The City of Tacoma and Tacoma Poet Laureate Lucas Smiraldo are proud to announce the launch of the Laureate Listening Project. In this interactive 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. Audio recordings of these poems, centered on the “spirit of place” theme, are linked to a Google map so users can search by a particular poet or location and listen to work inspired by the site.
“Poetry is most powerful when it’s done in community,” said Smiraldo. “We have many communities in Tacoma and they don’t intersect and interconnect enough. The Laureate Listening Project is an exercise in community building and community voice.”
Smiraldo worked with various nonprofit and cultural organizations including the Tacoma Public Library, Peace Community Center and Peace Lutheran Church, Northwest Leadership Foundation, The Conversation, B Sharp Coffeehouse, The Center for Spiritual Living, The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation, Puget Sound Poetry Connection, and Smiraldo’s own monthly event, Live at the Auricle, to record poems from a diversity of Pierce County residents. Currently, the Laureate Listening Project hosts over 55 poems. Additional poems will be added periodically.
Smiraldo will host an open mic to showcase alumni of the Laureate Listening Project on March 20, 7 p.m., at B Sharp Coffeehouse (706 Opera Alley). At least 30 alumni will share their poems from the project during this free public event.
The Laureate Listening Project and additional information about the Tacoma Poet Laureate program is available at cityoftacoma.org/poet.
Individuals who are interested in having their short spoken works included in the project can contact Smiraldo at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to schedule a recording session.
The Laureate Listening Project was conceived and organized by Smiraldo in collaboration with the Tacoma Arts Commission. Funding for the Laureate Listening Project is made possible by a Spark Grant from The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation. Mapping capability is made possible by the City of Tacoma.