Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Faith Beamer Cooke Digital Collection

Washington State University has recently digitized fifty-three items from the Francis Beamer Cooke Digital Collection. Items include published and unpublished poetry, correspondence, and photographs. All the digitized items are a part of the larger Francis Beamer Cooke papers, which was acquired by Washington State University in 2008. The Washington Women's History Consortium assisted in providing funding for the digitized items.

Cooke was a twentieth century poet and a native of Oregon. Everywhere she lived, Cooke was an active member of the local community, with a special interest in developing cultural programs. By 1945, she had founded the Writer's Workshop (later Mid-Columbia Writers League and the Mid-Columbia Writers Association) and a Unitarian Fellowship. She continued throughout her life to develop her skills as a poet by participating in writer's organizations and seminars throughout the Pacific Northwest and often around the world. As the Tri-Cities grew Cooke expanded her efforts to develop regional and statewide poetry and community organizations. She was a key participant in the Benton-Franklin County Fair, the creation of the Columbia Arts Center, the Washington Poets Association, the 1976 USA Bicentennial Project, the Washington State Centennial Project, and other similar events. The Washington Poets Association established a poetry award as a memorial to Cooke, their founder, in 1999.

Coins of Passage: Faith Beamer Cooke papers, 1928-1999, (Cage 729, Box 5, Folder 259, Item 1)

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