Above watch Don Thompson read his poems that describe the beauty of  Kern County.

For the first featured poet, we honor Don Thompson who has been publishing since the early 1960’s with several books and chapbooks since 2000. He was born in Bakersfield, California, and has lived most of his life in the southern San Joaquin Valley, which provides the setting for most of his poems. Titles of a few of his poetry books reflect the subject matter such as Where We Live, Everything Barren Will Be Blessed, and Local Color. Don and his wife Chris live on her family’s farm near Buttonwillow in the house that has been home to four generations. His book, Back Roads, won the Sunken Garden Poetry Prize for 2008. An LA Times profile, “Planted in the San Joaquin,” remains available online. Much more at his website: http://www.don-e-thompson.com/


In the following audio interview Portia Choi asks Thompson about how he got started in poetry and what makes Kern County a place that continually inspires Thompson.


Click here to read and listen to the interview where we discuss Thompson’s book length work Local Color.