Tag Archives: Thy Nguyễn

Tacoma’s 2019-2021 Poet Laureate is…

9 Apr

2019-2021 Tacoma Poet Laureate Abby E. Murray.

The Tacoma Arts Commission has announced the selection of Abby E. Murray as Tacoma’s 2019-2021 Poet Laureate. Over the next two years, Murray will participate in and host public poetry readings, workshops and other community events to advance the literary arts in Tacoma.

“My admiration for the literary arts community in Tacoma is as genuine as my love of home. As a military spouse and poet who’s spent a lot of time thinking about what it means to belong, I want to increase the reach and impact, geographically and socially, of poetry as a survival skill. We are a fragmented nation. I want to help weave us together, one poem at a time.” – Abby E. Murray

Pass the Torch: Tacoma Poet Laureate Celebration

As a wrap-up of National Poetry Month, 2017-2019 Tacoma Poet Laureate Kellie Richardson and the Tacoma Arts Commission will host Pass the Torch, a poetry and music event at which Murray will officially be awarded the title. The free, public event will be held Wednesday, April 24, from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., at Tacoma Arts Live, Studio 3 (901 Broadway). Featured poets will include Murray, Richardson, 2015-2017 Tacoma Poet Laureate Thy Nguyễn, and emerging poet and University of Washington Tacoma student Byron Gaines II. Light refreshments will be served and attendees will have an opportunity to participate in a hands-on project. Pass the Torch is hosted by Tacoma Arts Live.

About Abby E. Murray

Abby E. Murray is a poet, instructor, editor and activist. She was born in Puyallup, Wash. but spent years moving from state to state with her husband, who is still active duty in the U.S. Army. She recently returned to the Tacoma area when he was assigned to Joint Base Lewis-McChord. She earned a bachelor of arts degree at Seattle University, a master of fine arts degree at Pacific University and a doctorate degree at Binghamton University. She also taught creative writing at universities and community colleges in Colorado, Georgia, Washington and New York.

Because Murray identifies as a conflicted pacifist indirectly impacted by military service, her poetry, essays and community endeavors often focus on the lasting ramifications of violent conflict beyond the combat zone. She is the editor of Collateral, a literary journal that publishes creative work exploring this experience, and is passionate about creating platforms to amplify voices of marginalized writers and artists. War reaches into all our lives, she says, which is why she teaches poetry and writing workshops to the public and military families, trauma survivors, and the undocumented and detained. She also teaches creative writing at Tacoma School of the Arts and argumentation to army colonels on fellowship to the University of Washington from the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

Murray has several chapbooks published, including Quick Draw: Poems from a Soldier’s Wife (2012) and How to be Married After Iraq (2018), and her first full-length collection of poems, Hail and Farewell, recently won the Perugia Press Poetry Prize and will be released in fall 2019. She considers her poetry to be her most tested and trusted survival skill.

About the Tacoma Poet Laureate Program

Information regarding the Tacoma Poet Laureate program, founded in 2008 by Urban Grace Church and transitioned to the City of Tacoma’s Arts Program in 2011, is available at cityoftacoma.org/poet.

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Summer SOULstice

6 Jun

The public is invited to join Kellie Richardson, Tacoma’s 2017-2019 Poet Laureate, for Summer SOULstice, an event at the intersection of creativity, community and commerce.

“June 21st marks summer solstice, the longest day and shortest night of the year. SOULstice will hold space to celebrate this annual miracle by featuring emerging and established artists from marginalized communities. The work featured will carry themes of awakening and healing, personal connection to Earth and spirit, as well as the thread of human experience that connects us all. The weight of historical oppression, generational trauma has never diminished the indelible joy, creativity, innovation and pride of those on the margins. SOULstice underscores this victory.” – Kellie Richardson

What: Summer SOULstice
Where: Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Avenue
When: Thursday, June 21, 2018, 5:30 – 8 p.m.
Cost: Free! RSVP requested at bit.ly/SOULsticeRSVP

Featured performers will include:

  • Thy Nguyễn – poet, artivist and former Tacoma Poet Laureate
  • Olivia Thomas – vocalist and visual artist
  • Hybrid – local funk and soul band featuring celebrated bassist Annie Jones-Barnes

Painter and muralist Tiffanny Hammonds will create a live painting during the performances. In addition, an exhibit space and artist market will feature work from local artists and entrepreneurs. Work will include every medium and price range. Artists currently scheduled to exhibit work are: Nori Kimura, Collin Veenstra, Darishma Alphonse, Nina Vichayapai, Andre Pace, Andrew Lui Robinson, Christina Butcher/Blue Cactus Press, Amanda Drewniak, Kemba Opio, Sojourner Duxbury, Amelia Foster, Apple Cox, MiYoung Margolis, Chardanae, Elizabeth Archer Klein, and Kellie Richardson.

Tacoma Art Museum’s teen council, F.O.A.M., will also host an all-ages printmaking workshop during the event. For more information and free tickets, visit bit.ly/SOULsticeRSVP.

Summer SOULstice is produced in partnership with Tacoma Art Museum, the Tacoma Arts Commission and the City of Tacoma’s Office of Equity and Human Rights.

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