Support Spokane Arts’ work to foster creativity & culture in our region for years to come by donating today! Your gift of any amount helps us continue impactful programs, public art projects, and direct granting to artists, arts organizations, & creative businesses! Learn more about all the ways to support here!

In the Neighborhood poetry film

Celebrating National Poetry Month through poetry from local community members!   In honor of National Poetry Month (happening now), Spokane Arts commissioned a short video featuring eight community members reading their poems from the “In the Neighborhood” project.

“In the Neighborhood” is a community-based project created by Spokane Poet Laureate Chris Cook and Spokane Arts to collect and share poetry exploring Spokane neighborhoods. Written by area residents past and present, of all ages and experience levels, the poems here each showcase unique perspectives on our city. Together they do one magical thing: share the many stories of our neighborhoods! All the poems shared by community members to date can be found at, and for those who haven’t had a chance to participate yet, there’s a link on the website to share a poem.

The video was filmed, edited, and produced by local filmmaker Ira Dern (Darrien Mack) and Spokane Arts paid each poet a small stipend for taking the time to participate in this video project. The video was also supported by the Conference on College Composition and Communication; special thanks to SFCC professor Bradley Bleck.

Spokane-area community members can continue to submit poems to the project through the link in the project website at

Featured poets:

Kailee Haong reading her poem Tightropes&Turkeys&Trying&Trying&Trying on Cliff Drive in the Cliff-Cannon neighborhood.

Michael Bethely, reading his poem I am Spokane outside Holy Temple Church of God in Christ in North Central.

Chris Cook, reading his poem Bones in Browne’s Addition.

Ezeequal Michel, reading his poem X̌ast Spʔus in English and in Salish, near the Ben Burr Trail in Lincoln Heights.

Eric Woodard, reading his poem Traces outside the Garland Theater in the North Hill neighborhood.

Louise Mills, reading her poem Summer Ice Cream, in Hamblen Park, in the Southgate neighborhood.

Micah Orozco, reading his poem Where Monroe Meets N Wall St in Shiloh Hills.

Elissa Ball, reading her poem South of St. Pat’s at Kehoe Park in Hillyard.

Read all the poems in the project and submit your own here!