What Us Is

What Us Is

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What Us Is offers readers a glimpse into the head space of one of Tacoma, Washington’s most respected poets, Kellie Richardson. In her debut poetry collection, Richardson turns herself inside out to let others know they’re not alone. There are other humans out there

burning alive
praying for relief
pulling weeds
running fast
waiting for flight.

– KR



Kellie Richardson is a writer, artist and educator born and raised in Tacoma, Washington. Her work explores the intersection of race, class, and gender with specific emphasis on themes of love, loss and longing. She employs both classical poetic forms as well as contemporary mediums such as spoken word. Her work is provocative yet accessible, powerful yet vulnerable.

Kellie’s debut poetry collection,What Us Is, was published in 2017, shortly after she was named Tacoma Poet Laureate (2017-2019). She’s also the creator of Brown Betty (2012), a blog providing armor and inspiration for real life and a place where commerce and community intersect to cultivate healing. Kellie is particularly inspired and called to explore the experiences of women of color, and the intersectionality of identities. In 2019, Kellie’s sophomore collection of poetry, prose and collage, The Art of Naming My Pain, was published by Blue Cactus Press.