Seattle Civic Poet Anastacia-Renee has been busy. She was invited to give a TEDx talk, which you can view here and she was a 2018 resident of the Mineral School. Mineral School nurtures literary, performing, and visual artists to generate new work and present that work to the public. They provide overnight artists residency programs and public events from a classic 1947 elementary school in a lake town near Mt. Rainier. Learn more about Anastacia-Renee’s residency here.
With Bettina Judd, Helen K. Thomas and Jourdan Imani Keith
Monday, February 18, 7 p.m.
Jack Straw Cultural Center
4261 Roosevelt Way NE,
Seattle, WA 98105
Speak to Me! is an intergenerational reading series showcasing poets and writers curated, hosted and moderated by Anastacia-Renee, Seattle Civic Poet (Seattle Office of Arts & Culture). This special installment of the series celebrates the birth, life, and work of Audre Lorde.
Bettina Judd is an interdisciplinary writer, artist and performer whose research focus is on Black women’s creative production and our use of visual art, literature, and music to develop feminist thought. Her current book manuscript argues that Black women’s creative production is feminist knowledge production produced by registers of affect she calls “feelin.” She is currently Assistant Professor of Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Washington. She has received fellowships from the Five Colleges, The Vermont Studio Center and the University of Maryland. Her poems and essays have appeared in Torch, Mythium, Meridians and other journals and anthologies. Her collection of poems titled patient. which tackles the history of medical experimentation on and display of Black women won the Black Lawrence Press Hudson Book Prize and was released in November of 2014. As a performer she has been invited to perform for audiences within the United States and internationally. Find out more information about Bettina at www.bettinajudd.com.
Helen K. Thomas is a native of Seattle, WA by way of Lagos, Nigeria. She writes Young Adult fiction about black girls surviving, thriving and trying to figure it all out in the Pacific Northwest.
Jourdan Imani Keith is a poet, essayist, playwright, naturalist and activist. Her TEDx Talk, “Your Body of Water,” the theme for King County’s 2016-2018 Poetry on Buses program, won a 2018 Americans for the Arts Public Art award. Keith’s Orion Magazine essays, “Desegregating Wilderness” and ” At Risk” were selected for the 2015 Best American Science and Nature Writing Anthology (Houghton Mifflin). Her ekphrastic poems and stories were commissioned by the Northwest African American Museum to be featured as over-sized text on its walls during the Glass Orchidarium exhibit and her creation myth, ” We Were All Water,” was commissioned by Seattle Art Museum for a featured performance at the REMIX . A keeper of culture and history in the Griot (gree-oh) storytelling tradition, she has been awarded fellowships from Hedgebrook, Wildbranch, Santa Fe Science Writing workshop, VONA, and Jack Straw. She’s received multiple commissions and awards from University of Washington, Artist Trust, 4Culture and the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture. Her memoir in essays, Tugging at the Web is forthcoming from University of Washington Press.
*Speak to Me! is an intergenerational reading series showcasing poets and writers curated, hosted and moderated by Anastacia-Renee, Seattle Civic Poet (Seattle Office of Arts & Culture).
November 20, 2018, 7 – 9 p.m.
Jack Straw Studios
4261 Roosevelt Way NE Seattle WA 98105
Speak to Me Series (II) Volume I
This years Speak to Me! Series (II) focuses on the theme of “Living Legacy.” Poets will share their work and a brief Q & A will follow. Features poets:
Gary Copeland Lilley is the author of eight books of poetry, the most recent being The Bushman’s Medicine Show, from Lost Horse Press (2017), and a chapbook, The Hog Killing, from Blue Horse Press (2018). He is originally from North Carolina and now lives in the Pacific Northwest. He has received the Washington DC Commission on the Arts Fellowship for Poetry. He is published in numerous anthologies and journals, including Best American Poetry 2014, Willow Springs, Waxwing, the Taos International Journal of Poetry, and the African American Review. He is a Cave Canem Fellow.
Amber Flame is a writer, composer and performer, whose work has garnered artistic merit residencies with Hedgebrook, The Watering Hole, Vermont Studio Center, and Yefe Nof. Flame joins the Hugo House in Seattle as the 2017 poetry Writer-in-Residence, and is a queer Black single mama just one magic trick away from growing her unicorn horn.
Sierra Golden graduated with an MFA in poetry from North Carolina State University. Her manuscript The Slow Art won the Dorothy Brunsman Poetry Prize and was published by Bear Star Press in September 2018. Golden’s poems appear in literary journals such as Prairie Schooner, Permafrost, and Ploughshares. She has been awarded fellowships and residencies by Hedgebrook, Hugo House, and The Elizabeth George Foundation. Although she calls Washington State home, Golden spent many summers in Alaska, working as a commercial fisherman. She now works in nonprofit communications in Seattle.
Azura Tyabji is a born-and-raised Seattle poet, facilitator, and organizer. Brought up through Youth Speaks Seattle, she encourages other young people to unapologetically speak their truth through the dynamic art of spoken word. What drives her activism is a deep passion and respect for art as an indispensable tool for social change. As this year’s Seattle Youth Poet Laureate, she hopes to continue challenging and expanding her craft for the communities that inspire her. Her debut poetry collection will be released in the upcoming spring.
Seattle Civic Poet Anastacia-Renee has a passion for poetry and community. A major goal of her time as Civic Poet is to create safe literary hubs where community members can gather to share and celebrate the plethora of local, historical, and contemporary voices. In 2018 she will be sharing her passion through a number of collaborative and monthly offerings for the community.
Speak to Me! Volume III
February 23, 2018, 7 p.m.
Speak to Me! Series is a FREE intergenerational monthly workshop and reading series showcasing youth poets, poets over 50, emerging, and seasoned poets. The readings will be followed by an optional 30-minute generative writing workshop lead by Anastacia-Renee and guest facilitators.
Pop Up Poets Café, is an informal every other month event where writers of all ages, backgrounds and abilities can meet for an informal writers’ workshop.
The Civic Poet Says on artbeat.com, are monthly musings from Anastacia-Renee, featuring a glimpse into her world and the creative conversations she has with people in the community.
To learn more about Anastacia-Renee visit:
Live Wire Radio interview http://www.livewireradio.org/episode355
The Deep End Podcast with Reagan Jackson
Anastacia-Renee is Civic Poet of Seattle and former 2015-2017 Poet-in-Residence at Hugo House. She is the author of four books: Forget It (Black Radish Books), (v.), (Gramma Press), Answer(Me) (Argus Press), and 26 (Dancing Girl Press), and her poetry, prose and fiction have been published widely.
For more information please contact Anastacia-Renee at SeattleCivicPoet@gmail.com
Sunday, December 3, 2017, 1 – 3:30 p.m.
The Black Zone
2301 South Jackson Street, Suite 203
Seattle, WA 98058
Seattle Civic Poet Anastacia-Renee begins the Speak to Me! series, a FREE intergenerational monthly workshop and reading series showcasing emerging and seasoned poets. Speak to Me! Volume I will feature readings by Quenton Baker, Jalayna Carter, Robert Francis Flor, and a Seattle Youth Poet. The readings will be followed by an optional 30-minute generative writing workshop lead by Anastacia-Renee.
Quenton Baker is a poet and educator from Seattle. His current focus is anti-blackness and the afterlife of slavery. His work has appeared in Jubilat, Vinyl, Apogee, Pinwheel, Poetry Northwest, The James Franco Review, and Cura and in the anthologies Measure for Measure: An Anthology of Poetic Meters and It Was Written: Poetry Inspired by Hip-Hop. He has an MFA in Poetry from the University of Southern Maine and is a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee. He is a 2017 Jack Straw fellow and is the recipient of a James W. Ray Venture Project award from Artist Trust. His first collection, This Glittering Republic, came out from Willow Books in 2016.
Jalayna Carter is a multimedia storyteller living in Seattle, WA. Currently she writes stories for Habitat for Humanity – Seattle King County about the humanity of their homeowners, how they lead varied and resilient lives and what the impact of having basic needs met (like living in a decent place at a sustainable price) can be. Her work has been published in: Third Point Press, 2Leaf Press and Fig Root Press with forthcoming pieces in Reality Beach and Puerto del Sol. Her work can be found on her website, JalaynaCarter.com or sprinkled between memes and pictures of food on her social media channels: @just.jalayna.
Robert Francis Flor is a Seattle native raised in the city’s Central Area and Rainier Valley. His poems appeared in the Raven Chronicles, Soundings Review, the Field of Mirrors anthology (2008) and Poetry on the Bus. In 2012, several poems were published in two anthologies Voices of the Asian American Experience by the Univ. of Santa Cruz and “Where Are You From?” the Thymos Book Project. His chapbook “Alaskero Memories” was published in 2016 by Carayan Press.
Anastacia-Renee is the current Seattle Civic Poet and former 2015-17 Poet-in-Residence at Hugo House. She is a hybrid genre writer, workshop facilitator and multivalent performance artist. She is the author of four books: Forget It (Black Radish Books), (v.), (Gramma Press), Answer(Me) (Argus Press), and 26 (Dancing Girl Press) and her poetry, prose and fiction have been published widely.
*Book of the Month: The Racial Imaginary, Writers on Race in the Life of the Mind
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.