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Third Thursday Newsletter - Issue 38

Dear Reader,

This 38th issue of the 3rd Thursday Newsletter is at a pivotal moment for Voices of Tacoma: A Gathering of Poets.

When the submission period for Voices of Tacoma closed, at the end of January, we were short of achieving our stated objective.

Although we had worked hard to involve as many people as we could, the demographics of the submitting poets didn’t achieve our goal of matching the overall racial diversity of Tacoma. 

With 52 responses from the 67 poets, our survey revealed that 85% of the poets who submitted identified as white. For comparison, according to the most recent City of Tacoma equity report, whites represent 58% of the population of the City.

When we shared these findings at the Community Conversation during Under the Canopy,  a March 9 event at Blue Cactus Press Studio, we heard loud and clear that the book should not be published as it was. The folx in this community group pointed out how the project was being misrepresented (as the Voices of Tacoma, which it was truly not). We talked about the impact this would have on the community and they shared ways to correct this imbalance in representation among submitting poets. 

Following their advice to address this shortcoming, we have reopened submissions. We are looking for Asian, Black, Hawaiian/Pacific Islander,  Hispanic, and Indigenous poets who are writing poems of, about, or inspired by Tacoma. Submitting is easy, just email poem(s) by May 1st to

Please help us by sharing this message with poets you know who match this racial demographic and who might be interested in having their work included in the anthology.

Feel free to reach out if you have questions or want to discuss this project further. My contact information is below.

I want to give a huge thank you to the folx in the Community Conversation who made the effort and raised their concerns. I am grateful to their willingness to help correct the course of this project. Thank you for helping us to give the true voice to our community! 

Voices of Tacoma: A Gathering of Poets is a project to create an anthology of poetry of, about, and/or inspired by Tacoma. Partly funded by the Tacoma Artists Initiative Program, we have hosted monthly Gatherings of Poets, have presented a poetry writers’ Workshop Series, and have been involved in various community outreach events.

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