TACOMA, Wash. — Lydia K. Valentine is a champion of Tacoma, whether through her work as an artist or through her activism. She moved to the Northwest from Pittsburgh in 2004 and has no plans to leave.
"Tacoma has been a place where I and my children have been able to be our true selves. There are so many stereotypes of who and what I can be. I am a huge nerd -- A 'blerd.' I am autistic. There is a different feeling of being comfortable being yourself in rebellion and being comfortable being yourself because you are accepted in that way. I feel very accepted in Tacoma," shared Valentine.
Now, as Tacoma's 2021-2023 Poet Laureate, Valentine wants to give back.
"Sharing my love of poetry and the written word is important, but sharing my work though takes a backseat to amplify voices of others that have been ignored or stifled," explained Valentine.
She recently published her first book of poetry called Brief Black Candles, which deals with motherhood, love, and loss.
Valentine's role will last two years and she wants to use her platform to connect people, amplify community voices, and help with economic recovery for small businesses.