An Independent School • Grades 5-12

Arianne True ’09: Poetry for everyone

Photo by Libby Lewis

December 2021

Arianne True ’09 found comfort growing up amidst the language and mentors she found in Seattle’s Richard Hugo House and the city’s Youth Speaks program. As a poet, she’s now helping young people find their own voices through the same types of programs that had made a difference for her.

Her work with teenagers in the Seattle Arts & Lectures Writers in the Schools (WITS) program, she says, has been especially rewarding. “Most high school students don’t think of themselves as poets,” she says. “They think poetry is fancy and high-minded. I try to show them that poetry is for everyone — for everyone who has something to say.”

“For me as a teenager, poetry was the place where I could talk about what was really going on. I want young people to know they can use poetry as a tool — if they want to — for dealing with difficult things in their own lives.

True, part of the Choctaw and Chickasaw nations, received a Hedgebrook residency and an MFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts. An active participant in the larger Seattle arts community, she volunteered for the Pride Poets Hotline during Pride 2021, writing custom poems for strangers over the phone.