on poets…

June 30, 2014

Czeslaw Milosz
“The poet is like a mouse in an enormous cheese excited by how much cheese there is to eat.”
Czeslaw Milosz
(June 30, 1911 – August 14, 2004)
. . . . .

Medicine Dance*

June 29, 2014

Carol McMillan - Medicine Dance
Medicine Dance
By Carol McMillan
2014 Merit Award

Layers of worlds, ebbing and flowing,
Woven and separate as lights of the north.
Often I choose an illusion of permanence
Shared by my neighbors who
Only know one.

With a whisper of feathers
I’m brushed by a layer
Not as well known to mowers of lawns,
Offering options with visions of places,
Existences lived in an uncommon realm.

Last night I flew
On the wings of the voices,
The feet of the dancers who know how to pass
Through planes of existence
With ancestral knowledge,
Carefully passed through the ages of time.
Sculpted by wisdom,
It lifted our bodies,
Rose through our voices and guided my dance.

*Copyright 2014 by Carol McMillan. Broadside designed by Anita K. Boyle, Egress Studio. Illustration by Angela Boyle, Flying Dodo Publications.

URIRLYou are invited to an online poetry open mic on spreecast.

URIRL (u r u in real life) presents selected and featured readers plus open mic today, Saturday, June 28, 2014, at 1 o’clock Pacific time, 2 o’clock Mountain, 3 o’clock Central, 4 o’clock Eastern.

All you need is an internet connection and a free spreecast account (and a webcam if you want to read). In Bellingham, Washington, you can also tune in by joining Thom Davis for Open Laptop at the Alternative Library. See the event page on Facebook and see more on the URIRL Tumblr archive.

got some time(s)?

June 27, 2014

clockNearly a year ago, we posted about the Literary Clock, an ambitious undertaking of The Guardian (UK). Launched in 2011, the project is still attempting to find a literary quote (including poetry, of course) that cites a particular hour and minute for every one of the 1,440 minutes in the 24-hour day. The clock, which is live online, provides the relevant quote at the exact minute it cites (to see a new quote, wait for the second hand to sweep the new minute).

Starting at about 9:00 a.m., there are quotes for nearly every minute, but in those early-morning hours between midnight and 9 there are still many quoteless minutes. Have a look at The Guardian’s updated chart of missing minutes and keep an eye on the clock as you dive into your summer reading.

pick your poem, baby!

June 25, 2014

Future Poet infant bodysuitIf the American Academy of Pediatrics has anything to do with it, you’ll be reading more — and that includes reading more poetry, right? — to the infants in your life. Which poems would you recommend for the youngest audience? Read the article by Motoko Rich in The New York Times.
. . . . .
Future Poet infant bodysuit

on poetry…

June 24, 2014

Stephen Dunn photo by Bernard C. Meyers
“Think of [learning about poetic forms] as acquiring the tools of your trade, which you may or may not choose to employ. A carpenter doesn’t always use a drill, though it would be disastrous for him not to know that it exists for him, and might facilitate what he wants to accomplish.”
Stephen Dunn
(b. June 24, 1939)
. . . . .
photo by Bernard C. Meyers

independent in the news

June 23, 2014

Ravenna Third Place BooksIn case you missed it, James B. Stewart’s June 20 article in The New York Times, “Booksellers Score Some Points in Amazon’s Spat With Hachette” (also published June 21 in the The Seattle Times as “Seattle bookseller uses Amazon spat to connect with his customers”) puts one of Seattle’s stalwart independents, Third Place Books, front and center in the developing story of the “spat” between Amazon and Hachette.
. . . . .


June 22, 2014

Evan Ingalls - Physics
by Evan Ingalls
2014 Walk Award

A bluebird flies.
But I’m not so sure
it’s really the way they say it is
when they lecture you in class
in your perfect rows of desks
watching the lines on the blackboard.
They say it’s the difference
in the velocity of the air,
due to the specific curvature of the wing,
and a Swiss-Dutchman named Bernoulli.
But my eyes teach me differently.
When I look up
and see a bluebird flying,
I don’t see any differing velocities.
I see a bluebird,
hanging without thread,
moving without force, gliding without friction,
tumbling without a care,
on the breath
of the breeze.

*Copyright 2014 by Evan Ingalls. Broadside designed by Anita K. Boyle, Egress Studio. Illustration by Angela Boyle, flyingdodopublications.com.

Poem Store, Bellingham Farmers Market

Hard to beat Erica Reed’s post on Facebook, so here it is:

We started almost a year ago. We began with nervous fingers, one typewriter named Penney, a jar for flowers, and not enough spatial awareness to safely fit coffee cups beside typewriters. We’ve been typing all year. From summer sun, to fall leaves in our keys, through stiff winter fingers and chattering teeth, all the way through the spring rains, we’ve been so happy to write. (Almost) every weekend, we lug our typewriters down to the Bellingham Farmers Market, and wait for people to ask us for poems. We will write about anything. Just ask. We’ve gotten requests for garden poems, Bellingham poems, poems about robot sex, secret fears, capitalism, god, bells, and so so many love poems. We have given away our words, and been awe struck at the words we’ve gotten in return. You’ve made us cry (not easy to do, lemme tell ya) and you’ve reminded us that this thing we’ve chosen to do with our lives, this being poets thing, it’s not too shabby. It brings you joy and sometimes tears, and you bring us confirmation in our passion.

Visit the Poem Store between 9:30am and 2pm on Saturdays in front of La Fiamma on Railroad Avenue near the Bellingham Farmers Market.

summer reading

June 20, 2014

browsing poetry

If you’re planning your summer reading list, or if you’re just eager to catch up on the “important” reading you’ve missed, here are a few places to start when you have a little time to browse.

From The Telegraph (UK), “15 best poetry books of all time

From Flavorwire, “50 Essential Books of Poetry That Everyone Should Read

Take this one to the beach: The Poetry Archive — an entirely free audio trove of major poets reading their own work and new recordings by contemporary poets of classics from the past.