Some of you who live in Sonoma County may not even know you have a poet laureate, but you do. You’ve had a half a dozen of ’em so far, in fact.

The sixth and newest Sonoma County Poet Laureate is Gwynn O’Gara of Sebastopol, known in Northern California both as a writer and as a writing teacher.

She has been active in the California Poets in the Schools program for the past 20 years, and recently taught classes in the popular “Writer’s Sampler” series at Sebastopol Community Center for the Arts.

And she is the author of three poetry collections : “Winter at Green Haven,” 2008; “Fixer-Upper,” 2007; “Snake Woman Poems,” 1983. She is the co-author of “Fruit of Life: Poems of Passion and Politics,” 2006.

For a quick sample of her work,¬† here’s the last stanza of the title poem from¬† “Fixer-Upper”:

Pour your savings into me.
Give me all you’ve got.
You could use a fresh start.
Renew, renew.
Not just me, but you.

O’Gara was chosen by a committee including representatives from the Sebastopol Center for the Arts, Sonoma State University, Santa Rosa Junior College, the Sonoma County Library and each of the county’s five supervisor districts, as well as the previous poet laureates. Her term will run through 2011.

The selection committee will host a public reception honoring Gwynn at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 29 at the main branch of the Sonoma County Library, Third and E Streets, Santa Rosa.

For information, call the Sebastopol Center for the Arts at (707) 829-4797.

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