Armando Garcia-Davila was named Healdburg's Literary Laureate for the year 2002-2003 adding to his distinction as Poet Laureate of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Sonoma County. A landscape contractor by profession, Armando started writing in 1990 - an impassioned letter to a dear friend who was killed in VietNam. The Santa Rosa Press Democrat ran the letter as an OpEd piece entitled "Vow to a Fallen Comrade." When the war ended, he continued writing. Referring to himself as a "blue collar poet" Garcia-Davila's literary life today consists of readings at cafes, bookstores, libraries, and radio stations along with presentations at elementary, middle, and high schools. Garcia-Davila's short stories and poems are a monthly feature in La Voz bilingual newspaper and can be found at libraries and various newsstands in 12 Northern California counties. In addition to organizing and leading "poetry slams," Garcia-Davila gives seminars at colleges and universities. As a featured presenter for the Arts and Lecture Series at Santa Rosa Junior College, he has demonstrated to ESL students of varying nationalities the art and craft of "building" a poem. He was also invited to be a feature presenter for the Dia de Los Muertos celebration at the Petaluma campus of SRJC. Garcia-Davila is enormously effective with all his audiences, he especially enjoys seeing youngsters suddenly wake up to the power and satisfaction that comes with letting buried thoughts see the light of day in the form of poetry and prose. He has had much the same experience in his volunteer work with inmates of San Quentin State Penitentiary in a program designed to assist them in their rehabilitation.
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Healdsburg Literary Laureate 2002-2003
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