A Western Washington University professor works to ‘recover’ the legacy of Ella Rhoads Higginson

Western Washington University professor Laura Laffrado stands under a quote from author Ella Higginson above the entry to Edens Hall on campus. Laffrado teaches a course about Higginson, a Bellingham woman who was Washington’s first Poet Laureate and the Northwest’s first prominent literary author during the late 19th century and into the early 1900s. (Mike Siegel/The Seattle Times)
Western Washington University professor Laura Laffrado stands under a quote from author Ella Higginson above the entry to Edens Hall on campus. Laffrado teaches a course about Higginson, a Bellingham woman who was Washington's first Poet Laureate and the Northwest's first prominent literary author during the late 19th century and into the early 1900s. (Mike Siegel/The Seattle Times)

You’ve likely never heard of the pioneer-era author who was our first Poet Laureate — but her literary legacy is re-emerging with resonance.