Biography of Vallejo Poet Laureate, D.L. Lang

Photo of Diana Lang by Willo Hausman.
Photo by Willo Hausman.

“Poems that embrace spoken-word rhythms and hippie principles, inspired by the author’s love of music and nature, her peace activism, and her gratitude for Jewish community.”

Kirkus Reviews

Diana Writing in Germany in 2001
The poet in Germany in 2001

D.L. Lang is a contemporary American poet, spoken word performer, and the author of over a dozen poetry books. She served as the Poet Laureate of Vallejo, California (2017-2019).

D.L. Lang has been writing poetry for over 25 years, since she first got a taste of it in elementary school while growing up in Enid, Oklahoma, a town which happens to be named after a character in a poem, “Enid and Geraint” in Idylls of the King.

She is the author of Tea & Sprockets, Abundant Sparks & Personal Archeology, Look Ma! No Hands!, Poet Loiterer, Id Biscuits, Barefoot in the Sanctuary, Armor Against The Dawn, Dragonfly Tomorrows & Dog-eared Yesterdays, Resting on My Laurels, The Cafe of Dreams, Midnight Strike, and This Festival of Dreams. She has also released a chapbook compilation entitled Wanderings and her debut spoken word album entitled Happy Accidents, and is the editor of Voices, Verses & Visions of Vallejo. She has also released themed compilations of her work: a nature poetry compilation entitled Earthen Rovings, and a Jewish poetry compilation entitled Paradise Collectors.

Photo by Jessica Brown.

Lang has given over 300 public readings since 2014, after she became inspired to perform on a regular basis due to an open mic at her synagogue. She has been a featured act at poetry shows, art exhibitions, synagogues, county fairs, political demonstrations, radio shows, and vigils around the San Francisco bay area. She also had the honor of giving a call and response invocation at the 2019 Women Building Vallejo Summit, and joined the 2019 Poets Laureate on Social Justice Tour. She has also guest hosted Poetry by the Bay, served as a judge for the Solano County Poetry Out Loud Competition, the Write On! Solano County Library Teen Writing Competition, the Joel Fallon Poetry Scholarship, the Vallejo Poetry Slam, and the Solano County Fair Talent Competition. She taught self-publishing to the JFK Library’s Poetry in Notion and the Benicia First Tuesday Poets.

An internationally published poet, D.L. Lang’s poetry has been anthologized in numerous titles worldwide. See bibliography for details. Several of her pieces have been honored with awards at the Solano County Fair, Alameda County Fair, San Mateo County Fair, and the Marin County Fair. In 2020 she also won 3rd place in City Limits Publishing’s Poems of Political Protest contest. For her service as poet laureate she was honored with proclamations by the Vallejo City Council, California Arts Council, and California State Senate.

D.L. Lang holds a B.A. in Film & Video Studies with a minor in Judaic Studies from the University of Oklahoma and an A.S. in General Studies from Northern Oklahoma College. 

Operating a studio camera in 2005

D.L. Lang majored in film in college, working at the television stations KXOK and TV4OU, and volunteering at PEGASYS, where she was awarded Best Editor in 2002, and Producer of the Year in both 2003 and 2004. She edited Charles Maupin’s Liquid Wind (2004), a documentary about windsurfing and kiteboarding on Lake Hefner in Oklahoma. It won Best Film Trailer at Bare Bones Film Festival in 2004 and still shows regularly in Oklahoma on PBS. She directed, scored, edited, filmed, and appeared in the Hebrew language film, The Hebrew Project (2005) which is a documentary about the Hebrew program run by Dr. Ori Kritz at the University of Oklahoma. This film was optioned by The Jewish Channel and aired in 2009. If you would like to read more about that, visit the filmmaker history section.

She spent several years designing the website and producing music videos for Grey, a rock musician in Enid, Oklahoma. Lang designed the album covers for many of Grey’s albums, including Faded Colours, Colours, Rock & Pop, Words & Music, Anamnesis, Ice World, Inquire Within, Live at PEGASYS, and Acoustic Grey. In addition, she designed the album cover for We’re Almost Gone, the debut album by the group Bermuda County, whose musicians often play on Grey’s albums. Grey produced her spoken word album Happy Accidents and the song “Last Chance Disaster” at his Grey Havens Studios. Grey also transformed four of her poems into the song, “Oh, My Chameleon Perceptions” which appears on his album Booze & Psychedelics. Grey is currently working on a new album featuring songs that incorporate Lang’s poetry as lyrics. Musician Fred Ross-Perry was also inspired by some of her lines to create the song “Peace Will Come.”

She was born in Germany to a German mother and an American soldier of European and Choctaw heritage. Her early years were spent in Herleshausen, Germany, Santa Fe, Texas, Alexandria, Louisiana, and Enid, Oklahoma. She left Oklahoma for California in 2005 living in San Rafael after graduating college, and has resided in Vallejo, California with her husband since 2014.

D.L. Lang in 1997
D.L. Lang in 1997