.Marin County Poet Laureate Francesca Bell

As the current poet laureate of Marin County, Francesca Bell’s goal is to “share the many gifts poetry has to offer as widely as possible, particularly with those who may not have had much exposure to it before—the unsheltered, those experiencing incarceration, children and others who may have simply never given poetry much of a try.”

What do you do? I’m a poet and translator. I’m the current poet laureate of Marin County, events coordinator of the Marin Poetry Center, translation editor of Los Angeles Review and arts program coordinator of the Friends of the San Quentin Library.

Where do you live? Novato.

music in the park san jose
music in the park san jose

How long have you lived in Marin? 25 years. I’ve raised three children and several dogs in Marin and have lived here longer than I have lived anywhere else in my life.

Where can we find you when you’re not at work? I’m most often running the trails in the Rush Creek Open Space Preserve or at home writing, embroidering or hanging out with my dogs.

If you had to convince someone how awesome Marin is, where would you take them? I would take them for a hike at Indian Valley that ended up at the big waterfall. We would have lunch at Rustic Bakery in the Marin Country Mart, and then we would head out to Point Reyes Station for dessert from the Bovine Bakery.

What’s one thing Marin is missing? Affordable housing.

What’s one bit of advice you’d share with your fellow Marinites? Don’t forget to avail yourself of our amazing open space.

If you could invite anyone to a special dinner, who would you have at the table? Abraham Lincoln, Vladimir Putin and Anne Sexton.

What’s some advice you wish you knew 20 years ago? I wish someone had advised me to spend more time on my writing, less time on domestic chores!

What’s something that 20 years from now will seem cringeworthy? I think we’ll look back in 20 years and cringe that we did so little to curb climate change, that we kept driving and flying and consuming, as if we had nothing to lose.

Big question. What’s one thing you’d do to change the world? If I could do anything to change the world, I would make people more empathetic.

Keep up with Bell at francescabellpoet.com.

Nish Nadaraja was on the founding team at Yelp, serves on the San Anselmo Arts Commission and used to write Yelp reviews as haikus.


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