Laura Da’ Selected as Poet Planner

We are thrilled to announce that Laura Da’ has been selected as the next Poet Planner for the 2023-2025 4Culture poetry program. Laura will work with 4Culture, King County Metro, and communities across King County to shine a light on diverse poetic traditions and empower people of all ages to write poems—whether they consider themselves to be a poet or are writing a poem for the first time.

A poet and a public school teacher, Laura Da’ studied creative writing at the University of Washington and the Institute of American Indian Arts. She is the author of the collections Instruments of the True Measure (University of Arizona Press, 2018), winner of the Washington State Book Award, and Tributaries (University of Arizona Press, 2015), winner of the 2016 American Book Award and the chapbook The Tecumseh Motel. Her work has appeared in the anthologies New Poets of Native Nations (Graywolf Press, 2018) and Effigies II (Salt Publishing, 2014). Da’ is the current Poet Laureate of Redmond and a recent writer in residence at Hugo House.

A member of the Eastern Shawnee Tribe, she received a Native American Arts and Cultures Fellowship. Da’ has also been a Made at Hugo House fellow and a Jack Straw fellow. She is a lifetime resident of the Pacific Northwest and lives in Newcastle, Washington, with her husband and son.

The 4Culture poetry program began as Poetry on Buses, a partnership with King County Metro in 1992. Poems by local writers replaced advertising placards above bus seats on a biennial basis through 2007. In 2014-2015, the program was rebooted and explored the theme “Writing Home” in five languages: English, Russian, Somali, Spanish, and Vietnamese. The 2016-2018 Poetry on Buses explored the theme “Your Body of Water” with a focus on African American, Chinese, Ethiopian, Punjabi, Spanish-speaking, and Urban Native communities in King County.

4Culture is launching a new version of the program for 2023-2025, reflecting the program’s expansion beyond buses to different forms of transit and places accessed by King County Metro including transit stops and public open spaces.

We’ll announce more details about the program and how you can get involved soon—stay tuned!