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Merna Ann Hecht

Vashon Island, Washington

Merna has taught creative writing, social justice and humanities courses at the University of Washington, Tacoma, and both Language & Literacy and Imagination in the Classroom for the Seattle branch of the Pacific Oaks College Teacher Certification Program.

She is a nationally known storyteller; through a National Storytelling Network grant she piloted a poetry/storytelling project at BRIDGES: A Center for Grieving Children in Tacoma.

Other venues as a teaching poet include the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center School, homeless shelters for teens and youth detention centers.

Merna began her career as a pediatric nurse and was in the first group of nurses to work with Elizabeth Kubler Ross which set her on a lifelong path of helping others voice their sorrow and discover their sources of strength and reconnection.

A longtime resident of Vashon Island, WA, where she was the 2017-19 Poet Laureate, Merna is also a blueberry farmer and a passionate cook. She has a Master’s degree from the University of Washington with additional training in Theater in Education and Expressive Arts.

Merna founded and facilitates "Stories of Arrival: Refugee and Immigrant Youth Voices, a Poetry Project"—currently an IPM Poetry Partner.

Merna Ann Hecht
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