Tomorrow night will be a big night for literature in Washington.
Though Governor Inslee already officially appointed Claudia Castro Luna as the state's new poet laureate, outgoing state poet laureate Tod Marshall will ceremonially pass on the laurels to Luna, who will be the first woman of color and immigrant to assume the post. The handoff takes place Wednesday, January 31, at 7 p.m. at the Central Library.
During his two-year tenure, Marshall dedicated himself to traveling to towns and cities all over the state, putting tens of thousands of miles on his own car. Somehow he also found time to edit an anthology called WA129, a book of 129—poems from writers all over Washington. (The number refers to the number of years Washington has been a state.)
In recognition of that accomplishment, and in celebration of the peaceful transfer of poetic power, the book's contributors will read and perform. Look forward to work from Seattle civic poet Anastacia-Reneé, Duane Niatum, Georgia McDade, Phillip Red Eagle, Quenton Baker, Rachel Kessler, Dawn Pichon Barron, Bill Carty, and Shankar Narayan.
The poet laureate position was created by the state legislature in 2007, and it's sponsored by Humanities Washington and ArtsWA.