Bio of Poet, D.L. Lang

Photo of Diana Lang by Willo Hausman.
Photo by Willo Hausman.

“Poems that embrace spoken-word rhythms and hippie principles, inspired by the author’s love of music and nature, her peace activism, and her gratitude for Jewish community.”

Kirkus Reviews

D.L. Lang is the second Poet Laureate of Vallejo, California (2017-2019). She is the author of eight poetry collections, and one spoken word album. Her work has also been published in the Benicia Herald and the Jewish Journal. Several of her pieces have been honored with awards at the Solano County Fair, Alameda County Fair, and the Marin County Fair. She is currently composing the poems that will comprise her 9th book entitled Dragonfly Tomorrows & Dog-eared Yesterdays.

Lang has been reading her poems to the public since 2014, when she became inspired to perform on a regular basis after an open mic at her synagogue. She has since been a regular spoken word performer at Poetry by the Bay since 2015, featured as a part of the Marin Poetry Center’s Travelling Show, a mystery poet at the Benicia First Tuesday Poets, performed at Poetry Day at the Alameda County Fair, and was a featured spoken word performer at the Vallejo Man March peace rally. She has guest hosted Poetry by the Bay, served as a judge for the Solano County Poetry Out Loud Competition, taught self-publishing to the JFK Library’s Poetry in Notion group, and was interviewed on the Duck Soop podcast.

D.L. Lang holds a B.A. in Film & Video Studies with a minor in Judaic Studies from the University of Oklahoma and an A.S. in General Studies from Northern Oklahoma College. She has lived in many places, and resides in Vallejo, California with her husband since 2014.

D.L. Lang has been writing poetry for over twenty years, since she first got a taste of it in elementary school while growing up in Enid, Oklahoma, a town which happens to be named after a character in a poem, “Enid and Geraint” in Idylls of the King. Over the years Enid, Oklahoma has been home to a few notable poets, including J. Quinn Brisben, Quraysh Ali Lansana, Oklahoma State Poets Laureate Carol Hamilton and Bess Truitt.

Her deepest artistic influences are not poets but musicians. She finds herself learning new vocabulary and analyzing rhyming patterns and themes in song lyrics most often. Lang enjoys the music of the 1960s the most. She publishes poetry collections under the nom de plume D.L. Lang, which is really just her initials, since there are namefellows who are already established authors and poets living in California.

Jewish musician Dan Nichols had a profound effect on her growth as a person and as an artist by encouraging her both spiritually and artistically, both directly and through his music, to seek meaning in art, to make meaningful art, and to chase her dreams. It was an open mic at her synagogue organized by Dan that got her performing in the first place.

She’s related to several historical figures, including two of the poet variety: John Cotton who wrote what is considered the first notable American poem when he wrote an elegy for Nathaniel Bacon during Bacon’s Rebellion. John Cotton is one of her 9th great grandfathers. Another is John Reed, the bohemian poet who was actually more famous for his journalism covering the Russian Revolution. John Reed is a 7th cousin 4 generations removed.

Although poetry is her passion, she has a creative background that spans several different mediums. She spent several years designing the website and producing music videos for Grey, a rock musician in Enid, Oklahoma. Lang designed the album covers for many of Grey’s albums, including Faded Colours, Colours, Rock & Pop, Words & Music, Anamnesis, Ice World, Inquire Within, Live at PEGASYS, and Acoustic Grey. In addition, she designed the album cover for We’re Almost Gone, the debut album by the group Bermuda County, whose musicians often play on Grey’s albums.

Although she has since moved on from providing these services, Grey produced her spoken word album Happy Accidents and the song “Last Chance Disaster” at his Grey Havens Studios. Grey also transformed four of her poems into the song, “Oh, My Chameleon Perceptions” which appears on his latest release Booze & Psychedelics. Visit the recordings section to listen to it and other songs inspired by D.L. Lang’s poetry.

D.L. Lang majored in film in college, working at the television stations KXOK and TV4OU, and volunteering at PEGASYS, where she was awarded Best Editor in 2002, and Producer of the Year in both 2003 and 2004. She edited Charles Maupin’s Liquid Wind (2004), a documentary about windsurfing and kiteboarding on Lake Hefner in Oklahoma. It won Best Film Trailer at Bare Bones Film Festival in 2004 and still shows regularly in Oklahoma on PBS. She directed, scored, edited, filmed, and appeared in the Hebrew language film, The Hebrew Project (2005) which is a documentary about the Hebrew program run by Dr. Ori Kritz at the University of Oklahoma. This film was optioned by The Jewish Channel and aired in 2009.