This evening, Wednesday, April 14, 2021, at 6:00pm Pacific, you are invited to celebrate Rena Priest’s appointment by Governor Jay Inslee as Washington State’s 6th Poet Laureate. This very special event is organized and hosted by the Lhaq’temish (Lummi) Nation, Humanities Washington, ArtsWA (the WA State Arts Commission), and the Washington Center for the Book. Past Laureates Claudia Castro Luna, Tod Marshall, Elizabeth Austen, Kathleen Flenniken, and Sam Green (in absentia) will be honored guests as we gather to pass the laurel in an evening of poetry, speech, and song. Produced by Children of the Setting Sun Productions.

Register here.

your turn?

October 24, 2020

Applications are now being accepted for the position of Washington State Poet Laureate.

The position serves to build awareness and appreciation of poetry through public readings, workshops, and presentations in communities throughout the state.

The new laureate will serve from April 15, 2021-April 14, 2023. The position is sponsored by the Washington State Arts Commission (ArtsWA) and Humanities Washington, with the support of Governor Jay Inslee.

To be considered, applicants must meet all eligibility requirements and submit an application online. Applications must be submitted electronically by 5:00 p.m. on December 4, 2020.

Those wishing to apply are encouraged to attend a webinar on Tuesday, October 27, 2020, at 3:00 p.m. or Wednesday, October 28 at 5:00 p.m.

The current poet laureate is the wonderful Claudia Castro Luna (a hard act to follow, as were her predecessors). A Washington State Book Award-nominated poet and creator of Washington Poetic Routes and One River, Many Voices series of readings along the Columbia River, Castro Luna has held hundreds of poetry workshops and readings across Washington State since February 2018. See more on the Washington State Poet Laureate blog.

Is it your turn?

Monday in Anacortes

February 12, 2020

The Empty Bowl reading series continues on Monday, February 17, 2020, with two literary lights: Samuel Green and Clemens Starck. The poetry begins at 7:00pm at Pelican Bay Books in Anacortes and the evening will include a solo guitar set by Brad Killion.

Olympia two-fer

September 11, 2019

The Olympia Poetry Network (OPN) invites your participation in a weekend of laureate poetry, LaureateFest.

On Saturday, September 21, 2019, 1:00-3:00pm, there will be a panel discussion with Washington State Poets Laureate Samuel Green, Kathleen Flenniken, Elizabeth Austen, Tod Marshall, and Claudia Castro Luna. That evening, beginning at 7:00pm, there will be a LaureateFest reading. Both events are free and will be held at Norman Worthington Conference Center, Saint Martin’s University.

On Sunday, September 22, Elizabeth Austen will conduct a workshop, “The Title as Frame and Invitation,” 11:00am-1:00pm, at Heart Of The Deernicorn studio in downtown Olympia. Workshop is limited to 20 participants and registration is required.

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)

before it’s too late

January 30, 2019

If you’ve been meaning to see the white birds of winter, Empty Bowl has some good poetic reasons for making the drive (all dates 2019):

  • Friday February 1, in Edison – Don Kruse, Jessica Gigot, and Georgia Johnson read at i.e. – 6:30pm
  • Sunday, February 3, in Freeland – Clemens Starck reads at Unitarian Universalist Congregation – 10:00am
  • Thursday, February 7, in Port Townsend – Clemens Starck and Finn Wilcox read at Northwind Arts Center – 7:00pm
  • Friday, February 8, in Anacortes – Clemens Starck and Samuel Green read at Pelican Bay Books & Coffeehouse – 7:00pm
  • Tuesday, February 12, in Anacortes – Don Kruse and Lorraine Ferra read at Watermark Books – 6pm
  • Friday, February 22, in Anacortes – Michael Daley and Jeremy Voigt read at Pelican Bay Books & Coffeehouse – 7:00pm

. . . . .
photo

next up in Anacortes

February 2, 2018

Pelican Bay Books in Anacortes, Washington, continues to attract terrific poets and a dedicated audience for monthly third-Friday readings. Following on January’s successful reading by Jim Bertolino and Anita K. Boyle, the upcoming reading, on Friday, February 16, 2018, will feature Sam and Sally Green.

Both poets and publishers, Sam and Sally have been operating Brooding Heron Press & Bindery since 1982, publishing fine letterpress books of poetry by Gary Snyder, Denise Levertov, James Laughlin, Hayden Carruth, Donald Hall, John Haines, and Pattiann Rogers, among others.

Sam Green, who served as Washington State’s first poet laureate, most recently published All That Might Be Done (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2014). Sally Green’s chapbook, Full Immersion appeared from Expedition Press in 2014.

Join them in Anacortes for an evening of good poetry and good company.

Passing of the Laurel

January 18, 2018

Washington State has been exceedingly fortunate in our Poets Laureate. Sam Green (2007–2009), Kathleen Flenniken (2012–2014), Elizabeth Austen (2014-2016), and Tod Marshall (2016-2018) have been generous advocates for poetry, tirelessly traveling back and forth across the state to bring the experience of poetry into our lives. They have supported local poetry at every level, and have challenged us to become finer writers and listeners.

They have set a high bar. And now, the laurel will be passed to another accomplished and energetic poet, Claudia Castro Luna, who will serve as Washington State Poet Laureate 2018-2020. On Wednesday, January 31, 2018, the official Passing of the Laurel will be held at the Seattle Public Library, Central Library, and will feature readings by Marshall, Castro Luna, former poets laureate and other Pacific Northwest poets. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the program begins at 7:00 p.m.

Show your support for this valuable program and our wonderful poets laureate. The event is free.

The poet laureate is sponsored by Humanities Washington and ArtsWA, with the support of Gov. Jay Inslee. The position is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and Humanities Washington.

We are very pleased to share the news that Claudia Castro Luna, a prominent Seattle poet and teacher, has been appointed the fifth Washington State Poet Laureate by Governor Jay Inslee.

Castro Luna fled war-torn El Salvador for the United States at the age of 14 with her family. She went on to earn an MFA in poetry and an MA in urban planning. After working as a K-12 teacher, she became Seattle’s first Civic Poet, a position appointed by the mayor. In that position, Castro Luna won acclaim for her Seattle Poetic Grid, an online interactive map showcasing poems about different locations around the city. The grid even landed her an interview on PBS NewsHour. She is also the author of the poetry chapbook This City and the collection Killing Marías.

Castro Luna’s term will run from February 1, 2018, to January 31, 2020. She will succeed Tod Marshall, the current poet laureate. Prior to Marshall, Elizabeth Austen (2014–2016), Kathleen Flenniken (2012–2014), and Sam Green (2007–2009) held the position.

The Washington State Poet Laureate program is jointly sponsored by Humanities Washington and the Washington State Arts Commission (ArtsWA).

. . . . .
photo bu Timothy Aguero

La Conner two-fer

November 9, 2017

La Conner, Washington, will host two poetry events on Saturday, November 18, 2017:

  • WORKSHOP. At 1:00pm, Washington State Poet Laureate Tod Marshall will conduct a workshop on Ekphrastic Poetry. The workshop will be held at the Museum of Northwest Art. Cost: $25, 10% discount to Museum members.
  • READING. At 6:00pm, Tod Marshall will host poets Tom Robbins, Tess Gallagher, Samuel and Sally Green, Alice Derry, Michael Daley and Jennifer Boyden for an evening of poetry from the pages of Washington 129. The event, which will be held at Maple Hall, is free.

. . . . .
photo by Walter Siegmund

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