Poet's Perspective

The Arts Commission's new literary program celebrates poetry with six poems by Western Washington writers. The poems will be displayed throughout the year:

  • City Hall Neighborhood Office, located in the shopping center at 23632 Highway 99, Suite I
  •  Outside Edmonds Sno-Isle Library and Plaza Room above the library at 650 Main St. 

The poems and the authors' biographies are also available to read below.

The poems were selected through a competitive process that asked writers of all ages and writing/publishing experience to submit up to two poems that create a link connecting the reader with a sense of place in the Edmonds region. Over 80 poems were submitted for consideration. Selected writers were awarded a $100 honorarium.

poem by Ricardo Gurango

Ricardo Gurango is a 16-year-old aspiring poet who has enjoyed writing and creating since he could pick up a pencil. His poetry has been published on the MOPOP Blog, Southend Stories Blog, 2017 What to Read in the Rain, and Encyclopedia Greenwoodia. He was awarded 2nd Place in MOPOP’s Writing Out of this World contest in 2020 and is a 2021/22 Seattle Youth Poet Laureate Cohort.  He wants to use the power of words to speak out against climate issues and racial injustice.

by Alison Leigh Lilly

Alison Leigh Lilly is a writer and artist living in Edmonds. Her first published verse collection is The Rosary Poems (2River Chapbook Series, 2005). In addition to her on-going column in SageWoman Magazine, her work has been published on Patheos.com and included in a handful of anthologies exploring nature-centered spirituality.  As a practitioner of modern Druidry, she often lingers with particular focus on earth-centered spirituality and the beauty of the natural world. You can learn more about her work on her website: alisonleighlilly.com

poem by RW Mayer

RW Mayer has been a teacher and administrator in Southern Oregon and Western Washington public schools. He lives in Snohomish County. He reads and writes and fiddles with the guitar. His poetry has appeared in MacQueen's Quinterly, The Closed Eye Open and SpectraPoets.

poem by Bethany Reid
Bethany Reid’s first book of poems, The Coyotes and My Mom, was published by Bellowing Ark Press in 1990. Her other poetry books are Be Careful (a limited-edition chapbook from Chuckanut Sandstone, 2005); Sparrow, which won the 2012 Kenneth and Geraldine Gell Poetry Prize, selected by Dorianne Laux; and Body My House, published by Seattle’s Goldfish Press in 2018; her chapbook of poetic riffs, “The Thing with Feathers” (inspired by poems of Emily Dickinson) was published in 2020 as part of Triple No. 10 by Edmond’s Ravenna Press. In addition to the Gell Prize, Bethany’s poetry has won numerous awards, including Calyx’s Lois Cranston Memorial Prize, and The MacGuffin’s 22nd annual Poet Hunt Contest, selected by Naomi Shihab Nye. See her website for more information: www.bethanyareid.com
poem by Sean Patrick Taylor

Sean Patrick Taylor is a poet and theatre artist based in Seattle. His most recent poetry collection, What Foreign Shore, was published in 2019. He has also translated Cyrano de Bergerac and A Doll’s House for Seattle Shakespeare Company’s productions of those works. 

poem by Carolyne Wright

Carolyne Wright is a Seattle native who has lived and taught at schools, colleges, and universities all over the country, and on fellowships in Chile, Brazil, India and Bangladesh. She has published 18 books and anthologies of poetry, essays, and volumes of translation from Spanish and Bengali, and poems, essays, and reviews in dozens of magazines, journals and anthologies. Wright’s latest books are Masquerade, a memoir in poetry (Lost Horse Press, 2021) and This Dream the World: New & Selected Poems (Lost Horse, 2017), whose title poem received a Pushcart Prize and appeared in The Best American Poetry 2009. She is a Contributing Editor for the Pushcart Prizes. Wright has received National Endowment for the Arts and 4Culture grants, and a Fulbright Scholar Award will take her back to Bahia, Brazil.