What Still Matters cover

Johanna Ely, “What Still Matters”

Interviewed on Literary Dialogs with Nina Serrano

Johanna Ely: “What Still Matters”

Johanna Ely, in “What Still Matters,” focuses on her poetry written during the pandemic years. The reader can share in Ely’s sense of loss from the pandemic, but also her heightened appreciation of nature and its beauties. In addition to that, readers can share in her dreams and the whimsical pleasures that also came her way, like the music from the neighboring children’s ballet class.

Johanna Ely book cover of What Still Matters

It was such a pleasure to interview Johanna Ely again on Literary Dialogs with Nina Serrano, about her new book, What Still Matters. She is so prolific, offering us more inspiring poems which she reads in this interview.

It was fortunate for me to meet Johanna Ely when I first came to Vallejo in 2016 when she was the poet laureate of nearby Benicia. Through her, I became aware of the rich poetry scene of this area and its varied and fascinating poets. She appeared to me as a queen among them. I hope to introduce you to more of these exciting poets, on Literary Dialogs with Nina Serrano in the future.

Other Bay Area Poet Laureate Interviews

Literary Dialogs with Nina Serrano has presented many interviews with other Poet Laureates from this region. First in the list was Genea Brice, Vallejo’s first Poet Laureate in 2016.

This blog post with Johanna Ely is my third interview with Johanna. The first was my 2016 interview when she was the sixth Poet Laureate of Benicia. I interviewed her again in 2020 with the publication of her book Postcards from a Dream.

I interviewed Thomas Stanton, Benicia’s 7th Poet Laureate, in 2019.

I interviewed DL Lang, Vallejo’s second Poet Laureate also in 2019.

Again in 2019, I interviewed  Devorah Major, the first African-American poet laureate of San Francisco who served from 2002-2006 as the city’s 3rd Poet Laureate. 

I interviewed Tongo Eisen Martin, San Francisco’s 8th Poet Laureate in a two part episode with his tribute to QR Hand at the time of QR’s passing in 2021.

Soon after came the Literary Dialogs interview with Rafael Jesús González, Berkeley’s First Poet Laureate, paying tribute to Black Lives Matter. I have interviewed Rafael many times for La Raza Chronicles / KPFA.

Upcoming Radio Broadcast Dates for Johanna’s Interview

Tuesday, October 10, 2023, Cover to Cover, KPFA 94.1 FM, 2:30 PM

Thursday, October 12, 2023, OZCAT , 89.5 FM 10:30 AM.

Tuesday, November 7, 2023, Nina and Jack Show, KPFA 94.1 FM, 2:30 PM

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