on writers…

May 31, 2014

Walt Whitman by Frank E. Pearsall
“Everybody is writing, writing, writing — worst of all, writing poetry. It’d be better if the whole tribe of the scribblers — every damned one of us — were sent off somewhere with tool chests to do some honest work.”
Walt Whitman
(May 31, 1819 – March 26, 1892)
. . . . .
Walt Whitman / Frank E. Pearsall / Albumen silver print, 1872 / National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution

The Mountain

May 30, 2014

Thom Davis - The Mountain
The Mountain
By Thom Davis
2014 Walk Award

So grand is the mountain that looms above
the lowlands of mankind. Fervently made
by forces we know very little of;
its flame, the heat that helped us forge our blades.

Upon the summit we find life quite hard
for the air is thin and that affects our brains.
We climb, thinking that there we’ll touch the stars,
but once on top, only encounter pain.

Yet, the valley we see, our woodland home,
below us stretches and we understand
with our climbing atop this mountain’s dome,
we’ve always had the world in our hands.

Love’s the summit and the valley our soul;
to climb to its peak is to see below.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2014 by Thom Davis. Broadside designed and illustrated by Anita K. Boyle, Egress Studio.

Matthew Brouwer workshop

Performance poet and musician Matthew Brouwer will offer Opening to the Inner Word: A Daylong Experiential Writing Retreat on Saturday, June 14, 2014. There are just four spaces remaining.

The day will be divided into sessions, each one designed to invoke inspiration and “tap into the often muffled words within.” There will be “lessons and tips for improving one’s writing craft and getting in touch with that elusive inner voice. This will be a safe and affirming setting for writers of all backgrounds and levels of experience.”

See the full description here, the Facebook event page here and the Registration page here.

Meanwhile, you can hear Matthew Brouwer TONIGHT, Thursday, May 29, when he will be the featured poet at Everett Poetry Night, 7:00 p.m. at Cafe Zippy.

National Poetry Slam 2014

Whether you go as part of a competing team, as a volunteer, as a sponsor or as a member of the audience, the 25th National Poetry Slam in Oakland, California, should be truly memorable. The premier slam tournament, NPS draws top performance poets from North America and Europe to this week of competition, workshops, outreach and fun.

Mark your calendar for August 5-9, 2014, and watch these sites for details on venues, festival passes, competitors and more: the NPS2014 website, Facebook and Twitter @NationalSlam.

NOLS Poetry Walks

The Port Angeles Main Library is partnering with Olympic National Park to offer Poetry Walks: free access to three trails in the Park with poetry posted on signs along the way. Poets include Raymond Carver, Mary Oliver, David Wagoner and many others.

The program continues through Saturday, May 31, 2014, only (sorry for the late notice; just learned about this one). All the details on the NOLS Poetry Walks page and a list of featured poets here.

Jeopardy Magazine release party

The staff of Jeopardy Magazine invites you to the Jeopardy Magazine Release Party, which will take place at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 28, 2014, in the Whatcom Museum Lightcatcher building, located downtown at 250 Flora Street. Jeopardy Magazine is the undergraduate-run literary and fine arts publication of Western Washington University and showcases the unique voices of students, faculty, staff, and alumni each spring.

This event is open to all Western faculty, staff, students, alumni and members of the community. There will be readings, refreshments, and free copies of the 50th edition of Jeopardy Magazine. Learn more on the Jeopardy Magazine website, see the event on Facebook and join in the celebration!


May 25, 2014

Over the coming months, in no particular order, on no particular schedule, the 2014 Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest winning poems and their accompanying broadsides will be posted here and linked on the Winners page. Enjoy!

Diane Bateman - Balance
By Diane Bateman
2014 Merit Award

I like balancing the checkbook.
(Yes, a checkbook!)

Every month, armed with pen and yellow highlighter,
I tick off transactions
On both mailed bank statement and my register.
(Yes, mailed, and paper documents!)

ATM receipts move
From my overstuffed checkbook to a pile,
Then to the recycling bag for shredding.
I add, or more often subtract, missing entries.
My favorite number — eight, upright infinity —
Floats through the process.
Rare math errors giving me money are happy surprises.

Addition and subtraction comfort me,
Even when results are sometimes red.
Answers are singular, simple, true;
Not multifaceted, complex, or conditional.

If I were a smiley-face type of person,
I’d draw one at the top of page 1 when I finish.
Instead, I write “done.”
. . . . .
*Copyright 2014 by Diane Bateman. Broadside designed and illustrated by Anita K. Boyle, Egress Studio.

poetry on wheels…

May 24, 2014

Dedgar The Poemobile


Il Bibliomotocarro

There’s a traffic jam at the intersection of Automobiles and Literature…

The top photo shows Dedgar The Poemobile, “a big dead-poet-loving van with solar panels on the outside and a dedicated team of filmmakers on the inside. He’s traveling from state to state celebrating our rich poetic history.” More specifically, Dedgar journeys the highways and back roads in search of the graves of poets, with graveside poetry readings along the way. See Dedgar online (plus The Great Western States Grand Tour 2014) and on Facebook.

The middle photo shows the POEMobile, “a wildly decorated box truck designed to project poems on the sides of buildings in tandem with live readings in diverse urban neighborhoods” in New York City. See more on the POEMobile, photos of wall projections from a 2011 appearance and many more photos on the City Lore Facebook page (see Photos / Albums).

The bottom photo shows Il Bibliomotocarro, an Ape motorbike modified by retired schoolteacher Antonio La Cava to hold 700 books and serve as a traveling library. Mr. La Cava has been driving it around southern Italy for more than ten years. Read more online and on Facebook.

Photos: Dedgar The Poemobile; the POEMobile; Il Bibliomotocarro.

on poetry…

May 23, 2014

Jane Kenyon
“The poet’s job is to find a name for everything.”
Jane Kenyon
(May 23, 1947 – April 22, 1995)
. . . . .

Text Festival

The 2014 Text Festival in Bury (Manchester), England, is an internationally-recognized event investigating contemporary language art: poetry, text art, sound-and-media text and performance. The Festival includes a robust assortment of exhibits, readings, performances, talks and text-centric participatory activities at venues around Bury. The Festival opened on May 2, 2014, and some exhibits continue through August.

Learn more on the Text Festival website and the Text Festival Facebook page