I have spoken to many audiences about Ina Coolbrith, pioneer poet, Oakland’s first public librarian, and the most popular literary ambassador in the early American West.

Coolbrith met with a series of challenges throughout her life that tested her devotion to her art. In the end, she put her full faith in poetry and her story reveals the saving grace of creativity in a woman’s life.

My talks about Coolbrith include stories about her colleagues Bret Harte, Mark Twain, Charles Warren Stoddard, and John Muir; her mentees Jack London, Isadora Duncan, and Calla Shasta Miller (Joaquin Miller's daughter); and her Mormon relatives including her uncle, Joseph Smith; her father Don Carlos Smith; and her cousin, Joseph F. Smith.

Upcoming Events

Featured Speaker
Celebrating Ina Coolbrith, California's first poet laureate
Sunday, October 20, 2019
2 - 4 p.m.
The McCune Room at JFK Library, Vallejo

Featured Speaker
Ina Coolbrith Circle's 100th Annual Poetry Banquet
The Perils and Pleasures of a Poetic Pilgrimage
Saturday, November 2, 2019
Noon to 4 p.m.
Zio Fraedo's, Pleasant Hill, CA
For reservations contact Gayle, or 925-689-0260
Prizes will be awarded for the 100th Annual Poetry Contest (deadline has passed)

To book Aleta George as a speaker, contact her at<at>

Past featured speaker presentations: Berkeley Breakfast Club; Berkeley Historical Society (walk and talk); Berkeley Path Wanderers Association (walk); Book Club of California; Books Inc., Berkeley; Book Passage, San Francisco; California Questers; California Writers Club, Berkeley and Fremont; California Native Plant Society: East Bay, Milo-Baker, San Francisco, and Santa Cruz,; Huntington Library, San Marino; Jack London State Park; Jack London Symposium 2016; Ina Coolbrith Circle (ICC), 2008, 2010; ICC Poetry Contest Banquet 2015; Laurel Books; Lincoln Poetry Group; Litquake 2015 (group poetry reading of Coolbrith's poems); Mechanics Institute; Oakland Museum of California; Oakland Public Library; Pardee House; Rianda House; San Francisco Browning Society; San Francisco Museum & Historical Society; San Francisco Public Library, Main and Merced Branches; St. Helena Public Library; Shaping San Francisco; Society of California Pioneers Auxiliary; Swan's Books; Solano County Public Library; Solano County Library Assn., Writing Women Back into History Luncheon; Women's Museum of California, San Diego; and Zamorano Club, Los Angeles.

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