Vancouver poet Armin Tolentino has been selected as Clark County Poet Laureate, 2021-2023. Armin is the author of the poetry collection We Meant to Bring It Home Alive (Alternating Current Press). He earned an MFA in Creative Writing at Rutgers Newark and his work has been published in numerous literary journals including Common Knowledge, Arsenic Lobster, Hyphen Magazine, and The Raven Chronicles. Armin’s poetic artistry has been widely recognized. He was a finalist for the Red Hen Press Benjamin Saltman Poetry Award and the Kundiman Poetry Prize, and a winner of the Oregon Poetry Association Poetry Contest.
His poem Half a Sonnet Stepping Into Tomorrow is now circulating on C-Tran buses as part of Artstra’s initiative to honor diverse voices in the community through its program Poetry Moves, a collaboration with C-Tran to bring the art of poetry to public spaces.
Armin has volunteered since 2011 and served as a facilitator for Write Around Portland, a non-profit that partners with social services to bring writing workshops to marginalized communities. Write Around Portland’s mission is to change lives through the power of writing. He has served: on the Literary Arts Oregon Book Award Advisory Committee, on the board of Friends of William Stafford, as poetry judge for Oregon Poetry Association and Portland Youth Poets Laureate, as a judge for Verselandia and various high school poetry slams, and as a mentor for the APANO Asian and Pacific Islander Community Leadership Institute.
He lives in Vancouver and currently works for Multnomah County Youth and Family Services, helping support social programs specifically for communities of color. Armin Tolentino was awarded an Oregon Literary Fellowship from Literary Arts in 2014. The Oregon Literary Fellowship is highly competitive, only 2 % of applicants are awarded fellowships.