Whatcom WRITES 2023

October 3, 2022

Every year, Whatcom County, Washington, selects a community-wide book for reading, discussion, author visits, and, eventually, reaction. For 2023, Whatcom READS selected The Cold Millions by Spokane-based author Jess Walter.

In response, Whatcom WRITES invites writers of all ages and experience levels to explore a theme inspired by the Whatcom READS book. The theme for 2023 is BETWEEN FACT AND FICTION, drawn from Walters’s novel. The submission deadline is Sunday, October 16, 2022. Read the book, read the guidelines, send in your entry!

representing the West

October 2, 2022

We are somewhat tardy in congratulating Diane Sun of Bellevue, Washington, who was selected as the 2022 National Student Poet for the West Region. Selected annually for a year of service as national poetry ambassadors, the juried position is considered “the country’s highest honor for youth poets presenting original work.”

On September 27, 2022, Jill Biden hosted the five National Student Poets for a reading of their work at the White House along with Poet Laureate Ada Limón.

The National Student Poets were selected from students in grades 10-11 who submitted more than 22,000 poems in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards and received top honors in poetry. From this pool of National Medal recipients, 40 semi-finalists were identified as showing exceptional promise as young poets in their regions, based on their originality, technical skills, and personal voice, and were invited to submit additional poetry and performance videos to distinguished jurors for the final selection of the five National Student Poets.

Sun, who attends Interlake High School, is a cohort of the 2022/23 Seattle Youth Poet Laureate Program.

Meet the Class of 2022 National Student Poets and learn more about Diane Sun and the National Student Poets program.

poets at sea

October 1, 2022

Here’s a quirky story from The Washington Post about a long-standing tradition: Navy watch shift officers writing poems into the deck log. For at least a century, the practice’s popularity has waxed and waned, but seems to be somewhat revived with a deck-log competition.

. . . . .
Thanks to Roger Gilman for the link
image: 2022 winning poem by ENS Sarah Weinstein and her late-night-watch colleagues on the USS Lake Champlain (Naval History and Heritage Command)

tonight in Anacortes

September 30, 2022

Here’s some good news: Pelican Bay Books, in Anacortes, launches a new season of in-person poetry readings tonight, Friday, September 30, 2022, at 7:00pm. Bill Ransom (author of Finding True North & Critter, nominated for National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize for Poetry) and Jill McCabe Johnson (author of Revolutions We’d Hoped We’d Outgrown and Diary of the One Swelling Sea, winner of the Nautilus Book Silver Award in Poetry) will read as part of The Madrona Project 2022-2023 Poetry Series. Singer-songwriter Steven Dolmatz will perform his original folk and bluegrass music. The series is co-curated by Michael Daley and Georgia Johnson, who bring a specially selected mix of literary and musical arts together in the heart of Anacortes.

next time you’re in Victoria

September 29, 2022

Little Ross Bay Beach sits on the southern shore of Victoria, BC, overlooking the Salish Sea. In honor of Yvonne Blomer’s term as Victoria’s fourth Poet Laureate (2015-2018), her poem “Our One Blue Bowl” has been carved into Vancouver Island granite and installed there. Next time you’re in Victoria, enjoy the poetry and the view.

this evening, online

September 28, 2022

Pongo Poetry Project is a Seattle-based non-profit dedicated to helping youth heal and find voice through poetry. This evening, Wednesday, September 28, 2022, at 7:00pm Pacific, the Poetry Foundation will host poet Ross Gay as the guest of honor in an online event that will include a reading by Ross Gay, plus the voices of youth writers and stories from Pongo’s 27-year history.

The event is free, but registration is required and donations are encouraged. In addition the reading itself, at 6:30pm there will be a virtual reception and Q&A with Ross. Tickets are required for the virtual reception and all ticket proceeds will support Pongo Poetry Project programming.

more to read

September 27, 2022

Looking for something to read? Here are some more suggestions:

Feel free to add your must-read poetry titles in the Comments.

registration is open

September 26, 2022

Poetry Out Loud is a wonderful, nationwide poetry recitation program for students in grades 9-12. Students select and memorize poems from the Poetry Out Loud print or online anthology, then compete on the school/local level. Winners advance to State competitions, and those winners compete in the National finals in Washington, DC. “Homeschooled students may participate by competing in a contest at a local school (at the school’s discretion) or with other local homeschooled students.” See the Rules & Eligibility guidelines.

The Registration deadline is Friday, November 18, 2022. For more information, contact your school or the Poetry Out Loud state contact:

See the complete list of Poetry Out Loud State Contacts for states outside the Cascadia bioregion.

need some inspiration?

September 25, 2022

If your poetry needs a little juice, Two Sylvias Press invites you to try out The WEEKLY MUSE, a paid subscription to help you become a stronger poet as you improve your writing and your writing life. The Muse will deliver weekly prompts and writing exercises to help you write new poems, helpful tips and weekly suggestions on where to send your poems, best practices in submitting your manuscript, literary news and facts, exclusive interviews with poets, free giveaways, community, support, and more!

“The WEEKLY MUSE is *not* curated info, but ORIGINAL content created each week just for you to help poets wherever they are on their journey — from beginning writer to published author to writing instructor!”

Here’s a sample from August 21, 2022.

Try it out: you can subscribe for a year or a month and if it doesn’t work out, you can cancel at any time!

Live in Bellingham

September 24, 2022

While it’s nice to be able to attend poetry readings from afar, it’s very exciting to have the calendar filling up with local, in-person events. This week, in Bellingham, Washington, Village Books is presenting two worthwhile poetry readings among their many goings-on:

On Sunday, September 25, 2022, at 5:00pm, Sati Mookherjee will present her debut collection, Eye (Ravenna Press), in a reading at the Whatcom Museum’s Lightcatcher courtyard. The outdoor event is free, but seating is limited and pre-registration is highly recommended.

Later in the week, on Thursday, September 29, 2022, at 7:00pm, Village Books will present celebrated poet and author Michael Daley reading from his brand-new poetry collection, Reinhabited (DOS Madres Press), as well as his new novel, Telémachus (Pleasure Boat Studio). The event, in the Village Books Readings Gallery in Fairhaven, is also free, with advance reservations suggested.

Visit the Calendar for more events throughout Cascadia.

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