Centralia College and Our Literacy Council of Lewis County proudly welcome Washington state’s Poet Laureate Tod Marshall for a community poetry reading at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 20, in Washington Hall, Room 103, on Centralia College’s main campus.
An informal reception will precede the reading at 6:30 p.m. It is free and open to everyone.
Marshall will also appear at the following locations:
2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22 – Salkum Timberland Library
6:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22 – Mineral School with poet Nicole Hardy and pianist Diane Mapes
He will also lead poetry instruction and conversation with students in Onalaska and Eatonville school districts while in the area.
The Washington Poet Laureate program is supported by Humanities Washington and the Washington State Arts Commission; every two years these organizations nominate a poet to serve as laureate for a two-year term, and that poet occupies his or her role in varying ways, including by making public appearances with audiences of all ages across Washington counties, sharing work, and leading workshops and literary activities. Marshall is a populist poet, interested in poetry’s ability to help people find and celebrate their own voices and stories.
“Poetry matters—not just to poets, professors, and students: poetry matters to everyone,” said Marshall. “I was a first-generation college student, and because of that, I understand the skepticism that many have for the arts. But I’ve also come to realize that the inner life that the arts and humanities can nurture is important to living deliberately and introspectively. So I am interested in how poetry and all of the arts can help us find our best selves.”
Tod Marshall was born in Buffalo, New York, and grew up in Wichita, Kansas. He studied English and philosophy at Siena Heights University, earned an master’s in fine arts from Eastern Washington University, and graduated with his PhD from The University of Kansas. He directs the writing concentration and coordinates the visiting writers series at Gonzaga University, where he is the Robert K. and Ann J. Powers Endowed Professor in the Humanities. He enjoys backpacking and fishing and spends about a month of every year in a tent.
His work has been published in many journals, including Narrative, The Southern Review, The American Poetry Review, The Iowa Review, Shenandoah, Boulevard, The Colorado Review, The Denver Quarterly, The Columbia Poetry Review, Poetry East, Poetry Northwest, Volt, Interim, The Canary, Willow Springs, Cutbank, The Georgia Review, The Kenyon Review, and elsewhere.