Organized by Mountlake Terrace Library staff Kwami Nyamidie, Mountlake Terrace resident Ann Hursey and Mountlake Terrace High School alum Christina Montilla, our very own Mountlake Terrace Library will be the scene for one of the State’s official inaugural poetry events during National Poetry Month, as proclaimed by Governor Jay Inslee.
The Saturday event will be officially opened by Washington State’s Poet Laureate Elizabeth Austen. When asked by the Mountlake Terrace community to get involved, Austen was honored to foster the awareness, appreciation and engagement of poetry. Serving a two-year term, two poet laureates have preceded Austen, including Sam Green and Kathleen Flenniken. You can learn more about the poet laureate program, sponsored by Humanities Washington and the Washington State Arts Commission, here.
Austen has been a contributing producer for such segments as “Morning Edition” and “For the Record” on KUOW FM 94.9 and has written a full-length poetry book, “Every Dress Has a Decision,” and two poetry chapbooks entitled, “The Girl Who Goes Alone” and “Where Currents Meet” The latter is one of four winners of the Toadlily Press chapbook award and part of the quartet “Sightline.” (For the uninitiated, a chapbook usually refers to a book of poetry, up to about 40 pages long.)
You can learn more about Austen here.
Community members of all ages are encouraged to not only come and enjoy the readings, but to also participate in a favorite poetry reading of their own during an open mic segment of the program. Mountlake Terrace High School English teacher Peter Breysse will also be involved in the day’s events, by involving his current students. MTHS graduate Montilla has been particularly involved in this segment of the program, as Breysse was one of her favorite teachers.
Both Hursey and Montilla were involved in the Artist Trust EDGE Professional Development for Literary Arts, and Hursey and Breysse met at the University of Washington poetry certification program in 2001.
It took many people to bring this event to fruition and organizers hope that it will be a catalyst for many more literary events to come to Mountlake Terrace and the north end. You can learn more about Artist Trust here.
Poem in Your Pocket kicks off at 2 p.m. at the Mountlake Terrace Library, 23300 58th Ave. W., with opening readings, open mic participation and a reception to follow. Call 425-776-8722 for more details.
— By Lori Knight
Arts Around Terrace columnist Lori Knight co-owns with her husband Eric the Knight Visions Studio Gallery. A Brier resident, Knight has been selling, promoting, marketing and framing art for 25 years. She opened her studio at 19533 Filbert Dr., in nearby Bothell. in 1987. Both of her children, Briana and Chris, are Mountlake Terrace High School graduates. (Photo by Patty Linna)