Poetic Shelters

May 22, 2020

The ever-busy, ever-imaginative Claudia Castro Luna, Washington State’s Poet Laureate, has introduced a new project for these times: Poetic Shelters.

“This project asks you to consider the poetics of your home and how its physical and emotional character is changing during this time. The home, whatever that may be for someone, is a space we each know intimately and can therefore represent poetically by sharing our memories, frustrations, daydreams, and also by by describing its physical configuration.”

Poems, mini-essays, and accompanying photos, if available, are invited. While Poetic Shelters is Washington-centric, contributors from other locations are welcome to submit.

Visit Poetic Shelters for more information and to read a sampling of poems.

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.

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Photo by Hilde Franzsen

Kim Stafford x 7

April 13, 2020

Kim Stafford, the Poet Laureate of Oregon, has written and posted a small collection of short poems he wrote over a week’s time, each one addressing the realities and uncertainties of this particular time. Poems for the Pandemic includes the text of each poem, a vocal recording, as well as an accompanying photograph or video by Brooke Herbert or Beth Nakamura.

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photo by Brooke Herbert
Thanks to Roger Gilman for the heads up!

If you’re missing the voices of poetry, tune in tomorrow, Saturday, March 28, 2020, at 8:00pm Pacific, to the first broadcast of the Red Hen Press Poetry Hour, live on Facebook. Presented by The Broad Stage at Santa Monica College, the At Home series will combine livestreamed performances, interviews and archival footage.

In our first episode of the Red Hen Press Poetry Hour, The Broad Stage Artistic and Executive Director Rob Bailis, Red Hen Press Executive Director Kate Gale and California state poet laureate Dana Gioia talk — from their respective living rooms — about how poetry responds during a time like this, while poets Douglas Manuel, Francesca Bell and Brendan Constantine share their poetry and their kitchens with us! You’ll also see selections of previously recorded videos from Blank Verse Films. Hosted by award-winning writer Sandra Tsing Loh.

More about this and other At Home programs here. More about Red Hen Press here. Tune in to the Red Hen Press Poetry Hour here.

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thanks to Sally Lappen for the heads-up on this one!

Poems to Lean On

March 14, 2020

If you, like Washington State Poet Laureate Claudia Castro Luna, are feeling somewhat confused, isolated, and worried in these uncertain times, please share a poem.

From now through Wednesday, April 15, 2020, you are invited to submit a link to a favorite poem (or one of your own) that offers fortitude, hope, resilience, and humor, along with a two- to three-line explanation of what about this particular poem resonates with you.

Read Claudia Castro Luna’s invitation and submit your poem by email to poet@humanities.org.

give some feedback

March 10, 2020

The Washington State Arts Commission (ArtsWA) is asking for your feedback on the Washington State Poet Laureate program.

There are two surveys: one for poets and one for Poet Laureate event organizers. If you are both, they ask that you complete both surveys.


Thank you.

February 7, 2020

In case you missed the announcement of this exceedingly juicy bit of philanthropy, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has granted $4.5 Million to The Academy of American Poets. Believed to be the largest grant ever made by a philanthropic institution to support poets in the United States, the unprecedented amount will enable The Academy of American Poets to fund its Poets Laureate Fellowship program for the next three years.

In its press release on the grant, Poets.org cites the work of four poets laureate, including Washington State Poet Laureate Claudia Castro Luna.

What a fine gift!

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