new voices

December 28, 2018

In the spirit of the season, and to usher in the new year, Pelican Bay Books hosts eight young poets, all current or former students of Anacortes High School. Come hear Anna Prewitt, Addi Garner (Poetry Out Loud 2017 Washington State winner and 2018 honorable mention), John Harrison, Geoffrey Hamilton, Alex Hanesworth, Layne Woodward, Will McCracken, and Jade Carter. The reading starts at 7:00pm tonight, Friday, December 28, 2018.

Congratulations to Cedar Tree School junior Isaac Lu, who has been named 2018 Poetry Out Loud State Champion. Lu earned the honor of representing Washington State at the Poetry Out Loud National Finals, to be held April 23-25, 2018, at the Lisner Auditorium at The George Washington University. Watch him recite “A Thank-You Note” by Michael Ryan on YouTube.

Rising to the top from a competitive field of over 18,000 students from 66 schools across the state, Lu was among the 13 regional Poetry Out Loud champions who competed at the State Final held March 10, 2018, in Tacoma.

Although he had competed in Poetry Out Loud before, this was the first time Lu made it through regional to the state competition. He credits his success to his choice of poems and the work he did to try to understand what the poems meant.

Janelle Thirtyacre, a senior at Eatonville High School in Pierce County, was named first runner-up. Honorable mentions went to Addi Garner, a senior at Anacortes High School in Skagit County (and last year’s state champ); John Jones, a senior at Rainier High School in Thurston County; and Mackenzie Woodworth, a senior at Liberty Bell High School in Okanogan County.

As the Washington State Champion, Isaac Lu will receive an award of $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., to compete at the national championship. Cedar Tree School will receive a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry materials. First runner-up Janelle Thirtyacre will receive $100, with a $200 stipend going to Eatonville High School’s library.

Go Fund Addi

May 4, 2017

Back in March, we announced that Addi Garner, a junior at Anacortes High School, was the Washington State winner of Poetry Out Loud. (She also took first place in the Oratory/Persuasive Speaking event at the Washington State Debate Competition.) Last weekend, we had the good fortune to meet Addi and hear her recite two poems from her collection of memorized favorites. Impressive!

Accepted by Brown University to attend a month-long summer program for outstanding high school students, Addi Garner is now hoping to generate financial support that will allow her to participate. Every bit helps. Visit Addi’s Summer @ Brown University and help this young writer on her way.


April 30, 2017

You are invited to join Washington Poet Laureate Tod Marshall and poets Luther Allen, Jim Bertolino, Michael Daley, J.I. Kleinberg, and Nancy Pagh as they present selections from Washington 129, today at 2:00pm at the Anacortes Public Library. Washington state Poetry Out Loud champ Addi Garner will also recite and read a poem.

As a bonus, today is the last official day of the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, so allow some extra time for flower viewing.


March 8, 2017

Congratulations to Poetry Out Loud Washington state winner Addi Garner (above, center, in striped shirt), a junior at Anacortes High School, who took top honors with her recitations of Tarantulas on the Lifebuoy by Thomas Lux, Possible Answers to Prayer by Scott Cairns, and The Charge of the Light Brigade by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. Julian Dow, from Naches High School in Naches, was named Runner Up. Honorable Mentions were awarded to Lizette Harris, Life Christian Academy in Tacoma; Amir Matheney, Olympia High School in Olympia; and Drew Shipman, Mount Vernon High School in Mount Vernon.

Addi earned a $200 award and an all-expenses-paid trip for two to Washington, D.C., to compete in the National Poetry Out Loud competition to be held April 25-26. Her school receives a stipend of $500 to purchase poetry books.

The panel of judges at the 2017 state final included Sarah Brauner, a graduate student at the University of Puget Sound and student teacher at Stadium High School in Tacoma; Ginger Ewing, a Spokane arts advocate/organizer and ArtsWA board member; Paul Goudarzi-Fry, a senior at the University of Puget Sound; Priti Joshi, a professor of English at the University of Puget Sound; Tod Marshall, the 2016-18 Washington State Poet Laureate and Gonzaga University Humanities Professor; Christina Nguyen, the Youth Speaks Seattle and Teen Leadership Coordinator for Arts Corps; and Kris Tucker, former executive director of ArtsWA.

Watch Addi Garner reciting her third round poem, The Charge of the Light Brigade by Alfred, Lord Tennyson.