Redmond names Jeannine Hall Gailey as city's new poet laureate
September 6, 2012 · 3:57 PM
Jeannine Hall Gailey has been named the City of Redmond's new poet laureate.
The city's poet laureate's mission is to bring poetry to people who think poetry is not for them.
"Geeks for Poetry, Poetry for Geeks" is Gailey's mantra as she launches into her work as literary ambassador for Redmond, a city known for its tech industry.
Gailey was recruited by Microsoft Corp. from the Midwest 13 years ago and is a techie turned poet. She is the author of two books of poetry, "She Returns to the Floating World" and "Becoming the Villainess." Each book features "geek" themes and have been featured on National Public Radio's "The Writer's Almanac and on Verse Daily."
"Redmond has a wealth of creative brainpower, and I'd like to appeal to the technologically minded," Gailey said. "My work is often inspired by subject matter like robots, comic books and anime and I think that people are often surprised to find out that there is poetry for every taste, not just about nature and love but computer code and science too."
Gailey will host Geek Talks that explore comic book superheroes, code and mathematical poetry and hybrid forms that blend poetry with visual art and music. The poet laureate program is built on community partnerships and is a two-year appointment.
Gailey's work has already attracted the financial support of the Washington State Arts Commission and partners including the Redmond Library, Richard Hugo House, SecondStory Repertory, the Washington State Poet Laureate and Crab Creek Review.
The Redmond Library is working with Gailey to launch a Redmond Reads Poetry project including book clubs and quarterly book readings focused on geek-friendly topics like astrophysics, engineering and anime.