Rena Priest

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Poet Laureate of Washington, 2021-2023

Rena Priest is a citizen of the Lhaq’temish [Lummi] Nation. She earned an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College.

Priest is the author of Northwest Know-How: Beaches (Sasquatch Books, 2022); Sublime Subliminal (Floating Bridge Press, 2018); and Patriarchy Blues (Moonpath Press, 2017), which received an American Book Award. 

Priest is the recipient of an Allied Arts Foundation Professional Poets Award, and fellowships from Indigenous Nations Poets and the Vadon Foundation.

Priest was appointed Washington state poet laureate in 2021 and is the 2022 Maxine Cushing Gray Distinguished Writing Fellow. She currently resides near her tribal community in Bellingham, Washington, where she was born and raised. In 2022, Priest received an Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellowship