Kathleen Flenniken named Washington's Poet Laureate

Feb 14, 2012

Kathleen Flenniken has been named Washington State’s Poet Laureate. (Click the listen button to hear her read a poem from her most recent collection).

“This is a dream job — speaking in support of the arts and humanities, and of poetry in particular, getting the chance to organize poetry events around the state, visit schools, reach kids and teachers and remote communities,” said Flenniken.

Sponsored by Humanities Washington and the Washington State Arts Commission, with the support of Gov. Chris Gregoire, Flenniken will serve a two-year term as the primary spokesperson, supporter, and promoter of poetry in the state.

Flenniken has engineering degrees from Washington State University and University of Washington and a master of fine arts from Pacific Lutheran University. Her most recent collection of poems is Plume (University of Washington Press, 2012).

Newest poems

Plume is Flenniken’s second collection of poems. Here she writes about the Hanford nuclear site, located in southeast Washington. The collection has been chosen for the Pacific Northwest Poetry Series.

In this video, Flenniken talks about Plume – a nuclear-age songs of innocence and experience set in the "empty" desert west: