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Arts commission selects Susan Dingle as Clark County poet laureate

The Columbian
Published: April 13, 2024, 5:31am

VANCOUVER – The Clark County Arts Commission has selected Washougal resident Susan Dingle as Clark County poet laureate. Dingle will serve from 2024-2026, promoting the art of poetry and literature throughout Clark County. Her term began April 1.

The arts commission in March held a “passing of the pen” celebration with Dingle’s predecessor, Armin Tolentino, presenting her with a traditional laurel wreath.

Dingle earned a master’s degree in creative writing from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her poetry has been published in several periodicals, and she is the author of two books: “In Pilgram Drag,” published by Finishing Line Press and “Parting Gifts,” published by Local Gems.

She hosts Poetry Street PNW, an open mic event held monthly at the Camas Library. She also has led poetry workshops at the Attic Gallery in Camas and Discover Recovery, also in Camas. Prior to moving to Clark County, Dingle created a public arts project called Poetry Street, an open mic event to foster diversity and inclusion in Riverhead, N.Y., a historically segregated community. Dingle and a poet from the town’s African American community created monthly reading events. For her efforts, Dingle was awarded the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Meritorious Award from First Baptist Church in Riverhead in addition to being recognized by the town of Riverhead.

“My mission is to bring the community to poetry and poetry to the community, benefitting the community by fostering diversity,” Dingle said.