As part of National Poetry Month (April), state poet laureate Tod Marshall is launching an anthology by 129 of our state’s poets — one for each year of Washington statehood. “WA 129” includes work by five Tacoma and seven Olympia poets, plus one from University Place.
“These works are a testament to our state’s bountiful creativity,” Marshall wrote in the book’s cover blurb. “We have many people invested in exploring and sharing how language matters. … I have heard Washington singing, and that voice is stirring, diverse and compelling.”
Marshall, who holds the laureate position from 2016-2018, put out a call to poets in March 2016 and received more than 2,000 entries. Prioritizing those with a Washington subject or theme, the laureate also tried to represent many areas and peoples in the state.
“It’s my attempt to offer a cross-section of poetry in 2017 in Washington,” said Marshall by phone.
Tacoma poets include Connie Walle, Robert Hasselblad, Kevin Miller, Philip H. Red Eagle and Judith Yarrow, with Carl Palmer from University Place. Olympia poets include Bill Yake, the late Lucia Perillo, Emily Van Kley, Carolyn Gilman, Shelley Kirk-Rudeen (also Spokane), Pat Dixon and Joanne Clarkson.
The free launch at the state Capitol Building will include live music by The Bushwick Club, refreshments, readings and recitations.
WA 129 launch
When: 5-7 p.m. April 13.
Where: State Reception Room, Third floor, Legislative Building, State Capitol Campus, Olympia.