Peninsula College Longhouse to host ‘Powerful Poets’

PORT ANGELES — House of Learning, Peninsula College Longhouse, will host a poetry reading and conversations with guest poets Dawn Pichón Barron and Rena Priest at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 8.

Their poetry reading will be followed by a roundtable discussion.

“Powerful Poets” will be second in a series of culture talks offered by Peninsula College Longhouse.

“The Culture Talks hope to hold space for broadening perspectives and cultural awareness while celebrating diversity and commonality within community,” said Samantha Della-DeVoney, Longhouse cultural programs manager.

“Our doors are open for the public to join these very vital and meaningful exchanges that support the Longhouse vision to build bridges of understanding and awareness.”

The free reading and discussion can be joined at us02web.zoom.us/j/87463269446.

The meeting ID is 874 6326 9446.

Priest is a poet and a member of the Lhaq’temish (Lummi) Nation. Her literary debut, “Patriarchy Blues,” was honored with a 2018 American Book Award. Her most recent collection, “Sublime Subliminal,” was published by Floating Bridge Press.

She is the recipient of an Allied Arts Professional Poets Award and residency fellowships from Hawthornden Castle, Hedgebrook, and Mineral School. She is a National Geographic Explorer and a 2019 Jack Straw Writer. Her work can be found in For Love of Orcas, Cosmonauts Avenue, Poetry Northwest, High Country News, and Nautilus. Her recent article in Yes magazine titled, “The Kind of Heroes We Need to Actually Save the Planet,” can be found at bit.ly/2V1RhAw.

Pichón Barron, a mixed-blood (Choctaw/Mexican/European), is a writer, educator and believer in “Relationality” as a way of knowing and being.

She is the academic director of the Native Pathways Program and member of the faculty at The Evergreen State College. Her work has appeared in Moss, Yellow Medicine Review, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, WA 129 anthology (Sage Press, 2017), Barrelhouse, Pontoon and Of A Monstrous Child (Lost Horse Press, 2011) among other writerly places.

She is author of the chapbook “Escape Girl Blues” (Finishing Line Press, 2018) and lives with her wingman at the southern tip of the Salish Sea.

She can occasionally be found at dawnpichonbarron.com.

Carmen Hoover and Kyle Pittman led the first Culture Talk, “Facing Cultural Appropriation,” in October.

Della-DeVoney is a graduate of Peninsula College and The Evergreen State College, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in the Native Pathways Program.

“I was thinking back to a conversation with Dawn about being aggressive and what that word means,” Della-DeVoney said.

“It is important to think about the meaning of words and how the meaning changes per person, per experience.

“Inviting a conversation about the compilation of words that make up poetry will be dynamic and powerful.”

The series was made possible through a National Endowment for the Humanities CARES grant that supports humanities faculty, staff and projects impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

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