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 eleven books and one spoken word album. Her work has also been anthologized in Marin Poetry Center Anthology, Vol. 21, A Poet’s Siddur, Light & Shadow, and Verses, Voices & Visions of Vallejo. Lang has been a featured act at numerous events in Vallejo and poetry shows around the bay area. 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, ReformJudaism.org, 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. Her poem “Is” is included in the Marin Poetry Center Anthology, Vol 21. Five of her poems were reprinted in Verses, Voices, & Visions of Vallejo which she also edited.
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 been a regular spoken word performer at Poetry by the Bay since 2015, performed at Poetry Day at the Alameda County Fair in 2017 and San Mateo County Fair in 2018, and was a featured spoken word performer at the Vallejo Man March peace rally in 2016. She has also guest hosted Poetry by the Bay, served as a judge for the Solano County Poetry Out Loud Competition in 2017, 2018, and 2019, as well as for the Solano County Library Teen Writing Competition Write On! in 2018, and taught self-publishing to the JFK Library’s Poetry in Notion and the Benicia First Tuesday Poets.
As Vallejo’s Poet Laureate she performed for several Vallejo events and organizations, including Resilient by Design, 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, Families Belong Together, 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 also been a featured act at poetry shows around the bay area including My Word Open Mic in Berkeley, Rosanna’s in Benicia, Gears Turning in San Francisco, Fish Bowl Poetry in Monterey, and as a mystery poet at the Benicia First Tuesday Poets. Lang has also featured as a part of the Marin Poetry Center’s Travelling Show in Fairfax, San Rafael, and Novato. She has performed at fundraisers for the Solano County Library Foundation in Fairfield and the Joel Fallon Poetry Scholarship in Benicia. She also organized, hosted, and performed at the 2018 and 2019 National Poetry Month event at the JFK Library and Poetry in Notion at the McCune in the summer of 2018.
Lang was also interviewed by Nina Serrano for KPFA’s Poet to Poet, by DJ LaLa for OZCAT radio’s Art Beat, and for the Duck Soop Podcast. 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.
Lang presented on two notable Jewish female poets and performed for the American Association of University Women in 2018’s Voices of Change event, and also had the honor of giving a call and response invocation at the 2019 Women Building Vallejo Summit.
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.