Shin Yu Pai
In 2015, I became the poet laureate of Redmond, WA, even though I was from North Seattle. An outsider from the outset, I was to learn that Redmond's early industries were logging and fishing, but today, Redmond is known as a high-tech hub and home to aerospace companies, Microsoft and Nintendo. Workers come largely from Southeast and East Asia and nearly half of the city’s residents speak another language besides English at home. The city adopted its poet laureate ordinance in 2008. I was the city’s fourth laureate and the first person of color to receive the appointment.