Artist Profile - Arlene Naganawa
Arlene Naganawa is a poet and teacher born and raised in Seattle. Her chapbooks include Private Graveyard (Gribble Press), The Scarecrow Bride (Red Bird Chapbooks), and The Ark and the Bear (Floating Bridge Press). Her work has appeared in All the Sins, Barnstorm, Belletrist, Caketrain, Calyx, Crab Creek Review, Poetry on Buses: Writing Home, Waxwing, Washington 129, and other publications. Arlene is a previous recipient of Seattle Arts Commission Literary Artist awards. She currently is a WITS instructor at McClure Middle School and has been a Hugo House Scribes teacher, as well as a writer-in-residence at Islander Middle School on Mercer Island. Arlene was a Pongo Poetry mentor for youths incarcerated in King County Juvenile Detention, as well as a writing teacher for youth in Echo Glen Children’s Center. Her art piece, Word Medicine, based on her poems about healing, was created for Multitudes: Container, a text object and art books organization. She taught middle and high school language arts, creative writing, and social studies, and is grateful for past and continuing opportunities to work with adolescents as they discover the beauty and power of language and critical thinking.
Arlene received 2019 GAP Award funding for travel to Whitefish, Montana, where she will explore the landscape for clues to her maternal grandmother’s life, a Japanese immigrant and mother of six who lived in the railroad town from the 1920s-1930s and who died shortly after giving birth to her seventh child, a stillborn son, in 1935. She will explore this geographical, historical, familial, and emotional territory in a collection of poems.
Artist Trust thanks the Amazon Literary Partnership for underwriting this award through Artist Trust’s Corporate Partnership program. For information about supporting Washington State artists, visit here.