Beacon Bards reading

Listen up! It’s a book release party for A Din to Fight a Monster’s Ear, a chapbook celebrating Beacon Bards, the community-based south Seattle reading series which has been coordinated by Martha Silano for the past year. Readers/contributors include Kelli Russell Agodon, Caleb Barber, David Horowitz, Megan Snyder-Camp, Joannie Stangeland and Molly Tenenbaum.

Show up! Thursday, February 6, 2014, at the Beacon Hill Library Community Room. More from Beacon Bards here.

Jeffrey Morgan

Jeffrey Morgan invites your participation in an upcoming class, Writing Poems: A Momentary Stay Against Confusion, to be offered at his Bellingham home on six Tuesday evenings, February 18 – March 25, 2014.

Participants will write and read original poems, as well as provide and receive constructive feedback in a relaxed and supportive environment. Participants will also read short essays on the craft of poetry writing and discuss the work of numerous contemporary poets, including Bob Hicok, Tracy K. Smith, Matt Rasmussen and many others. The goal of this course is to bring a fun, low-pressure MFA-style poetry workshop to the local community. For those interested, poetry publication and packet/manuscript submission strategies will be discussed.

Jeffrey Morgan is the author of Crying Shame (BlazeVox, 2011). Newer poems appear, or will soon, in Barrow Street, Bellevue Literary Review, Cutbank, Painted Bride Quarterly, Pleiades, Rattle, Third Coast and West Branch, among others. He’s taught literature and creative writing for more than 15 years at colleges and universities, including Penn State University and The City University of New York. He also served as a judge for the 2012 Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest.

Class size is limited to 12 students.
Workshop fee: $75
Materials: $15 (photocopies)
Total: $90

For information or to reserve a place, send an e-mail to

haiku we go again…

January 29, 2014

NaHaiWriMoNational Haiku Writing Month Starts February 1

Have you written a haiku yet today? How about every day throughout the month of February? Why February? Because February is National Haiku Writing Month, also known as NaHaiWriMo — the shortest month for the shortest genre of poetry. The goal is to write at least one haiku each day for the entire month. It’s harder than it seems — are you up for it?

For more information, visit, where you can learn about the myths and realities of haiku (and why it never needed to be 5-7-5 in English). You can also get involved, along with 1,600+ other people, at the NaHaiWriMo page on Facebook, where NaHaiWriMo founder, Michael Dylan Welch, provides daily writing prompts to inspire you.

To learn more about haiku, check out “Becoming a Haiku Poet” and “Getting Started with Haiku.” There’s also a NaHaiWriMo Facebook page in French and in Bulgarian! Whether you write in English or another language, join in and write a haiku a day for February — National Haiku Writing Month!

If you’re not on Facebook, you can follow @NaHaiWriMo on Twitter and tweet your daily haiku to #nahaiwrimo.

show some love

January 28, 2014

The Bellingham Herald

The Bellingham Herald invites Whatcom County residents to show some love for the paper’s annual love poem feature in honor of Valentine’s Day.

Selected entries will run in the Monday, February 10 Herald, and all accepted entries will run online at

Poems can be emailed to; mailed to ‘Valentine’s Day poems,’ c/o Dean Kahn, The Bellingham Herald, second floor, 1155 N. State St., Bellingham, WA 98225; or hand-delivered to the Herald customer service office.

Please include your name, age and town of residence. Also, include your phone number, in case questions arise. The deadline to submit a poem is Friday, January 31, 2014.

words of wisdom of words…

January 27, 2014

Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson) self-portrait, 1857“Begin at the beginning,” the King said, gravely, “and go till you come to the end; then stop.”
Lewis Carroll
(January 27, 1832 – January 14, 1898) from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
. . . . .
Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson) self-portrait, 1857

another poetry walk

January 26, 2014

Poetry on Location

Here’s a post about another poetry walk that also makes a case for reading poetry with children.

Sophia Compton, now on her way to start an English Literature degree at University College London, found herself with “some time off between school and University” and decided to do something worthwhile with poetry in the interim.

Noticing that her home town, Salisbury, which has “fantastic art and theatre driven by the medieval cathedral,” was somewhat lacking in poetry, Sophia took the initiative to work with the Forward Arts Foundation, which was undertaking “a large project to get poetry out into public spaces around England.”

For Poetry on Location, Sophia and Forward Arts worked with art groups, local schools and community organizations to select the right words and the right location. Ultimately, they selected words from Vikram Seth’s poem “Lost” for a series of paving stones in the northwest corner of Salisbury’s Market Square.

“One of the most enjoyable parts of the experience was researching poets with a historic connection to Salisbury,” Sophia says. “There is a wealth of talent, from Sir Philip Sidney through George Herbert to Vikram Seth. But as soon as I read “Lost” from The Rivered Earth, and learnt about the connection with George Herbert I knew that those were the perfect lines for this project.” Seth’s words were carved in stone by local stonemason Harry Jonas.

Calling herself “passionate” about poetry, Sophia credits nightly readings “with my mum” from the anthology The Rattle Bag, edited by Seamus Heaney and Ted Hughes, as the source of her interest.

If you’re on your way to Stonehenge, Salisbury is only 15k away, so stop by the Market Square and read some poetry.

Reasons to go to… Texas

January 25, 2014

WOW Austin 2014

Women of the World Poetry Slam. Four days, 72 of the best female poets in the world, one champion.

writing about love…

January 24, 2014

The Subject is LoveWith Valentine’s Day here soon, Matthew Brouwer invites your participation in a one-day workshop: The Subject is Love: Writing about Love Romantic, Erotic, Neighborly and Divine.

Brouwer says, “we’ll explore how to write about love in all its myriad forms. From the ecstatic love poetry of Rumi and Hafiz to the fire of the sensual and erotic to the tough love we sometimes have to show family and friends, we’ll look at how to write with honesty, tenderness, and clarity about the people and things we care about most.”

The workshop will be held at Allied Arts in Bellingham, Washington, on Saturday, February 1, 2014, 9:30am-5:00pm. It is appropriate for writers of all genres (poetry, fiction, nonfiction, etc.) and all levels of experience. See more on Facebook and visit for more details and to register.

Note: If you’re unable to attend the February 1 workshop, Matthew will offer it again on Saturday, February 8 in Anacortes. See registration page for information.

flour sack illustration by Jessica Bonin
January 23 is National Pie Day. Really. So what could be more appropriate than a slice of A Commonplace Book of Pie (Chin Music Press, 2013) by Kate Lebo, illustrated by Jessica Lynn Bonin?

The book is a delicious offering of pie poetry, pie lore, pie fantasy and pie recipes. Click here for a nice little review from the food blog, Swallow.

We were hoping that Kate Lebo might cook up a guest post for the Boynton blog, but she’s busy touring and writing and of course making more pies, so she suggested we include one of the poems from the book. With forks, napkins and gratitude, herewith the prose poem, Chocolate Cream:

People who love chocolate cream pie move through this world in a swarm of music. Their cars leak basslines; their exhaust sings from the dark of the pipe. Periodically they experiment with the softness of their genders and find them lacking every time, wear skirts to feel the hair on their thighs and pants to bind their bodies into the clean lines of a park bench. They invite you to sit down. The chocolate pie-lover would like to convince you that her height is three inches above the crown of her head. She isn’t lying, exactly. She’s creating the truth, believer by believer, just as you would if you too had a voice as big as a church.

Happy National Pie Day!
. . . . .
illustration by Jessica Lynn Bonin


It’s 2014 and maybe you’re still aglow with your recent publication. Then again, maybe you’re experiencing a little post-publishing letdown. In either case, the folks at Late Night Library invite you to submit your recent (January 1 – December 31, 2013) book for the 2014 Debut-litzer Prizes in the categories of fiction and poetry.

There is a fee for entry, and, of course, there are rules. So read up and submit by April 30, 2014!