cheryl latif, poet


An expat of her native Southern California, Cheryl Latif attended the 2000 Seattle Poetry Festival, during which the Pacific Northwest stole her heart. She returned to San Diego where she was host and curator of a nationally known weekly reading, Poetic Brew at the Claire de Lune, still committed to making Seattle her home.

Despite the success of Poetic Brew, Latif made her way north in 2001, landing on Bainbridge Island — life often has its own hand to deal — for five years. During this time she served as a judge for poetry contests sponsored by the San Diego Writers Cooperative, (2002); Berkeley’s Bay Area Poets Coalition (2003); and San Diego’s African American Writers and Artists (2003). Her poems have appeared in local, regional and national publications, and her columns have run in the Bainbridge Islander. She was both first and third place winner of the 1999 SPAWN poetry contest, was commissioned by Temple Emek Shalom, Ashland, Oregon, to write a poem for the dedication of their new sanctuary, and earned honorable mention in the 2005 New Millennium Writings contest.

Now a resident of West Seattle, she continues to spend her time fooling with words: writing poetry, promotional copy and, now and then, a column, while as in love as ever with the fine Northwest sky under which she lives.

She is the author of two chapbooks, transformations and rain on my tongue. A limited-edition handmade book of seventeen new and selected poems, tears & ash, was produced in 2003.

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