nominations open

November 11, 2021

The Oregon Cultural Trust and Oregon Humanities are now accepting nominations for the 11th Oregon Poet Laureate.

Nominations for the position will be accepted through January 10, 2022, and the next laureate will begin their term in May 2022, following Anis Mojgani, the current and tenth poet laureate.

Poets of all subgenres and styles will be considered, including prose, slam, and cowboy poetry.

Learn more and nominate a poet.

Pedalpalooza!

July 19, 2021

If you and your bicycle are anywhere near Portland, Oregon, this Thursday, July 22, 2021, join Oregon Poet Laureate Anis Mojgani for a couple of hours and about four-and-a-half miles of poetry on wheels. Part of the three-month Pedalpalooza celebration (full calendar here), Spoke’n Words will begin at 6:00pm at Oregon Park and end at Revolution Hall.

meanwhile, in Oregon

June 18, 2021

Oregon poet laureate Anis Mojgani seated on caramel colored couch wearing a coral colored shirt

Nice article this week in Oregon Live about how Oregon poet laureate Anis Mojgani plans to use the proceeds of a $50,000 fellowship funded by the Academy of American Poets with support from the Mellon Foundation. His plans include a quarterly print newspaper, a poetry telephone line, and a postcard campaign. Read all about it.

Thank you!

December 22, 2020

Year in and year out, whatever the circumstances, our poets laureate encourage and support the presence of poetry in our lives. If they’re paid, it’s a pittance, though they say the rewards are considerable. Some laureates serve for a year, some for two, some, well, just serve. At the close of this highly irregular year, some of our regional poets laureate are completing their terms, others are continuing behind the scenes to figure out ways to bring poetry into our homes and hearts during 2021. This post is simply an acknowledgment and thank you to this group of creative individuals. You are appreciated!

(pictured from left)
Top row
Claudia Castro Luna (Washington); Susan Landgraf (Auburn); Tia Hudson (Bremerton)
Second row
Gwendolyn Morgan (Clark Co., WA); Sady Sparks (Olympia); Raúl Sánchez (Redmond)
Third row
Jourdan Imani Keith (Seattle Civic Poet); Bitaniya Giday (Seattle Youth Poet Laureate); Chris Cook (Spokane)
Bottom row
Abby E. Murray (Tacoma); Susan Lynch (Vashon); Anis Mojgani (Oregon)

If we’ve missed anyone, apologies, and please let us know in the Comments. Also, we note that Ellensburg, Washington, has recently approved a city poet laureate position, but has not yet named the first poet to serve.

THANK YOU, poets laureate!

on poetry

June 13, 2020

“Work, work, work — don’t be afraid to make things that are unsuccessful or ‘bad.’ Observe everything around you and store up its inspirations, so you don’t have to wait for inspiration to arrive — it’s simply and hopefully always present. Learn from others. Learn by copying. Learn always by doing. Introduce yourself to your voice at the right time. Be honest with yourself. For the times you can’t or don’t know how to do this, have someone or someones that can, and listen to them. You don’t have to let the audience dictate what you create, but you do need to have an audience who will receive what you create. This is good and a wealth of a classroom. Give. Follow your heart and that which will make it happy. Don’t be afraid—be fearless in risk-taking. Don’t be afraid to go the movies by yourself or eat in public alone. Ride your bicycle with a helmet. Don’t be a dick.”
Anis Mojgani
(b. June 13, 1977)

. . . . .
Hilde Franzsen photo

poets laureate

May 2, 2020

Congratulations to Anis Mojgani, who has just accepted an appointment as the 10th Poet Laureate of Oregon. Watch Anis Mojgani on Button Poetry “To Where the Trees Grow Tall” or his TEDxEmory talk, “The music of growing up down south.”

Congratulations also to Joy Harjo, who has just been appointed to a second term as U.S. Poet Laureate.

Poetry is especially important right now and it’s good to have such capable and creative poets as guides.

. . . . .
Photo by Hilde Franzsen

a new home for poetry

April 9, 2018

The Sylvia Center for the Arts is the latest addition to the Bellingham, Washington, Arts District. It features multiple performance spaces, classrooms, and studios, all available to the local performing arts community. For National Poetry Month, the Sylvia Center stage will be enlivened with a night of dazzling stand-up poetry featuring Anis Mojgani, Cristin O’keefe Aptowicz, Buddy Wakefield, and Derrick Brown. Monday, April 30, 2018, 7:00pm. Tickets are $15 at eventbrite.

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