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Anastacia-Reneé Tolbert selected as Seattle’s next Civic Poet

Tolbert will present at the Mayor’s Arts Awards ceremony,
Thursday, Aug. 31 at 4 p.m.

The Office of Arts & Culture announced Seattle’s next Civic Poet, Anastacia-Reneé Tolbert. She is the former Writer-in-Residence at Richard Hugo House, and a workshop facilitator and multivalent performance artist. Three books by the poet/Tolbert, Forget It (Black Radish Books), (V.) (Gramma Press), and Answer(Me) (Winged City Chapbooks-Argus Press), are forthcoming in 2017. The Civic Poet program celebrates Seattle’s rich literary community, while investing the future of literary arts through community engagement. The program is administered by the city’s Office of Arts & Culture.

“When poetry takes center stage, tension filled spaces become safe literary hubs where community members can gather to share and celebrate the plethora of local, historical, and contemporary voices,” says Anastacia-Reneé. “I’m excited to forge creative new literary paths that lay beyond the standard expectations of poetry.”

Anastacia-Reneé has received writing fellowships from Cave Canem, Hedgebrook, VONA, Artist Trust, and Jack Straw, and a writing residency from Ragdale. She is also the author of numerous books: (V.) (Gramma Press), Forget It (Black Radish Books), 26 (Dancing Girl Press), and Kiss Me Doll Face (Gramma Press). Anastacia-Reneé’s creative repertoire includes the field of installation art, as well as writing, producing and directing 9 Ounces: A One Woman Show. Her work has appeared in many publications including Painted Bride Quarterly, Crab Creek Review, Seattle Review, Revise The Psalm: Work Celebrating the Writing of Gwendolyn Brooks, Duende, The Volta and Torch.

The two-year Civic Poet post serves as a cultural ambassador for Seattle’s rich, multi-hued literary landscape and represents Seattle’s diverse cultural community. In addition to five annual performances, the Civic Poet will also complete hands-on work with communities to engage constituents city-wide. Seattle’s Civic Poet will serve a term of two years, from August 2017 to August 2019, and will receive a $10,000 stipend distributed over the two-year term.

Photograph by Stanton Stephens.