Washington needs you

June 20, 2019

Do you have an abundance of energy, creativity, time, patience, and poetry smarts? If so, you could be the next Washington State Poet Laureate.

Humanities Washington and the Washington State Arts Commission (ArtsWA) are accepting applications for Washington State’s next poet laureate. The poet laureate serves to build awareness and appreciation of poetry, including Washington’s legacy of poetry, through public readings, workshops, and presentations in communities throughout the state. The new laureate will serve from January 16, 2020, to January 15, 2022.

The deadline to apply is July 26, 2019.

View application guidelines here.

Pictured, from left, recent Washington Poets Laureate Tod Marshall, Claudia Castro Luna, Elizabeth Austen, Kathleen Flenniken. (Not shown: Samuel Green)

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Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden today, June 19, 2019, announced the appointment of Joy Harjo as the nation’s Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry for 2019-2020. Harjo is the first Native American poet to serve in the position — she is an enrolled member of the Muscogee Creek Nation.

Joy Harjo will take up her position in the fall and succeeds Tracy K. Smith, who served two terms as laureate.

Read the full story on the Library of Congress website, and view a recent Q & A with the poet here.

The Tacoma Arts Commission has announced the selection of Abby E. Murray as Tacoma’s 2019-2021 Poet Laureate. Taking over from Kellie Richardson, Murray will “participate in and host public poetry readings, workshops and other community events to advance the literary arts in Tacoma.”

You can hear and meet Abby Murray when the Puget Sound Poetry Connection Distinguished Writer Series features her reading from her forthcoming book, Hail & Farewell (winner of the 2019 Perugia Press Prize), on Friday, June 14, 2019, at 7:00pm, at Immanuel Presbyterian Church in Tacoma. An open mic will follow her reading.

a new poetry map

April 16, 2019

When she was Seattle Civic Poet, Claudia Castro Luna spearheaded a poetry mapping project called the Seattle Poetry Grid. Now that she is Washington State Poet Laureate, Castro Luna has expanded the project to highlight site-specific poems for the entire state.

Washington Poetic Routes is a digital poetry-mapping project that explores Washington’s rich geographical terrain, both in terms of landscape and in terms of the human relationships that unfold across the State.

Visit the map, click the dots to read the poems, and submit your own!

Click here for more poetry map posts.

meanwhile, in Duluth

March 16, 2019

The new poet laureate of Duluth, Minnesota, Gary Boelhower, has figured out a simple way to get poetry to a wider audience: offer free copies in bookstores, coffee shops, and other places people gather. Local poets submit poems, the project makes copies, and they’re distributed in designated “Local FREE Poetry” boxes around town. So far, Boelhower is offering 41 poems by 11 poets in 12 boxes. Nice idea.

Read more in the Duluth News Tribune.

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Olympia’s new poet laureate

February 17, 2019

Meet Sady Sparks. Poet. Student at The Evergreen State College. Age 24. Recently named Poet Laureate for the city of Olympia, Washington, 2019 – 2020.

To learn more, read an interview with Sady in South Sound Magazine and an article in The Olympian. Watch Sady Sparks read “Eating Out of Season” at the January 8, 2019, meeting of the Olympia City Council meeting.

attention Seattle poets

February 13, 2019

The City of Seattle has opened applications for the city’s 2019-2021 Civic Poet. That person will follow multi-genre writer, interdisciplinary artist, and creative writing and poetry workshop facilitator, Anastacia-Renee, who has held the position since 2017, and Claudia Castro Luna, who served as the first Civic Poet, 2015-2017, and is currently the Washington State Poet Laureate and a Distinguished Writer In Residence at Seattle University.

The position is open to Seattle-based poets who have an established body of work, including published works, reading/spoken word, and project planning experience with skills in racial equity practices.

Find further details from the Office of Arts & Culture and apply on CaFÉ (login required) by the deadline, Wednesday, April 24, 2019; 10:59pm Pacific.

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