CWU student Ruby Nambo gets published

Cassandra Hays, Editor-in-Chief

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Ruby Nambo, a first-generation college student majoring in English education, will have her poetry published in the fall 2019 edition of the “New Directions for Student Leadership” literary journal. 

She is the only undergraduate to have her poetry featured in this edition of the journal.

Nambo grew up in Sultan, Washington. Growing up in a Spanish speaking household, Nambo said she struggled with reading and writing when she entered elementary school. According to Nambo, her first grade teacher expressed concerns to her parents about Nambo’s trouble with reading and writing. Nambo’s teacher suggested that she start writing short stories.

While Nambo disliked the idea at first, she slowly began to grow an interest in writing. Nambo recalled constructing picture books out of printer paper and staples, and creating short stories to accompany her drawings.

Kyle Wilkinson


From there, Nambo fell in love with writing. She began writing poetry in the eighth grade and continued to write as a hobby throughout high school. When Nambo came to CWU in fall 2015, she intended to major in pre-medicine. While her classes kept her busy, Nambo still pursued her love of writing poetry on the side. 

“I relied on writing as a way of self care and destressing,” Nambo said. 

Nambo realized her passion for writing was stronger than her passion for medicine, and changed her major to English education after her first quarter at central. The first time Nambo performed her poetry at CWU was at an open mic night in the winter 2016. Soon after, Nambo performed at Showtime at Central. She said reading her poetry made her realize how much she enjoyed inspiring other people.

Common themes in Nambo’s poetry include growth, reflection, identity and social justice causes. She is actively involved with the Equity Services Council and the Diversity and Equity Center (DEC), as well as the First Generation Student Organization. 

Nambo has been asked by DEC to read her poetry at several events, most recently at the 2019 Diversity Awards.

“There’s not a lot of poets of color, especially Latina women like myself,” Nambo said. “That voice needs to be heard, that voice needs to be expressed and be appreciated.”

Nambo first had her work published in Manastash in winter 2018. Soon after, she was featured in an anthology called “Washington’s Best Emerging Poets,” as well as “America’s Best Emerging Poets: Pacific Region.”

Nambo wants to continue writing and publishing poetry. In the future, Nambo wants to teach middle school English. She hopes to use her experience and her work as an example for her future students.

“I want to share those works and inspire students,” Nambo said. “Students can say ‘if my teacher can do that, so can I.’”

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