Washington State Poet Laureate: Rena Priest
Public Reading and Talk
May 21, 2021 from 11:30-1:00 PM
Join the reading on Zoom.
The American Book Award-winning poet and member of the Lhaq’temish (Lummi) Nation is the first Indigenous poet to assume the role.
Priest’s literary debut, Patriarchy Blues, was honored with the 2018 American Book Award, and her most recent work is Sublime Subliminal. She has a bachelor’s degree in English from Western Washington University and a master’s of fine arts in writing from Sarah Lawrence College (Bronxville, N.Y.). Priest has received the Allied Arts Foundation 2020 Professional Poets Award and fellowships from Hawthornden Castle, Hedgebrook, Mineral School and the Vadon Foundation. Her work has appeared in Poetry Northwest, Pontoon Poetry, Verse Daily, Poem-a-Day at Poets.org and elsewhere, and she has taught cultural studies and Native American literature at Western Washington University and Northwest Indian College. Her most recent poetry collection is “Sublime Subliminal.”
Poets laureate work to build awareness and appreciation of poetry—including the state’s legacy of poetry—through public readings, workshops, lectures, and presentations in communities throughout the state. Each laureate puts their own unique focus on the position, and Priest will focus on two primary goals during her term: celebrating poetry in Washington’s tribal communities, and using poetry to increase appreciation of the natural world and the threats facing it. Priest’s term will run from April 14, 2021, to March 31, 2023.
For more information contact YVC English Instructor Mark Fuzie or 509.574.6800 x 3160.