Last chance!

March 31, 2014

March 31TODAY at 4:00pm is the deadline for submissions to the Sue Boynton Poetry Contest. All poems must be RECEIVED by that time…so if you haven’t mailed your poem, don’t! Take it down to Mindport Exhibits, 210 W. Holly in Bellingham, where someone will be eagerly standing by to receive your poem.

another go at Ulysses

March 30, 2014

Ulysses call for found poems

That copy of Ulysses has been sitting on your shelf since, well, for a long time. You’ve always intended to finish it, or at least to give it another go.

The Found Poetry Review has a possible solution: pick a chapter, use portions of text from that chapter to create a found poem and submit it for consideration. FPR will select one poet’s work to represent each chapter of the book. The submission deadline is Friday, May 30, 2014, or when all of the chapters have been taken. The special edition of Found Poetry Review will be published online on Bloomsday (Lá Bloom) — June 16, 2014 — the 110th anniversary of Leopold Bloom’s walk through Dublin.

Read the full call for submissions at Found Poetry Review.

poetry outside

March 29, 2014

Arne Pihl - all rise

The Seattle Office of Arts & Culture has announced the installation of a new series of temporary poems/artworks/performances by Arne Pihl: ALL RISE. Installed on the site of Seattle City Light’s future Denny Substation, All Rise starts at Denny Way and Pontius and will remain in place into spring 2015. Look for it when you’re in Seattle and read more about the project from the Office of Arts & Culture.

Elizabeth Mo - photo by Jesse MichenerCongratulations to Elizabeth Mo, a senior at Kamiakin High School in Kennewick, Washington, who was declared the Washington State champion in the 2014 Poetry Out Loud competition. In addition to a monetary award, Elizabeth Mo will travel to Washington, D.C., for the nationwide competition, April 29 and 30.

Other Washington state awards went to: Francisca Ritoch (Shorewood High, King County), Mckenna Johnson (Kentwood High, King County), Margot Lewis (Bellingham High, Whatcom County) and Meghan Mulcahy (Olympia High, Thurston County). Additional details on the Washington State Arts Commission e-Newsletter.
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photo by Jesse Michener

Cascadia 2

March 27, 2014

Cascadia Poetry Festival 2014

Mark your calendar: the second annual Cascadia Poetry Festival is on its way to Seattle, Thursday through Sunday, May 1-4, 2014. In a gathering of poetic voices from California, Oregon, Idaho, Washington, British Columbia, the Alaska panhandle and Western Montana, the Festival will explore culture, ideas, techniques and the possibilities for deeper connection within the region. Events include workshops, readings and panels, a small press book fair, a beer slam and more.

Among the many slated events, poet Daphne Marlatt will conduct a workshop, In a Word, or Many: Where Language meets Terrain, on Friday, May 2, 9:00am-1:00pm, at Spring Street Center in Seattle. “This poetry workshop (which does not exclude prose) will investigate the ways words come to us in the act of writing when we situate ourselves on the threshold between our outer and inner worlds, with language as the sill for that threshold.” Further information on the workshop and on Daphne Marlatt here.

See the full schedule and presenter bios on the Cascadia Poetry Festival website.

NaPoWriMo 2014

This is a guest post by the founder of NaPoWriMo, Maureen Thorson.

Back in 2003, I decided that I would write a poem every day in April. I called the project NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Writing Month) and I posted the poems I wrote to my blog. The next year, I did it again — and some of my friends joined in. Things snowballed from there. Last year, more than 2000 poets participated, via

One of my greatest pleasures is seeing how many people end up writing great poems, or even whole books, based on ideas they started to play with in their NaPoWriMo poems. In fact, my new book, My Resignation, grew out of the poems I wrote during the 2008 NaPoWriMo.

Originally, I used the NaPoWriMo website just to link to the blogs of poets who were participating. Over the past few years, I’ve added more resources for participants, including optional daily prompts.

Many poets are intimidated by sitting down to write; they feel an expectation that they produce only serious, finished work. The prompts give poets something to focus on other than these self-cancelling feelings — a new form, or a specific group of words, perhaps a goofy title. Maybe the prompts result in finished poems, maybe the poet just has fun experimenting. The point is, at least something gets written!

Interested? It’s easy to participate! If you want to follow the prompts, great. If not, that’s fine too. If you want to post poems to your blog, and/or have your blog linked to on, we’d love to see them. But there’s no pressure. The only thing you need to do is try to write a poem a day in April.
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Maureen ThorsonMaureen Thorson is the author of two books of poetry, My Resignation (Shearsman Books 2014) and Applies to Oranges (Ugly Duckling Presse 2011). She coordinates the NaPoWriMo website, where you’ll find poetry prompts, links to featured poets, and other writing resources each day during the month of April.

spine work

March 25, 2014

Nina Katchadourian - How to Write

National Poetry Month begins a week from today. There are many ways to celebrate, the hope being that from your celebration you will discover — in yourself or in the world — some new poetry.

We’ve talked before about book spine poetry. (The example above is from a gallery of wonderful book spine poems by Nina Katchadourian.)

In honor of National Poetry Month 2014, blogger Travis Jonker has issued an invitation for book spine poets to add the 2014 Book Spine Poem Gallery on the 100 Scope Notes blog of the School Library Journal. You can see examples from the 2013 Gallery, or have a look at book spine poems on Pinterest, on Tumblr or on Facebook. You can also participate in the Book Spine Poetry Contest at Superstition Review (deadline March 31). Happy stacking!

another poetry walk!

March 24, 2014

Lawrence Ferlinghetti plaque in Jack Kerouac AlleyMarch 24 is the birthday of Lawrence Ferlinghetti and in search of an apt quote to feature in today’s post, we happened across a poetry walk!

Jack Kerouac Alley is a lane that connects Grant Avenue and Columbus Avenue in San Francisco, adjacent to City Lights Books. Ferlinghetti, in fact, proposed the conversion of Adler Place to Jack Kerouac Alley and after nearly 20 years and a significant facelift, the street was renamed and reopened in 2007. There’s no vehicle traffic, so you can stroll along and read the words of poets on plaques embedded in the paving stones. Happy 95th birthday, Mr. Ferlinghetti!

Listen live or later…

March 23, 2014

Transatlantic Poetry

The Calendar is crammed with possibility (do have a look — it’s updated nearly every day!), but sometimes you’re craving the voice of poetry when you’re too busy or you just can’t bring yourself to leave the house. If that’s the case, let the poetry come to you.

Transatlantic Poetry hosts a series of “on-air” readings using Google+ Hangouts on Air technology. Created by Robert Peake, an American poet living in England, and first broadcast in July 2013, Transatlantic Poetry is inclusive, accessible, “an experiment,” and “a labour of love.” Read the manifesto.

You can attend, watch and hear the poets live — there’s one today at 1:00pm Pacific Daylight Time featuring Randi Ward and Jo Bell — or you can revisit past readings. It all free, no log in required. Visit Transatlantic Poetry soon!

March 22

March 22, 2014

World Water Day

March 22 is World Water Day, held annually to focus attention on the importance of fresh water. This seems an auspicious poetry prompt, and toward that end we offer some additional inspiration:

Ben Schott’s wonderful Pluviocabulary from The New York Times, April 2, 2011.

A Water Words Glossary from the North American Lake Management Society.

A list of words that contain Water from Scrabblefinder.

Synonyms and antonyms for wet from

More information on World Water Day 2014 from the United Nations.

Write a water poem! If you’re so inclined, share your (general-audience-friendly) poem in a comment or post it on your own blog and leave your name, the poem name and a link in a comment here. Happy World Water Day!