of note…

April 30, 2014

April 30
Today is the last day of National Poetry Month and here are a few items of note.

  • If you’ve been intending all month to buy a poetry book (and what better way to support poets and encourage your local bookstore to stock more poetry?) hurry on down to Village Books, where all poetry books are 20% off through today only.
  • The Sue Boynton Poetry Contest judges, James Bertolino and Sheila Nickerson, have completed their labors: reading each of more than 300 submissions and selecting 10 Walk Award and 15 Merit Award winning poems. To see the names of the winning poets, click on Winners (toward the top of this page). Congratulations to the winners…and thanks to everyone who submitted to this year’s contest! The winning poems will be posted here over the coming months.
  • And meanwhile, mark your calendar for Thursday, May 15, 2014, 7:00pm, and please join local poetry lovers to honor the winners and hear the poets read their winning entries at the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest Awards Ceremony, at the Bellingham Cruise Terminal, 355 Harris Avenue, Bellingham. The event (and parking) are free. Kevin Murphy will emcee, the judges will present award certificates, chapbooks of the winning poems will be available for purchase and all poems submitted to this year’s contest will be on display.
  • It’s encouraging to learn that there’s a new library anywhere, and very good news that there’s one in Bellingham. We congratulate the South Whatcom Library (aka Sudden Valley Library) on their April 12, 2014, grand opening.
  • The second Cascadia Poetry Festival starts tomorrow and runs through the weekend: May 1-4, 2014, at Seattle University’s Pigott Auditorium and Spring Street Center.
  • If you’re tempted by the Chuckanut Writers Conference, June 27-28, but need a little more information, pop by Hugo House tomorrow evening, Thursday, May 1, when five members of the Conference faculty will be reading in an evening showcase.
  • And finally…you may have heard rumors of the inspiring weekly poetry reading series in Victoria, BC, Planet Earth Poetry (PEP). The series is managed and hosted by Yvonne Blomer, herself an accomplished poet with a newly-published book. You can read more about Yvonne and PEP in this space tomorrow, hear her read tomorrow evening at the Cascadia Poetry Festival and again on Sunday, May 4, at 4:00pm at Village Books. If it’s not already on your radar, Planet Earth Poetry (and Yvonne Blomer) should be!

laurelAbout a year ago, we posted a list of Poets Laureate in Washington state. Prompted by a list of state Poets Laureate posted yesterday by the Library of Congress, we thought the Washington list might be due for an update.

Elizabeth Austen is Washington State Poet Laureate (2014-2016). During her tenure, she will be visiting all 39 counties to offer workshops, readings, interviews and visits to bookstores and schools. You can learn more about Elizabeth Austen on her website and follow her official activities and project on the Washington Poet Laureate blog.

Richard (Dick) Brugger continues as Poet Laureate for the city of Auburn, Washington (2012-2015).

Thom Caraway was named as the first Poet Laureate of Spokane, Washington (2013-2015). Among other activities, he teaches creative writing, editing and book design classes at Whitworth University.

Christopher Luna is the first Poet Laureate for Clark County, Washington (2013-2014) and will continue in that position through December 31.

Lucas Smiraldo is Poet Laureate for the city of Tacoma, Washington (2013-2015). You can follow him on Twitter at VanillaSoulPoet.

Michael Dylan Welch is the new Poet Laureate for Redmond, Washington (2013-2015). You can see his ambitious schedule here.

Ina Whitlock continues as Vashon Island’s Poet Laureate (2013-2015) along with two students who serve as Youth Poets Laureate.

Patrick Knowles continues as Poet Laureate for the town of Yacolt, Washington, in Clark County (as far as we know).

If you have additions or corrections to this list, please leave a comment!

a (short) poetry walk

April 28, 2014

A Lake A LaneIn our ongoing interest in all-things-poetry-walk, here’s another addition to the collection: bpNichol Lane. Named for prolific, award-winning and, alas, short-lived writer, Barrie P. Nichol (bpNichol), this poetry walk can be found in an otherwise unremarkable lane behind the building of printer/publisher Coach House Books in Toronto. Nichol was best known for his concrete poetry (no pun intended), but wrote in — and between — many genres. bpNichol Lane contains a single example of his poetry impressed in the pavement.
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Photo by Stefan Powell

Poetry reading

National Poetry Month may be winding down, but it’s not going out with a whimper. Readings, events and postings continue, and here’s yet another, free, in Bellingham. Poets James Bertolino, Allen Frost and Paul Piper will read at 4:00pm on Tuesday, April 29, 2014, in the beautiful Special Collections Research Room of the Western Washington University Library. (Come for the poetry, stay for the view…and the snacks!) See additional details at Western Libraries Heritage Resources. Click for campus parking information.

poet, submit!

April 26, 2014

Poetry Bomb

“Throughout April 2014, ABRAMS & Tumblr will be hurling poetry every which way, in order to properly and thoroughly celebrate National Poetry Month.” Poetry Bomb welcomes submissions. Read the guidelines. Visit Poetry Bomb.

on poetry…

April 25, 2014

Ted Kooser with dogs
“A poem has to do all of its own explaining.”
Ted Kooser
(b. April 25, 1939)
from The Poetry Home Repair Manual
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tonight in Bellingham!

April 24, 2014

SpeakEasy 14: String Theory

Break out the string, here comes the poetry… SpeakEasy 14: String Theory is a sequence of poems created and read by poets Luther Allen, Sheila Sondik, Allen Frost, Paul Piper and Nancy Pagh — each poem strung to the one before and suggesting the one that follows. Free (donations appreciated) at Village Books at 7:00pm. Plus, the first 40 audience members to be seated receive a free chapbook of the string of poems.

Dana Killmeyer, UNLV MFA studentThere’s a venerable tradition linking poetry and buses. We’ve posted on this topic before and here’s one more. In Las Vegas, Nevada, Dana Killmeyer, an MFA student at UNLV, decided to take poetry to the people, recruiting fellow poet Shannon Salter to read poems on board the bus known as the “Deuce.” Read more about their surprise performance in “Captive audience: An ambush poetry reading on the public bus.” For additional links to the poetry-bus tradition, read about the Wave Books Poetry Bus cross-country tour in 2006 (more on that from the Poetry Foundation) and on-the-bus readings in Vancouver, BC.
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Photo: Yasmina Chavez

on writing…

April 22, 2014

Louise Glück 2013“Writing is a kind of revenge against circumstance too: bad luck, loss, pain. If you make something out of it, then you’ve no longer been bested by these events.”
Louise Glück

(b. April 22, 1943)
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Poetry and the Creative MindLincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall will ring with poetry on Thursday, April 24, 2014, as a stellar lineup of readers present poems at the Academy of American Poets’ 12th annual Poetry & the Creative Mind. Special guest readers include Michaela Coplen, Billy Crudup, Tina Fey, Kevin Kline, Julianna Margulies, Drew Nieporent, Rosie Perez, Parker Posey, Esperanza Spalding, Patrick Stewart, Meryl Streep and Carrie Mae Weems, plus master of ceremonies Chip Kidd. This fundraising event, which supports the Academy’s education programs, marks the Academy’s 80th anniversary and will include poems from the last 80 years of American poetry. Details: Poetry & the Creative Mind.