National Poetry Month & Earth Day

March 27, 2017

Media Contacts:
Derek Sheffield, English faculty, (509) 682-6737
Libby Siebens, community relations executive director, (509) 682-6436 (Mon. – Thurs.)

Erin Fristad    Tim McNulty  Holly Hughes  

The Wenatchee Valley College Earth Day and Poetry Month celebration on Wednesday, April 19, will include readings, information booths, a plant sale, and much more.

Poets and environmental activists Tim McNulty, Holly Hughes and Erin Fristad will give a reading near the fountain on the Wenatchee campus from 1 to 3 p.m. McNulty, Hughes and Fristad will read from their work and discuss their activism.

In addition to the reading, current WVC students are invited to enter a poetry contest. The winner will receive $100 and will be invited to read their poem(s) during the celebration.

Students may submit one to three poems (no more than five pages total) that focus on the natural world that praise, protest, warn or inform. Submissions should be sent to Derek Sheffield, WVC English faculty, at by April 10. Submissions need to be in an attachment that is either a .doc or .docx file. The first page of the submission should include the submitter’s name, address, email, phone number and titles of the poem(s) submitted. Submissions will be judged by McNulty, Hughes and Fristad.

Additional events will include:

  • a plant sale by the WVC Agriculture Club from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. around the fountain
  • walking tours of the campus at 2:30 p.m., led by instructors Joan Qazi and Danielle Gibbs, to discuss sustainability efforts on campus. Tours will begin at the fountain. Qazi will also have Campus Kitchens club and Climate Conversations NCW info booths during the celebration.
  • The WVC Outbackers Club will lead a short nature walk/hike at Jacobson Preserve from 4 to 5:30 p.m. The club will provide transportation, which will depart from Smith Gym.
  • Artist Renee Adams’ exhibit, Panacea, will be available for viewing at the MAC Gallery in the Music and Art Center. Adams creates sculptures based on nature that are both realistic and fantastical, and which provide commentary on the consequences of human interaction with the environment.

McNulty is a poet, essayist and nature writer who lives in the foothills of the Olympic Mountains. He is the author of ten books of poetry and eleven books of natural history. His most recent book of poems, Ascendance, was published by Pleasure Boat Studio in 2013. His natural history books include Olympic National Park: A Natural History and Washington’s Mount Rainier National Park. He received the Washington State Book Award and the National Outdoor Book Award.

McNulty is active in the Northwest environmental community. He gives readings, lectures, teaches and conducts workshops throughout the Northwest.

Hughes is author of several books of poetry and prose, including Sailing by Ravens (University of Alaska Press, 2014) and The Pen and The Bell: Mindful Writing in a Busy World (Skinner House Press, 2012). She co-edited Contemplative Approaches to Sustainability in Higher Education: Theory and Practice (Routledge, 2016) and published a letterpress chapbook witnessing the passing of 15 species of extinct birds (Expedition Press, 2016).

Hughes taught for over 25 years at Edmonds Community College, where she co-founded the Sustainability Council and directed the Convergence Writers Series . She now teaches at the Port Townsend branch of Peninsula College and serves on staff of the Rainier Writing Workshop MFA program at Pacific Lutheran University. Hughes served on the steering committee for the state-wide Curriculum for the Bioregion project and currently serves on a citizen's working group for Seafood and health for the nonprofit Global Ocean Health to address ocean acidification and works on climate issues through 2020 in Port Townsend. Her environmental views were shaped by 30 seasons working on the water in Alaska commercial fishing for salmon, skippering a 65-foot schooner and working as a naturalist on ships. She re-connects with the fishing fleet at the annual FisherPoets Gathering in Astoria.

Fristad is a Washington state native who moved to Alaska, where she worked for 15 years as a professional deckhand on commercial fishing and research vessels. She earned a master of fine arts degree from Goddard College and became a founding member of The FisherPoets Gathering, a community of writers connected by commercial fishing and the maritime industry. She also worked as the west coast administrator for Goddard’s two master of arts programs.

Fristad’s collection of poems and prose, The Glass Jar, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2016. Her work has also appeared in journals and anthologies including Rosebud, americas review, The Blue Collar Review, Hanging Loose, The Seattle Review, Floating Bridge Review, Working the Woods, Working the Sea: An Anthology of Northwest WritingHooked! True Stories of Death, Obsession and Love From Alaska’s Commercial Fishing Men and Women, and Poets of the American West, Raising Lily Ledbetter: Women Occupy The Workplace.

The reading is sponsored by the WVC English Transfer Division, Ginny and Nelson Martin, and the Associated Students of WVC.

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