All afternoon seats in the Chapel for Poet Laureate are reserved, we will have overflow seating to listen in by video in Benson Hall next door. For everyone’s safety, please wear a mask indoors.
There is room for the morning readings at 10am. The noon readings have been rescheduled for a later date. Music will be in Benson Hall at noon and the Chapel at 1pm.
Books are available in the Parish Hall in the Eco Fair, 10-2:30.
Enjoy a day filled with literature inspired by the Salish Sea – poetry, prose and invocations that deepens and celebrates the natural wonders of the Salish Sea bio region. Indoors and outdoors on the Eastsound waterfront at Emmanuel Episcopal Church.
I Sing the Salmon Home: Poems from Washington State
Orcas Island is honored to have been selected as a host for esteemed Poet Laureate Rena Priest thanks to support from Humanities Washington in collaboration with Arts Washington. As the capstone author for the Earth Day Orcas ‘Spoken Word’ program on Saturday, April 22nd, Priest will be reading from ‘I Sing the Salmon Home: Poems from Washington State’ that includes poetry by Orcas Island poet Jill McCabe Johnson.
Rena Priest became the sixth Washington State Poet Laureate in 2021 and her term runs through 2023. Priest’s literary debut, Patriarchy Blues, was honored with the 2018 American Book Award and her most recent work is Sublime Subliminal. A member of the Lhaq’temish (Lummi) Nation, she is the first Indigenous poet to assume the role.
Each Laureate puts their own unique focus on the position and Priest has focused on two primary goals during her term: celebrating Washington’s tribal communities and using poetry to increase appreciation of the natural world, and the threats facing it.
Priest’s Poet Laureate culminating project is as editor of the newly published collection, ‘I Sing the Salmon Home: Poems from Washington State’. She has taught Comparative Cultural Studies and Contemporary American Issues at Western Washington University and Native American Literature at Northwest Indian College. Priest holds a BA in English from Western Washington University and an MFA in Writing from Sarah Lawrence College. She lives in Bellingham, Washington.