State’s poet laureate to visit Clark County this week

Three events help celebrate National Poetry Month, coincide with release of anthology

By Scott Hewitt, Columbian Arts & Features Reporter

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Tod Marshall, the state poet laureate, will visit Clark County this week to celebrate National Poetry Month and the release of a new anthology of Washington poetry called “WA 129.”

Clark County poet laureate Christopher Luna and Vancouver resident George Thomas have poems in the anthology, which was curated by Marshall and named for the number of years Washington will have been a state when his two-year term as poet laureate is up (2018).

Marshall will participate in three different events. He’ll read from his own works and from “WA 129” at noon Wednesday at Clark College’s Cannell Library, 1933 Fort Vancouver Way.

Later that day, he’ll visit Washougal High School to read alongside local poets who appear in the anthology. That’s set for 7 p.m. Wednesday at 1201 39th St. The event is hosted by the Washougal Community Library.

Finally, Marshall will conduct a free poetry-reading and -writing workshop for anybody who wants to attend. The workshop will begin with close readings of a few contemporary poems and then will move on to writing original first drafts of new poems. That’s set for 4 p.m. Thursday at the Vancouver Community Library, 901 C St.

No previous poetry experience — writing it or even reading it — is necessary to attend any of these free events.

Marshall, a professor at Gonzaga University, is the author of several books of poetry, most recently “Bugle,” which won the Washington State Book Award in 2015. He is currently barnstorming the state to build awareness and appreciation of poetry during National Poetry Month.

If you still haven’t gotten enough local poetry after Marshall’s visit, consider joining a downtown Vancouver poetry crawl from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday. Local poets — whose works have been temporarily painted on the sidewalks — will read. The crawl departs from Pacific Continental Bank, 101 E. Sixth St.