Tag Archives: Tammy Robacker

Announcing Tacoma’s next Poet Laureate…

15 Apr Cathy Nguyen

The Tacoma Arts Commission is pleased to announce the selection of Cathy Nguyen as Tacoma’s 2015-2017 Poet Laureate.

Over the next two years, Nguyen will participate in and host public poetry readings, workshops and other community events. She will also participate in Tacoma Arts Month each October, and help produce the 2017 Tacoma Poet Laureate Ceremony to announce the next Poet Laureate.

“The Poet Laureate is an artist and activist who works both to amplify the literary voices of underrepresented community members and to enhance the shared written and oral narratives of the Tacoma community,” said Nguyen. “It’s necessary to me that social justice and equity are at the center of all that I do and create which, in the community context, means raising social consciousness, building civic advocacy, and engaging community members in shared learning and teaching through poetry and other forms of creative expression.”

As a wrap-up of National Poetry Month, the Tacoma Arts Commission and Tacoma’s current Poet Laureate, Lucas Smiraldo, will host a poetry and music event at which Nguyen will officially be awarded the title. The free, public event will be held Friday, May 1, from 6 – 8:30 p. m. at B Sharp Coffee House (706 Court C in downtown Tacoma). Featured poets will include Nguyen, Smiraldo, 2011-2013 Tacoma Poet Laureate Josie Emmons Turner, 2010-2011 Tacoma Poet Laureate Tammy Robacker, 2009-2010 Tacoma Poet Laureate Antonio Edwards, Jr., and 2008-2009 Tacoma Poet Laureate William Kupinse. These poets and others will be joined by musicians Terry O’Hara and Bronson Bragg, vocalist Kathryn Burke, and there will be music compositions by Gregory Youtz.

Cathy 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.

Gods, Goddesses, Myth: regional women poets read at TCC

8 Apr

What: Gods, Goddesses, Myth poetry reading
Where: The Gallery at Tacoma Community College, 6501 S. 19th Street, Building 4
When: Friday, April 19, 7 pm
Cost: Free

Join 2011-13 Tacoma Poet Laureate, Josie Emmons Turner on April 19 as she hosts a reading by 14 regional poets on the theme of Gods, Goddesses, and Myth.

According to Turner, the idea for the reading germinated upon seeing the current exhibition, Greek and Roman Mythology, at The Gallery at Tacoma Community College. “The exhibit has such a wide range of artists presenting an extremely diverse spectrum of understanding about an ancient topic. I wanted the opportunity to add the poet’s voice and present another dimension in conjunction with the show,” Turner stated. “I am very excited that such an extraordinary group of poets responded to the idea.”

Participating poets are: Peggy Barnett, Glenna Cook, Julia Cousineau, Caroline Hunter Davis, Maria Gudaitis, Mary Hake, Patricia Kennedy, Patty Kinney, Kay Mullen, Tammy Robacker, Marjorie Rommel, Josie Emmons Turner, Connie Walle, Juniper White, and Carolyne Wright.

This reading will be the last formal presentation of poets by Turner in her position as Poet Laureate. Turner and the incoming 2013-15 Poet Laureate, along with past Poet Laureates Tammy Robacker and William Kupinse will give at reading at the Tacoma Public Library, April 23 at 6 pm.

The Gods, Goddesses, and Myth reading is supported by the Tacoma Arts Commission Poet Laureate Program and the Gallery at Tacoma Community College.

About the poets
Peggy Barrett was born in 1945 and grew up in Queens, New York. After receiving a BA in Fine Arts from The Cooper Union, she opened a photography studio in New York in 1968. In 2006, she sold her studio and moved to Woodinville. Her book, On Your Left! is a poetic memoir dwelling on the specifics of unending change.

Glenna Cook was born in Olympia, Washington, and lived most of her life in Tacoma. After raising her family and retiring from U.S. West Communications, she graduated from Tacoma Community College and University of Puget Sound, which is where she began writing poetry. She has been published in a variety of Northwest journals and reviews.

Juila Cousineau always returns to the beautiful city of Tacoma after her travels and has been a resident here most of her life. She is a published short story and children’s writer and has her own humor column in a local paper. Poetry is fast becoming a new passion of hers.

Caroline Hunter Davis lives near the Salish Sea where she grew up collecting waves and words. The world first made sense when she listened to myths and she’s been listening and writing ever since.

Maria Chong Gudaitis is a Korean-Lithuanian essayist, poet, and designer who lives south of Tacoma. In 2012, Maria published a limited-edition, local Poetry Month anthology and served as a News Tribune reader columnist. Her essays and poetry appear regularly at her blog, www.mairagudaitis.com.

Mary Hake is a 2010 graduate of the Creative Writing Program of the University of Washington, Seattle. She currently divides her time between working with students and raising her three children.

Patricia Kennedy has published poems in online journals, regional anthologies, and at the Washington State History Museum with the encouragement from the Pot Luck Poets and other friends. She is the co-sponsor of the Gig Harbor Library’s Poetry Series.

Patty Kinney’s work has been published by The Sun, hipMama, www.occupypoetry.org and other journals and anthologies. She holds a MFA from Antioch University Los Angeles. Her chapbook How To Talk To Your Schizophrenic Child will be published in 2013.

Kay Mullen’s work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. She believes the poet’s pallette embraces the reality that all ideas come from the five senses. Poetry includes all colors, shades, shadows and light of the human spirit.

Tammy Robacker is former Poet Laureate of Tacoma 2011 and author of  The Vicissitudes. She is currently working on her second collection of poetry Villain Song.

Marjorie Rommel’s work has appeared in numerous regional journals. She is a member of Auburn’s Striped Water Poets and has provided leadership for the South King County literary community for decades. She received her MFA in poetry from the Rainier Writing Workshop at PLU.

Josie Emmons Turner is the 2011-2013 Tacoma Poet Laureate and is a graduate of Pacific Lutheran University’s Rainier Writing Workshop where her mentors included Lola Haskins and Susan Ludvigson. She cherishes the opportunity to have spent two summers of masterclass sessions with Marvin Bell. Turner’s work has been published in a variety of journals.

Connie Walle is a life-long Tacoma poet. She is the founder and president of the legendary Puget Sound Poetry Connection.

Juniper White is a mom, writer, teaching artist, and letterpress printer who cultivates handwork in Northwest communities.

Carolyne Wright has been a contributing editor for the Pushcart Prizes and a senior editor for Lost Horse Press. She is a Seattle native who studied with Elizabeth Bishop, Madeline DeFreees, Richard Hugo, and William Stafford.

Hope in Hard Times on April 29

27 Apr

In honor of National Poetry Month, join 2010-11 Tacoma Poet Laureate Tammy Robacker and writer Maria Gudaitis with special guest poets Hans Ostrom, Josie Emmons Turner, Allen Braden, and Elijah Muied as they read poems in response to “Hope in Hard Times: Washington During the Great Depression”—an exhibit at the Washington State History Museum. “The Museum, which celebrates and conserves images, words, artifacts and papers, is an appropriate, resonant location for this event that celebrates thoughtful writing about hope and suffering. Both the History Museum and poetry attempt to preserve community memories and individual experiences. Both also aim to preserve a sense of meaning associated with the human experience,” said Robacker.

The poets will engage exhibit stories, artifacts and images. Like the exhibit, the reading will touch on poverty and resourcefulness—distress and courage—to show how artistic voices add meaning to memories of important eras.

“The Museum’s exhibit bears witness to Americans living through the worst economic crisis in our history. Survival and celebration go hand in hand. Even in the darkest time, people wrote poems. We see this in the Bible, in Holocaust art, in the poems of Prague Spring and in poets under house arrest in China today. Art lifts spirits. And the South Sound could use a creative boost, because the current economic downturn has depleted us,” said Gudaitis. Continue reading

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