Meet the Washington state Poet Laureate!

WSPoetLaureate_pic1On January 29, Friday Harbor will welcome a very esteemed guest.

Kathleen Flenniken has served as Washington’s Poet Laureate since 2012. She will hand the post over to a new Poet Laureate this year, but before she does, she wanted to make sure to visit every county in Washington. San Juan County is her last.

While she’s here, she will hold a poetry workshop for newbies and professionals alike; even young writers are welcomed and encouraged. All are welcome to bring All are welcome to bring pen and paper and discuss the art with Flenniken at 6 p.m. in the library’s meeting room.

Flenniken’s visits to every county in Washington were  the main focus of her tenure as Poet Laureate.

“That’s been really gratifying and I’ve had a beautiful fall, driving all over the state and presenting poetry workshops in the schools, readings in local libraries, and sharing the stage with many Washington state poets.” Kathleen told the San Juan Islander. “My visit to Friday Harbor will be my last official act as Poet Laureate – then I’ll be handing this wonderful work over to the 2014 -2016 Poet Laureate, who is being selected right now. We will know sometime in January who that will be.”

Flenniken’s first book, Famous, won the Prairie Schooner book prize in poetry. It was also named a Notable Book by the American Library Association, and was a finalist for the Washington state book award.

Her latest book, Plume, did one better and won that award this past fall. She has also received a Pushcart Prize and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and Artist Trust. Plume is about the Handford Nuclear Site and the city of Richmond, where Flenniken was born. She worked on it for over five years. She teaches writing and presides over Floating Bridge Press, a nonprofit publisher which focuses on poets from Washington.

Call 367-2798 or come by the front desk of the library to register for the workshop!