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Oct. 31, 2020

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State’s new poet laureate hopes to bring poetry to many

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SPOKANE — Washington’s new poet laureate begins his two-year stint on Feb. 1 with hopes of bringing poetry to as many different audiences as possible.

Tod Marshall, who was appointed by Gov. Jay Inslee, is the first Eastern Washington resident to serve as poet laureate.

Marshall is a poet and English professor at Gonzaga University in Spokane. He’ll replace Elizabeth Austen as the state’s fourth poet laureate.

He tells The Spokesman-Review he sees his role as helping to bridge different communities and bring everyone to the arts. He will travel across the state to hold readings and workshops, and help produce a book of Washington poems.

The position is funded and supported by Humanities Washington and the Washington Art Commission, with grant support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The laureate receives a small honorarium and some travel expenses.

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