We love this Whatcom Talk article about Susan J. Erickson, poet, artist, and from-the-ground-up supporter and committee member for the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest. Susan’s book, Lauren Bacall Shares a Limousine (Winner, Brick Road Poetry Book Contest 2015), is a deft and dazzling collection of poems written in the voices of women whose names may be familiar and whose perspective, via Erickson, is entirely unique.

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Passing of the Laurel

January 18, 2018

Washington State has been exceedingly fortunate in our Poets Laureate. Sam Green (2007–2009), Kathleen Flenniken (2012–2014), Elizabeth Austen (2014-2016), and Tod Marshall (2016-2018) have been generous advocates for poetry, tirelessly traveling back and forth across the state to bring the experience of poetry into our lives. They have supported local poetry at every level, and have challenged us to become finer writers and listeners.

They have set a high bar. And now, the laurel will be passed to another accomplished and energetic poet, Claudia Castro Luna, who will serve as Washington State Poet Laureate 2018-2020. On Wednesday, January 31, 2018, the official Passing of the Laurel will be held at the Seattle Public Library, Central Library, and will feature readings by Marshall, Castro Luna, former poets laureate and other Pacific Northwest poets. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the program begins at 7:00 p.m.

Show your support for this valuable program and our wonderful poets laureate. The event is free.

The poet laureate is sponsored by Humanities Washington and ArtsWA, with the support of Gov. Jay Inslee. The position is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and Humanities Washington.

Poetry Marathon update

January 17, 2018

For those of you who are past participants in the Poetry Marathon and any of you who might have been considering jumping in on the next round, PM founder Caitlin Thomson has posted an Update on The 2018 Poetry Marathon.

prize

January 16, 2018

The Poetry Department would like to join the chorus of congratulations for Ocean Vuong, who has been awarded the T.S. Eliot Prize for his debut collection, Night Sky with Exit Wounds (Copper Canyon Press). Read the story in The Guardian.

on poetry

January 15, 2018

The people need poetry that will be their own secret
to keep them awake forever,
and bathe them in the bright-haired wave
of its breathing.
Osip Mandelstam
(January 15, 1891 – December 27, 1938)

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a Sunday in Bellingham

January 14, 2018

Flying Trout Press invites you to a Sunday afternoon of poetry and music with a Chinese theme on January 28, 2018, from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. in the Encore Room at the Mount Baker Theatre. Readers will include Georgia Johnson, author of Just Past Dew Point. Flying Trout Press will have books for sale, The Scarlet Locomotive will play original tunes, and there will be a cash bar.

William Stafford

January 13, 2018

January 17 is the birthday of prolific poet William Stafford. To mark the occasion, a variety of readings are scheduled in Oregon (where Stafford spent much of his adult life teaching at Lewis & Clark College), Washington, and elsewhere. Here’s a sampling:

January 13 – Milwaukie, ORWilliam Stafford Celebration – 2:00pm – at Ledding Library
January 13 – Mt. Angel, ORWilliam Stafford Celebration: A Light in Dark Times: Poems of Peace and Affirmation – 2:30pm – at Mt. Angel Bookstore
January 16 – Lake Oswego, ORWilliam Stafford Birthday Celebration – 7:00pm – at Lake Oswego Library
January 17 – Oregon City, ORWilliam Stafford Celebration – 6:00pm – at Oregon City Library
January 17 – Winthrop, WAWilliam Stafford Birthday Reading – 5:00pm – at Trail’s End Bookstore
January 21 – Lake Oswego, ORPeregrine Literary Series will hold an open mike in the spirit of William Stafford – 3:00pm – at Stickmen Brewery
February 26 – Portland, ORAn Evening of Poetry with Paul Merchant: National Advisor to the Friends of William Stafford – 6:00pm – at Frank Manor House, Lewis & Clark College

For more on William Stafford’s life, poetry, and related activities, see the William Stafford Archives or Friends of William Stafford.
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Why I Am Happy broadside

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