At Home with Poetry: A Live Reading Celebrating National Poetry Month

Joshua Smith, Staff Reporter


This was how viewers described the presenters’ readings on the At Home with Poetry: A Live Reading Celebrating National Poetry Month that occurred on April 21. A mix of individuals participated in the reading which included current Washington State Poet Laureate Rena Priest and CWU students Joseph Powell, Jen Lynn, Adrija Basu, Emily Page Wilson, Diego Garcia and Oliver Beck. 

Inspired by the theme “Home,” the presenting poets read from personal works taking on the literal interpretation of home as a physical place, to the metaphorical idea of home that comes from things such as language and even one’s own body. 

The following is an excerpt from Priest’s poem, ‘Tempweekson’ or ‘Gooseberry Point’, one of several poems read by the author during the event:

“And then there is mother, 

home from the canary, 

covered in the scales of hundreds of gutted fish.

She shimmers like a mermaid,

“Long day?” I ask.” 

Beyond the readings, the hosts Marie Marchand and Gabby Triana along with CWU Librarian Gerard Hogan interviewed the newly appointed Laureate asking her to describe her goals for bringing poetry to Washington over the next two years. 

“One of the things I would like to do is put, you know how when you visit a park or a beautiful place, and there always is a placard there with information about the flora and the fauna and maybe some local history, I would like to see poetry included in that,” Priest said.

“It could add this beautiful layer of understanding in the place that you’re in, especially if viewed through a poet who cherishes and treasures that place or has a deep history there so visitors could also have that experience, and hopefully treasure it more.”

A recording of the event is available at