New poet laureate named for SLO County

Jeanie Greensfelder is San Luis Obispo County’s new poet laureate.
Jeanie Greensfelder is San Luis Obispo County’s new poet laureate. San Luis Obispo County Arts Council

San Luis Obispo County’s new poet laureate is a retired psychologist who has lived on the Central Coast for more than 20 years.

San Luis Obispo resident Jeanie Greensfelder will serve a two-year term beginning Jan. 1. She takes over the post from San Luis Obispo poet, painter and printmaker Marguerite Costigan.

Greensfelder was selected from a field of four local poets based on her poetry, published works and public speaking and presentation skills, as well as her plans for her tenure, according to a news release from Arts Obispo, the San Luis Obispo County Arts Council, which runs the poet laureate program.

Greensfelder plans to launch a countywide Coming Home to Poetry program aimed at inspiring “schools, book clubs, social groups and religious congregations to share and discuss their favorite poems,” the news release said. Also in store are library events and daily poetry emails.

Greensfelder grew up in St. Louis. She and her husband, Andy, lived in Cambria for four years before moving to San Luis Obispo in 1997.

Greensfelder is the author of two books of poetry: “Biting the Apple” and “Marriage and Other Leaps of Faith.” Her poems have been featured on the public radio show “The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor” and in former U.S. poet laureate Ted Kooser’s column, American Life in Poetry.

Greensfelder will make her first public appearance as San Luis Obispo County poet laureate on Nov. 6 at the Steynberg Gallery in San Luis Obispo as part of the San Luis Obispo Poetry Festival. For more information, visit

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