to write, (like) ancient poets that you’d read and think, ‘Oh my God, the 12th century in China, the poetry written about Great Wall,’” said Lyon, who is now an adjunct music professor for Touro University in Vallejo. “And so I started to write about my travels while in Hong Kong and when I came home … that’s when I started to write poetry without putting it to music.”

Lyon’s latest position will include appearing at various public events, linking poets to the community, and inspiring others in their writing, performance and personal expression.

“I want for talented people in the collective to offer those who never viewed themselves as poets many venues to ignite their inner poet,” she said, referring to religious services, informal singing and other forms of versifying in everyday life. Poetry is a part of everyone’s life, even if they don’t know it.”

As the county’s literary ambassador, Lyon hopes to forge a similar bond between verse and music, as well as a stronger outreach to residents. Her plans include assembling a “Revolutionary Poets Society” collective to encourage a wider range of Napans – including Spanish-speakers and local students – to give voice to their life experiences, along with a series of concerts about once every two months to showcase new poetry and instrumental music based on those works.

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