Current Poet Laureate - 

Introducing EL CERRITO POET LAUREATE dani Gabriel

photo of Dani GabrielEl Cerrito resident Danielle (Dani) Gabriel was selected to serve as the City's second Poet Laureate (2018-2020). Dani Gabriel is a poet and writer, the author of “The Woman You Write Poems About” (Civil Defense Press) and coauthor of “Molotov Mouths” (Manic D Press), as well as a manuscript in progress called “Low Rent Prophet.” Her work centers around an obsession with possibility: the possibility that we can heal the world, the possibility that we can heal ourselves. She looks at themes of queerness, faith, trauma, justice, and family with curiosity and depth. She is a postulant for the Diaconate in the Episcopal Diocese of California, aspiring to ordination and service in the church and community. She works as a grant writer and writing teacher throughout the Bay Area. She is the parent of two amazing pre-teens and the partner of a fantastic cook, electrician, and human being. She is currently writing and organizing for radical change large and small.

Visit Dani’s website to learn more about her work.

Poet Laureate's Update -- August 2020

I've been working on a book about family tentatively titled "All the Options," and as part of that work I received a grant from the California Arts Council to do a project with the City of El Cerrito where I would continue my own writing and also interview families in El Cerrito for a series called Love, Dare, Grow. I had planned a number of events, but only got to do one. The others were canceled due to this pandemic we all find ourselves in.

You can read my writing and check out interviews with El Cerrito families and photographs by the families on my website


Check back in the Fall at that same website for more info about my upcoming books of poetry, “Low Rent Prophet,” forthcoming from Nomadic Press, and “Love Poems in the Apocalypse,” forthcoming from Main Street Rag Publishing Company.

Poet Laureate Events

Poetry Writing WOrkshop

Join an evening of talking, reading, and writing your own poetry. All ages encouraged to participate; no experience necessary. There will be an opportunity to perform at the end of the workshop.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019
El Cerrito Library (6510 Stockton Ave, El Cerrito)
6 pm

Writing Workshops

Join El Cerrito Library and Poet Laureate Dani Gabriel for monthly poetry writing workshops, where you'll have the space, and time, to write.
These drop-in workshops will allow you to explore your creative writing side with writing prompts, free writes, and voluntary sharing, with feedback from your peers. Haiku, epic, ode, slam poetry, sonnets, anything and everything poetry open for you to explore. Everyone has a story, so write yours, poetry-style.

Wednesday, July 17 and Wednesday, August 14, 2019
El Cerrito Library (6510 Stockton Ave, El Cerrito)
5:00 pm. Free
High School (Grades 9-12), Adults (18+)

Book Release Party

Everyone is cordially invited to celebrate El Cerrito Poet Laureate Dani Gabriel's new book, Sam! This is a story about a family's journey, through love and support, to embrace a child's true self. This family-friendly event features a reading by Dani, and an appearance by the illustrator, Robert Liu-Trujillo. There will be copies of Sam! for check-out and for sale, and snacks for noshing.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019
El Cerrito Library (6510 Stockton Ave, El Cerrito)
6:30 pm. Free
All ages


Our Families: Love, Dare, Grow

Who is family? How do you know? Dani Gabriel is engaged in a multidisciplinary project to explore changing ideas of family in our evolving community. With support from the California Arts Council and the El Cerrito Art and Culture Commission, the project promotes connection across difference and the ways people come together to form supportive and nurturing families. It also looks at the changing Bay Area and the ways economic and cultural shifts impact families and looks deeply at the ways the physical and social space impacts families in El Cerrito.

The project includes two artistic projects and two community events. The community events (the first took place at the 4th of July Festival and the second will take place in May 2020) are opportunities for families to write about who they are, what makes them different as a family, and how it feels to be a family in this particular place. Dani will also introduce her long-term projects (a manuscript-in-progress that looks at these concepts, and a series of creative essays co-written with El Cerrito families, paired with photographs.)

The project will culminate in a public reading, where Dani will debut new pieces from her manuscript, families will read from the essays they have co-created, and photographs will be on display. If you’d like to be interviewed or have any questions, please email

Saturday, April 25 and May 9, 2020 --  CANCELLED
El Cerrito Library (6510 Stockton Ave, El Cerrito)
11 am - 12:30 pm. Free

In conjunction with this project, Dani will be hosting two workshops at the El Cerrito Library for anyone who wants to join and write about family.

Friday, May 29, 2020 -- CANCELLED
El Cerrito City Hall (10890 San Pablo Ave)
6 pm
City Hall's Gallery Space will feature a show of the family photos and interviews from this family project in late spring (exact dates to be decided). Dani will host a reception at the Gallery Space, featuring a reading by herself and workshop participants, on Friday, May 29, 2020, at 6pm.

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