Tacoma's new Poet Laureate

By weeklyvolcano on May 1, 2009


Antonio-Edwards-jr. In this week's issue, Weekly Volcano scribe Mark Thomas Deming included Antonio Edwards Jr.'s "Hilltopia" poem in his piece on In Tahoma's Shadow — the poetry anthology that features the work of 75 local poets. Deming wrote that Edward Jr.'s work was the standout poem of the collection. His "Hilltopia" pays tribute to the historic, embattled Hilltop neighborhood and raises questions about gentrification.

Last night at a poetry event at the University of Puget Sound, the Urban Grace 2009 Tacoma Poet Laureate was announced — Antonio Edwards, Jr.

Edwards Jr. is a regular performer on the Tacoma poetry scene, known for his personal, powerful, and entertaining poetry. He uses his unique style to address local issues and matters of faith. The Speak Your Soul organization named Edwards Jr. the 2009-10 Soul of the City Tacoma Poet Laureate.

From "Hilltopia":

this is where God lives.
This is where Jesus, John, Luke, Paul and Matthew is.
This is where our babies were born.
This is where you come back to when your life is torn.
This is where our homies died.
This is where Mommas and Nannas cried.
This is where our loyalty lies.

This is Tacoma.