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.