Creative Colloquy is turning 3 years old, and has invited Washington state poet laureate Tod Marshall to the birthday party. The Tacoma literary group celebrates three years of open mics and publications Monday with the launch of its third anthology at B Sharp Coffee House, and Marshall as guest emcee.
Marshall will introduce the new book and local poets, as well as read his own work. The laureate has been touring the state in recent months, speaking and reading at local events.
“We’re very excited to have Tod join us,” said Jackie Fender, Creative Colloquy founder. “We’ve been attempting to book him for months now. The man’s schedule is impressive. … His dedication to the literary community is admirable.”
The event marks three years of Creative Colloquy, a group that goes beyond the usual literary event boundaries, letting first-time readers take the stage with New York Times best-selling authors and encouraging a diverse mix of high schoolers, laureates, journalists and regular office workers writing in a range of genres. Since its creation, the organization has gone from monthly open-mics to publications of anthologies and a yearly “Crawl” that spreads dozens of writers over multiple downtown venues. The group now works as a nonprofit under the Shunpike umbrella, and Fender is looking to make it more fiscally sustainable, with more publishing and performance opportunities.
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“Creative Colloquy has exceeded any expectation I could have had,” Fender said. “It’s been a little surreal … (but) an invigorating experience to witness. It fulfills our instinctual need to tell and hear stories, and allows us as a community to bond over the experience and learn from each other.”
Creative Colloquy book launch and open mic
When: 7 p.m. Monday.
Where: B Sharp Coffee House, 706 Opera Alley (Court C), Tacoma.
Cost: Free. Poetry books $20.