The Tacoma Arts Commission has selected Josie Emmons Turner as the 2011-2013 Poet Laureate for the City of Tacoma. The Tacoma Poet Laureate program was founded in 2008 by the Urban Grace Church as a way of focusing attention on Tacoma’s literary talent by organizing and hosting public readings and workshops in local schools and at community events. Over the next two years, Emmons Turner will provide free poetry related workshops, readings at public events, participate in ‘Art at Work: Tacoma Arts Month’ each November and will help produce the 2013 Tacoma Poet Laureate ceremony to announce the next Poet Laureate. In conjunction with National Poetry Month, the Tacoma Arts Commission will host a poetry reading event at which Emmons Turner will officially be awarded the position. The free, public event will be held Thurs., April 28, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Bellaballs Studio in downtown Tacoma, 747 S. Fawcett St. Emmons Turner’s poetry has been published in 20/20 Tacoma in Images and Verse, 2010 Floating Bridge Review Number 3, In Tahoma’s Shadow, California Quarterly, and Backstreet Review. She received her Masters of Fine Arts through the Rainier Writers Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University and her Bachelor of Arts from Seattle University. She has been a creative writing educator for five years, currently with Clover Park High School.
Information about the Tacoma Poet Laureate program, which transitioned to the City of Tacoma’s Arts Program in 2011, is available on the Tacoma Arts Commission Web site at http://www.tacomaculture.org/arts/PoetLaureate.asp .