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The humanities are the genie in the bottle of the world. They are to economics what a magic flute is to a cash register, to science what a bird of paradise is to a lab rat, and to most political systems what a disco ball is to a ball and chain. That's why I'm high on Humanities Washington.

Tom Robbins
Author of Even Cowgirls Get the Blues
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In the News

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Editorial: All Children Deserve Equal Access to Education

Yakima Think & Drink guest speakers and educators Maria Cuevas and Dr. Joy Howard outline what is needed to ensure equal access to education by all students.

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A History of the American Comic Book

Bamsmackpow.com reviews Sequential Reaction: A History of the American Comic Book, by 2015-2016 Speakers Bureau Presenter Andrew Wahl.

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GeekGirlCon Co-Founder J.K. Stuller Demystifies Gamergate

Jennifer K. Stuller of Humanities Washington's 2015-2016 Speakers Bureau talks with KUOW's Marcie Sillman about Gamergate, and what it reveals about our culture.

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Asian American & Civil Rights in Washington State

The International Examiner covers Humanities Washington's recent Think & Drink event, 'Loud and Proud: Asian Americans and Civil Rights."

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Macklemore, Iggy Azalea and the Emergence of White Hip-Hop

Guest Columnist Dr. Daudi Abe writes about the cultural transition and fluidity of hip-hop. Dr. Abe is a Seattle College Professor who was a featured speaker in September 2014 for two Humanities Washington Think & Drink events exploring the topic of race in music.

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2014 Humanities Washington Award Recipients Announced

The Seattle Times provides advance coverage for 2014 Humanities Washington Award recipients, historian Lorraine McConaghy of Seattle and humanities civic leader Liz Burroughs of Spokane.

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Talking with Shawn Wong and Lance Rhoades

UW Professors Lance Rhoades and Shawn Wong were highlighted in an article about Humanities Washington's 2015-2016 Speakers Bureau Roster.

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The Poetry on the Washington's Poet Laureate's Shelf

Crosscut.com Journalist Valerie Easton talks with Washington Poet Laureate Elizabeth Austen about poetry, and her new role.

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New State Poet Laureate Encourages Adults to Explore Poetry

The Seattle Times profiles Washington State Poet Laureate Elizabeth Austen.

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Exploring the Racial Divide in Education

Think & Drink panelist and Speakers Bureau presenter Claudia Rowe writes about her experience at the Think & Drink "On Different Tracks: Race, Class and Education" on the Seattle Times blog. Humanities Washington Photography Intern Felim So's image accompanies the article.

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Elizabeth Austen and Harold Taw Present in West Seattle

The West Seattle Herald covers the appearances of Washington State Poet Laureate Elizabeth Austen and author Harold Taw.

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"Timber Rose" and the Life of an Outdoorswoman

The Bellingham Herald previews author Janet Oakley's book, "Timber Rose."

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Meet Washington's New Poet Laureate: Elizabeth Austen

Seattle Magazine profiles new Washington State Poet Laureate Elizabeth Austen. This also appeared in the print edition.

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Think & Drink: A Look at Racial Segregation and Apartheid

Seattle Repertory Theater writes about Think & Drink on their blog.

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Secretary of State, Senate, Welcome New Poet Laureate

The WA Secretary of State Blogs covers the reading by new Washington State Poet Laureate Elizabeth Austen.

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Meet Elizabeth Austen, Washington's new poet laureate

Crosscut's Florangela Davis interviews Elizabeth Austen.

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How Popular Songs Connect to Culture

The News Tribune (Tacoma) on Speakers Bureau's Antonio Davidson-Gomez.

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Elizabeth Austen Named 2014 Washington State Poet Laureate

KUOW's Steve Scher interviews Elizabeth Austen on being the new Washington State Poet Laureate

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Long Live Sherlock Holmes

Speakers Bureau's Tom Keogh writes about the many incarnations of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson for Humanities magazine.

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An Update on Washington's Goal to End Human Trafficking

Speakers Bureau's Jeanne Kohl-Welles on KUOW's The Conversation.

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A History of Slavery in the Washington Territory

KUOW journalist Ross Reynolds interviews Speakers Bureau presenter Eva Abram.

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Tukwila's pioneers fought in Civil War | Tukwila's Story

Speakers Bureau's Lorraine McConaghy talks Tukwila's Civil War history.

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Washington Poet Laureate visits Fairview

The Bremerton Patriot reports on Kathleen Flenniken's visit to Fairview Junior High.

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Julie Ziegler: How the Humanities Engage

Executive Director Julie Ziegler is interviewed in Humanities Magazine.

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Think & Drink: How Local Pubs and Conversation Build Community

The Washington Beer Blog opines about Humanities Washington's Think & Drink program.

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In Their Shoes: CWU Exhibit Tells Locals' Stories Through Footwear

Humanities Washington, the Smithsonian and Central Washington University team on Journey Stories exhibit in Ellensburg.

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From Hanford Engineer, To Poet

The Seattle Times' Mary Ann Gwinn interviews 2012-14 Washington state poet laureate Kathleen Flenniken.

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Humanities important to economy

Op-Ed by Julie Ziegler and Michael Zimmerman published in the Spokane Journal of Business.

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BEA 2013: Jamie Ford: Depression-Era Novel

Publishers Weekly talks to bestselling author Jamie Ford about his new novel – and its origins at Humanities Washington’s annual Bedtime Stories event.

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Teaching the humanities bolsters ingenuity

Op-Ed by Julie Ziegler, Alex Zimmerman and Michael Zimmerman is published in the Everett Herald.

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From The Antarctic to Entiat: Emperors of the Ice

The Lake Chelan Mirror interviews author Richard Farr about Robert Falcon Scott's historic Antarctic expeditions.

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What Baseball Tells Us about American Culture

Speakers Bureau's William Woodward is on KUOW's The Conversation with Ross Reynolds.

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Guest: How the humanities support economy

Julie Ziegler and Michael Zimmerman's co-written Op-Ed for the Seattle Times.

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Jamie Ford writes about ‘a different world’ — 1920s-’30s Seattle

The Seattle Times interviews Jamie Ford about his latest, Songs of Willow Frost, and Ford mentions Bedtime Stories.

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Guest Column: Preserve funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities

Cowlitz County commissioner Dennis Weber (R) wrote an op-ed in the Longview Daily News in support of funding for the NEH.

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Charles Johnson Receives 2013 Humanities Washington Award

The UW Daily's story on Charles Johnson receiving the Humanities Washington Award.

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Yakima Think and Drink [Urban Planning]

Appleseed Media posts the audio from the Think & Drink in Yakima on Urban Planning.

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SPOTLIGHT: An update on Poet Laureate Kathleen Flenniken’s visit to Whidbey Island

Whidbey Life Magazine does a retrospective on Flenniken's visit to Whidbey Island.

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The Power Of Forgiveness

Adrian Rogers of The Spokesman-Review interviews Bedtime Stories Spokane author Shann Ray in advance of the event about the story he wrote for the gala.

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Streams of Consciousness

The Inlander's Luke Baumgarten profiles the five Bedtime Stories Spokane authors Jess Walter, Shann Ray, Nance Van Winckel, Kim Barnes and Jim Lynch.

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Washington's Poet Laureate Reflects On Growing Up Near Hanford In New Book

NPR's N3 reporter Anna King talks with Washington State Poet Laureate Kathleen Flenniken about growing up in Richland and her new book "Plume" on June 20, 2012.

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The New Front Page: 21st Century Journalism And What It Means For You

Claudia Rowe is interviewed on KUOW's The Conversation about the changing state of journalism.

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Author Jennifer Stuller On Superwomen In Modern Mythology

Jennifer K. Stuller is interviewed on KUOW's The Conversation about female superheroes in pop culture.

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Yakima Valley Wineries Are Increasingly Partnering with Cultural Organizations

Humanities Washington's Think & Drink program in Yakima is profiled as the Yakima Valley Herald explores new programming in wineries.

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Julia Harrison Sees The World Through Her Sweet Tooth

KUOW's The Conversation with Ross Reynolds interviews Julia Harrison about her Speakers Bureau presentation on the anthropology of sweets.

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Humanities Washington on the Importance of Civility

Humanities Washington addresses the importance of civility in an editorial placement with The Olympian.

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Alex Alben On How Digital Technology Rewrote Our Future

KUOW's Ross Reynolds interviews Speakers Bureau presenter Alex Alben on The Conversation about the rise of digital technology and how it creates both connections and alienation.

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Kathleen Flenniken Exercises Her Poetic License

A profile of Kathleen Flenniken in Seattle Magazine by Dana Standish.

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Rhymes With Everett Finds the Words That Speak to Us

Washington State Poet Laureate Kathleen Flenniken reads at Rhymes With Everett: The Favorite Poem Project

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Panel at Renton Library "Crosses the GR8 Divide"

I went to a fascinating panel discussion last night at Renton Library sponsored by Humanities Washington, the Boeing Co., and KCLS.

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Kathleen Flenniken Named Washington State Poet Laureate

The Tri-City Herald covers the appointment of Kathleen Flenniken as the 2012-14 Washington State Poet Laureate.

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Hank Cramer Wins 2011 Humanities Washington Award

Karen West posts a nice feature story at Methow Grist about this year's Humanities Washington Award winner, folksinger and storyteller Hank Cramer.

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EWU Libraries Receives NEH Grant

Eastern Washington University Libraries is one of six institutions to participate in a National Endowment for the Humanities Grant to expand access to archival digital collections.

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Humanities Washington Trustee David Freece on Unity in the Wake of Tragedy

I agree wholeheartedly with President Obama's Jan. 12 speech in Tucson, and his call for unity in wake of the Arizona tragedy.

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Comics and the Classical Tradition

NEH's Humanities magazine article on the grant-funded "Comics at the Crossroads: The Art of the Graphic Novel"

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Stories That May Keep You Up Past Your Bedtime

Bedtime stories took on a whole new slant when Humanities Washington got involved back in 1999.

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Bedtime Stories Host Nancy Pearl Named Librarian of the Year

ONE can hardly imagine even Seattle's Nancy Pearl has a bookcase large enough to display another award, but she was in San Diego Friday to be honored at the midwinter conference of The American Library Association.

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Day in the Life of Bedtime Stories Author Charles Johnson

My day is the reverse of what a day is for most people. Typically, I'm up working all night until 5 or 6 AM, the same kind of schedule kept by Descartes and Balzac.

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Lorraine McConaghy Remembers Broadcaster Jean Sheperd

Lorraine McConaghy Remembers Broadcaster Jean Sheperd

In an interview originally published in 2010, 2014 Humanities Washington Award recipient and historian Lorraine McConaghy reflects on the legacy of broadcaster Jean Shepherd.

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WA State Poet Laureate Austen Performed at Chelan Library

Lake Chelan Mirror Editor Gary Begin sat down with Washington State Poet Laureate Elizabeth Austen during her recent stop in Chelan during a 12-city Washington tour. “Tell someone you’re going into the woods alone and they’ll story your head with trailside cougar attacks, cave dwelling misogynists, lightning strikes, forest fires, flash floods, and psychopaths with a sixth sense for a woman alone in a tent.” from “The Girl Who Goes Alone” by Washington State Poet Laureate Elizabeth Austen. CHELAN - She started writing poetry just after she learned to walk and write. That was it. Walk, write, poetry. She’s been in the arts ever since. At first Elizabeth Austen was a trained classical Shakespearian actress, but at some point in her “early 30’s” she decided to leave the stage and become a poet. Her poetic philosophy is a simple one, “I discover what it is I have to say in the process of writing,” she said during a recent phone interview. “I do not sit down with an agenda.” Austen says when she writes she is “following my pen” and states she is influenced by her acting training when on stage reading her poetry, but is not trying to be dramatic. Like Shakespeare she says that “language is delicious in the mouth” and intrinsically musical. Her most influential poetic inspiration was poet Jack Nyer whom she mentored under while studying for her master’s of fine arts degree at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Some of her poems are specifically written for performance, such as the above quoted “Girl” and others do best on the printed page. Austen just finished a 12 day road trip which included the Chelan library. She plans on travelling to all 39 counties in the state as part of her two year tenure as poet laureate. Austen plans on visiting Douglas and Okanogan county libraries or community centers sometime next spring or summer. One of the turning points in her poetic career came a few years back when she was commissioned to write a piece for the Richard Hugo House in Seattle, a non-profit community writing center. That’s when she wrote “The Girl Who Goes Alone” and, she says, “the sense of who I am changed with that poem.” That poem is about risk taking and was favorably responded to by “both men and women.” Exactly what Austen wants as part of her mission as poet laureate, to be able to reach adults ... of both sexes. “My aim is to reach adults,” she said. Unlike some of the previous poets for the state that were purposely reaching out for children and youngsters. Austen will spend most of her readings in public libraries, some schools, community centers and tribal centers during her pilgrimage to bring verse to rural, urban and points in between. Austen in the “wilderness” of Washington ... just like the girl who goes alone in her poem.

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