Peninsula College to host celebrated women writers today

PORT ANGELES — Washington State Poet Laureate Rena Priest, an enrolled member of the Lummi nation, and internationally renowned poet Tess Gallagher of Port Angeles will be among the poets reading selections today to mark the publication of the second volume of the Madrona Project.

Poets will read during a Studium Generale presentation at 12:30 p.m. today on Zoom at pencol-edu.zoom.us/j/82027861421. The meeting ID is 820 2786 1421.

The presentation is for the Madrona Project, vol. 2, Number 1, Keep a Green Bough: Voices from the Heart of Cascadia,” edited by Holly J. Hughes of Chimacum.

It is also sponsored by the House of Learning, Peninsula College’s Longhouse.

As editor, Hughes invited women poets, writers and artists to reflect on this very time all people are experiencing on the planet.

“I’m honored to have been invited to guest-edit the second volume of The Madrona Project, to be published by Empty Bowl,” Hughes said.

She invited writers to contribute “literature that reflects a sense of responsibility and explores human communities living in wild places.”

Her invitation went on to explain that contributions “could range from reflecting on how this bioregion/landscape has shaped and inspired you as an artist/writer — to witnessing the systemic injustices the pandemic revealed — to affirming efforts underway in your community to address them.”

The cover art for the collection of poetry is by Linda Okazaki of Port Townsend.

Thursday’s reading will feature not only the state poet laureate, who is the first indigenous person to hold this post, but two women who previously were appointed poets laureate, Claudia Castro Luna and Kathleen Flenniken.

Alice Derry, Peninsula College faculty emerita in English and German, will read, along with Sam Della DeVoney, cultural programs manager for the college’s House of Learning.

Other poets will include Anna Linzer and Meredith Parker.

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