Past Poet Laureates

Raul Sanchez | 2020 to 2021

Raul Sánchez immigrated to the United States from Mexico in 1979 and has been living in the region since the mid-1990’s. His poems have been published in many print and on-line publications and his first book was nominated for the 2013 Washington State Book Award for Poetry. In addition, he teaches poetry through Seattle Arts & Lectures Writers in the Schools program, PONGO Teen Writing, and Yakima Community College. 

Learn more about Raul by visiting his website.

Melanie Noel | 2017 to 2019

Melanie Noel is the author of The Monarchs (Stockport Flats, 2013) and a Ringing (Goodmorning Menagerie, 2020).  Her poems have appeared in Thermos, Spiral Orb, GUEST, The Volta, The Arcadia Project, and most recently shelf documents, a collection she also copyedited. She’s written poems for installations and as live scores for short films.  She was a co-curator of the dance, music and poetry series APOSTROPHE and curated Impala, a reading series that took place in her grandmother’s car. She’s taught classes in woods & parks, as well as schools, hospitals and community centers. She holds Masters degrees in Education (Antioch) and Poetry (Iowa Writers’ Workshop). 

Learn more about Melanie by visiting her website.

Shin Yu Pai | 2015 to 2017

She is the author of several books including AUX ARCS (La Alameda, 2013), Adamantine (White Pine, 2010), Sightings (1913 Press, 2008), and Equivalence (La Alameda, 2003). Her work has been awarded grants from 4Culture, Seattle’s Office of Arts & Culture, and The Awesome Foundation. She is former writer-in-residence for the Seattle Art Museum and has presented poetry to the Redmond community at events for the SoulFood poetry series.

Some projects that she had worked on in Redmond include "heyday," a large-scale projection during the Redmond Lights festival; "Animating Archives," a collaboration with artists Megan Bent on printing historic photos on leaves; and "Mixed Messages" a collaboration with artist collective Side Car to create messages that become visible when wet along the new Redmond Central Connector trail.

Michael Dylan Welch | 2013 to 2015

Michael Dylan Welch brought poets to public places. He organized Poets in the Park at Anderson Park, a poetry festival that featured over 100 local poets, and Poets Wanted, a series of events at the Redmond Library focusing on famous poets from around the world. He also published the book, True Colour, a collection of rengay poems.

Michael Dylan Welch is a passionate promoter and teacher of poetry and widely published in a variety of forms by publishers including W. W. Norton, Tuttle, Writer’s Digest Books, Kodansha, McGraw-Hill, and others. Michael’s poetry is nationally recognized and he operates his own press, Press Here. Locally, Michael supports poetry in Redmond by curating the monthly SoulFood Poetry Night and Redmond Association of Spokenword (RASP) readings.

Learn more about Michael by visiting his website.

Jeannine Hall Gailey | 2012 to 2013

Jeannine Hall Gailey led an initiative called Poetry for Geeks, Geeks for Poetry that explored the connections between the worlds of poetry and technology through geek talks and workshops. She also led a Redmond Reads Poetry project with the Redmond Library that included topics such as astrophysics, engineering, and anime.

Jeannine is a poet, editorial consultant, writes book reviews, and teaches at National University’s MFA Program. She is the author of two books of poetry, She Returns to the Floating World, and Becoming the Villainess. Her poems have been featured on NPR’s The Writer’s Almanac and on Verse Daily; two were included in The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror.

Learn more about Jeannine by visiting her website.

Rebecca Meredith | 2010 to 2012

Rebecca Meredith was the first Redmond Poet Laureate. She wrote original poetry inspired by Redmond, organized a Found Poetry Contest through the Redmond Reporter and hosted a group of Redmond poets to create 10 by 10, a poetry anthology inspired by historic images of Redmond for the City’s Centennial Celebrations in 2012.

Rebecca is a poet, writer, and psychotherapist, as well as a Redmond Association Spokenword (RASP) co-founder. She has performed at the Burning Word Poetry Festival, the Seattle Moon Viewing Festival, and on KUOW’s The Beat. Her chapbook Intergenerational Delta Blues was published by Pudding House Press. She was a fellow of the Jack Straw Writers’ Program and an alumna of Hedgebrook Women Writers’ Colony.