Poet Laureate

Call for Poet Laureate

The City is seeking a new Poet Laureate to engage our community in the literary arts. Deadline to apply is Friday, September 28, 2018 at 5 p.m.

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.

Anthology of Olympia Poems

Amy's final project as Poet laureate is coming up in association with Fall Arts walk. 

I Hear Olympia Singing: An Anthology of Olympia Poems will be available (limited quantities) at Fall Arts Walk during the poetry reading of anthology poets at the Washington Center Friday night, October 5, 6-6:30pm. View the list of included poets/poems below.

Connie Jasperson "A Summer Evening Spent Fishing", "The Lillies Orange"
Linda C. Smith  "Living in Olympia Has Made Me a Better Person" 
Jim Burlingame "I live in a lithograph", "the field below a steep grassy slope"
Jack Rice "Evensong the Lanterned-Clamming-Beach"
William Marshman "A Graduation Tribute"
Ivan Smason "Here is Olympia Singing"
Shannon Blood "Olympia Almanac"
Pigmeat Rabinowitz "It Wasn't My Fault"
Lenee Reid "Ode to GrUB"
Suzanne Simons "Considering the First Swim of Autumn at Ward Lake", At the Intersection of Black Lives Matter and Memorial Day"
Sue Prince "A Sunday Sail on Puget Sound"
Theresa Yost "Where beauty thrives"
Brad Andrews "All Paths Lead Home"
Bev Jackson "Wild Song"
Denny Jackson "Park of Seven Oars", "Bird-song Lullabies"
Cecily Markham "The Corner of Water Street and Fifth Avenue"
Beverley Boe "Bigfoot and Quiet Pink Bunny"
Shawn Moriarty "Swallowtail Season"
Bethany Ramos "Well Water"
Kathleen Byrd "Olympia and other words for water"
Joanne Clarkson "Madonna of the Boardwalk"
DeAngelo Oliver "Definition"
Bill Yake "The Salish Prairie" 
Mandy Paradise  "Wingspan" 
Amy Solomon-Minarchi  "Credo Unplugged" 


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.


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