United for Libraries, in partnership with the Washington Center for the Book, has designated the first official Literary Landmark in the state of Washington to honor poet Richard Hugo (1923-1982). The Literary Landmark plaque has been installed outside the front doors of the new Hugo House, a writing center for emerging and established writers, at 1634 Eleventh Avenue on Seattle's Capitol Hill.

Marcellus Turner, chief librarian at The Seattle Public Library, and Cindy Aden, director of the Washington State Library, unveiled the Literary Landmark on September 17, 2018.

"Hugo House has been at the center of the writing community in Seattle for decades and plays a pivotal role in our literary heritage," said Turner. "It is fitting that we honor the profound richness of Richard Hugo’s work and the vibrant writing center named for him with this Literary Landmark."

The Washington Center for the Book is a partnership of The Seattle Public Library and Washington State Library. Coordinators Nono Burling and Linda Johns researched authors who have contributed to the literary landscape of the state and selected Hugo as the first to be honored. They worked with Hugo House staff and friends of the poet for the official plaque, which reads:


Raised in Seattle's White Center by severe, taciturn grandparents, Richard Hugo (1923-1982) overcame his impoverished childhood to become a nationally beloved poet and teacher. Writing about overlooked people and places, he believed that "humanity will always survive civilization." Hugo House, founded in 1996 as a place for writers, honors his legacy.

The Literary Landmark program is administered by United for Libraries: The Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations, a division of the American Library Association, a division of the American Library Association. Since the program began in 1986, more than 165 Literary Landmarks across the United States have been dedicated. There are Literary Landmarks in 34 states and in Washington, D.C. To learn more about Literary Landmarks across the U.S., visit http://www.ala.org/united/products_services/literarylandmarks.