Poet Laureate

"Writing in the Rain" - Call for Poems

Send in your short (4-6 line) poem promoting art, life and nature and if selected it will be 'painted' onto sidewalks around downtown Olympia using a waterproof coating that will make your poem appear when it is wet.

Submit poems via email to poetlaureate@ci.olympia.wa.us with “Writing in the Rain Submission-(your name)” in the subject line. Deadline for receipt of submissions is Monday, April 10, 2017.

Olympia's First Poet Laureate

Olympia Poet Laureate Amy Solomon-MinarchiOn November 22, 2016 City Council named Amy Solomon-Minarchi as Olympia's first Poet Laureate.

Amy has over 15 years of continuous writing experience and currently teaches English and Creative Writing at North Thurston High School. She has a long history of mentoring broad audiences and a passion for building community through poetry.

About the Position

The goal of the Poet Laureate is to:

  • Promote poetry as an art form
  • Expand access to the literary arts
  • Connect the community to poetry
  • Promote poetry as a community voice that contributes to a sense of place

During her tenure as Poet Laureate, Amy will write a variety of original poems and develop and host a series of public events and workshops. Details will be announced on this web page as they are finalized.


Events & Workshops

Arts Walk Poetry Workshop: "Writing to Art"

Saturday, April 29, Noon - 1:30
Begin at City Hall end at Farmer's Market

In this generative workshop, we will be viewing art at different stops on our walk from the steps of City Hall to the performance tent at The Olympia Farmer’s Market and writing poetry using sensory images. We will employ our senses in writing about the experience of art, and the experience and appreciation of Downtown in springtime. No poetry experience necessary. All ages welcome.

What to Bring: Comfortable footwear and clothing for a walk Downtown in April, rain gear, a notebook and pens or pencils.

Teen Writing Workshop

Saturday, February 4, 2 - 3:30 p.m.
Olympia Timberland Regional Library

Monthly Poetry & Journal Writing Workshop

Dates/Times TBD
Community Youth Services


Original Poetry

Cars speed past pedestrians in crosswalks

while babies stain Snugglies, dogs strain leashes

drivers yell, 900 points, and mean it.

Mount Rainier so majestic, could we climb it if

the tsunami hits? Better yet, seek the water tower

pack the power bars, guzzle Powerade

and wait to be saved. Or if it erupts

could we outrun the lava flow in our

Prius? Would we run out of gas mid-flee?

If only my mother were here. We could

be generations until the white waves

wash us out to sea, or the red hand claims us.

Look me in the eyes
so we may soften the harsh glow of our devices.
Our bond is stronger than that,

right? Obsessed with now,
and now, and now,
you say you don’t love,
but--ah! I’ve seen you

laugh with half-time banana powered
camaraderie on the soccer sideline,

imagine empires on the Madison playground
until nightfall and beg to stay longer,

sing the Little Shop of Horrors soundtrack
out the car window, through the Eastside,

scavenge the neighborhood for the biggest
holiday light wonderland display ever every December,

memorize punchlines from the class joke books
for supper time stand-up,

invent drum solos while Zaydee
taps old tunes on the piano,

bait your own hook, cast into Ward Lake
and pull out three times more trout than dad,

burn trenches with supersonic
feet into hardwood flooring,

search for Bigfoot in the backyard
on a tip from a buddy.

Look me in the eyes,
let’s learn again how to
embrace the fuzzy edges of our humanity,
together, with love. Unplug.


Questions?

Contact Stephanie Johnson at 360.709.2678 or sjohnso1@ci.olympia.wa.us