Meet the Poetry in Public Team
Poet Planner Laura Da'
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.
Our liaisons are members of our 2023-2024 Communities of Focus who are working with Poet Planner Laura Da’ and the 4Culture team to develop and implement our community workshops and customized outreach in their communities.
Spanish-Speaking Community LiaisonJose Montero
José Luis Montero is a bilingual writer who is passionate about storytelling regardless of the medium. A 2021 Jack Straw Writer, his work captures the fusion of his Mexican roots with his American life journey. After earning master’s degrees in narrative and poetry, he interned at Copper Canyon Press and served as assistant editor for Narrative Magazine. He worked as president of Seattle Escribe and currently serves as co-president of the board for Seattle City of Literature.
Indigenous Community LiaisonD.A. Navoti
D.A. Navoti is a multidisciplinary storyteller, composer, and writer of the Gila River Indian Community. The author of essays and stories, his artistic work spans three “landscapes” — written, musical, and visual — a hybrid form that explores what it means to be Indigenous in the 21st century. Recipient of the 2022 Artist Trust Fellowship, D.A. also served as the 2022-23 Native-Artist-in-Residence at Seattle Rep. Learn more at www.danavoti.com
Chinese Community LiaisonKaria Wong (CISC)
The Chinese Information and Service Center (CISC) helps immigrants throughout King County achieve success in their new community by providing information, referral, advocacy, social, and support services. Karia was a co-community liaison on behalf of CISC for Poetry on Buses 2016-2018.
Filipino Community LiaisonTroy Osaki
Troy Osaki is a poet, organizer, and attorney. He’s earned fellowships from Kundiman, Hugo House, and Jack Straw Cultural Center and was awarded a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry fellowship from the Poetry Foundation in 2022. He holds a Juris Doctor degree from the Seattle University School of Law where he interned at Creative Justice, an arts-based alternative to incarceration for youth in King County. He lives in Seattle, WA.
African-American Community LiaisonMiz Floes
Miz Floes is an ever-evolving artist; an author, playwright, theater producer, director, actress, spoken word artist, and vocalist. The GAP Award winning artistic implant is a current member of the African American Writers Alliance and has worked with the Griot Party Experience poetry group. Her style of writing has been described as refreshing, informative, intellectual, funny, and even sensual.
Youth Community LiaisonSierra Nelson
Sierra Nelson is a poet, multimedia performance and installation artist, and teacher, bringing her extensive collaboration experience and love of marine sciences to her artistic and teaching practices. Nelson’s books include The Lachrymose Report (PoetryNW Editions) and I Take Back the Sponge Cake (Rose Metal Press). For over 25 years Nelson has facilitated generative creative writing workshops with students as young as three years old to elders, across diverse settings including schools, hospitals, libraries, and parks.
4Culture is the cultural funding agency for King County, supporting the many projects, individuals, and organizations that work to make our region vibrant. Our Public Art department, which heads up our Poetry on Buses efforts, commissions contemporary artwork for shared public space. We ensure that King County buildings, infrastructure, and public places—including transit!—feature the work and ideas of artists. The result: unique opportunities for public access to contemporary art of all types by a wide range of artists.
King County Metro
King County Metro Transit is popular locally and admired nationwide for its innovative transit services, pioneering green practices, and visionary approach to meeting the transportation needs of the county’s growing population. In a service area of more than 2,000 square miles and 2 million residents, Metro provides 400,000 daily rides and takes 175,000 cars off the road each weekday, carrying nearly half of downtown Seattle's workforce to and from their jobs.
Sound Transit plans, builds and operates express bus, light rail and commuter train system serving the Puget Sound region including urban areas of King, Pierce and Snohomish counties. Overall system ridership in 2015 was 34.9 million boardings, but ridership numbers are expected to increase dramatically in 2016 with the new Link stations to the north at Capitol Hill, University of Washington and Northgate and Angle Lake south of Sea-Tac Airport. Our buses and trains offer you fast, reliable service throughout the region. We'll take you where you want to go!