We are happy to announce that poet and educator Laura Da’ will serve as Hugo House’s newest poet-in-residence, as part of one of the longest-running programs at Seattle’s home for words.
Da’ is the author of Tributaries (2015), winner of the American Book Award, and Instruments of the True Measure (2018), both from the University of Arizona Press, as well as an educator. She has been the recipient of several grants and fellowships—including the Made at Hugo House fellowship—and her work has been published in numerous anthologies, textbooks, and literary journals.
“Laura Da’ was a recipient of a 2014–15 Hugo fellowship and is currently serving on the Hugo House strategic planning committee as a community representative,” Hugo House Executive Director Tree Swenson said. “Given our past and present ties, we are delighted that Laura will be taking on the important role of poet-in-residence.”
As Hugo House poet-in-residence, Da’ will engage underrepresented communities to find out what they want and need in a writing center, making a point to listen carefully to voices that have traditionally been underserved by arts organizations.
“Serving as a writer-in-residence gives me the opportunity to return the gifts that have been offered to me as a writer, while holding space for the obstacles I have encountered and observed as an outsider to the writing community,” Da’ wrote.
Da’ will receive office space and a monthly stipend to meet Seattle-area writers for free hour-long appointments while working to complete a hybrid work titled Severalty: A Lyrical Mapping.
“The Dawes Severalty Act exterminated my ancestors by way of their land,” Da’ wrote. “It was a new strategy for the Indian Wars of the industrial age; the weaponized map. My project examines the concept of remapping, using historical and contemporary landforms, historical documents and policies, and paths of personal development to explore a sovereign and post-colonial identity.”
Joining prose writer-in-residence Kristen Millares Young, Da’ will begin her term as poet-in-residence on September 15. The residency runs through June 2020 with an option to renew for an additional year.
About Laura Da’
Laura Da’ is a poet and teacher. A lifetime resident of the Pacific Northwest, Da’ studied creative writing at the University of Washington and The Institute of American Indian Arts. Da’ is Eastern Shawnee. She is a recipient of fellowships from the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, Artist Trust, Hugo House, and the Jack Straw Writers Program. Her first book, Tributaries, won the 2016 American Book Award. Her newest book is Instruments of the True Measure, published by the University of Arizona Press.