New Washington Laureate/Poetry Month Home/Prince Of Wales’ Easter Poetry Reading – Poetry News Roundup April 2nd

Our final poetry news round-up of the weeks looks at the new Washington state poet laureate, the Carl Sandberg Home for Poetry Month celebrations, and The Prince of Wales’ Easter poetry reading.

First Indigenous State Poet Named for Washington

Yesterday marked the first day of National Poetry Month, and Washington made an announcement regarding their new state poet laureate. Rena Priest, who won an American Book Award in 2018 for her debut poetry collection, will be filling the position.

Priest is the first Indigenous poet to be named for the position. She is a member of the Lummi (Lhaq’temish) Nation. She will take up the position on 15th April. She takes over from the current laureate Claudia Castro Luna who has been serving as the laureate since 2018.

Rena Priest graduated from Western Washington University where she gained a BA in English, she also has an M.F.A in writing from Sarah Lawrence College. In 2020, she was a recipient of the Allied Arts Foundation Professional Poets Award and has also received a number of fellowships. She has taught Native American literature and cultural studies at Northwest Indian College and Western Washington University. She is also the author of several collections of poetry.

The Washington state laureate program is sponsored by the Washington State Arts Commission and Humanities Washington and their role is to create and strengthen an appreciation and awareness of poetry in the state. Priest will be celebrating the role of poetry within the tribal communities of Washington as part of her tenure as well as using poetry to increase an appreciation of the natural world and the threats it currently faces.

National Poetry Month at the Carl Sandburg Home

To mark National Poetry Month, the Carl Sandburg Home will be offering a range of different events; these will be available for the duration of April and will include a range of, mostly, outdoor activities.

Visitors will be invited to take part in a virtual ranger program which will enable them to explore the great outdoors and see spring through the eyes of the poet and his family. There will also be the Student Poetry Contest which will take place online and will be open to students of all ages.

The house will also be taking part in National Park Week and will be running a selection of events in collaboration with the BARK rangers programme with plenty of information about the poet and his writing available.

The Sandburg writer in residence will be leading a poetry workshop and there will even be a music festival held virtually. It is expected that the Carl Sandberg Music festival will still take place at the end of May although once again this event will be held virtually.

Prince of Wales Easter Poetry Reading

To celebrate Easter, and in support of Christians all over the world, HRH The Prince of Wales has made a recording of “God’s Grandeur” by the Catholic priest and poet Gerard Manley Hopkins. The announcement was made by Clarence House this morning.  Last year The Prince made a recording of a Wordsworth poem to mark the occasion.

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