Bio of Vallejo Poet Laureate, D.L. Lang
“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.”
D.L. Lang is the current Poet Laureate of Vallejo, California. She is the author of ten books, and one spoken word album. Her poems have been published in the Benicia Herald, Jewish Journal, Poets Are Heroes Magazine, on ReformJudaism.org, the Benicia First Tuesday Poets anthology Light & Shadow, Marin Poetry Center Anthology, Vol. 21, and in A Poet’s Siddur: Friday Evening Liturgy through the Eyes of Poets. Lang has been a featured act at several events including the Vallejo Man March, Unity Day, Solidarity with Charlottesville, and International Peace Day. She is also a regular at Poetry by the Bay and leads the Poetry in Notion poetry circle. She has won ribbons and rosettes at the Alameda, Marin, San Mateo, and Solano County Fairs. Her poems have been transformed into songs, liturgy, and used as a means to advocate for causes. Her website is www.poetryebook.com
D.L. Lang is the second Poet Laureate of Vallejo, California (2017-2019). She is the author of Tea & Sprockets, Abundant Sparks & Personal Archeology, Look Ma! No Hands!, Poet Loiterer, Id Biscuits, Barefoot in the Sanctuary, Armor Against The Dawn, Dragonfly Tomorrows & Dog-eared Yesterdays, Resting on My Laurels, and The Cafe of Dreams. She has also released a chapbook compilation entitled Wanderings and her debut spoken word album entitled Happy Accidents.
Her poetry has also been published in the Benicia Herald, Poets Are Heroes Magazine, and the Jewish Journal of Los Angeles. Several of her pieces have been honored with awards at the Solano County Fair, Alameda County Fair, San Mateo County Fair, and the Marin County Fair. Her interpretation of “V’shamru” entitled “Watch this Space” is included in A Poet’s Siddur by Ain’t Got No Press, edited by Rick Lupert. Four of her poems are included in the 2018 Benicia First Tuesday Poets anthology, Light & Shadow.
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 also guest hosted Poetry by the Bay, served as a judge for the Solano County Poetry Out Loud Competition and the Solano County Library Teen Writing Competition, taught self-publishing to the JFK Library’s Poetry in Notion and the Benicia First Tuesday Poets. She has read her poetry live on OZCAT Radio 89.5 FM, and was interviewed on the Duck Soop podcast.
As Vallejo’s Poet Laureate she performed for the Resilient by Design environmentalists, Vallejo’s Unity Day, Vallejo Peace Project’s International Peace Day rally, the debut of Queer Words Vallejo, Participatory Budgeting, the Vallejo March for Peace and Justice, Vallejo’s Families Belong Together rally, Vallejo’s Solidarity with Charlottesville rally, Vallejo Soup, Vallejo United Against Hatred & Anti-Semitism, Hanukkah & Hilarity, and Voices of the Season: Holiday Prose and Poetry at the McCune. She has featured at My Word Open Mic in Berkeley, Rosanna’s in Benicia, at the McCune, and on OZCAT radio. She was also interviewed by Nina Serrano for KPFA. She has written and performed ekphrastic poems for events at Coal Shed Art Studios, Arts Benicia, Gallery 621, and Benicia Plein Air Gallery. Since August 2017, she has hosted Poetry in Notion at the JFK Library. She also organized, hosted, and performed at the 2018 National Poetry Month event at the JFK Library. She presented on two notable Jewish female poets and performed for the American Association of University Women, and performed at fundraisers for the Solano County Library Foundation and Benicia’s Joel Fallon Poetry Scholarship.
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 was born in Germany to a German mother and an American soldier. Her early years were spent in Germany, Texas, Louisiana, and ultimately Enid, Oklahoma. She left Oklahoma for California in 2005 after graduating college, and has resided 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.
Her writings are a blend of memory, history, imagination, reality, politics, and spirituality. 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. Due to its often idealistic vision of a better, more peaceful world, Lang enjoys the music of the 1960s the most. She publishes her poetry collections under the nom de plume D.L. Lang, which is really just her initials in order to avoid confusion with several namefellows, including some who are already established authors and poets living in California.
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. Musician Fred Ross-Perry was also inspired by some of her lines to create the song “Peace Will Come.”
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.