Clark County Arts Commission selects next poet laureate

Position holder promotes poetry and the arts in Clark County

CLARK COUNTY — The Clark County Arts Commission announced last week it has selected Armin Tolentino as the Clark County Poet Laureate. Tolentino will serve 2021-2023 promoting the art of poetry and literature throughout Clark County. His term begins April 1, 2021.

Armin Tolentino’s poetic artistry has been widely recognized. He was a finalist for the Red Hen Press Benjamin Saltman Poetry Award and the Kundiman Poetry Prize, and a winner of the Oregon Poetry Association Poetry Contest. Photo courtesy of the Ellensburg Daily Record
Armin Tolentino’s poetic artistry has been widely recognized. He was a finalist for the Red Hen Press Benjamin Saltman Poetry Award and the Kundiman Poetry Prize, and a winner of the Oregon Poetry Association Poetry Contest. Photo courtesy of the Ellensburg Daily Record

Tolentino is the author of the poetry collection “We Meant to Bring It Home Alive.” He earned a master’s degree in creative writing at Rutgers Newark and his work has been published in numerous literary journals including Common Knowledge, Arsenic Lobster, Hyphen Magazine and The Raven Chronicles. 

Tolentino’s poetic artistry has been widely recognized. He was a finalist for the Red Hen Press Benjamin Saltman Poetry Award and the Kundiman Poetry Prize, and a winner of the Oregon Poetry Association Poetry Contest.

His poem “Half a Sonnet Stepping Into Tomorrow” is now circulating on C-TRAN buses as part of Artstra’s initiative to honor diverse voices in the community through its program Poetry Moves, a collaboration with C-TRAN to bring the art of poetry to public spaces.

Tolentino has volunteered since 2011 and served as a facilitator for Write Around Portland, a non-profit that partners with social services to bring writing workshops to marginalized communities. Write Around Portland’s mission is to change lives through the power of writing. 

Tolentino also has served on the Literary Arts Oregon Book Award Advisory Committee, on the board of Friends of William Stafford, as poetry judge for Oregon Poetry Association and Portland Youth Poets Laureate, as a judge for Verselandia and various high school poetry slams, and as a mentor for the Asian and Pacific Islander Community Leadership Institute (APANO).

He works for Multnomah County Youth and Family Services, helping support social programs specifically for communities of color. Tolentino was awarded the highly competitive Oregon Literary Fellowship from Literary Arts in 2014. Only 2 percent of applicants are awarded fellowships.       

Find out more about Armin Tolentino on his website at www.armintolentino.com

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