Poetry in the Northwest Room

Explore the poetry within the collections in Northwest Room! Here are some of our favorite highlights:


Laureate Listening Project: The Laureate Listening Project was orchestrated by Tacoma Poet Laureate Lucas Smiraldo between 2013 and 2015. Community members from Tacoma and beyond lent their voices to this project, reflecting on the profound significance of specific places in their lives through the art of poetry. These audio recordings capture the unique personal narratives of each of the poets. These recordings echo the spirit of Tacoma’s landscapes and memories.


Mayor John Linck’s Melancholic Poem: You’ll find his evocative poem titled “By the Flickering Light of a Fading Fire” In his papers. Linck’s verses resonate with the impermanence of existence, drawing inspiration from the rugged beauty of the Pacific Northwest. His words remind us of fleeting warmth and the quiet moments that shape our lives.


Tacoma Mountaineers Records: The scrapbook within the Tacoma Mountaineers that spans the years 1912 to 1916, offers a unique blend of visual documentation and poetic musings. Amidst photographs capturing mountaineering adventures, you’ll discover poems here and there. These verses, penned by club members (many of whom were women), celebrate adventure, camaraderie, and their love of nature.


Recordings of Tacoma Book Notes: Tacoma Public Library's Book Notes radio program was featured on KTNT radio Sundays at 10:30 pm. The show existed from the 1950s to the 1970s and featured content such as book reviews, oral histories, interviews, and poetry readings, etc. Listen to poets Michael Stowe and Marietta Conway Kennard as they read their creations aloud.


"Tacoma — Poetry" Clipping files: Browse through articles, pamphlets, programs and flyers related to poetry and poets in the Northwest Room's Clipping Files! We have digitized a sampling of some of the content you would find in the Poetry file. This includes profiles on past Tacoma poet laureates such as Kellie Richardson and William J. Kupinse, along with poems published in local newspapers dating back to the late 1930s. Explore more of the file in person!


Published Poetry Books: The Northwest Room has a large selection of local poetry books. These include S’Klallam tribal poet Duane Niatum, Alice Rollit Coe, and William W. Chance, among many others. Browse our library catalog to find more!


Poetry, whether spoken or written, awaits you within the walls of the Northwest Room!

If you are interested in seeing any of these materials in person or want to learn more, please make an appointment though our appointment page or call us at (253) 280-2814.