Mindport Exhibits
210 W. Holly Street
Bellingham, WA
Friday, August 6, 2010
7:00pm – 9:00pm

Mindport Exhibits hosts the Speak Easy 4 poetry reading during the August 6 downtown Bellingham Art Walk. Readers include three past Sue Boynton Contest winning poets – Nancy Canyon, Rena Priest and Scott Stodola – as well as poets Sue Johnson and Paul Sarvasy. Each poet will read for 4 or 5 minutes at a time and there will be an opportunity for the audience to come and go between readers. Drop by for a set or for the whole event!

Nancy Canyon, visual artist and author, is published in Floating Bridge Review, Fourth Genre, Mainstreet Rag, Poetry South, and forthcoming in Water-Stone Review. She is a Fiction Editor for Crab Creek Review, writing instructor for Whatcom Community College and Western’s Academy for Lifelong Learning, and a massage therapist in private practice. She holds the MFA in Creative Writing from Pacific Lutheran University and is currently revising her third novel.

Rena Priest is a poet. She is constantly falling in love with the swoon of a curve in the road, the duende of people who wait passionately in lines, the wabi-sabi of perfectly chipped teacups… Her work fearlessly examines ridiculous people, people in love, ridiculous people in love, and very serious people (in love and out). She holds an MFA in writing from Sarah Lawrence College and is presently completing her first full-length book of poems.

Scott Stodola, educator, poet, grandfather, has several collections of poetry. He has been published in LD Books and the Beacon Review, and was a winner in the 2006 Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest. He is co-innovator with Matt Christman, of Phrasings, a collaboration with the Bellingham Repertory Dance Company. Other collaborations include The Long Body, a gallery show with graphic artist Paddy Bruce, and The Gardening of Art, a display, installation and reading with CSWT and area visual artists.

Sue Johnson was born in England and emigrated to the U.S. in 1991. Her degree is in Mathematics but after graduating she traded all her used text books for the New Oxford Book of English Verse. Sue has always loved to write. After moving to Bellingham in 2005, she began the gradual shift from accounting to creative writing. Sue is working towards her dreams of being a published poet and mystery novelist.

Much of Paul Sarvasy‘s poetry is an attempt to grapple with the myriad layers of his work as a physician. Always in the background is the HIV epidemic. For a number of years, he met monthly with a group of family practice doctors in training to read poems on death and dying and talk about their experiences.

That Fragile Helix*

July 30, 2010

2007 Walk Award
That Fragile Helix
By Angela Belcaster

That fragile helix hugging itself
has come a long way—broke down, repaired,
and shaped
     by so many things.
An unwearied walker across time, consider
     the places
your genetic code has been.

Sequenced from the same stuff, each of us,
but taken other drawn out and different treks,
finding its traveler’s joy in the
bright and leathery fruits of our differences.

And when we meet what things we have to speak of:
willows, sand, the din of desert caravan, ice and
the gardens at Alexandria, the glare of the sun
in Seoul at midday, the voluptuousness
of a peach,
our genetics peering out from behind the skirts
     of who we think we are,

*Copyright 2007 by Angela Belcaster. This poem appears in POETRY WALK: Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest – The First Five Years. Info: Book!


July 29, 2010

The 2010 Walk Award plaques are now in place on the Sue Boynton Poetry Walk in front of the Bellingham Public Library. They’ll be there for a year, until they are replaced by the 2011 winning poems. In addition to the ten poems, a permanent plaque displays a Sue C. Boynton poem, “This Business of Growing Old Bothered Me Once,” and another acknowledges this year’s major donors.


July 27, 2010

2010 Merit Award
By Keajn Wardrop-Peterson, 5th grade

I stare at the circle of wood
A faded
Stares back at me,
Without this eye
Uneven at the edges
And not artificial
Looking up at me and convincing our youth
That the world is worth saving.

*Copyright 2010 by Keajn Wardrop-Peterson. This poem appears in POETRY WALK: Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest – The First Five Years. Info: Book!

2010 Merit Award
How to Promote Peace by Watching Birds
    a twenty questions poem
By Karee Wardrop

How many birds are in a flock?
How many flocks are in the sky?
Do birds fly in the fog? Do they ever get lost?
Or feel lonely? Or triumphant?
If I lose my way in the woods, what do I do?
What map do the birds follow?
Are there invisible bird-paths in the air, tangible
and understandable only to sensitive avian feathers?
Are the paths crisscrossed—
do the outer twinges of not-my-territory tip the flock
reeling on its collective side, underbellies upturned?
Do birds know they reel together?
Is the chaotic choreography visible
only from our fixed point of view?
Do humans connect through chaos too?
Are we simply thrown to the wind—eyes bulging,
immature stubs of wings grasping at the slippery air,
miraculously, temporarily staying aloft?
Which tender feathers do we expose?
Who watches us? Are we
so greedy with gravity we actually seek collision?
How do we learn to tilt, land, fly again?
Is it important we are one species?
Are there edges to the sky?

*Copyright 2010 by Karee Wardrop. This poem appears in POETRY WALK: Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest – The First Five Years. Info: Book!

King of All Erasers*

July 25, 2010

2010 Merit Award
King of All Erasers
By Jose Valenzuala, 5th grade

Why are you
the king?
And why do
You have
A scar
In your eye
A minute
Made you

*Copyright 2010 by Jose Valenzuala. This poem appears in POETRY WALK: Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest – The First Five Years. Info: Book!

Window Seat*

July 24, 2010

2010 Merit Award
Window Seat
By Ellie Rogers

Everything makes more sense from the sky.

On the ground, rivers are vagabonds.
We make maps to tell us their motives,
but maps are like leftover lectures on chalkboards.
We go to riverbanks to study from our notes,
but the world is no textbook.
Close up, rivers are messes of mud, erosion and flood,
violent, then still, stagnant,
making islands and marshes out of good, solid ground.

The airplane window is small and smeared,
but I can see the true story from here.
This river forms from the fallen sky
that swarms over the rocks reaching toward it,
burning and brimming from the center of the earth.
I see from the sky that
this river has always loved the sea,
and will go there to touch her hips again and again.
This is what must be.
I want to see my life from the sky.
To be able to point to the headwaters,
then point to the mouth, to say
this is where gravity and love will pull me
for all time.

*Copyright 2010 by Ellie Rogers. This poem appears in POETRY WALK: Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest – The First Five Years. Info: Book!

2010 Merit Award
After Being Called “Girlie” at the Hardware Store
By Kim Roe

I like to think of myself as a woman
Who carries a knife, drives a dark
One-ton diesel, scrappy stock dogs
On the seat beside me.
My bite cuts sharp and quick
like a machete.

With my eyes I knock beer belly bullies
Off their bar stools. Horses who kick
Fall over backwards when I give them that look.

I never say a word.

When I enter a room all eyes are on me.
Not because of beauty and grace but


All by myself I build brick walls
And barbed wire fences that surround me.

And when I see young bulls heavy with muscle and hormones
I know their weakness.
I know how to bring them down.

*Copyright 2010 by Kim Roe. This poem appears in POETRY WALK: Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest – The First Five Years. Info: Book!

I Remember*

July 22, 2010

2010 Merit Award
I Remember
By Luke Reinschmidt, 6th grade

I remember sitting with my great grandma bear
   in P.F. Chang’s on her last birthday
   the aroma of salt and soy sauce in the air
I remember standing by the window as a little kid
   waving goodbye to my mom and saying I love you
   in sign language
   as she drove to work in the morning
I remember feeling the rush of the wind on my face
   as my dad gave me a push
   when I took my first pedals on a bike
   my hands gripping the handlebars so tightly
   my knuckles were turning white
I remember fishing in Africa with a boy named Gift
   we used a bamboo chute, string, and a hook to catch
   the silvery brown fish from the turquoise water
   neither of us speaking each other’s languages but
   communicating by a simple smile or nod of the head
I remember the excitement of facing
   a towering ocean wave as I dove through it
   hoping I would not get tossed or tumbled
   by the strong current
Puerto Rico was fun
   but that was yesterday.

*Copyright 2010 by Luke Reinschmidt. This poem appears in POETRY WALK: Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest – The First Five Years. Info: Book!

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