Poet and spoken-word artist Antonio Edwards is the new (and second) Poet Laureate of Tacoma. Edwards hails originally from Brooklyn and is a splendid performer of his pieces, as witnessed last Thursday night, when the announcement was made and several poets read/performed.
Edwards takes over from Bill Kupinse, who was named the first Poet Laureate of Tacoma last year (and who happens to be my colleague). It's a post sponsored by Urban Grace Church, and it is one based upon a model used in San Francisco, where a church sponsors a poet laureate. Tad Monroe, the pastor at Urban Grace, is also a poet.
The fusion of poetry, community, and spirituality that the laureate position represents and promotes is splendid--and somehow well suited to Tacoma, a bit of a counter-intuitive city that often mixes things in unexpected ways.