Timberland Regional Library District, 415 Tumwater Blvd. SW, Tumwater, WA 98501
(360) 943-5001 or 877-284-6237 · www.TRL.org
Media Contact: Leanne Ingle, Communications Specialist, 704-4508; 877-284-6237 x-2508
Spend an evening with the Washington State Poet Laureate & guest
Kathleen Flenniken & Matthew Nienow will share poems, discuss poetry at Shelton library, 6 p.m. Nov. 21
Washington is a hotbed of first-rank poets says Kathleen Flenniken, the Washington State Poet Laureate. Flenniken will be at the Shelton Timberland Library (William G. Reed Public Library) on Thursday, November 21 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. to prove it.
Flenniken will read from her work and talk about poetry and will also discuss tips and techniques for writing and publishing poems. She will be joined by Matthew Nienow, winner of a 2013 Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation.
Flenniken’s most recent book of poetry, “Plume,” is a meditation on the Hanford nuclear site located in her hometown of Richland, Washington. It was recently chosen for the Pacific Northwest Poetry Series. Her first book, “Famous,” won the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry and was a finalist for a Washington State Book Award.
Flenniken’s goal as Poet Laureate is to visit all 39 Washington counties, especially areas that may have limited access to the arts and that are hardest hit as arts funding lags. She said: “I hope to build interest in reading and writing poetry. I didn’t start myself until my 30s, partly because I just hadn’t been exposed to the different styles and voices and possibilities in contemporary poetry. Poetry is like music—there are so many kinds, and we only need to know how to find the kind we need… I hope to pass that joy of discovery on to new audiences.”
A lifelong Washington resident, Flenniken was raised in Richland and currently lives in Seattle. She holds engineering degrees from Washington State University and the University of Washington, and a Masters in Fine Arts (MFA) from Pacific Lutheran University. She is president of Floating Bridge Press, a nonprofit organization dedicated to publishing Washington poets, and teaches poetry writing to students of all ages. Her website is http://kathleenflenniken.com. Flenniken also maintains a blog called The Far Field that features Washington poets and poetry: www.kathleenflenniken.com/blog.
Nienow holds an MFA from the University of Washington and a degree in Traditional Small Craft from the Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding. His work has appeared in the Beloit Poetry Journal, New England Review, Poetry and two editions of the Best New Poets anthology (2007 and 2012). He has received awards and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Elizabeth George Foundation and Artist Trust, among others. He lives with his wife and two sons in Port Townsend where he builds boats and custom wooden paddle boards.
The Washington State Poet Laureate
The role of the Washington State Poet Laureate is to build awareness and appreciation of poetry, including the state’s legacy of poetry, through public readings, workshops, lectures and presentations in communities, schools, colleges, universities and other public settings in geographically diverse areas of the state. The appointed poet laureate serves a two-year term. Flenniken’s term is 2012-2014.
The Washington State Poet Laureate program is a partnership between Humanities Washington, www.humanities.org, and ArtsWA, www.arts.wa.gov, and is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and Humanities Washington.
The Shelton Timberland Library is located at 710 W Alder Street. For more information, please contact the library at (360) 426-1362 or visit www.TRL.org.