Find Posts By Topic

Seattle Civic Poet curates BIPOC community poetry project to perform for World Poetry Day

Womxn & Whales, Poetry in a Climate of Change, is a virtual reading March 21, 2021,   

hosted by the Seattle Library Foundation in partnership with Seattle Office of Arts & Culture. 

Virtual Reading and Q&A Sunday, March 21st, 2021, 4 p.m. pst. 


Admission is free  

Celebrate World Poetry Day on March 21, 2021 with seven Black, Indigenous, Womxn of Color reading original poetry that explores the intersectionality of womxn’s health, healing, and the endangered Orca whales of the Salish Sea.  

Seattle Civic Poet Jourdan Imani Keith, along with six other local poets, will perform original pantoums developed through workshops facilitated by Keith over the last few months as part of her larger project, Womxn & Whales First, Poetry in a Climate of Change. The pantoum is a poetry verse form that originated in Malaysia in the 15th century and will be the form that guides the general public call for poetry curated by Keith through March. For more information on the general call for poetry click here.  

Womxn & Whales First, Poetry in a Climate of Change is a multi-event project of 2019-21 Civic Poet Jourdan Imani Keith with the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture. The project seeks to center the experiences of Black Indigenous Women of Color and explore, through art, the impact of our choices on the environment we all share.  

“As Black Indigenous Womxn of Color in Seattle, we share the urban wilderness of the Salish Sea with the endangered Killer Whales,” says Keith. “Our bodies face the same cumulative risks of environmental toxins and the harms of objectification, yet we both survive and are revived by the cumulative benefits of matrilineal wisdom, tradition and community. Our brilliance and wellness is entwined with the need for healthy and protected social and natural ecosystems.” 

After the virtual reading, Keith and the other poets will hold a conversation with the audience. The event will start at 4 pm (PST) and run approx. 70 minutes including multiple readings, as well as audience Q&A. Registration for the event can be found here

The Seattle Public Library reading is the first event under the Womxn & Whales First, Poetry in a Climate of Change projectFuture events include a general public call for poetry, a public celebration and reading on April 22, 2021 in honor of Earth Day, and a publication of selected poems. For more information, or to submit for the general public call for poetry, apply here

For further information on Womxn & Whales First, Poetry in a Climate of Change, please visit Urban Wilderness Project’s website here or contact Jaeeun Kim at

#   #  #  

The event is presented in partnership with The Seattle Public Library Foundation, the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, and Seattle City of Literature. This event is supported by the Gary and Connie Kunis Foundation. Thanks to media sponsor The Seattle Times.  


The City of Seattle’s 2019 -2021 Civic Poet, Jourdan Imani Keith is a storyteller, essayist, playwright, naturalist and activist. A student of Sonia Sanchez, her TEDx Talk, “Your Body of Water,” the theme for King County’s 2016-2018 Poetry on Buses program won an Americans for the Arts award. Her poetry is largely anthologized and was long listed by Danez Smith for Cosmonauts Avenue poetry prize. Keith’s Orion Magazine essays, “Desegregating Wilderness” and ” At Risk” were selected for the 2015 Best American Science and Nature Writing Anthology (Houghton Mifflin). She has been awarded fellowships from Hedgebrook, Wildbranch, Santa Fe Science Writing workshop, VONA, and Jack Straw. Her memoir in essays, Tugging at the Web, is forthcoming from University of Washington Press.