Reading and Conversation with Poet Laureate

75th anniversary lecture series event with the poet laureate Oct. 21

Media Contact: Derek Sheffield, English faculty, 509.682.6737, or Libby Siebens, community relations executive director, 509.682.6436 (Mon. – Thurs.).

Elizabeth AustenWashington State Poet Laureate Elizabeth Austen will help kick off WVC's 75th anniversary lecture series with a reading and conversation on Tuesday, Oct. 21, at 1 p.m. in The Grove Recital Hall, Music and Art Center, at Wenatchee Valley College. This event is free and open to the public.

She will give a reading from 1 to 1:50 p.m., followed by a book signing. From 2 to 2:30 she will discuss the role of the poet laureate and take questions from the audience.

Austen is serving as poet laureate for 2014-16. Her debut collection, EElizabeth Austen bookcover imagevery Dress a Decision (Blue Begonia Press, 2011) was a finalist for the Washington State Book Award. She's also the author of two chapbooks, The Girl Who Goes Alone (Floating Bridge Press, 2010) and Where Currents Meet (Toadlily Press, 2010), and an audio CD, skin prayers (self-published, 2006). Her poems have been featured on The Writer's Almanac and Verse Daily, in the Los Angeles Review, Bellingham Review and Willow Springs. She is noted for her engaging public performances of poetry and has been featured at Poets House in New York City, Minneapolis's The Loft, the Skagit River Poetry Festival, Spokane's Get Lit!, Seattle's Cheap Wine and Poetry, and Bumbershoot, among others. Austen produces poetry programming for NPR-affiliate KUOW 94.9, earned an MFA at Antioch University LA, and teaches at Richard Hugo House. She makes her living at Seattle Children's Hospital, where she also offers poetry and journaling workshops for the staff.

The poet laureate serves to build awareness and appreciation of poetry through public readings, workshops, lectures and presentations to communities, schools, colleges and universities, and other public settings. The poet laureate is sponsored by Humanities Washington and the Washington State Arts Commission.

Two more anniversary lecture series events will follow in winter and spring quarters. Visit for updates.

This event is sponsored by WVC President Jim Richardson and the WVC Foundation.


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