Thursday, May 27, 2010



TACOMA, WA --Urban Grace: the Downtown Church is excited to present poet Tammy Robacker for a premiere reading to celebrate being named 2010 Soul of the City Tacoma Poet Laureate on Thursday, June 24 at 7 p.m. at the Tacoma Public Library—Main Branch. This event is free and open to the public.

After thoughtful deliberation, a panel of five local judges chose Robacker’s application for its excellence in poetry, commitment to the Tacoma arts community, and strength in leadership. Judges included current Laureate Antonio Edwards, former Laureate William Kupinse, Emily Noelle-Ignacio, Grace Livingston, and Holly Senn.

“Tammy Robacker has been a consistent and productive artist on the poetry scene of Tacoma for several years. When I heard that that judges had chosen her to be our next Poet Laureate I thought it was an excellent choice,” said Tad Monroe, Pastor at Urban Grace: A Downtown Church. “Tammy has worked hard to forge strong relationships within the diverse and eclectic world of Tacoma poets. Finally, her work speaks for itself. She is a fine crafter of words without sentimentality or cliche and she explores the widths and depths of the human experience from the funny, to the painful, to the socially conscience and the spiritual. She can make you laugh and she can make you cry and at the end of the day; what else is there?”

At the June 24 premiere reading, special guests will also be joining Robacker to celebrate poetry, Urban Grace’s poet laureate program, and her introduction to the local community. Both former Soul of the City Poet Laureates Antonio Edwards and William Kupinse will be reading their work in honor of the event. Also, three of this year’s 2010 Poet Laureate contest candidates, Brittany Short, Deborah Renee Crespo, and Pamela McCauley, will share poetry they submitted for application to the competition. Robacker has also invited Puyallup High School senior, Maddison Hamel, to open her premiere with a special poem recital. Hamel was the winning 2010 Poetry Out Loud competition finalist in Pierce County this year.

As Poet Laureate, Robacker will perform once a month at Urban Grace, by request at Urban Grace events, as well as lead two FREE public poetry workshops in Tacoma for the community. Over the next year, Robacker will also participate actively by supporting poets, poetry and literary arts education in the local community, and hosting monthly poetry writing workshops.

If you are interested in working with Robacker or having her read for your school, organization or event, please visit her website: and send her a personal request. If you would like more information about the Soul of the City Poetry Competition or the Poet Laureate position, please email Nicolette Paso, Urban Grace Program Associate at, call 253.272.2184 x106, or visit

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