Ms. Grafton taught for many years in the California Poets In The Schools program, for which she was awarded twelve California Arts Council grants. She was named Teacher of the Year by the River Of Words annual student poetry contest co-sponsored by Robert Hass, United States Poet Laureate.
Born and raised in Californiaâ€™s San Joaquin Valley of a Finnish American farming family, she now lives in Oakland with her husband and their extended family.
About the creation of LENS by Grace Marie Grafton
These poems are uniformly inspired by art created in California 450 years ago through the present (see note in table of contents). Not only am I consistently inspired by artworks, I am particularly in tune with California art because I grew up in a Finnish American farming family in the central valley of California, have traveled and camped extensively in the Western United States and spent much time in the Sierra Nevada range. As an adult, I’ve lived in the greater San Francisco Bay Area. I am an avid amateur botanist.
In writing these poems, I sought to evoke a sense of the era in which each of these diverse art works was created, as well as reflecting the style and content of the piece. You will, therefore, note a broad range of writing styles through the manuscript.