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Joanna Thomas

County: Kittitas County




Grants for Artist Projects (GAP) 2023
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Grants for Artist Projects 2017
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Joanna Thomas is both poet and visual artist, residing in the small university town of Ellensburg, Washington. She is the author of the chapbooks “[ache] [blur] [cut]: sonnets” (Open Country Press, 2023), winner of the Open Country Chapbook Prize, selected by Melissa Kwasny; and “blue•bird (bloo-burd)” (Milk & Cake Press, 2021). Her poems have appeared in Found Poetry Review, Picture/Sentence, and other journals, as well as several anthologies, including “I Sing the Salmon Home” (Empty Bowl Press, 2023), selected by Rena Priest; and “WA129: Poets of Washington” (Sage Hill Press, 2017), selected by Tod Marshall.

She is a founder of Inland Poetry, a group of poets dedicated to building a literary community in the Kittitas Valley, and providing poetry readings, workshops, lectures, book fairs, films, and open mics, including the Inland Poetry Prowl, an annual 3-day event, 2016-2020.

She is also a founding Board Member of PUNCH Gallery (2006-2016), an artist-run exhibition space formerly located in the Tashiro-Kaplan Building, in the Pioneer Square district of Seattle; and her erasures, collages, and one-of-a-kind artist books have been exhibited in galleries, universities, and museums across the nation, including Edith Lambert Gallery in Santa Fe; University of Alaska Hugh McPeck Gallery in Anchorage; Gallery Jiu Liumi at Hefei University in Anhui Provence, People’s Republic of China; and Fort Lauderdale Museum of Art in Florida.

When composing poems, she likes to read first drafts aloud to the dog, and when the dog says, “no, no, no, you gotta sigh like a goose, honk like a duck, quack like a bunny,” she revises.

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Image: Peggy Piacenza, 2024 Fellowship Recipient

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