The Tacoma Poet Laureate program was developed to showcase local artists who actively contribute to and advance Tacoma’s literary community in meaningful ways through readings, performances, workshops, presentations, publications and special projects.
The program was founded in 2008 by Urban Grace Church and transitioned to the City of Tacoma's Arts Program in 2011.
Apply to be the 2017-2019 Tacoma Poet Laureate
Application Deadline: February 27, 2017, 11:59 PM
The Tacoma Arts Commission is now accepting applications for the seventh annual Tacoma Poet Laureate program. The individual selected as Tacoma Poet Laureate will hold the title for two years – from May 2017 to April 2019 – and receive a $4,000 stipend for advancing and actively contributing to Tacoma’s literary community in meaningful ways through readings, performances, workshops, presentations, publications and/or special projects. This individual will also participate in Tacoma Arts Month each October and help produce the 2019 Tacoma Poet Laureate ceremony announcing the next Tacoma Poet Laureate.
Eligibility extends to literary artists who live in Pierce County and are actively engaged in Tacoma’s creative community. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age and practicing artists, dedicated to producing poetry in any form, genre or style on a regular basis. Other eligibility requirements apply.
Apply: Download the call to artists for full details and submit an application via Submittable.
2015-17 Tacoma Poet Laureate - Cathy Nguyen
Nguyen is an "artivist" who seeks to promote social equity and youth leadership through creative expression and community organization. A resident of Tacoma since 2010, Nguyen has worked to infuse the arts in a variety of human service and grassroots contexts. In 2012, Nguyen created and coordinated The RIOT, a first-ever teen poetry/hip-hop program at STAR Center. In the years that followed, Nguyen worked to draw on and capture the voices of queer youth and young adults through a variety of arts, violence prevention, and leadership development programming at Oasis Youth Center. Currently, Nguyen integrates creative expression with youth and community development as a teen support group facilitator at BRIDGES, a center for grieving youth and their families, and as an organizer of Tacoma Stands Up, a grassroots initiative calling for an end to police brutality and social injustice through peaceful organization, where she has led Tacoma-wide rallies and arts events focused on community-building and social justice advocacy.
If you are interested in working with Cathy Nguyen or having her perform for your school, organization or event, please contact her at email@example.com.
Laureate Listening Project
Every person has a story to tell. In this online audio anthology, community members from Tacoma and greater Pierce County reflect on the importance of a particular place in their own life through poetry. Visit the Laureate Listening Project now!
The Laureate Listening Project was conceived and organized by 2013-2015 Tacoma Poet Laureate Lucas Smiraldo. The project is funded in part by a Spark Grant from The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation and by the City of Tacoma and the Tacoma Arts Commission.
Interested in having your poem included in this project? Contact Lucas Smiraldo at (253) 202-3473 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Past Tacoma Poets Laureate